Warner Brothers Warns Guy Who Named Harry Potter A Decade Before JK Rowling

from the so-how-does-that-work-exactly? dept

In something of a followup to the story of JK Rowling's testimony over a guide book to the Harry Potter universe, Petréa Mitchell writes in to point us to the news that moviemaker Helmer John Buechler is planning to make a remake of his 1986 movie Troll. What's that got to do with Harry Potter? Well, it just so happens that the lead character of the movie happens to be named Harry Potter. Rowling's first Harry Potter book came out over a decade after the movie. While I'd be willing to bet the whole thing is a coincidence (or, at the very least a totally unintentional/subconscious reuse of the name), that isn't preventing Warner Brothers (who owns the rights to Rowling's Harry Potter) from making some vaguely worded, but ominous sounding warnings to Buechler, telling him "If these producers intend to remake Troll they'd better tread carefully not to infringe on our rights." Funny how they say that about a character that was invented over a decade before WB's own Harry Potter, isn't it?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    yo ho ho...., Apr 18th, 2008 @ 6:49pm

    Go for it!

    Make the movie -- write the book -- tell WB to shove it up their a@@

    Everyone out there would love to see JK cry for real!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 6:50pm

    owns the writes?

    or owns the rights?

     

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  3.  
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    Heywood Jablowme, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 7:10pm

    who gives damn. The bitch has made millions make her pay the guy. Whats she gonna do with the cash anyway? take it with her on her broom stick when she dies?

     

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  4.  
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    Chester D. Molester, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 7:21pm

    i love reading her books about young children!

     

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  5.  
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    ehrichweiss, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 7:36pm

    Re:

    THAT is not what her broomstick is for. Come on, do you really think that nipple slip was an accident?

     

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  6.  
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    powerpig, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 8:00pm

    RE: comment 3

    "who gives damn. The bitch has made millions make her pay the guy. Whats she gonna do with the cash anyway? take it with her on her broom stick when she dies?"

    She's not the one that's warning the group intending to make the movie. (She could probably give a damn less.) It's WB that's playing the part of moronic corporate giant here.

    It's possible that she doesn't even know that WB is doing this.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 8:21pm

    "Petréa Mitchell writes in to point us to the news..."

    Putting her name in bold is silly, when skimming through it catches the eye before the names of people actually involved in the story!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    SEC, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 8:52pm

    Petrea Mitchell

    Uh, what's wrong with putting the name of the reporter at the beginning of the article? It's like putting a headline at the beginning of a story, then saying by, Petrea Mitchell, then beginning the body of the article. OR you could even compare it to the television news. Person in the studio says "Let's go to Petrea Mitchell with more on this story."

     

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  9.  
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    ZonieGuy, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 9:36pm

    Re: Petrea Mitchell

    So like any other journalist with a degree of professionalism, you realize that YOU are not the news and simply put your name in a byline. You're not any part of the story...

     

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  10.  
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    Mischa, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 9:51pm

    Re:

    They often bold the name of the person who brought something to techdirt's attention. This isn't new.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 9:55pm

    Helmer John Buechler should have copyrighted it - DOH - His fault - Now WB owns it - Bet he's kicking himself now! He may have been first with the name - but if he didn't copyright it, Dee Dee Dee! His loss!

     

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  12.  
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    Yoorah, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 10:05pm

    Re:

    Pardon my lack of knowledge regarding all this legal stuff, but couldn't he have the courts revoke WB's "copyright" of the name Harry Potter, since there is concrete proof that he created it first? Or does this only apply to patents? lol

    I'm saying this because I remember reading somewhere that a cheap, temporary (?) way to copyright an idea you have is to date stamp the letter with your idea in it, and mail it to yourself in a sealed envelope for use as proof in court.

    If it's legally feasible, this guy should totally sue WB for the fun (and $$) of it!

     

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  13.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 18th, 2008 @ 10:35pm

    Re: owns the writes?

    Oops. Fixed. Thanks.

     

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  14.  
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    Jeff, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 11:18pm

    poor man's copyright

    @ Yoorah # 12

    Often known as a poor man's copyright. Sending a manuscript to yourself registered mail provides a signature and paper trail to prove that you wrote something at a certain time. afaik it has held up in court when copyright is argued.

    IANAL, but as I understand, any person who creates something automatically holds the copyright to their creation unless it is created under certain circumstances (such as while on the job for a company they've agreed to create stuff for).

    The trick is proving you've created something first, hence the registered mail trick.

    Whoever owns the rights to this movie wouldn't be breaking Rowling's (or Time-Warner's) copyright by using the name as it is a prior intellectual property, unless they intentionally confuse the public as to what property they are representing (trademark law if Harry Potter is trademarked) or draw from the new Harry Potter stories and re-use ideas.

    I think. This is all just as I understand copyright law, which is honestly not much. Someone better qualified will probably come alone and clarify.

     

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  15.  
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    Overcast, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 11:18pm

    Sounds like it's the other way around actually..

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 11:23pm

    They should just make the movie and tell WB to stick it.

    Most of WB's corporate leaders are Jews...surprise, surprise...no wonder they are so greedy.

     

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  17.  
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    ToySouljah, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 1:14am

    Wow

    How is Buechler going to market the movie? Troll: The Story of Harry Potter? Unless someone sees the movie or reads the book then there is no mention of the character in the title for Warner Bros. to say that he is using the name promote his movie...if anything they are the ones help him promote his yet to be made movie...lmao. They are hyping a movie up that they want to prevent from being made...yeah...real smart. Besides what kind of defense do they have if there was already a movie made using the name...wouldn't he just have to take a copy to court....play it....case closed? Afterwards he could just pull down his pants and tell Warner to kiss it...and "Oh, by the way...you owe ME!"

     

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  18.  
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    Whats in a name, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 1:52am

    Same name so???

    I'm surprised TechDirt dropped the ball on this one.

    It's already been widely established that more then one character can have the same name, just like real people, open a phone book. Hell, I've seen two movies come out the same year with the same name and similar plots.

    So nobody should owe anybody any money... unless the new Troll movie has best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger or drastically changes from the original movie to be like the "Harry Potter" movies

    Warner Bros. typically is just being a big bully like most modern companies. Showing no class and making statements that have little to do with the legal reality.
    Why TechDirt didn't point this out, how once again copyright seems to be being pushed in bad ways, maybe by both sides here.

    Warner's has no right to keep someone ells from using a pretty simple name. Though it seems they would try if it hadn't clearly been used before their property had been thought up.

    Nor does Helmer John Buechler or the owners of Troll.
    All though if Hagrid where a troll had kidnapped Harry and turned him into a wizard then there'd be a case.

     

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  19.  
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    A.L.F., Apr 19th, 2008 @ 3:40am

    Remake Troll?

    He wants to remake "Troll" -- and people think the character name is the biggest problem with that idea? Have you actually seen that movie?

     

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  20.  
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    Paul, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 5:02am

    There is nothing here

    Nothing to see here, please move along.

    Clearly the producers of Troll can make a movie based on Troll and the characters from that movie.

    What they cannot do, and what the WB lawyers are pointing out, is that they cannot confuse the public into thinking that Troll's Harry Potter is the same is Rowling's Harry Potter. This is a preemptive letter to put them on notice to avoid creating the confusion that the two properties are related. WB is doing nothing wrong here at all. They are approaching copyright in the correct way.

     

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  21.  
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    Charles White - Dallas, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 6:24am

    Chime In

    Why didn't Buechler chime in when the movies were being made in the first place? Did he just wake up or something?

    Did he even forget that he had that character name in there?
    Either this guy is dense or he planned it this way...

    Either way, he is running up against a brick wall and will either be mired in red tape or will accept a payoff from Time Warner to not make the movie. Aside from her own integrity on the character name, Rowling has nothing to do with the matter.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re:

    If that cheap copyright thing ever worked, I would own copyright to every work imaginable as I could easily prove I wrote anything because it was all in this envelope that I mailed to myself in 1980. The problem is that it won't work because I could have simply mailed myself an empty and unsealed envelope and then put the "work" in it after the fact.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 6:37am

    Re: poor man's copyright

    "afaik it has held up in court when copyright is argued."

    Nope, see my comment above describing exactly why it would NOT hold up.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward I'm calling you out, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 9:06am

    When did Techdirt start allowing anti-semetic comments?

    Keep your hate to yourself coward. This is about tech, not your shortcoming as a human being.

     

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  25.  
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    Tom The Toe, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 9:13am

    Re:When did Techdirt start allowing anti-semetic comments? by Anonymous Coward

    Amen. Mike you should remove the comment.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Jon, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 9:24am

    Poor Man's copyright

    ERichweiss, it can only be used in court if the envelope has not been opened. If you want to prove your ownership with a poor man's copyright, you don't ever open the envelope unless in the presence of the judge presiding over your copyright case.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 9:33am

    Re: Poor Man's copyright

    Is registering copyright expensive? What's the idea behind "poor man's copyright"? Why wouldn't somebody just register it with the Copyright Office?

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 10:45am

    Re: Petrea Mitchell

    Besides, if we didn't get to see our names in lights, why would people like me write in with these links at all? You think we do this just to make the world a more informed place? Huh??? :-)

     

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  29.  
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    DrSpud, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Huh

    I remember seeing Troll on TV way back in the day. Then when I heard about the Harry Potter books, I kept thinking 'I swear they've stolen that name from some awful B movie'. Never thought it was a coincidence.

     

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  30.  
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    Joe Smith, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Hoo Rah for Rowling

    To the Rowling haters: Rowling's work is fabulous and she deserves every penny she has gotten. My eleven year old son is currently devouring the books.

    So far as the legal issues go "Whats In a Name" has come closest to getting it right. There is nothing to stop Buechler from remaking his movie but Warner Brothers is perfectly justified in being concerned that Buechler might engage in passing off and encroaching on their good will. What if Buechler names his new version "Harry Potter and the Secret of the Troll" or some such name and/or advertises it as the "next installment in the saga of Harry Potter".

    Would there be any discussion of this film being made if the lead character was not named "Harry Potter"? Warner Brothers is justified in being proactive and warning Buechler to tread carefully.

     

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  31.  
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    Cory, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 12:53pm

    I am a huge harry potter fan myself, and I am quite confused by this case. at first I thought it was a joke, because the producer of troll has commented before that he considered it a coincedence that the characters shared the same name. at first alot of news sites made it sound like he was being unreasonable and threatening to sue. bit late for that.

    jk rowling owns trademarks on the harry potter character, her harry potter character.

    personally, i think if warner brothers is trying to force the troll producer to change the character name, then WB is in the wrong. however, it is stupid, why remake the film unless you want to try to spin money off of the name harry potter. jk rowling made harry potter a famous name, it was fairly unknown, owing to the fact that troll tanked and only had a very small, very minor gathering. if i remeber correctly, it did absymally for the studio that optioned it in the first place.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    autocopyright, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Re: poor man's copyright

    AFAIK, automatic/natural copyrighting is valid.
    (IANAL, but i heard the very same words many times...)
    If argued well, Buechler could make a fortune with his lawyer.
    Any IP lawyers reading this news?

     

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  33.  
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    Rekrul, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 3:33pm

    He wants to remake "Troll" -- and people think the character name is the biggest problem with that idea? Have you actually seen that movie?


    It could be worse, he could be remaking Troll 2!

    To the Rowling haters: Rowling's work is fabulous and she deserves every penny she has gotten. My eleven year old son is currently devouring the books.


    At least he's getting enough fiber. :)

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    John, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 3:49pm

    In reverse order...

    First, has there ever been a case where the "poor man's copyright" held up in court (i.e. mailing yourself a letter and using the cancelled stamp as proof)?

    Like post #22 said, it's way too easy to mail yourself an empty, unsealed envelope, then put something in it (like a Word document with an old date), and then seal the envelope. Instant "poor man's copyright".

    Second, does Warner Bros now own every single literary instance of "Harry Potter"??
    Even if this guy did name his movie "Harry Potter and the Troll" I would think he'd be within his rights since he created a character named Harry Potter long before JK Rowling. (Though I'll admit that I'm not a lawyer.)

    In fact, this guy should go after Warner Bros for stealing HIS character's name! I was looking forward to a remake of "Troll" and now it's ruined because they have to change the name of the lead character just because some boy wizard happens to be more well-known. ;)

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Nate, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 7:47pm

    Protecting Harry Potter

    Warner Bros. may be able to sue this guy because he didn't take steps to protect his own intellectual property. This is one of the reasons companies are so sue-happy about copyright infringement--if they don't make a show of protecting their property, it becomes much harder to claim their stake after the fact.

    It's sad, but Buechler should have sued Rowling when her books first came out. (Of course, then he would have been ridiculed mercilessly by Techdirt for filing such a suit, but it would have put him in a better position against WB right now.)

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 9:10pm

    Re:

    "jk rowling owns trademarks on the harry potter character"

    Nope, Warner Brothers owns the trademark. If you have a copy of Goblet of Fire or a later book handy, check the copyright statement and you will see that WB owns everything but the text of the books. I kid you not.

    "if i remeber correctly, it did absymally for the studio that optioned it in the first place."

    Although not too abysmally for there to be sequels, apparently... But abysmally enough that it's a pretty good bet that Rowling really came up with the name "Harry Potter" independently.

    So far I've only found one person I know who actually saw that movie, and it's only because he's seen practically every sf/fantasy movie made since 1980.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 10:25pm

    Re:

    seriously, she was f&**(&n knighted by the queen of england because her worth far surpasses the queens. How crazy is that shit

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2008 @ 11:15pm

    I loved Troll for no other reason than June Lockhart (Lost in Space) and Anne Lockhart (original Battlestar Galactica) were in it.

    I always wondered if Rowling stole the name and character idea from Troll.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    john, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 1:22am

    Re:

    Copyright in American law is created the instant that you create a work in other words all he has to do is pay the copyright fee and since his work came first J.K. Rowling and W.B. owe him money.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Bill Pytlovany, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    Common name

    There's actually a guy named Harry Potter in our little home town. I thought my sister-in-law was going to have a cow when Harry Potter showed up once on our caller-id.

    Bill

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Matt, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 10:11am

    Mixing up copyright and trademarks

    You're all mixing up copyrights and trademarks. You can't copyright a character's name, copyright protects the expression of an idea, not the idea itself.

    I could write my own book about young wizards going to school, I could even have a wise headmaster, two sidekicks and an evil wizard. If I wrote it myself and the names were different they'd be nothing anyone could about it.

    Likewise I could write a book about... the crew of a navy ship in the second world war and have characters called Hagrid and Hermione etc. and no-one could do anything about that.

    The problem in this case is that the name Harry Potter is a trademark. Now you can't have a character called Harry Potter in another work as long as it remains a valid trademark, unless you get authorization with the trademark holder. Because creating a character called Harry Potter who is a murderer or a rapist or somesuch can damage the trademark and they can take you to court for it.

     

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  42.  
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    Original Nancy, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Re: Remake Troll?

    Trolls has to be one of the worst, poorly done movies, it has no real plot and the sleaziest of f/x. WB has best get over their coperate selves. What a waste of time and energy, suing over a name.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Original Nancy, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re:When did Techdirt start allowing anti-semetic comments? by Anonymous Coward

    Make no quarter for hate

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    She's a thief, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 1:57pm

    Rowling stole it all

    J.K. Rowling stole it all. Years before her book was published, a US author published a book with a character named Larry Potter. A wizard with glasses, the book mentions muggles, and Lilly (with two l's)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/1224264.stm

    She's just a hack.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    L.J., Apr 20th, 2008 @ 2:20pm

    Harry Potter, Jr.

    I don't really know much about copywrite laws, but can you really copywrite a proper name? It seems rather stupid if you can. Say I write a story in which my protagonist is named John Tyler. Would another writer or entity like WB sue me for use of that name (a common one at that, just like Harry Potter)? Anyway, isn't the Harry Potter in Troll a Harry Potter, Jr.? Would that Jr. bit stop WB in their tracks at claiming copywrite infringement?

    Anyway, if I were the director of Troll, I'd just change the name. Harry Potter has become way to specific to one character. Let's face it, it's not a great name to begin with and there are tons of other names that wouldn't send the fat cats at WB into an unholy tizzy. Save everybody the bloody headache.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Hoo Rah for Rowling

    Rowling's work is fabulous and she deserves every penny she has gotten.

    JKR has gotten much richer with much less work than most people. It would be so bad if she was at least a real nice person but her latest money-grubbing legal maneuvering has shown her not to be.

    My eleven year old son is currently devouring the books.

    Then as a parent you should be feeding him proper meals instead of running around trying to suck up to JKR. You're probably not her type anyway.

     

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  47.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 20th, 2008 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Same name so???

    I'm surprised TechDirt dropped the ball on this one.

    Which ball did we drop?

    It's already been widely established that more then one character can have the same name, just like real people, open a phone book.

    Yup. Did we imply otherwise? If you didn't catch it, we were making fun of WB for its stance.

    So nobody should owe anybody any money...

    Did I say otherwise?

    Warner Bros. typically is just being a big bully like most modern companies.

    Yup. That was the point of the post.

    Why TechDirt didn't point this out,

    That was the entire point of the post...

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Wow...nice admin, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 4:52pm

    I guess TechDirt does support anti-semetic comments

    I can't believe you guys read the comments, responded to them, and did nothing. That's where you dropped the ball Mike.

     

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  49.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Apr 20th, 2008 @ 5:17pm

    Re: I guess TechDirt does support anti-semetic comments

    I can't believe you guys read the comments, responded to them, and did nothing. That's where you dropped the ball Mike.

    We don't delete comments unless they are spam. The anti-semitic comment is ridiculous and ignorant, but I think that folks responding to him for being an idiot are doing a decent job exposing his ignorance.

    You don't cure ignorance by preventing the ignorant from speaking. That just makes them feel oppressed. Let them state their ignorance and then prove them wrong.

    But don't expect us to censor speech just because it's dumb.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 5:43pm

    And this is "tech" dirt how?

    For a minute I thought I was watching "E!"

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Petréa MItchell, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Rowling stole it all

    Not so; Rowling was completely exonerated and Nancy Stouffer was found to have falsified evidence.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    novelismo, Apr 20th, 2008 @ 10:16pm

    Harry Potter

    Waal, personally I think Maurice Saatchi wrote the books anyway. The gender-determining website shows any long chunk as written by a man. Read some of Saatchi's novels, you'll see what I mean.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    sailbum, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 3:26am

    Re:

    Buechler does have a copywrite on the character and his name by virtue of the fact that the movie 'Troll' is copywrited.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    sailbum, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 3:32am

    Re: #16 - Anonymous Coward

    I guess you stay anonymous so that people will not know the true identity of the bigot that would right a comment like yours. Grow up a little, the religion of the WB execs has nothing to do with the issue, it is just plain old corporate greed.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Harry Potter, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 4:11am

    They owe me

    Me and my buddy Troll should start a class action suit and sue all their asses!

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 5:43am

    Re: Hoo Rah for Rowling

    I enjoyed the books myself, but to say she "deserves every penny" might be a bit of a stretch. Maybe I'm just uncomfortable masking a blanket claim about what people deserve; just because you have something doesn't mean you deserve it, and just because you don't have a thing doesn't mean you don't deserve it.

    That has nothing to do with WB throwing vague threats at other authors for having characters with the same name. I can understand what WB is probably thinking -- Rowling's Harry Potter is VERY popular, they don't like the idea of this guy riding their coat-tails, and there probably is a danger of infringment if he does much more than a simple remake (maybe give his character a scar on his forehead or something) -- but it seems to me fueled more by corporate greed and paranoia than actual fact. IF he touts his movie as somehow being the same Harry Potter kids already know and love, then he's a liar and a cheat, but if that's not what he's doing then he just has a character with the same name.

     

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  57.  
    icon
    chris tatman (profile), Apr 21st, 2008 @ 5:44am

    wrong

    she came up with that name before 1986

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 5:46am

    Re: Protecting Harry Potter

    IANAL, but I didn't think a person's name, real or imagined, was subject to copyright. Maybe Mr. Harry Potter of Wothingfordshire, England, should be suing the WB...

     

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  59.  
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    chris tatman (profile), Apr 21st, 2008 @ 6:11am

    part 2

    Rowlings best friend mwas named harry potter she liked the name potter so she used it

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    kipster, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 8:36am

    IIRC...

    afaik, IANAL. roflmao! YMMV.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    just some random guy, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 10:05am

    Re: poor man's copyright

    Seems some doubters here think you can mail yourself an unsealed envelope as a registered letter? I believe the unsealed enveloped could be sent INSIDE a sealed registered letter envelope, but then as soon as you unseal the outer envelope you just screwed up. Whenever I have sent a registered letter, the postmaster makes sure it is damn well sealed, and in fact they make you sign across the seal and apply an ink stamp across the seal a million times for good measure.

    Could someone definitively comment on whether the registered letter trick for copyright really works, in the sense that 1) you have done it, and 2) you were challenged and had to go to court, and 3) you won because you presented the unopened registered letter to the court?

     

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  62.  
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    JFStan, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Not a coincidence..

    "While I'd be willing to bet the whole thing is a coincidence"

    Maybe, but this isn't .. www.RealMuggles.com

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    DanC, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Not a coincidence..

    Old news. The author of "The Legend of Rah and the Muggles" tried to win her case by filing fraudulent documents containing references to muggles and 'Larry Potter'. The court discovered this and dismissed her lawsuit, with prejudice.

    She may have used the term muggle before Rowling, but it does, in fact, seem entirely coincidental.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 12:38pm

    Re: wrong

    she came up with that name before 1986
    Do you have anything to back that claim?

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Apr 21st, 2008 @ 1:22pm

    Film

    Make the movie in China and distribute from there. It is not like we can enforce copyright law there anyway.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2008 @ 12:28am

    Re: part 2

    Rowlings best friend mwas named harry potter she liked the name potter so she used it
    So now you're changing your story. You're flip-flopping like JKR herself. So which is it: Did she come up with that name herself or did she copy from her "best friend"? And do you have anything to back up either claim?

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    known coward, Apr 22nd, 2008 @ 9:27am

    Re: In reverse order...

    It is the POSTMARK on the envelope that proves the date of the document, not the date on the document itself.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2008 @ 9:53am

    Re:

    actually billions...

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2008 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: poor man's copyright

    Registered mail is different than what you pointed out, go be smug somewhere else and let the grownups talk...

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    chris tatman, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: wrong

    she started writing the books before her first daugther was born

     

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  71.  
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    chris tatman, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: part 2

    its both

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    John Wood, Apr 24th, 2008 @ 3:50pm

    Troll (2009)

    If you look 12 years old (real age 11-14) and you want to audition for the part of Harry Potter jr or his sister Wendy Anne Potter, here is the site you need: http://troll.sharenow.com

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Arianne Weaver, Apr 26th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    I think...

    I own a completely unauthorised video of a biography of JKR - (Not proud, just want to say it may have questionable provenance).

    It says that a family to which she was close in her childhood had the surname Potter, and she may have subconsciously used their name. They did interview the family, who were pleased she used their name.
    The showed a copy of the "Larry Potter & the Muggles" book, and said that despite apparent first-glance similarities they were different.
    She wrote the HP books as a divorced single Mum; most of the first one was written at a cafe table as she didn't have a home warm enough to write at.
    She has worked hard to complete the books, touring to sign them, getting them out on time, having to keep up the standard - children are notoriously fussy - if they'd started to decline in standard, they wouldn't have sold.
    OK, she made a lot of money, especially from the film rights, but she did A LOT of work.
    By the way, she's never been "Knighted" - women can't be!(the equivalent female title is "DAME", and she isn't that, either!).
    I wonder why people (especially Anonymous Coward) hate success?
    Finally, I think Warner is right to be cautious about possible fallout for its property, but at the same time, not over react, and not be so greedy that they sue the guy for remaking a film which is his property.
    PHEW!! I'll shut up, now!
    Arianne.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    eric hunt, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 10:50am

    harry potter jr and harry potter

    I think if Warner Bros has a problem with the use of a name created long before JK Rowling used it, they should talk with Rowling and maybe offer some kind of idea to add harry potter in the movie. It actually might sound stupid, but lots of movies try something different when they are remade. I would think there can be something new for todays generation. I hope that makes sense, cause it sounded alot better in my head.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 2:22pm

    elaine from seinfeld

    this was her first acting job

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    A random visitor, Jun 16th, 2009 @ 11:55pm

    Gender Genie, etc.

    Pardon my necroposting ...

    I fed Gender Genie and Gender Guesser several samples of my own writing: a blog post, an excerpt from my fiction, and a letter to the editor. All of them came up as solidly male. This might not be so unusual except that I'm most definitely female. That makes me highly suspicious of the accuracy of those algorithms.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Cathy, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 9:23pm

    You completely MISUNDERSTAND what you are talking about...

    What is being called "poor man's copyright" here is NOT what you are describing. In order for this to hold up in court, one creates a work, art, manuscript, etc. You send a certified letter, requiring a signature, to yourself or someone else containing said work. When it is signed for and duly recorded by the USPS, you simple file the UNOPENED envelope away. Your proof in court, THE COURT opens the envelope, or an agent appointed by the court witnesses someone ELSE opening the hitherto UNOPENED envelope. Thus proving that you, prior to a certain date, created said work of art, writing, design, etc. You cannot carry off this form of proof if the envelope has been opened.

     

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  78.  
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    DanZee (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Trademark not Copyright

    I think the argument about copyright here is moot. Warner Bros. owns a trademark on the Harry Potter name, regardless of whether the Troll movie had a character named Harry Potter first. To quote the government's USPTO's website: a trademark grants the "exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration." So I would think the problem would boil down to how Warner Bros. described the use of the name in its paperwork. Does it cover all fictional characters? All fantasy fictional characters? All fictional wizards? Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to rename the character to avoid a lawsuit. But the article says that Warner Bros. only warned the producers to be "careful" not to infringe on its rights, meaning the trademark. I would think Warner would be angry if the character picked up a wand and started reciting magical spells. It's also interesting that Warner preemptively warned the producers while it was in the early development phase. Is someone at Warner Bros. a fan of the movie? As for why anyone would remake it, people have heard of the title even though they haven't seen it, and it's a cool-sounding title regardless of the quality of the film..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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