[hobbit] "Hobbit" name legal stuff; slight name change will happen

Ward, Martin Martin.Ward at colt.net
Mon Aug 4 10:51:38 CEST 2008

Having read all the various comments it seems to come down to:

Most people are happy with the name "Hobbitmon", however this would need
to be run past the lawyers to confirm it is acceptable.

A significant minority would like the name changed to a large degree to
make it more acceptable to pointy haired bosses (PHBs).

So I have a couple of thoughts and questions:

T1: Hobbitmon is a useful option to go with simply because Sourceforge
have it listed under that name already.

Q1: Would the Hobbit lawyers be happy of we simply put disclaimers on
the front page of every hobbit monitor to get around the legal concerns
Henrik mentioned? A simple "This tool has nothing to do The Hobbit, LOTR
etc etc etc, click her if you want things with hairy feet" would cover
that nicely.

Q2: Would "Hobbitmon" be acceptable enough to both lawyers and PHBs or
does the name need to change radically?

Q3: If Q1 is OK then how about a pseudonym/nickname/alternate to get
around Q2? If you look at the current web pages and code there is very
little that actually says "Hobbit" apart from the web link at the bottom
of the page, which could easily be changed in the next version with no
adverse effects.

T2: I am basing the idea of an alternative name on the fact that the
PHBs are not going to be looking at the Hobbit website or documentation.
If you are trying to sell this tool to a group you're going to show them
a) your own slide shows where you can put your own names in and b) the
monitoring tool itself, which only has the link mentioned in Q3 above.


-----Original Message-----
From: Henrik Stoerner [mailto:henrik at hswn.dk] 
Sent: 31 July 2008 17:30
To: hobbit at hswn.dk
Subject: [hobbit] "Hobbit" name legal stuff; slight name change will

Hi everyone,

some lawyers behind the movie company that produced the "Lord of the
Rings" trilogy have contacted me about using the name "Hobbit" for the
Hobbit monitor project.

Fortunately, it seems that these people are actually quite sensible.
They just want to make sure that there is no risk of anyone assuming
that the "Hobbit monitor" has anything to do with the books, movies,
merchandise etc. that they produce.

So they've suggested that beginning with the next release, "Hobbit
monitor" is renamed to either "Hobbi monitor" (without the 't'), or
"H.O.B.B.I.T. Monitor" . Or something else, but they want to know if I
pick something else.

The full correspondance can be seen at

My current preference is to use the "H.O.B.B.I.T." version; this is most
like the current name, and it would also fit with all of the current
URL's used for various Hobbit functions (e.g. the "hobbitmon.sf.net"
project page). I'm going to write the lawyers and get a definite OK that
I can use "hobbitmon" in URL's and such; I doubt that I can get
Sourceforge to accept a project named "h.o.b.b.i.t." since that would
probably cause havoc with the DNS entries ...

But I'd like to hear if there are other suggestions or opinions.


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