Orson Scott Card Rips Apart JK Rowling For The Lexicon Lawsuit

from the read-the-whole-thing dept

We recently pointed to Neil Gaiman's comments on JK Rowling's lawsuit against the author of the Harry Potter Lexicon guidebook. Now, Slashdot points us to the even more brilliant dissection of the case by famed author Orson Scott Card. It's really worth reading the whole thing, as he makes a ton of fantastic points including: (a) every author borrows ideas from others -- including Rowling, (b) the Lexicon is clearly fair use, (c) the Lexicon's website helped promote the Harry Potter books for many years and made Rowling a ton of money, while the Lexicon's author made nothing, (d) if she's so upset by the quality, why doesn't she just write her own, and (e) the end result is of this attempt to gain "respect" is going to widely damage Rowling's reputation. Here are some snippets from the piece, but it's really worth reading in its entirety:
"This frivolous lawsuit puts at serious risk the entire tradition of commentary on fiction. Any student writing a paper about the Harry Potter books, any scholarly treatise about it, will certainly do everything she's complaining about. Once you publish fiction, Ms. Rowling, anybody is free to write about it, to comment on it, and to quote liberally from it, as long as the source is cited.... She let herself be talked into being outraged over a perfectly normal publishing activity, one that she had actually made use of herself during its web incarnation. Now she is suing somebody who has devoted years to promoting her work and making no money from his efforts -- which actually helped her make some of her bazillions of dollars. Talent does not excuse Rowling's ingratitude, her vanity, her greed, her bullying of the little guy, and her pathetic claims of emotional distress."


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    John Duncan Yoyo, May 2nd, 2008 @ 7:17pm

    Shakespeare was right-- First we kill all the lawyers

    OSC sure got her good. She needs to fire any lawyer who would even suggest a suit was a sound or wise idea. Perhaps even getting any shyster who would take her money disbarred and made the laughing stock of what ever state bar accepted him.

     

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    Cynic, May 2nd, 2008 @ 7:24pm

    Sadly I am one of those who has bought all the HP audio books and DVDs (that's quite a bit of $$$). Up until this point I did not regret spending any of it. But to think that the author has become obsessed with gaming the system when she is already rich makes me disgusted. If she has any self respect (which I am beginning to doubt) she should be disgusted with herself.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2008 @ 7:35pm

    Owned

    That quote alone makes me want to read his whole response. I love it when people are smart.

    And to borrow from one of my favorite authors, its funny we think people are smart based on how like us they think/believe.

    Brownie points to anyone who guesses who said it (though I said it differently a bit so meh)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2008 @ 7:45pm

      Re: Owned

      Man, that WAS a good read. Just wish the link to the geocities site worked. I have a good idea of *all* the stories she's "borrowed" from (though some I think are an element of human culture; He has a nice paragraph about Ender's Game that makes it sound like Harry Potter is a rip off of that, and I've seen a good one about Star Wars (a new hope) and the Harry Potter series as well).

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Owned

      I think it was Belgarath from David Eddings books. Pawn of Prophecy and The Malorean.

       

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    koresho, May 2nd, 2008 @ 7:57pm

    I loved OSC's writing since Enders Game (the book that introduced me to him) and this only makes me want to go out and purchase more of his books in support. Go Orson Scott Card!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2008 @ 8:14pm

    "(d) if she's so upset by the quality, why doesn't she just write her own"

    She IS! Thats why she doesn't want that site to. And it's hers to do with. Get over it and stop trying to justfy STEALING someone else's work!

     

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      DanC, May 2nd, 2008 @ 8:43pm

      Re:

      She IS!

      No, she said she has plans to write her own. Planning to write and actually performing the act are two different things.

      Thats why she doesn't want that site to.

      It doesn't matter what she wants. She does not have the ability to deny fair use rights of her work.

      Get over it and stop trying to justfy STEALING someone else's work!

      It should tell you something that two highly respected and critically acclaimed authors have come out in opposition to Rowling's stance. Regardless, no act of theft was committed. The lexicon in question is a derivative work protected by fair use. I would be impressed if you could provide a rational argument for why the lexicon is, in your words, "stealing."

      Even if the lexicon is found to not be covered by fair use, it would constitute an act of infringement, not theft.

      Unfortunately, some fanatical devotees of the author would prefer that a special exemption be made for Rowling, regardless of the law. Derivative works such as sourcebooks and guidebooks of copyrighted material are transformative reference works allowable by fair use. That is why there are a multitude of other science fiction and fantasy reference guides that cover Star Trek, Dr. Who, Star Wars, and Middle Earth.

       

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      Paul`, May 4th, 2008 @ 7:20am

      Re:

      Okay, for starters its not stealing. It's called fair use. It would be stealing if someone where to do what those Chinese people did to the Hobbit (adding 2 chapters and calling it the new Harry potter book).

      Secondly, if she is writing her own then she has no need to worry about the quality of the other book because I would assume hers would be of a higher quality and people would buy it over the other one.

      The real issue is that the money whores over at Warner Brothers want more money and want to try bully the competition out of the market. Fuck them.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 6:57am

        Re: Re:

        It would be stealing if someone where to do what those Chinese people did to the Hobbit (adding 2 chapters and calling it the new Harry potter book).

        That is not stealing. It's not even infringment agauinst Rowling (though probably against Tolkien, since copyright lasts as long as it does). What it IS is trademark infringment, since they're calling it Harry Potter. Of course, anyone who reads a book about Bilbo and thinks is has anything to do with children in London has other issues...

         

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    AC S, May 2nd, 2008 @ 9:01pm

    FANS

    GET OUT OF THE COURTROOM AND BACK ON THE BROOM. you cannot write the script for life,Ms. Rowling (in the dough) you could be thankful you have fans who are that interested as to compile your work.

     

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    Rick, May 2nd, 2008 @ 9:42pm

    Bonfire Time

    I think my Harry Potter books will end up in a bonfire tomorrow night. It's bad enough the music industry attacks it's fans and customers, now author's want to have a go at it?

    I guess I'll start downloading e-books off priatebay now....

     

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    Dale Surrett, May 2nd, 2008 @ 9:49pm

    J.K.Rowling lawsuit article

    Orson Scott was right on the mark about J.K.Rowling's bizarre behavior. I'm starting to wonder about her mental state. Thanks for an informative article.

     

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    Emily, May 2nd, 2008 @ 10:15pm

    OSC got it wrong, actually

    I really love Orson Scott Card's work, and I'm not a "fanatic" JKR fan (although I like her work, too) but I have to say that his argument confuses two legal principles, and thus doesn't work (and yes, I am a real lawyer, not an "internet lawyer"). :) I actually was writing a post about that when I found this reference to his article (while Googling to see if he'd commented on the case before).

    In case anyone's interested in what is amiss with what OSC is saying, here's why it doesn't work: http://foresthouse.livejournal.com/463201.html

    Please note I am not saying that JKR will definitely win, here. But the lawsuit isn't frivolous, and his argument as to why she's a hypocrite is completely wrong.

     

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      Mike (profile), May 2nd, 2008 @ 10:41pm

      Re: OSC got it wrong, actually

      I really love Orson Scott Card's work, and I'm not a "fanatic" JKR fan (although I like her work, too) but I have to say that his argument confuses two legal principles, and thus doesn't work (and yes, I am a real lawyer, not an "internet lawyer"). :) I actually was writing a post about that when I found this reference to his article (while Googling to see if he'd commented on the case before).

      Hi Emily. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

      While I think that he does switch back and forth between fair use and idea/expression dichotomy, I don't think he does that in making the specific case. On the question of idea/expression dichotomy, he's just mocking the general concept of owning ideas... But when he's discussing why he thinks the lawsuit is frivolous, he does focus on the fair use reasons.

      I think you may have read too much into his opening.

      I do agree that the case hinges on the point of whether or not there was enough 'extra' in the Lexicon, but many of the legal analyses I've seen of it seem to think there is. We shall see.

       

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      interval, May 3rd, 2008 @ 8:09am

      Re: OSC got it wrong, actually

      It does work. The points raised in the link are too specific. See http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html, as I read the actual statute there's nothing in it for her to stand on in the United States. In Britain, that might be another matter.

       

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    Relonar, May 2nd, 2008 @ 10:21pm

    if she wants/plans/is writing her own, the good for her!
    But using lawsuits to destroy competition is..."shouldn't" be right. If she wants to make money off of something similar to a product that is already offered (even if that product is a derivative of her works) then she should make a Better product than is what already available.

    I thought that this is common sense.
    innovation >> litigation
    Although making a fool of yourself while giving lawyers a chuckle seems to be the media industries M.O. right now...

     

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    Saxon, May 2nd, 2008 @ 10:47pm

    She's not trying to destroy competition. If the authors of the guide would re-write it then she would be perfectly fine with it. The issue she has is that they're blatantly ripping off her work.

    Go here and scroll to page 11 so you can see the pie chart of how much material is JK Rowling's as compared to how much actual writing was done for this book.

    If you don't want to go there, here's a summary: 91.4% of the book's text is word for word JK Rowling's text, 3% of the book's text is citations or etymologies, and a whopping 5% of the book's text is the own author's work.

    If I want to make my own dictionary, is it acceptable practice for me to take Webster's dictionary, pick every third word, cite a couple of them, then throw my name on it? Does that constitute fair use? My old high school english teachers would rip me a new one.

     

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      chaosgasket, May 3rd, 2008 @ 5:34am

      Re:

      Be careful about what you are citing to. This is a document prepared by the plaintiffs, so they are going to claim whatever they want. It is not an assertion of fact.

      Further, the pie chart shows that supposedly 91.4% of the lexicon is "Rowling Material" without providing a definition of what that entails. In the pleading itself they refer at times to "paraphrased material", which it would seem like anything written in a book about other books could easily be characterized as "paraphrased" to a zealous advocate looking to present their case in the best light. Without a better definition I would be careful about throwing this statistic around, particularly considering its source.

      Also, is this the complete document? Section I(d) has a bizarre section break and only discusses a few of the documents at issue.

       

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      Mike (profile), May 3rd, 2008 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      If you don't want to go there, here's a summary: 91.4% of the book's text is word for word JK Rowling's text, 3% of the book's text is citations or etymologies, and a whopping 5% of the book's text is the own author's work.

      It's not about how much is copied, actually, but the purpose of it. Of course, the Lexicon includes a lot of copied text, but for the purpose of organizing it. The value of the Lexicon is not in the text, but the *organization*. And that was not copied.

       

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        Willton, May 3rd, 2008 @ 10:33pm

        Re: Re:

        It's not about how much is copied, actually, but the purpose of it. Of course, the Lexicon includes a lot of copied text, but for the purpose of organizing it. The value of the Lexicon is not in the text, but the *organization*. And that was not copied.

        The "value" of the book has no bearing on fair use. Copying info from the book and then reorganizing it, however valuable that might be, is still copying.

        The Lexicon is clearly a derivative work of JKR's copyright in the Harry Potter books and Warner's copyright in the motion pictures. The question is whether Lexicon is transformative enough for it to be fair use. We already have Second Circuit precedent saying that something like this is not transformative enough to be fair use. See Castle Rock Entertainment, Inc. v. Carol Publishing Group, 150 F.3d 132 (2d Cir. 1998). I see no reason why the Southern District of New York, which is bound by Second Circuit precedent, would find otherwise in this case.

         

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          Mike (profile), May 4th, 2008 @ 3:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:


          The "value" of the book has no bearing on fair use. Copying info from the book and then reorganizing it, however valuable that might be, is still copying.


          I didn't say the amount of value mattered -- I was merely pointing out why the book was considered a transformative work, because it organized the books in a different way. The earlier poster had suggested that it was theft because it copied the words. But if that were the case, no one would buy it any way.

          That's why it should be considered a transformative work, no matter what the court rules.

           

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            Willton, May 4th, 2008 @ 4:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I didn't say the amount of value mattered -- I was merely pointing out why the book was considered a transformative work, because it organized the books in a different way. The earlier poster had suggested that it was theft because it copied the words. But if that were the case, no one would buy it any way.

            So according to you, in order for something to be "transformative" from the original copyrighted work, all it needs to do is reorganize the old material in some way that makes it more valuable.

            There's 2 problems with your test: (1) it's a pretty low standard for being considered transformative ("Wait, so all I gotta do is take a book and reorganize it in some way shape or form, and I'm in the clear? Sweet, that'll be easy!"), and (2) your test proves too much. If your test was the test for fair use, every derivative work would be considered a transformative use and thus a fair use, thereby eviscerating a copyright holder's exclusive right to prepare derivative works. See 17 U.S.C. Sec. 106(2). This sort of reasoning was already debunked by the 2nd Circuit in Castle Rock, and it shouldn't pass muster here.

            That's why it should be considered a transformative work, no matter what the court rules.

            There's a mountain of case law that says you're wrong.

             

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              Mike (profile), May 4th, 2008 @ 7:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


              There's 2 problems with your test: (1) it's a pretty low standard for being considered transformative ("Wait, so all I gotta do is take a book and reorganize it in some way shape or form, and I'm in the clear? Sweet, that'll be easy!"), and (2) your test proves too much. If your test was the test for fair use, every derivative work would be considered a transformative use and thus a fair use, thereby eviscerating a copyright holder's exclusive right to prepare derivative works.


              Yes. I agree. I'm not talking about what the law is. I'm talking about what it should be. Why we don't let others make someone else's work more valuable is beyond me.

              There's a mountain of case law that says you're wrong.

              Again, I'm not talking about what the law is. I'm explaining why the law is not good.

               

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                Willton, May 4th, 2008 @ 8:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Yes. I agree. I'm not talking about what the law is. I'm talking about what it should be. Why we don't let others make someone else's work more valuable is beyond me.

                It's not about making "someone else's work more valuable"; it's about protecting an author's ability to exploit her work. Certainly, if the Lexicon author was able to make JKR's works more valuable without directly copying her works, then the law would be more than accomodating. The problem is the taking of an author's expression without the author's permission.

                Why protect an author's exclusive right to make adaptations upon her work? I imagine in order to encourge the creation of new and original works, while discouraging the taking of others' original works and modifying them in minor ways. The growth of culture is usually done by the creation of new expressions, not the rehashing of old ones. Plus, by giving an author this right, it gives the author a multitude of opportunities to exploit her original works, thereby making the creation of original works a more attractive profession.

                Look, I'm no artist who knows what drives a person to take such a profession; I'm just a mere law student. However, if that's the way you feel, then talk to your Congressman.

                 

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                  Mike (profile), May 4th, 2008 @ 9:56pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  It's not about making "someone else's work more valuable";

                  If it didn't make the work more valuable, why would anyone care?

                  it's about protecting an author's ability to exploit her work.

                  And why does that make sense? An idea is infinitely copyable. Others can take an idea and built on it. Saying you need to get permission first seems like an unnecesary limitation.

                  Why protect an author's exclusive right to make adaptations upon her work? I imagine in order to encourge the creation of new and original works, while discouraging the taking of others' original works and modifying them in minor ways.

                  Again, the evidence suggests this isn't a "problem."

                  The growth of culture is usually done by the creation of new expressions, not the rehashing of old ones.

                  Well... not quite. I guess it depends on what you consider to be a "new expression," but most people admit that most "new expressions" are merely enhanced and modified versions of old ones. We all build on the works of those who came before us. Limiting that ability limits our creative output.

                  Plus, by giving an author this right, it gives the author a multitude of opportunities to exploit her original works, thereby making the creation of original works a more attractive profession.

                  Again, the evidence doesn't bear this out, but I understand the reasoning. But, again, if that's true, why not offer monopolies on any business to make creating those products "a more attractive profession"?

                  Generally the reason is because any such protectionism tends to distort and harm the market, making it less efficient and lowering overall social welfare. Yet, for some reason, people seem to think that suddenly monopolies don't do this when it comes to copyright -- but they can't cite any evidence to support this.

                  Look, I'm no artist who knows what drives a person to take such a profession; I'm just a mere law student. However, if that's the way you feel, then talk to your Congressman.

                  Hmm. So I'm not allowed to bring it up here, discussing it in a forum where I can hopefully persuade hundreds of thousands of people to talk to their Congressional Representatives?

                  I love it when people dismiss me writing about this stuff by saying stop saying anything here, take it up with Congress. Getting these ideas out there so that everyone can take it up with Congress is what's important.

                   

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                    Willton, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:30am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Before I respond, let me just say that your breaking up of sentences in paragraphs is getting really annoying. Respond to the paragraph as a whole; it's meant to be read as such. Otherwise you unfairly distort the words I write and eviscerate their meaning. You're basically doing what you criticize Sydnor for.

                    "it's about protecting an author's ability to exploit her work."

                    And why does that make sense? An idea is infinitely copyable. Others can take an idea and built on it. Saying you need to get permission first seems like an unnecesary limitation.


                    First, it's not the idea copyright is trying to protect -- it's the expression of the idea that copyright protects. Don't confuse the two.

                    Second, protecting an artist's ability to exploit her works is what encourages her to create the works in the first place. That's the goal.

                    "The growth of culture is usually done by the creation of new expressions, not the rehashing of old ones."

                    Well... not quite. I guess it depends on what you consider to be a "new expression," but most people admit that most "new expressions" are merely enhanced and modified versions of old ones. We all build on the works of those who came before us. Limiting that ability limits our creative output.


                    No, we build on the ideas of those who came before us, not necessarily their expressions. New expressions, or rather I should say original expressions, take from old ideas and add the author's creative spark to them. That creative spark is embodied in the expression of the work. And yes, limiting the ability to draw on the ideas of the past does lmit our creative output. But again, copyright law does not protect ideas.

                    Again, the evidence doesn't bear this out, but I understand the reasoning. But, again, if that's true, why not offer monopolies on any business to make creating those products "a more attractive profession"?

                    Generally the reason is because any such protectionism tends to distort and harm the market, making it less efficient and lowering overall social welfare. Yet, for some reason, people seem to think that suddenly monopolies don't do this when it comes to copyright -- but they can't cite any evidence to support this.


                    The argument that copyright does not harm the social welfare revolves around its purpose. Copyright is designed to promote the creation of new works, and that benefits our social welfare. Whatever economic harm it may be creating is countered by the social good it promotes in the creation of new works. Remember, not everything is all about economics.

                    Now, whether our current Copyright statute does this effectively is a different question (the length of the term is probably the biggest problem with the Act right now), but the underlying principles of copyright are, in my opinion, good.

                    Hmm. So I'm not allowed to bring it up here, discussing it in a forum where I can hopefully persuade hundreds of thousands of people to talk to their Congressional Representatives?

                    I love it when people dismiss me writing about this stuff by saying stop saying anything here, take it up with Congress. Getting these ideas out there so that everyone can take it up with Congress is what's important.


                    At what point did I say "stop writing about Copyright law?" Where did I say that? Seriously, where the heck did I even give the implication that you should not discuss copyright law here? By all means, blog about this stuff until you're blue in the face and Carpal Tunnel's sets in. I am by no means asking you to stop. (Though I wouldn't mind seeing you actually test out your theories in a publication subject peer review, instead of just blogging about it here. Techdirt readers aren't exactly experts in economics.)

                    What I am saying is that if you don't like the law, participate in the democratic process to have it changed. Too many people seem to forget this.

                     

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                      SomeGuy, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:17am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Copyright is designed to promote the creation of new works, and that benefits our social welfare. Whatever economic harm it may be creating is countered by the social good it promotes in the creation of new works.

                      As a note, I don't think anyone, including Mike, disputes that what Copyright intends are good things. But you know what they say about good intentions... You correct yourself later questioning whether our system is effective, but it's foolish to imply (as you do here) that because the system was intended to do X (while balancing Y and Z) that is does in fact accomplish this.

                      Mike seems to hold that the copyright system we have is overly detrimental to the very goals and principles it was designed to promote, that it benefits the few at the cost of the many and that this cost-benefit is not balanced. He also submits that copyright, even if a nice idea, is not necessary to promote progress, and points to the history of other countries which flourished without copyright.

                      The ideas are good, the system is poor and unnecessary: the system should be scrapped.

                       

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                      Nasch, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      At what point did I say "stop writing about Copyright law?" Where did I say that? Seriously, where the heck did I even give the implication that you should not discuss copyright law here?

                      Right around where you said "However, if that's the way you feel, then talk to your Congressman." Whether it is what you meant or not, the implied conclusion to such a statement is generally "...instead of talking to me about it." For example, if a bureaucrat tells you "if you don't like it, talk to the department head", you know that means "stop bothering me and talk to the department head instead". Same implied meaning in what you wrote.

                       

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      Hanuman67, May 3rd, 2008 @ 5:13pm

      Saxon

      Since the subject is her writings, there will clearly be a lot of overlap in material. I would expect that if one were to use your example of dictionaries, the overlap would be greater.

      Rowling is behaving like Harry's step father.

       

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    Alex, May 2nd, 2008 @ 11:31pm

    Lexicon Liability

    From what I've seen, the public view of this lawsuit is quite off.

    JKR's planned Encyclopedia will be sold for charity, similarly to (at least) three other Harry Potter-related books she's written. Publishing costs will be payed out-of-pocket for her, with no return.

    The Lexicon Printed Encyclopedia will not include any of the extra essays or analysis that make the Lexicon website as valuable as it is. Also, the Lexicon has many contributing authors, almost like a Wikipedia, but the profits from the book will go only to the person who runs the Lexicon website and the publishing company.

    Finally, When Warner Bros (not Rowling) heard about the Lexicon book, they sent a letter to the Lexicon asking that the book not be published. The owner of the Lexicon website immediately decided not to publish the book, while the publishing company insisted on going to court about it. The Lexicon's owner has since changed view to agree with the publishing company.

     

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      ehrichweiss, May 3rd, 2008 @ 7:20am

      Re: Lexicon Liability

      What does it matter if she's giving the "planned" book to charity, or that the Lexicon author is going to be making a profit? It means nothing for this case.

       

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      SomeGuy, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:24am

      Re: Lexicon Liability

      It's very noble of Rowling to write a book and fund it personally to benefit a charity. I highly encourage this. However, the intent of other projects is irrelevant to the case at hand. The question here is whether the Lexicon is infringing.

      If the Lexicon book has material by contibutors who feel they haven't been properly creditted or compensated for their work, they may have a case to be made. Rowling is not one of the conributors you indicate. As such, this point isn't pertinent to the case at hand. Regardless of who makes money where, the question here is whether the Lexicon is infringing.

      It is interesting to look at the owner's stance and how it may have changed; however, I think it shows more that the owner was easily intimidated rather than anything else. With backing from his publisher, the owner is now confident to stand by his work. How the owner/author feels about his work, or how readily he might buckle under pressure, isn't the concern in this case. The question here is whether the Lexicon is infringing.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2008 @ 11:53pm

    Its not about competition, If it were, Then whats the issue, Write your own story! The issue is with someone else making large sums of money using HER works!

     

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      mike allen, May 3rd, 2008 @ 1:43am

      Re:

      Who made money not the lexicon only JK rawling as to fair use as i said when it came up it is common for authers to even carry on where one leaves off Sherlock Holmes conan wrote the first set then it wasresurected in WW2 after the fakks. so Jk is wrong on this

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2008 @ 1:49am

    Trying to convince thieves that stealing is wrong is like telling a serial killer that killing is wrong. They will never see past their own justifications!

    I hope she wins and you thieves spontaneously combust.

     

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      dorpass, May 4th, 2008 @ 4:30pm

      Re:

      Trying to convince thieves that stealing is wrong is like telling a serial killer that killing is wrong. They will never see past their own justifications!

      I have to comment to that one because that's one of the funniest and dumbest analogies. Most serial killers know that killing is wrong. They don't justify it, they enjoy it. On the other hand, dumb people giving dumb analogies really don't know they are dumb, but they do suspect it and that's why they post anonymously.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2008 @ 9:30pm

        Re: Re:

        On the other hand, dumb people giving dumb analogies really don't know they are dumb, but they do suspect it and that's why they post anonymously.
        Said one anonymous poster to another. Now that's funny.

         

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    Omali, May 3rd, 2008 @ 6:03am

    Umm no.

    Mike needs to get his facts straight.

    Rowling is suing because the book is just taking parts of the website and the books and compiling them into an "encyclopedia". She doesn't want to "take out the competition" or supporess fans, otherwise speculation books such as those published by Mugglenet would've been sued a long time ago.

    The issue on content doesn't work in this case, as kids who are fans of the book are going to want it if they see it on store shelves, just because it has the Harry Potter name.

    Thirdly, the proceeds from the Harry Potter encyclopedia are going to charity, while the Harry Potter Lexicon is being pocketed by a greedy web admin who just wants to make a few easy bucks off of an existing franchise.

    I've always liked Orson Scott Card, but he's being a serious asshole in his statement. If what he said was true, the thousands of Harry Potter fanfictions published on the internet (Including the creepy Draco-Snape relationship stories) would've been taken down a long time ago. This isn't a threat to the writing of fans, it's a threat to recompiling the books and calling it your own work. OSC is just using the mentality of the idiotic twelve year old because Rowling is rich and obviously anything she does to protect her property is bullying the little guy and suppressing the poor. What a dumbass thing to say.

    "Ms. Rowling, anybody is free to write about it, to comment on it, and to quote liberally from it, as long as the source is cited.... "

    Actually, there is a limit to how much you can quote a publication before it becomes illegal, no matter how much citation you have.

    The Harry Potter Lexicon isn't an encyclopedia, it's a collaboration of 90% Rowling's work, and a couple percent input from the guy compiling it. If it does get released, I will be taking part in the boycott against it as well as the movement to make sure it does not get sold on store shelves.

     

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      PaulT (profile), May 3rd, 2008 @ 7:05am

      Re: Umm no.

      Ummm.. no.

      "Rowling is suing because the book is just taking parts of the website and the books and compiling them into an "encyclopedia""

      Yes. An encyclopedia that fans created for other fans to use. The lexicon website was not created by Rowling, so why should she be allowed to prevent it from being published in book form?

      "The issue on content doesn't work in this case, as kids who are fans of the book are going to want it if they see it on store shelves, just because it has the Harry Potter name."

      Yes. There's a hole in the market for a reference book about the Harry Potter universe. Such a thing does not exist, and fans will buy it when it does. The fact that Rowling didn't write it is not a problem unless the book claimed to be either a new novel or a Rowling work - which it doesn't.

      I've mentioned it before here, but it's worth bringing up again. The are several "encyclodpedias" chronicling Tolkien's Middle Earth. That's never been a problem, even though neither Tolkien nor his son wrote them. Stephen King has admitted to not only being flattered by a similar work based on his Dark Tower series, but has confessed to using the book as a reference to write the final books in that series.

      What, other than misguided greed, makes and encylcopedia based on Rowling's work different?

      "Thirdly, the proceeds from the Harry Potter encyclopedia are going to charity, while the Harry Potter Lexicon is being pocketed by a greedy web admin who just wants to make a few easy bucks off of an existing franchise."

      No. Again, a popular website has been set up to guide existing fans through the Potter universe. While based on Rowling's work, the compilation would have involved a fair amount of work. There is now a demand for a book version of the site, which again requires work to compile and publish.

      The "official" encyclopedia does not currently exist, and the claim that proceeds will benefit charity will only come about because the fans who will buy the book have already made Rowling so rich that she doesn't need additional profits.

      "If what he said was true, the thousands of Harry Potter fanfictions published on the internet (Including the creepy Draco-Snape relationship stories) would've been taken down a long time ago."

      Hah! Have you ever seen the result of trying to take down such material in the past? this stuff exists and while it's online, permanent censorship is impossible. note that the whole argument here has only begun once the Lexicon was to be printed in a physical format.

      "I've always liked Orson Scott Card, but he's being a serious asshole in his statement."

      Why? For one thing, he's indicating that a similar work based on his own novels would cause him no problems. If creating such an encyclopedia is so easy and harmful, why don't you create one based on OSC's work? Maybe donate the proceeds to charity as well...?

       

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        interval, May 3rd, 2008 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re: Umm no. AGREED

        I don't see how Rowling can come off as anything but a grasping harpy in this matter. The law is quite clear, and the lexicon clearly falls under fair use. This is precisely why Rowling is appealing to emotional arguments. If she had a legal leg to stand on she'd make reasoned legal arguments based on fact. And all the devoted fans in all the world taking her side can't change that.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:31am

      Re: Umm no.

      Yeah, OSC is mad at Rowling because she's rich. I'll buy that. :p

       

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    Peter, May 3rd, 2008 @ 8:11am

    Card - contradicting himself while hating

    In response to Card criticizing Rowling:
    http://www.linearpublishing.com/RhinoStory.html

    Card said in this article criticizing Rowling's originality:
    "The difference between us is that I actually make enough money from Ender's Game to be content, without having to try to punish other people whose creativity might have been inspired by something I wrote."

    The above cannot possibly be true, Card having written the essay with at least some form of castigation in mind for Rowling!

    This shows Card is obviously not content as he claims.

    Why do so many people miss that Card is hate-filled in many ways?

    Is this not clear hypocrisy on the part of Orson Scott Card?

     

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      GearsofPeace, May 3rd, 2008 @ 8:17pm

      Re: Card - contradicting himself while hating

      "Why do so many people miss that Card is hate-filled in many ways?"

      Anyone who has read Card's homophobic rantings know how hate-filled he is.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:35am

        Re: Re: Card - contradicting himself while hating

        This has no bearing on whether the Lexicon is infringing or not, nor does it refute any point that Card makes in his essay. This is simply perpetuating more hate.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:34am

      Re: Card - contradicting himself while hating

      "The difference between us is that I actually make enough money from Ender's Game to be content, without having to try to punish other people whose creativity might have been inspired by something I wrote."

      The above cannot possibly be true, Card having written the essay with at least some form of castigation in mind for Rowling!


      You imply that Rowling's work was inspired by something Card wrote?

      I'm sure Card is angry with Rowling because she's being more than a little bit unreasonable, and swinging the law around like a big stick because she doesn't like what other people are doing. Where's the hate you're seeing? Why would Card hate Rowling, and what do you have to back that up?

       

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    AdamR, May 3rd, 2008 @ 8:15am

    The main fact is this about control and money plain and simple. Warner doesn’t want anyone making penny unless they can make a dollar of it the same goes for JKR.

    Folk’s fair use is fair use, many classic and way more popular fiction works have Lexicons/Encyclopedia’s made about them. Some authorized and some not, what makes her case so special that she needs to put a dog and pony show.

    Oh my God the poor children of the world are going to suffer now! It’s just amazing how times that coming up on her defense of the lawsuit! People don't even know who or much they plan on giving. By the time you factor in printing fees,Licensing fees,distrubtion fees and very fee these big corps love to add in what exactly are they promosing. Nothing, just thier word some is going to get something.

     

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    Mike, May 3rd, 2008 @ 9:26am

    Can't wait to buy it!

    I've seen maybe the first 2 or 3? films, and never purchased any of the books. But when this lexicon is released I'm definately buying it and hoping it becomes a bestseller!! Take that you greedy bitch!

     

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      ACS, May 3rd, 2008 @ 9:40am

      Re: Can't wait to buy it!

      right on!!FANS by AC S on May 2nd, 2008 @ 9:01pm

      GET OUT OF THE COURTROOM AND BACK ON THE BROOM. you cannot write the script for life,Ms. Rowling (in the dough) you could be thankful you have fans who are that interested as to compile your work.

       

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    Petréa Mitchell, May 3rd, 2008 @ 11:00am

    Stouffer lawsuit was fraudulent

    One very important point: the lawsuit he alludes to with The Legend of Rah and the Muggles was decided against Stouffer, who was found to have falsified evidence. The text of the judgement is available here

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    like I said ....
    Trying to convince thieves that stealing is wrong is like telling a serial killer that killing is wrong. They will never see past their own justifications!

    I hope she wins and you thieves spontaneously combust.

    Oh, And when the 'lexicon loses all they made due to getting sued, you can rest assured with your copy of the book that you helped!

    DUH!

     

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      Mortally Offended "Thief", May 3rd, 2008 @ 11:35pm

      Re: Enlightened Thieves

      The comment(31) made by AC is at the very least quite naive, and totally without merit. The only reason I even respond is in my undying hope that this chap will actually put a little intelligence into his posts.

      The whole point to any justice system is to punish criminals and to show them where and they are wrong, in the hopes that they will cease their criminal ways. There are some people out there who can and do change, and I am sure that they are all quite disheartened to hear your incredulous view of their change of heart. If you were correct in your statement, we would have no choice but to lock everyone away for eternity.

      At any rate, if there was some breach of copyright law here, it does not constitute theft. Look up the legal meaning, and then compare copyright infringement to that definition. Not the same thing at all.

       

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      Anonymous but not cowardly, May 4th, 2008 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      And I hope that whatever caused you to be so flaming angry gets resolved for you.

      For someone to equate theft and murder to what this story is about indicates to me an unhealthy lack of reality.

      I see the xxAA has brainwashed you well.

      Thieves must by definition take a physical object.
      Since the author of the lexicon did not break in and steal JKR's books, manuscripts, etc. they are NOT guilty of theft.

      Copyright law is very different, and you can't just throw criminal law and copyright law in to bed together, and expect to get it right.

      Do the rest of us a favor and read something other than xxAA press releases, like perhaps a web site on copyright law, and save the flame hate for something of real importance.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    What I don't get here is that even if she had a perfect legal argument here, it's just plain unnecessary. She's not going to come out of this looking good, no matter how obvious it was. Look how much the Stouffer "omg she had muggle and 'larry potter', rowling ripped her off" case has spread, even though it was mostly fraudulant and thrown out of court. No matter the decision of the court here, Rowling is going to come out of it looking like a grasping cow.

    And to what end? If the lexicon came out and was an immediate best seller, it doesn't matter. As soon as Rowling's own, "official" encyclopedia comes out, it'll be an even better seller. Because it's "official". It's just how it works.


    The entire thing is pointless and ill-advised at best.


    p.s.

    Did anyone else think "ohhh, SNAP!" when reading the OSC response? He seems to be really pissed off about this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2008 @ 8:18pm

    awesome column. Dead on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2008 @ 7:37am

    One question... who really gives a shit?

     

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    scott, May 4th, 2008 @ 4:32pm

    Copyright overhaul

    I never knew a person can be sued in making an encyclopedia of a book or a series of books. The consumers have rights too and it's called fair-use. OSC does bring out good points.

    There are some who may disagree with OSC, but consider this:
    You can't control the writing on the wall forever--that's a monopoly and ideas as you all know are all in the air for the taken. The way ideas are processed can be questionable, but at the same time, they can't be controlled 100% by the creators.

    In China, they have this philosophy "Anything that's invented under the Sun is not protected." You can create your own works, try to do your best in making money in avenues that do work--traditional print, book promotion, signings, radio, audio, but it will only go so far. You have to be happy with what you have made, and leave the market to do whatever it wants--even if a person wants to write a lexicon about a popular book.

    The copyright rules should be overhauled--rewritten to meet the needs of the consumer, not just the creators of works of art. There should be a license-free use of such material so as long as individuals and/or organizations don't re-write the original material or produce sequels to such--that would be the sole responsibility of the creators themselves. And the copyright duration should last not for 75 years of the creators life, but lower than that--say 15-20 years.

     

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    barren waste, May 4th, 2008 @ 9:25pm

    The laws of our country...

     

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    barren waste, May 4th, 2008 @ 9:48pm

    The laws of our country...

    ...are no longer protective measures. Everywhere you look the laws are being changed. What once was a system designed to protect our freedoms is now a system to remove them. Sex Offender Registration, Copyright Infringement, even simple things like leaving the bar after a good night with your friends. It seems that any person or group with enough money and or influence can buy thier own laws.

    Realize this, people, there will always be some who will take advantage of others, brutalize others. This will never change no matter how draconian the penalties and punishments for such behavior. This is no reason to take those freedoms from the rest of us.

    Some laws are needed. Theft, Murder, Rape, these all need to be punished. However, the punishments should not exceed the severity of the crime. That holds true for Civil or Criminal infractions. That said, how can anybody agree that the copyright and patent laws of our country are fair and just?

    In this case, Rowling claims her rights have been trampled, yet in the wording of the applicable law, what the "transgressor" has done is permisable. Her work is all apropriatly cited and marked, and not once is her work claimed by another. The encyclopedia took her works, organized them into an easily understood and accessed format and commented on some of said material. This is no more and no less than any other encyclopedia available.

    The content of the encyclopedia should be around 90% material taken from her works, otherwise it ceases to be an encyclopedia of her work. The encyclopedia does transform her work, just not entirely with word content, and nowhere in the law does it state that the changes have to be entirely word content.

     

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      Willton, May 5th, 2008 @ 12:53am

      Re: The laws of our country...

      In this case, Rowling claims her rights have been trampled, yet in the wording of the applicable law, what the "transgressor" has done is permisable. Her work is all apropriatly cited and marked, and not once is her work claimed by another. The encyclopedia took her works, organized them into an easily understood and accessed format and commented on some of said material. This is no more and no less than any other encyclopedia available.

      It's far more. A normal encyclopedia organizes unprotectable facts. This Lexicon reorganizes her protectible created content. The information in a normal encyclopedia do not originate from any one person; the info in the Lexicon originates from JKR. A normal encyclopedia organizes facts. The Lexicon is pure fiction - someone else's fiction. The difference is substantial.

      Proper citation does not absolve this guy from unlawful copying. All it does is make it clearer that he infringed.

      The content of the encyclopedia should be around 90% material taken from her works, otherwise it ceases to be an encyclopedia of her work. The encyclopedia does transform her work, just not entirely with word content, and nowhere in the law does it state that the changes have to be entirely word content.

      No, but the law does require it to be original. There's a difference between transforming a work and a work being "transformative." See Castle Rock. The Supreme Court has said that for something to be transformative, it should "add something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning, or message." Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. There's nothing original or new about this encyclopedia. All it is is a rehashing of JKR's works with a different organization.

      To quote Judge Learned Hand, "no plagiarist can excuse the wrong by showing how much of his work he did not pirate."

       

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        barren waste, May 5th, 2008 @ 2:07am

        Re: Re: The laws of our country...

        "It's far more. A normal encyclopedia organizes unprotectable facts. This Lexicon reorganizes her protectible created content. The information in a normal encyclopedia do not originate from any one person; the info in the Lexicon originates from JKR. A normal encyclopedia organizes facts. The Lexicon is pure fiction - someone else's fiction. The difference is substantial."

        I'll start with this paragraph. First of all a normal encyclopedia does not organize unprotectable facts. It organizes information, whether it be fact or fiction. Second, many encyclopedias organize information that originates from a single source. I won't bother to name any, as several have already been named and if you didn't bother to look them up you won't bother to look up any I mention. And third, it does not matter fom who, when, and where the information originated so long as they are mentioned as the source. This is mainly for research purposes, but also serves to protect copyrights.

        "No, but the law does require it to be original. There's a difference between transforming a work and a work being "transformative." See Castle Rock. The Supreme Court has said that for something to be transformative, it should "add something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning, or message." Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. There's nothing original or new about this encyclopedia. All it is is a rehashing of JKR's works with a different organization."

        ...add something new, with a further purpose or different character...new expression, meaning, or message...

        Thank you for showing us how the Lexicon is legal. The encyclopedia does in fact add something new, give the existing material another purpose, and does succeed in giving new expression and or message. As you stated in your last reply to Mike, changing the format can alter or illuminate written text. So, we have established, by your own words, that the Lexicon author did in fact add new material and alter the existing material so as to give new expression and purpose.

        We have several encyclopedias in existance identical to this in every applicable way, excepting content and author, that prove precedent that this is legal. We have the law that states that the changes, both in format and content, do in fact transform the book. What is there to dispute?

         

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          Willton, May 5th, 2008 @ 8:26am

          Re: Re: Re: The laws of our country...

          Thank you for showing us how the Lexicon is legal. The encyclopedia does in fact add something new, give the existing material another purpose, and does succeed in giving new expression and or message. As you stated in your last reply to Mike, changing the format can alter or illuminate written text. So, we have established, by your own words, that the Lexicon author did in fact add new material and alter the existing material so as to give new expression and purpose.

          What is so "new" about taking old works and reorganizing them to look like an encyclopedia? How is that original? Bald assertions as to how transformative it is without explaining what exactly is transformative about it are not convincing. Nothing is established just because you say it is; you need to give reasons.

          We have several encyclopedias in existance identical to this in every applicable way, excepting content and author, that prove precedent that this is legal. We have the law that states that the changes, both in format and content, do in fact transform the book. What is there to dispute?

          Bullshit. Read Castle Rock Entertainment v. Carol Publishing Group, and you'll see how wrong you are. Again, just because one thing is transformed from another does not make that thing "transformative."

           

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            SomeGuy, May 5th, 2008 @ 8:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The laws of our country...

            The quiz book you happily refer to is not in the same category as the lexicon; the quiz book merely reprinted lines and situations from the show to test the readers' comprehention of obscure facts. It did not reorganize the material in the useful way an encyclopedia does and did not significantly add to the contect. The case you point to found all of this.

            The encyclopedia, however, DOES reorgaize Rowling's material in a useful way. Suppose you wanted to have the history and pertinent facts of Character X. You could read several THOUSANDS of pages of Rowling's text trying to track things down and likely missing bits; or you couldf open the Lexicon to the pertinent entry and have it all at a glance. What's more, there is demonstrable work involved in this reorganization; it is not simply copying the existant work (though that is involved), but tracking down and collecting all the pertinent bits. You claim, "that may be transformed, but it's not transformative" but you fail to explain to us what the difference is. Things aren't just so because you claim them to be; you have to to give reasons.

             

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              SomeGuy, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:08am

              Also...

              Pertinent clip from your link, emphasis mine:

              If "the secondary use adds value to the original--if [copyrightable expression in the original work] is used as raw material, transformed in the creation of new information, new aesthetics, new insights and understandings--this is the very type of activity that the fair use doctrine intends to protect for the enrichment of society."

               

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            barren waste, May 5th, 2008 @ 10:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The laws of our country...

            "What is so "new" about taking old works and reorganizing them to look like an encyclopedia? How is that original? Bald assertions as to how transformative it is without explaining what exactly is transformative about it are not convincing. Nothing is established just because you say it is; you need to give reasons."

            First, let's define original. According to the definitions given by Webster's dictionary original is, "2 a: that from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is made b: a work composed firsthand." The encyclopedia is original because it is a work composed firsthand. The source material is not original, but the encyclopedia itself is.

            Second, I did explain what made it transformative, and with your own words and definitons, no less. You stated, in your post to Mike, that changing the format of a given piece can and does change the meaning and value. You also stated that there was some original content, as in material written by the author, in the encyclopedia. Therefore, by your own words you admit that the encyclopedia is transformitive. I'm sorry if you don't like that, but maybe you shouldn't hold double standards.

            "Bullshit. Read Castle Rock Entertainment v. Carol Publishing Group, and you'll see how wrong you are. Again, just because one thing is transformed from another does not make that thing "transformative.""

            You keep coming back to the quiz book, yet the thread has cited several different encyclpdias already in existance that were un-authorized and do not violate the law. For more examples of this try The Baen Free library. Baen Publishing has taken un-authorized fan works to a new height, even going so far as to turn it into a contest with the winners getting thier stuff published by Baen.

            As I stated before, by the law and your own words you proved the Lexicon legal. What is there to dispute?

             

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    Anonymous jerk, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:52am

    Scum?

    With her couple of ridiculous suites of late, she has become one of those people on my little list of people I love to hate...

     

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    Twinrova, May 5th, 2008 @ 5:23am

    OSC has some nerve, but I have to agree.

    Note: I want to point out my comment here is not to defend JK Rowling and will state what she's doing is beyond stupid. It's insulting to her worldwide fans.

    After reading Card's direct attack, I have to say his argument about writers "borrowing" from others' is a crock.

    When it comes to writing, there's only so much an author can do without feeling as though they're writing something that's already been done. Card's comparisons between his work and JK Rowling's works is proof.

    Even Stephen King's works has an air of "it's been done before". The goal of any author is to write about something that's been done before, but make it appealing for readers as thought it's not been done before.

    Many of you tend to forget the backlash Rowling received when her books started making waves, and how parents were upset their children were reading "devil work" or anti-religious work. After some time, this died down making the Harry Potter works one of the most successful. But there are people out there who still deem it wrong.

    This case, despite its stupidity, is about protecting this "common, but successful" work. Authors already have it bad enough trying to become successful, let alone someone taking what they've done and trying to cash in on it.

    I can see where Rowling is coming from, but she's doing it all wrong, especially having told the world she's used it. If she felt this strongly against it, she should have made waves long before her series has ended.

    Card was right to call her selfish, but he's no business stating such as an author. If anything, his personal attack makes him look childish and jealous because he wasn't as successful. Yes, this is my take on his comments and I'm sure most will disagree, but this was clearly none of his business and as Mike will easily point out, it's an advertisement for his book.

    Whether you're a Rowling fan or not, it comes down to a simple equation: If you believe her to be a greedy witch, never buy her works again.

    Seriously, how much more difficult can this be?

    Let her file her damn lawsuit and become the laughing stock of the world.

    Her (ex)fans will cast the final vote of her decision to file it.

     

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    NocheDelAngelOscuro, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:04am

    Rowling is a THIEF

    Wizard's Chess? How about Battle Chess! Go through everything in her books and you will not find one original thought anywhere. Sorcerer's Stone = Philosopher's Stone. Hogwarts = Roke island. Phoenix = mythological bird. Etc.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    Can I write "Ender experiments with homosexuality"?

    It seems, from OSC's arguments, that I should be allowed to write that book and make money from it. Given that OSC created the Ender universe, ?arguably? owns the IP rights, and is virulently homophobic, I'd bet he has a different point of view.

    What if I wrote "A Lexicon of Homosexual Images in OSC's Ender's Universe Series"?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2008 @ 6:18am

      Re: Can I write "Ender experiments with homosexuality"?

      Card might get upset, yeah, but you'd probably have all the people posting against Rowling here on your side. I think a lot of people would find it a bit odious (as it has absolutely nothing to do with what Ender or his universe is about), but that doesn't mean there anything illegal about you trying to write it.

      Same with the Lexicon -- except THAT might have some real academic value to it.

       

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      Nasch, May 6th, 2008 @ 10:17am

      Re: Can I write "Ender experiments with homosexuality"?

      Since he wrote "Ansset Experiments with Homosexuality" (not really the title of course, but read Songmaster or just what he's written about the homosexuality in Songmaster), he might not mind.

      If you're accusing Card of hypocrisy, you really should find some facts to back it up. Keep in mind also that disliking what someone is writing is a whole other ball game than suing them for it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:46am

    Leave Brit.. Jk ALONE WA HWAH WHA

     

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    N1ck0, May 5th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    I miss the old days

    What ever happened to the old days where if someone made a product you didn't like, or thought was inferior, you just made a better version and beat the pants off them on sales/reputation/quality etc.

    Just create the best freaking lexicon/encyclopedia/reference/annotated series and publish it, in the end the bookstores arn't going to keep some smaller /inferior Harry Potter materials on the shelf.

     

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    JustMatt, May 5th, 2008 @ 11:24am

    TechDirt hits the big time!

    Geeze Mike, lots of comments for a Monday. You might have to rethink your strategy of discussing the legal aspects of technology and devote the site to Muggles. ha ha ha

    One thing that always bugged me while reading the Rowling books was that I'd seen every single story element many times in the past, and I grew up long enough ago that I missed all of the tween books on magic. Even the dog Latin she used for magic spells was derivative.

    Finally, I'm not a lawyer but I'm on the side of the Lexicon guy.

     

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    Clueby4, May 5th, 2008 @ 3:54pm

    Selective peception of fanboys

    I've noted that Rowling's fanboys don't support her obtuse perceptions when it comes to commenting here.

    Aren't you "stealing"/benefiting from Mike's creative work, when you comment or worst quote??!! O.o

    Copyright intended purpose was not to "protect" anything it was to "promote". Limited protection was the means that they intended to promote creativity, however as we can see this concept has been poorly treated, maligned, and molested over the years.

     

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    Jessica, May 8th, 2008 @ 5:19pm

    The name Harry Potter

    There was a movie made some years ago titled "The Troll" that dealt with a magical creature that a boy named Harry Potter fights to save his sister.

    That alone would give the creators or whoever owns the rights to that movie enough to sue Rowling. They are remaking the movie now, and I read somewhere cant quite remember, but there is a possibility that Warner Bros. wants to try and sue... HELLO THEY HAD THE NAME FIRST.

    It's sad when people try and sue over everything just because they think they have enough money and power to win.

     

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    Yonmei, Jun 13th, 2008 @ 1:03am

    Orson Scott Card likes to castrate gay men

    "Since he wrote "Ansset Experiments with Homosexuality" (not really the title of course, but read Songmaster or just what he's written about the homosexuality in Songmaster), he might not mind."

    Typically, Orson Scott Card fictionally destroys either life or body or both of any character he invents: if you ever read past the sex scene in Songmaster, Nasch, you would find that horrible things happen to Anssett and worse things happen to his sexual partner. Card is okay with writing about gay men, it seems, so long as he can get to castrate them.

     

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    sheila, Jun 14th, 2008 @ 11:58pm

    Rowling should win the case!!!

    You know guys, if it's not for Ms. Rowling ideas we won't be introduced to this amazingly addictive story. She has the right to file a lawsuit about all this because this guy is just stealing her own work.

    I don't visit lexicon...but I am a truefan of HARRY POTTER!. I don't need those reference guides bec the information is all in the 7-part books... This guide is only for those who want to read the book for the sake of popularity... I memorized every scene, discussion, and part of the HARRY POTTER series by heart!!!! because I am a real fan of the books.

    If this guy wants to earn something for his own work.. then, by all means write a story of his own and not steal from somebody else's who put their hardwork and life!!!

    His just riding to Ms. JK's popularity!!!. you try making your own book and let's see if people will like....

    It's just right that JK is protecting HER WORK!! yes, she borrows ideas from other writers but she has her own story... whiel the other guy, copies all from her.. do you think that's fair???? think again!!!...

    This crazy world would love you if you're popular but does anybody take a second look of Ms. Rowling when she's trying hard to look for a publisher for her books then?? no one trusted her because she's nobody at that time...she was even turned down. And now this guy wants to ride to her success.. he should taste the bitterness of life before he could taste sweetness!!!.

    TRUE BLUE HARRY POTTER FAN!!!!! Ms. JK became rich from her because she deserves it.. she worked hard for it.. if your envy of her success!!!. that's your problem!!!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2008 @ 2:13pm

    I'm in two minds about it.

    Firstly, yes I do agree that once a work is published that it is open to discussion and interpretation.

    JKR's main contention seems to be what she regards as misleading inaccuracies in the book - ie she feels that what she created is being misrepresented. I do have sympathy with that point of view. However this could easily be handled with a disclaimer in the foreword, or better still she could have worked with the author to correct mistakes (this would have been best for fans).

    Whatever happens JKR will still have her original work, her money, her fans etc. If she chooses to write her own lexicon she can, people will still buy it in droves because she wrote it (a napkin she wrote her shopping list on would be worth squillions).

    I'm a fan of her fiction, but I do think she could have handled this with more dignity.

     

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    philippe, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 10:59am

    JRK and Lexicon

    Well....
    I suggest that all the fan who debated and have made conjonctures about :

    - Snape killed Dumbledore on his order
    - Snape loved lily
    - harry is an Horcrux
    - Snape was "good"....
    etc,

    I suggest that those fans (among them me) put JRK into justice court as she probably borrow a lot of "her" ideas on the fan websites.

    Philippe.

    Sorry for the english whis is not my mother tongue

     

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    Melynda, May 6th, 2009 @ 12:44am

    As any writer knows, in any interest there is honor.

    Rowling is a plagiarist herself, and she knows it:

    Just tell me that she didn't see "Troll", or didn't read "The Worst Witch," or "Matilda," or "A Wizard of Earthsea," or ANY Terry Pratchet book! Her skill lies in tossing well-established characters and plot lines together in a bag, dumping them out, and calling them her own.

     

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    Melynda, May 6th, 2009 @ 12:45am

    It takes one to sue one.

    As any writer knows, in any interest there is honor.

    Rowling is a plagiarist herself, and she knows it:

    Just tell me that she didn't see "Troll", or didn't read "The Worst Witch," or "Matilda," or "A Wizard of Earthsea," or ANY Terry Pratchet book! Her skill lies in tossing well-established characters and plot lines together in a bag, dumping them out, and calling them her own.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 8:19pm

    heh i love how wiltton shut herself down.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 8:22pm

    sa a sidenote I just finished reading ender's game and found it remarkably similar to harry potter, so I got on the internet and checked if there was any controversy about it. Heh.

     

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    Mylord, Jun 30th, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    Plagiarist

    The infinitive answer to your well believed thoughts on the woman author, as being a plagiarist, is correct. I know this as I am the original creator of the storyboards that told the story of Harry Potter and Hermione, Ron and others at Hogwarts. The original storyboard artist and author of the wizard adventures is me. My web publishing name is Mylord, but my author name for books and films is JK Rawling. As my life's artwork and storyboard sets of many stories has been stolen and the books & films being produced over the period, from about 1993 until this year of 2010, since the theft of my artwork, I have had to bear a great deal of anguish. I am the real originator of the Harry Potter storyboard designs that told the story I designed. I invite you to read my posts on Mylord.amplify.com or The True Origins of Harry Potter on wordpress.com. Also read; "The Slimy Blood-Worm"! Happy Day's,
    Author, Mylord

     

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    Jack Simpson, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    When you own or start a franchise business, you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself. And when you use www.FranchiseExpo.com, you’re searching the leading franchise opportunities directory.

     

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    JLW, Jul 17th, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    Plagiarism

    Are you people serious? Having a plot point in common with another work is not plagiarism. You can play that game with just about any fiction, including Ender's Game. The gifted child who leaves home storlyline has been around for a very LONG time - Card didn't come up with it either (and he rips Rowling for her arrogance - talk about the Pot calling the Kettle black). Hey Orson, ever hear of STAR WARS, which was actually inspired by Joseph Campbell's work? There's a huge difference between something like that and putting out something that actually republishes huge amounts of someone else's work.

     

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    JLW, Jul 17th, 2011 @ 9:19pm

    Here's how Card sums up the plot.

    "A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to be exceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends and gains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world."

    Yeah, very original, asshat.

     

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    Chaz, Jul 20th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    He is only mad because she supports same sex marriage. What she did was right and just, he is wrong.

     

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