Warner Bros. Shuts Down Harry Potter Themed Dinner For Infringement

from the how-nice-of-them... dept

Last month, in discussing “derivative works” on the IP Colloquium podcast, the General Counsel of Warner Bros. studios, Jeremy Williams, talked up how Warner Bros. was really careful in not just going after fans for doing fun things with the Harry Potter character, but were careful to focus just on for-profit ventures. Either they’re not that careful, or someone else didn’t get the message, as Warner Bros. has apparently sent out the legal nastygrams to a woman in the UK who was planning on having a fun Harry Potter-themed dinner. The dinner was a non-profit event, and it sounds like it was done mainly to make the woman’s daughter (a big Harry Potter fan) happy. The article notes that the woman has had other themed nights, with other brands being happy about it and supporting the effort. But, apparently, Hollywood doesn’t roll that way.

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Companies: warner bros.

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Comments on “Warner Bros. Shuts Down Harry Potter Themed Dinner For Infringement”

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RD says:

Tragically incorrect

Mike, you should realize by now, these corporations LIE. All the time. As bad as politicians. And like politicians, you have to interpret everything they lie about. Usually, its the exact opposite of what they actually say (thereby invoking the hypocrisy clause, a core component and essential) but sometimes its a little more subtle.

Lets try again with this Potter litigation, shall we?

“Jeremy Williams, talked up how Warner Bros. was really careful in not just going after fans for doing fun things with the Harry Potter character, but were careful to focus just on for-profit ventures.”

Oh dear, this one is just RIFE with misrepresentation, falacy, and outright falsehoods.

“really careful” – is true, just opposite in meaning.
“JUST going after fans” – means, anyone who even so much as REFERS to Potter, in any way, word, deed or thought.
“but were careful to focus” – is actually the only true part of this entire statement.
“just on for-profit ventures” – is an outright falsehood. Remember, copyright is absolute, according to these big-media copyright holders. ANY use is to be paid for. ANY enjoyment, reference, discussion, is a de-facto for-profit “venture” as someone is benefiting in SOME manner (enjoyment, non-monetary, sharing) and therefore it must be pursued, and if not paid for, crushed utterly under the bootheel of the copyright holder.

Hope this little lesson helps to clarify the world of copyright and rights holders as it has now become in the 21st century.

Paul (profile) says:

Counter Productive

And yet, while the U.K. woman may not have sought the proper permissions for her event, shall anyone care to guess how much properly licensed merchandise failed to get sold by preventing the event?

I haven’t seen the data on Harry Potter, but the merchandise/movie income ratio for STAR WARS is heavily on the merchandise side. I can’t believe that Harry Potter is that far different.

yogi says:

stop it

I think we should just stop consuming corporate culture – any creative expression that is treated like it is the personal property of the creator should be boycotted.Nothing is created out of thin air, many people always participate. The pendulum must swing back to the commons.

Increasingly, today, we are all part of the creative process.

A cultural boycott is the only thing that will stop this kind of brutish behavior.

RD says:

Thats right!

“Anyone pointed out that Warner do not own the copyrights to Harry Potter. They just own the right to the films?”

A VERY good point! Unfortunetly, in the new, 21st century “copyright is absolute, crush any usage” idiom, logic, reason, and indeed, even the law have little to nothing to do with it. They are rich and powerful, this woman is not, therefore they can threaten til the cows come home to roost and there isnt much we the people can do about it.

Ray Trygstad (profile) says:

"The Party That Shall Not Be Named"

Naperville, Illinois had nearly 70,000 people attend the party for the release of the final novel in the Harry Potter series. The previous book release party had been named “Muggle Madness” but Warner Brothers blocked any use of “Harry Potter” or associated trademarks in Naperville’s next celebration–notably, it was not Scholastic, who published the book in the U.S. So what did Anderson Books and the Downtown Naperville Alliance do? They just named it “The Party That Shall Not Be Named” and went right ahead. My son repainted his Yoda ears and went as Dobby, and everyone had a great time DESPITE the Warner Brothers boneheads, who obviously don’t recognize the value of free promotion when it bites them in the butt.

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