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."