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
    Kate, 10 Sep 2008 @ 10:27am

    Re: So obvious. It's just greed.

    No. JKR used the Lexicon WEBSITE. It's completely different. It holds timelines, editorials, the a-z (which was what RDR tried to publish as the Lexicon) and much more original content. For free. To anyone. JKR publicly applauded and rewarded the effort. She used the site from time to time when she was away from her office and her books/reference guides. This does not mean that it "helped her in the creation of the series". Just meant she didn't have to go to a store and buy her own book to look something up. Far from addding value, from what I understand about the Lexicon book it could have damaged her credibility had they gone ahead with putting her endorsement of the website on the cover as they intended.

    I still can't understand why anyone would have bought the Lexicon book when all the content is available free online anyway *shrug*

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