The author of a Lord of the Rings sequel has been ordered to destroy all physical and electronic copies and pay more than $130,000 in legal fees.
American author Demetrious Polychron was sued for copyright infringement by the estate of author JRR Tolkien, the author of the original books – after Polychron first tried to sue them.
Polychron claimed in April that Amazon’s TV series The Rings Of Power – set thousands of years before Lord of the Rings – violated his own book, The Fellowship Of The King.
His case was dismissed by a US District Court, which said Polychron’s own novel had infringed copyright.
The Tolkien estate then launched its own legal action to block the book – which Polychron had described as “the pitch-perfect sequel to The Lord of the Rings”.
A court has now granted a permanent injunction which means that The Fellowship Of The King can no longer be distributed and that Polychron cannot write any further books based on Tolkien’s work.
All copies of it must be destroyed, the Tolkien estate said in a statement, and the ruling also forces Polycron to sign a statement confirming he has complied.
Polychron must also pay legal fees of $134,000 (£106,000) to the estate and Amazon to cover the costs of his initial lawsuit – which the court said was unreasonable and frivolous.
The Tolkien estate’s British lawyer, Steven Maier, said Polychron had written his book on a “commercial basis” and called the legal outcome a “significant success” to retain the copyright to the famous fantasy epic.
He said Tolkien’s estate would not allow “unauthorized authors and publishers to monetize JRR Tolkien’s much-loved works in this way”.
“The estate hopes that the award of a permanent injunction and attorney’s fees will be sufficient to deter others who may have similar intentions,” Mr. Maier added.