I'm not sure if this was posted before, it's not exactly "news" (a day old). The team working on the promising LOTR mod for Skyrim, Middle Earth Role-play, received a Cease & Desist letter from Warner Bros which owns the license. The team decided they do not have the resources to go up against the media giant and stopped all work. link
You probably never heard of this mod, it started wayy back when it was a mod for oblivion, had a couple of pre-alpha releases, driven purely by Tolkien fans. There was a Middle Earth mod for Morrowind that also vanished back then. Now the fans starting the fair use crusade against WB, arguing many other very very popular mods that got released are still going, and a few bigger budget fan films were distributed. So why a mod WIP? Is it really because of the upcoming movie and its tie-in games? And honestly, does the idea of "open-world LOTR game" threaten WB that much? I mean, when was the last time you heard of a successful LOTR game; let alone an open world one? (which was canned by the way)
T'is a sad fay for gamers, I really want to get the word out there and hopefully Patrick Klepick can do a story on this... I don't think any company should mess with the modding crowd. They are always the ones with the biggest hearts. This should really make people rethink what the fuck's going on with copyright, and how it should be.