Seems to be things are getting less strict now that Christopher Tolkien is out of the picture and they were already pretty lax before, what with living dragons, elk mounts, High Elf players, Beornings, etc. Whatever rule was in place at the beginning was slowly tiptoed away from over the years with each new lore-breaking change. That, or the years of claiming we were never allowed were a lie.
I still think this has come far too late. The days of avid PvPers in LotRO ended a long time ago, hell it was dying while I was still on it during RoR. Even early on the Limited Servers, those of us who were begging to get the Ettens opened were few and far between, and the sparring fight club that was set up only really had a dozen or so people in it (which ended pretty quick because it was so unbalanced that a burg with all teal essence gear could nuke opponents in a couple of seconds). The sorts of whales that usually prop the game up weren't fans of PvP to begin with, either, so not sure who they're catering to.
Any bets on what other gimmick servers they'll open? Perma-death servers, no level servers, hard-mode servers, no mob servers, man-only servers, chicken/animal servers? If they don't do a zombie server, they're missing a trick.