The Hobbit (public house)

From Tolkien Gateway

The Hobbit is a Tolkien-themed public house in Southampton, United Kingdom.

Copyright infringement accusation

In March 2012 it drew international attention after it was accused of copyright infringement by Middle-earth Enterprises.[1] In response, a "Save The Hobbit" campaign was established.[2] This caught the attention of The Hobbit (film series) cast members Stephen Fry and Ian McKellen, who both criticised the action taken by Saul Zaentz's company.[3] Stephen Fry tweeted:

Honestly, @savethehobbit, sometimes I'm ashamed of the business I'm in. What pointless, self-defeating bullying.

On his website, Ian McKellen commented:

With no apparent explanation they [Middle-earth Enterprises] are insisting that The Hobbit pub stop trading under that name. As if it were possible to control the way Tolkien and his characters have entered the culture. Did anyone try to ban "Gandalf for President" buttons? I wear mine with pride.

Lawyers representing Middle-earth Enterprises subsequently offered The Hobbit a reprieve, saying that they would be open to giving them a license to trade as "The Hobbit" for a fee of $100 per year. Stephen Fry and Ian McKellen have since announced that they would be willing to pay this fee. Both actors hope to visit the public house once filming on The Hobbit films ends in July.[6]

External links


  1. "Hobbit pub in Southampton threatened with legal action" dated 13 March 2012, BBC News (accessed 23 March 2012)
  2. "Save The Hobbit, Southampton", Facebook (accessed 23 March 2012)
  3. "Hobbit pub row: Landlady overwhelmed by support" dated 16 March 2012, BBC News (accessed 23 March 2012)
  4. Stephen Fry, "Honestly [...]" dated 13 March 2012, Twitter (accessed 23 March 2012)
  5. Ian McKellen, "Gandalf's portrait hangs outside The Hobbit pub [...]" dated 14 March 2012, Ian McKellen's Blog (accessed 21 March 2012)
  6. "Hobbit pub copyright row: Stephen Fry and Ian McKellen to pay licence" dated 21 March 2012, BBC News (accessed 23 March 2012)