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
    Mike FitzSimmons, 22 Sep 2008 @ 9:19am

    Plagiarism is Illegal

    The intended Harry Potter Lexicon was halted because it was clear plagiarism. It contained incredibly large amounts of un-cited extractions from Rowling's copyrighted books. The ruling made it clear that other Harry Potter reference guides would not be affected by this case.

    Everyone seems to view Rowling as a power-hungry, money-grubbing, one-trick pony. The fact is that the Harry Potter Lexicon is the only publication that has been fought, and it was rightfully targeted. Plenty of other Harry Potter reference guides have been published. None of the others have been fought, because they all contained original material.

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