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Fanfic Writer Suing Amazon And The Tolkien Estate For The Rings Of Power Copyright Infringement

The recent drama surrounding the off-season of "The Rings of Power" continues to build. At the end of March, a horse died while rehearsing for a scene. A week later, a fire broke out on set. Now, the latest news surrounding the show is about as strange as it gets. According to PC Gamer, a writer named Demetrious Polychron has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Jeff Bezos and company over copyright infringement regarding its "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" series.

Fansite Fellowship of Fans shared further information shortly after the shocking announcement, confirming that the lawsuit is, in fact, real. The source also clarified that the lengthy list of defendants includes not just Bezos and the head of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke, but also the series showrunners, Tolkien's grandson, and the entire Tolkien Estate itself.

The obvious question here is why someone as seemingly innocuous as Demetrious Polychron is going up against so many gargantuan corporations and individuals. The answer lies in a little piece of fan fiction called "The Fellowship of the King."

Why is Polychron suing Bezos and Tolkien?

Demetrious Polychron claims his previously harmless novel is an original book (he even has the copyright) that he conceived as the first part of a seven-book series titled "The War of the Rings." J.R.R. Tolkien heavily influences the story; it borrows names of characters, places, and events, apparently weaving the author's original story into the established events of Tolkien's world.

Polychron claims he tried to get the Tolkien Estate on board with the book in 2017 and even left a copy of the manuscript at Tolkien's grandson's home two years later. Now, the author is suing the whole lot, claiming they stole many of his original ideas. According to a quote from the court documents, "These wholly original distinct and separate characters and storylines compose as much as one-half of the 8-episode series as released and published by Defendants." It adds that, in many cases, they even copied exact language from Polychron's novel.

While there have been plenty of challenges for "The Rings of Power" series, this is a unique turn of events. The fact that an unauthorized author using Tolkien's world to create his own novel is suing Amazon Studios and the Tolkien Estate for copying his ideas is entirely new territory and a story worth watching.