“..It was perhaps inevitable that Homo floresiensis – the three-foot-tall species of primitive human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores – would come to be widely known as “hobbits”.
After all like JRR Tolkien’s creation they were “a little people – about half our height”.
But a New Zealand scientist planning an event about the species has been banned from describing the ancient people as “hobbits” – by representatives of the Tolkien estate.
Dr Brent Alloway associate professor at Victoria University is planning a free lecture next month -
- at which two of the archaeologists involved in the discovery of Homo floresiensis in 2003 – Professor Mike Morwood and Thomas Sutikna – will speak about the species.
The talk is planned to coincide with the premiere of The Hobbit film – and Alloway had planned to call the lecture “The Other Hobbit” – as Homo floresiensis is commonly known.
But when he approached the Saul Zaentz Company/Middle-earth Enterprises which owns certain rights in The Hobbit – he was told by their lawyer that “it is not possible for our client to allow generic use of the trade mark HOBBIT.”
“I am very disappointed that we’re forbidden by the representatives of the Tolkien Estate to use the word ‘Hobbit’ in the title of our proposed free public event –
- especially since the word ‘Hobbit’ is apparently listed in the Oxford English Dictionary – (and hence apparently part of our English-speaking vocabulary) -
- the word ‘Hobbit’ (in the Tolkien context) is frequently used with apparent impunity in the written press -
- and reference to ‘Hobbit’ in the fossil context is frequently referred to in the scientific literature (and is even mentioned in Wikipedia on Homo floresiensis).
I realise I’m in unfamiliar word proprietry territory (as an earth scientist) – so I’ve gone for the easiest option and simply changed our event title.” said Alloway…”
(ed:..ok..this is bullshit..lets hope the mainstream media pick up on this..and drive a u-turn..(john campbell..!..yoo-hoo..!..over here..!..great visuals in this one..!..both ‘hobbits’..and ‘little-people’..)
..and lets hope the publicity leads to a full-house for doc alloway..and his hobbit-talk..eh..?
..and it sounds fascinating..i hope they stream it…eh..?
..i’ll link to them..
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