Given the name of my business (which, by the way, LONG predates
the movies,) I have had a number of requests to make copies of the
"One Ring." My answer always is: 'You should go on the World Wide
Web and look for it. There is a company which makes a copy in gold
or silver, and they are licensed by the motion picture company.
They do a great job. I cannot do it for you, because I don't have
the legal permission to do so.' I have no desire to get into a
discussion with their lawyers. David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings
Interestingly enough, I have been in discussion (via email) with the
lawyer for the Tolkien Estate, so I think I'll share. ( FYI-J.R.R
Tolkien is the author of the Lord of the Rings)
I've been fascinated by all things elvish since high school and of
course this has reflected in my designs. I've created a few items for
friends using the Tengwar (the elvish alphabet found in the books and
on the "One Ring") who were encouraging me to try marketing those
None of my designs could be found described in the books, they were
merely inspired by Middle Earth, but they feature my interpretation
of the letters of the Tengwar as I have hand lettered (and pierced)
So after gauging general interest with a few piece for sale, I asked
the Tolkien estate how I could get permission to continue.
Tolkien's estate was very clear that the Tengwar (and all the other
Middle Earth alphabets found in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) are
the artistic property of the Tolkien Estate and I did not have
permission to use them in any way. They also implied that they
wouldn't be open to extending that permission either. I haven't
negotiated further to try, I have lots of other ideas, too.
From everything I've read about the man (a lot, I'll say), Tolkien
was very sensitive to his works being used in ways in which he might
not agree and set up his estate with his wishes in mind. Of course,
I'm disappointed I cannot take my elvish designs to the world, but I
must honor the wishes of Professor Tolkien. I will however continue
to enjoy his works (and the movies) The elvish gifts to my friends
will continue, but certainly I won't be selling anything from "Lord
of the Rings"
However, I've found that Sanskrit is very similar to Elvish and I
don't believe that Sanskrit is anyone's artistic property. I
might use some of those designs after all.