Sarehole Mill Yard
Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) is a large enterprise specialising in turning good novels into good films. Its big successes are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus and The English Patient. It buys up exclusive rights to literary fiction, turns them into films, then brand-names the title, characters, places and other aspects of the novel, before charging any other company that it claims infringes its intellectual property rights. It will only allow other companies to use a name it claims to own under licence. This is what it is trying to do with the Hungry Hobbit on Sarehole roundabout. However brand name laws can vary from country to country and from industry to industry. In the academic world using fictional names, fictional placenames and texts that belong to another author is considered plagiarism if the source is not acknowledged. What SRZ is doing is akin to buying a degree belonging to another author.
Apparently Saul Zaentz Company bought from United Artists the rights which United Artists purchased from the Tolkien family estate. But it is Warner Brothers that the Tolkien family are pursuing through the courts for extending ownership rights to electronic goods. SZC is a subsidiary of Warner Brothers.
Recently SZC - no laughing now - registered the brand name 'The Shire'. I do not know how long we will have to wait before Birmingham City Council are sued by SZC, unless of course they are already using our money to pay a licence fee to them. If they are not paying a fee I'm really looking forward to this battle. Bring it on.