JRR Token Crypto Abolished: Full Details of Copyright Infringement Case of 'Lord of the Rings' Cryptocurrency

JRR Token Crypto Abolished: Full Details of Copyright Infringement Case of 'Lord of the Rings' Cryptocurrency
The JRR Token, a cryptocurrency heavily themed after "The Lord of the Rings" and series author J.R.R. Tolkien, has been officially taken down. Photo : Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The JRR Token, a cryptocurrency heavily themed after "The Lord of the Rings" and series author J.R.R. Tolkien, has been officially taken down. The developer promised to remove the token, delete any related content, and pay the estate legal costs.

Since last year, many cryptocurrencies have risen in the market. Some developers took advantage of this trend and crafted recognizable tokens that can inspire fans to invest in it. One of these is the "JRR Token."

What Is JRR Token Crypto?

Just like any other cryptocurrency, the JRR Token is a crypto coin traders can buy, sell and invest in. According to BSCScan, per Cointelegraph, the BEP-20 token is only held by 510 addresses and has a market supply of 19 trillion.

Early on August, Billy Boyd, the actor behind Pippin, even endorsed it on a 40-second YouTube video.

Teasing some of its market potential, JRR Token announced its 2022 plans for a player-versus-player digital card game called Dawn Rising, where players can wager and earn crypto. The token also listed nine NFT (nonfungible token) sales on the OpenSea marketplace.

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J.R.R. Tolkien Family and Estate Protest

However, not everybody was pleased by the JRR Token's marketing performance. J.R.R Tolkien's family and estate protested that the cryptocurrency copied the name and imagery from the "Lord of the Rings" and its author. They filed a complaint to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on August 10.

Both involved parties presented their stance in court. The Tolkien Estate ultimately won the case.

JRR Token Crypto: 'The Lord of the Rings' Ripoff

Admittedly, just by looking at the name, "JRR Token" shows a lot of resemblance to "JRR Tolkien." It is also worth noting that the cryptocurrency's design is heavily inspired by rings, Hobbit holes, and wizards. According to Fortune, JRR Token website and whitepaper used the iconic phrase "The One Token That Rules Them All."

Matthew Jensen and his lawyer argued that JRR stands for "Journey through Risk to Reward." They also argued reasons like the name "JRR Token" is not similar to "JRR Tolkien" because the letter "L" and "I" are pronounced differently.

However, the members of WIPO were not convinced. Panel member John Swinson said, "(the) website is clearly a commercial venture, which is clever but not humorous... There is no doubt that the Respondent was aware of Tolkien's works and created a website to trade off the fame of these works," per Cointelegraph.

In the end, Jensen was forced to shut down the token. He also agreed to pay for legal costs, which are undisclosed to the public. At the time of writing, all of JRR Token's social media accounts like Twitter, YouTube and website were taken down.

Fans might have enjoyed the JRR Token crypto while it lasted. However, there are clear penalties for copyright issues. This should be taken into account, especially for future tokens that follow this kind of thematic scheme.

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