JK Rowling Accused Of Plagiarizing Harry Potter… Yet Again
from the not-again? dept
For years, there have been various accusations that JK Rowling “stole” the characters or ideas for her series of Harry Potter books. The claim that got the most attention was Nancy Stouffer’s book “The Legend Of RAH And The Muggles” which not only uses the word “muggles” (used in Rowling’s work as well) but also has a character named Larry Potter (who has some resemblance to Harry’s character). But, of course, that wasn’t all. Last year, we wrote about a 1986 movie called Troll that also had a character named “Harry Potter.” But apparently, that’s not enough. The latest is that Rowling’s publisher, Bloomsbury Publishing, has been sued again for plagiarism over the Potter books, this time by the estate of Adrian Jacobs. It seems that Jacobs once wrote a book about a boy wizard called Willy The Wizard that has some distant similarities to some stuff that happens in the Potter books.
The whole thing is pretty silly, of course. The publisher is vehemently denying any copying, and it seems unlikely that any copying did actually happen. However even if you did grant the premise and say that Rowling was “inspired” by some other book, so what? Did it really change the economics of the original book? If anything, this latest claim is just a clear money grab, designed to give new attention to a long-ignored book. No one could claim with a straight face that Rowling’s work took away any value from the other book.
Of course, the side note to all of this is how aggressive Rowling has been about trying to “protect” her own copyright on the Potter books. Last year, author Orson Scott Card tore apart Rowling for her aggressive enforcement of copyright, while noting some amusing “similarities” between his own classic, Ender’s Game, and the Harry Potter series — pointing out that lots of people have similar ideas or are inspired by others — and trying to shut them down is a mistake.