back to article Phoney bling ring pinged by Tolkien's kin

A Melbourne man has to hand over his entire stock of “The One Ring” knock-offs to the Tolkien Estate, after losing a copyright case. The Federal Court in Melbourne earlier this month awarded a summary judgement against one Alexander Saltalamacchia over a line of rings he sold on his own Website and on eBay Australia. …

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Olympic Rings, One Ring - makes me suspect there is a copyright attack ring...

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He represented himself over the phone ?

Is that some local specialty ? When you're summoned to court, aren't you (or your lawyer) generally supposed to be there ?

Daft as it sounds to me, I note that the general rule of self-representation has been respected (ie you lose). The phoning it in must really have tickled the judge's funny bone (in a "Ah so that's what you think of my court ?" way).

Personally, I wouldn't wait for the guy to "hand over" the relevant papers justifying how much he sold. With behavior like that, I'd send in the plods and have them tear the place apart to bring back every slip of proof they can get. I wouldn't trust that guy not to doctor the evidence (not that he seems smart enough to do it right in the first place).

But maybe that's the thing - the judge is handing him another length of rope, waiting to see just how he'll try to hang himself with it. Hmm, yup, sounds much more satisfactory in the long run.

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Re: He represented himself over the phone ?

" He represented himself over the phone ? Is that some local specialty ? When you're summoned to court, aren't you (or your lawyer) generally supposed to be there ?"

One does not simply walk into Oz court.

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Happy

Judicial activism?

"In a summary judgement, [Justice Beach] found that the knock-offs infringed “a substantial part” of the inscription, and offered them for sale at this no-longer active eBay store."

Wow, that's rough. Not only did the Judge find against him, but the judge then added insult to injury by selling the dodgy merchandise himself.

Do they not pay judges enough in Aus?

As for the IT angle? I doubt the defendent acted alone. There's probably a whole organization of people selling this jewellery... you know, a Tolkein Ring Network.

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Re: Tolkein Ring Network

Bravo, sir!

Bravo.

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Re: Tolkein Ring Network

All well and good, until the Tolkein falls out.

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Shouldn't these rings come with a health warning?

Warning: Do not use ring in traffic, invisibility increases the risk of collisions with cars

Warning: Prolonged use may cause user to fade

Warning: May attract Nazgul

Warning: Casting ring into Crack of Doom may cause volcanic eruptions, and damage to property

Sorry, couldn't resist. Mine is the one with the trilogy in the pocket

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Devil

Re: Shouldn't these rings come with a health warning?

@Michael Wilkinson: That's one hell of an inscription. Maybe that goes on the inside of the band on the One Wristwatch?

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Re: Shouldn't these rings come with a health warning?

The eagles are coming! The eagles are coming!

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Thumb Up

Re: Shouldn't these rings come with a health warning?

"The eagles are coming! The eagles are coming!"

Obligatory...

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Re: Shouldn't these rings come with a health warning?

mode = Terry Jones: Our sales would plummet!

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One does not simply flout copyright law.

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That depends where and what part

In some countries you are allowed interpretation, sequel and prequel if they have artistic merit of their own. It used to be the case in the UK too. Cristopher Priest, Steven Baxter have very good works expanding the Wells universe. Unfortunately, over time UK courts have started enforcing the rather ridiculous USA point of view where any "universe" works are owned by the original copyright creator. Court cases brought by the Tolkien estate have played a major role in this direction change

As a result UK readers will never get a chance to read "The Last Ringbearer" and any of the "Wizard of the Emerald City"/"Magic Land series".

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Re: That depends where and what part

The first proper book I read was The Wizard of Oz so it's a shame I'll never get to read those. Or learn Russian.

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Re: That depends where and what part

"Court cases brought by the Tolkien estate have played a major role in this direction change"

Business plan:

1. Invent magic ring which gives its wearer enormous power.

2. Reduce Tolkien estate to small pile of charred paper and even more charred lawyers and copyright trolls.

3. ?

4. Profit.

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Re: That depends where and what part

A search shows where you can get The Last Ringbearer, also some notes on Wikipedia

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> One does not simply flout copyright law

'Do not meddle in the affairs of copyright lawyerss, for they are subtle and quick to anger.'

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Re: That depends where and what part

Also and ePub and mobi versions here http://www.tenseg.net/press/lastringbearer

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Re: That depends where and what part

Both Priest and Baxter (AFAIR) acknowledge both the prior art AND the explicit support/permission of the relevant estate.

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LDS
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One copyring to bind them all...

Anyway, when your last name means "jump over the stain" you may think to jump over other little things... stains on your reputation doesn't matter <G>

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Windows

@LDS

I is a little rusty, thanks for confirming that .....

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I can't help thinking that over a long academic career JRRT must have quoted a lot of bits out of other scholars' work. I wonder if their heirs or, worse these days, their journals' publishers might raise the question of copyright infringement against his.

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But the markings are normally invisible...

Doesn't this mean the Tolkien estate also owns the copyright on plain gold rings?

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Go

Re: But the markings are normally invisible...

The Tolkein estate surrendered those rights after a few nasty product liability suits. It turns out that the initial batch of buyers kept tossing their rings in the fireplace and then try to handle the red-hot bling without protective gloves.

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Bah!

I believe the correct term is "phoned it in". I've never come across "rang it in" in this context before.

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Trade descriptions

"Saltalamacchia had tried to skirt the law by inserting a gap into the “Black Speech” inscription otherwise copied from Lord of the Rings"

So while close enough for copyright to kick in, what he produced wasn't a proper "The One Ring"? Presumably once this is over the people who purchased it could also sue since they didn't get what they paid him for, after all he confirmed that as part of his defense!

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Cruel runes

He should remarket the ring with the inscription "Tolkien estate sucks Brandywine swamp water" transliterated into Elvish runes around the perimeter. It would still look stylish and the sentiment would suit.

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