Actor Stephen Fry has backed a campaign to save a British pub called The Hobbit after the owners were threatened with a copyright lawsuit.
Lawyers representing the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC), the American firm which owns the copyright to a number of JRR Tolkien's works, have ordered the pub in Southampton, England to change its name or face legal action.
Fry, who stars in the new movie adaptation of JRR Tolkien's book, has now loaned his support to a campaign to save the venue after hearing of the owners' plight.
In a post on Twitter.com, he writes, "Honestly, Save The Hobbit, sometimes I'm ashamed of the business I'm in. What pointless, self-defeating bullying."
The pub has been trading as The Hobbit for more than 20 years and landlady Stella Mary Roberts insists she doesn't have the funds to fight the legal threat, saying, "We were absolutely stunned. It was completely unexpected, we never intended to infringe anyone's copyright.
"Are we doing any harm? I don't think so. We're bringing people to the books and the stories who haven't heard of J.R.R. Tolkien. We don't have the financial resources to fight it - I can't fight Hollywood."
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