But to be honest the "owner" of the word Hobbit can go fuck themselves. The word was in use before Tolkien, and was also a unit of weight. The whole fact that a pub had to buy a license to use a name it had been using for more than 20 years is disgusting, the only motivation there is to get more money. Obviously when the hobbit is in the cinemas, I won't go and watch the film in the cinema, noo, I'll go to that pub instead. Absolutely ridiculous.
Yeah, I really don't get a lot of stuff like that. But in this case, it's clear that she named her pub after the fictional race and was intentionally trying to connect her pub with Tolkien's works which have been around far, far longer than 20 years.
Yet, oddly enough, if the owners of the Matrix movie franchise wanted to create a roleplaying game based on the movie, they'd have to get permission from the owners of Shadowrun who've had "Matrix" copyrighted (or trademarked; I always get them confused in cases like this) as the name of a computer network in an RPG since the 80s, even though the term is far more identified with the movies now.
Honestly, I think the whole copyright/trademark thing is way too limiting and restrictive, but at the same time I think its important to have if you're any kind of creative sort. Otherwise people could
just rip you off however they liked without any repercussions. And I assure you, if you created something worth being ripped off, you'd be pretty pissed to see that happen whether for you or your heirs.
Then again, Tolkien ripped off old world mythology every which way, and the one race he did almost-kinda-but-not-really invented should
all but be public domain in my personal opinion.
That said, how long until it does become public domain? Isn't there a time limit on that stuff?