Terrible Ruling: Judge Halts Publication Of Harry Potter Lexicon

from the bad-news dept

Despite the fact that J.K. Rowling relied on emotional, rather than legal reasons for not wanting the publication of a guidebook about the Harry Potter universe, called the Harry Potter Lexicon to go forward, it appears that a judge was convinced. The judge has halted the publication of the Lexicon, saying that it violates Rowling's copyrights and did not establish a fair use defense. Hopefully the book publisher will appeal, as there seems to be some questionable statements in the ruling:
"because the Lexicon appropriates too much of Rowling's creative work for its purposes as a reference guide, a permanent injunction must issue to prevent the possible proliferation of works that do the same and thus deplete the incentive for original authors to create new works."
It's quite difficult to see how the publication of the Lexicon, which would only encourage more fans to dig even deeper into the Harry Potter universe somehow "depletes" the incentive for the original author to create new works. The Lexicon does nothing more than add more value to the rest of the Harry Potter books, and to deny its publication seems like a travesty of a broken copyright system.

Filed Under: copyright, fair use, guidebook, harry potter, harry potter lexicon, j.k. rowling


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  1. identicon
    LostSailor, 9 Sep 2008 @ 9:59am

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

    That's one of the sticking points for me. Apart from the fact money's being made, what's the difference?

    Why apart from money being made? That's not an unimportant consideration. One of the parts of analysis of fair use is whether the use is non-commercial or commercial in nature.

    "Amicable" to a major corporation is rarely a good deal for the recipient.

    I have only the facts as stated in the court opinion to go on, but that says they never got to the point of discussing a settlement. Clearly the publisher thought they could win. However, if I were the publishers, I would have at least listened to what Rowling/Warner wanted. There may still have been a suit, but there may not have been.

    My point was simple - you seemed to be implying that not blocking this point was somehow anti-capitalism.

    I don't think I was implying that, nor was that my intention. Yes, attempting to publish the Lexicon is capitalism; my point was that protecting one's property and rights is also capitalism.

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