The use of 'copyright' as a verb, which formerly occurred in this article, is legally amiss. Copyright nowadays is not something one applies for or registers, one acquires it automatically by making a work of art or scholarship, or one can buy it from the author or from a previous buyer. Whether one can have a copyright in a name or character or fictional place, rather than in a work, is considered rather doubtful among lawyers.
Tolkien and his heirs never sold any of his copyrights as far as I know, except that he transferred his copyright in Bilbo's Last Song to Joy Hill as a gift. He gave licences to use certain aspects of his copyrights in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to UA, which were subsequently sold to Tolkien Enterprises. On this basis Tolkien Enterprises appears to have registered names from these works as trade- or service marks. It at least claims the right to license such use, and that is only possible when one has registered a trade- or service mark.
What Tolkien Enterprises at present says on its website on these points is sufficiently vague, but fully compatible with my views expressed above. -- Mithrennaith 18:50, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
Move to index
Since this is a list, shouldn't it be moved to an index? --Amroth 18:33, 25 July 2011 (UTC)