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
    LDK, 9 Sep 2008 @ 12:37pm

    Again, that's not the problem, it's the fact that she was apparently OK with it in one form (the website, which she had commended and even still recommends on jkrowling.com, a website registered to her agents). Yet, transfer that content to a printed for and it's suddenly evil and cannot be sold? Makes no sense.

    ---

    It's wrong because on the internet, they made no money on it. Once it's published, they'll make money. Simple. About 90% (At least that's the statistic I saw) of the stuff in the Lexicon was copied verbatim from Rowling's work. It's her legal right to not want someone to make money off the work that she did.

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