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New cryptocurrency skirts dangerously close to copyright infringement

A new cryptocurrency called JRR Token has hit crypto markets, and with more than just a nod to Lord Of The Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkien, it's caused disdain amongst fans and could yet be punished for copyright infringement.

The new cryptocurrency was revealed last week by Lord Of The Ring’s actor Billy Boyd, who posted a Tweet containing a short clip promoting the currency. The tweet has since been deleted, but fans of the films and books were quick to criticise Boyd and the cryptocurrency.

Of course, JRR Token joins other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Binance Coin and Ethereum. Crypto farming has risen in popularity in recent years, but has been criticised in many industries for its intensive energy use and its impact on carbon dioxide emissions.

JRR Token released its first whitepaper recently explaining how the new currency works and begins with the quote: “One token that rules them all. One token you don’t mine them. One token to hold for all. And in marketing bind them.” This is a play on the famous Lord Of The Ring’s quote imprinted on the one ring which Frodo takes to Mt. Doom.

This, from a legal perspective, sees the JRR Token developers sailing very close to copyright infringement territory. Also, every aspect of the cryptocurrency’s branding is distinctly similar to the Lord Of The Rings branding, from font type through to using music that sounds very similar to Concerning Hobbits from The Fellowship Of The Ring.

The promotional video promoted by Billy Boyd, available to view on You Tube, sees the camera panning over rolling countryside, again being a direct reference to the landscape seen in the films. The words “when crypto and fantasy combine, something new is born” appear, followed by the letters JRR inside a gold ring.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate is particularly protective of the Lord Of The Rings brand, and has undergone numerous lawsuits in the past, so how long JRR Token continue trading under that name remains to be seen.



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