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The Hobbit Pub In Southampton Faces Legal Battle Over Its Name

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The Hobbit pub faces a struggle
The Hobbit pub faces a struggle

It's an epic, blockbuster-style struggle - but this one is about a small pub versus a Hollywood lawyer.

The Hobbit pub in Southampton has been threatened with legal action by the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC), which owns exclusive merchandising rights to certain JRR Tolkien classics, including The Hobbit.

Dubbed the best pub in Southampton in 2007 it has held the name for over 20 years and hosts live music and open-mic nights.

Landlady Stella Roberts told the Southhampton Echo that they were "stunned" by the action: “We just haven’t got the resources to fight it. How can I take on a multi-million pound power?," she asked.

“It’s not just a case of changing the name – it’s all the merchandise, artwork, absolutely everything. We never planned to steal anybody else’s ideas – we’re all such huge fans of Tolkien that it’s more like a homage.”

Fans of the pub have launched a campaign to 'Save The Hobbit', with a Facebook group attracting over 3,000 supporters.

Campaigners have sent a message to the estate of The Hobbit's author, asking for support writing: "We believe the pub to be a brilliant place that does more good than harm to the world of Tolkien's writings and any adaptations thereof, acting as an advertisment to Middle Earth rather than simply stealing ideas."

Previously movie tycoons from SZC tried to stop a Scottish holiday firm calling their lodges "hobbit houses."

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