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
    Alexa, 9 Sep 2008 @ 5:35pm

    Re: WTF

    The only reason that the Lexicon site has as many hits as it does is that it's ten years old. Had the HP phenomenon been delayed even 5 years, the whole endeavor would have gone straight to wiki, and no one person could or would even try to take all the glory for it.

    As it stands, the HP fan wiki is a much cleaner, more comprehensive site that is much more navigable and is easier on the eyes.

    Compare these two articles on the same magical concept, the Patronus:

    http://www.hplex.info/magic/spells/spells_p.html#patronus

    http://harrypotter.wikia.c om/wiki/Patronus

    SVA's entry is a mere list of appearances of the concept in the book, on an unreadable background. The wiki entry offers more depth and analysis, explains contexts, and is far more readable. Pretty much all of SVA's entries are like the one linked above. Would you really shell out 30 bucks for that? Do you think he should be paid for that?

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