Lawyers Simpson Grierson have forced The Evening Post to withdraw from sale $2 posters of the Lord Of The Rings movie.
Last weekend, Earl Gray, acting for the film company, contacted the paper's editor, Suzanne Carty, to say the proposed poster would infringe the moviemaker's copyright.
Legal debate between Simpson Grierson and Post lawyers Phillips Fox yesterday resulted in the paper reluctantly withdrawing the poster from sale under threat of court injunction.
Carty today apologised to Hobbit fans keen to buy a copy of the page of photos of Lord Of The Rings sets and characters, published last Wednesday.
"It seems we've inadvertently transgressed the film company's copyright. The sad part is that we weren't trying to make money - we just wanted to make it easy for fans to get a copy of the page on good-quality paper.
"Now, I'm afraid the lawyers tell us we're not allowed to even give the posters away, so the fans miss out."
She suggested readers do one of two things:
"First, some extra copies of last Wednesday's paper are available from Wellington Newspapers offices around the greater Wellington region.
"Second, 20 x 30cm copies of the photos taken by The Press in Christchurch can be bought for $35 from the Press."
* The address is: Photos orders, The Press, PO Box 1005, Christchurch.