Save the Shire – Enough Trademarks Already!

I am sorry, but nothing will create more frustration for me than people’s greed to trademark names and places. Today’s example is “Shire.” In an attempt to produce future royalty payments, an attempt is being made to trademark the word.

A shire is a traditional term for a division of land, found in the United Kingdom and in Australia.

Get it? It’s a traditional and common word used by millions. As a huge fan of JRR Tolkien, I’ve read about his disdain for the turn of the century and industrialization. He immortalized it with Treebeard’s proclamation “No one cares for the woods anymore.”

We live in an age where effort, invention and innovation are replaced with the quick and easy buck. What better way than to claim a trademark on the use of a common word. Batman, Spiderman, Superman are all trademarked words, but are unique to characters actually created. But lately, filmmakers are obsessed with the repackaging of these stories. Try being original. “Treebeard” could be trademarked for it is the creation of only one man. What would happen if we trademarked “YO?” Are we going to sue any and everyone for its use if royalties are not paid? The Palin’s trademarked their names. Trayvon Martin was recently trademarked. At what point do we humans say enough is enough. Are we truly this lazy and greedy?

In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo sets out not only to save the “Shire”, but middle-earth. In my trilogy, nine worlds fall to total ruin by the actions of mortals influenced by evil. At what point do we look at our own world and say “it is not worthy of saving.” That’s a tough question, I know, but human exploitation for the sake of greed can bring us one step closer to where nothing is sacred and right.

Save the Shire. Keep it free to the peoples of earth.

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