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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Freedom, 8 Sep 2008 @ 2:42pm


    >> why should this person profit mainly on work that is not his own?

    What world do you live in? We all profit from work of others.

    As far as I'm concerned this guy could have written a book to extend the story line as well and that would be fair game in my mind although probably a no-no with the silly copyright laws we have. The only thing that isn't fair game is if you literally copy the book and sell it as your own. If you take bits and pieces of the book and 'mash it up' and create a new work, then good for you - go make some money. Nothing is stopping the author from doing the same.

    For someone to extend and take advantage of a popular work is called capitalism and it is the best system in the world. We are extremely fortunate that we have a large group of people in our society that are always looking to take something, morph it and repackage it. It is the true nature of things and laws that restrict it are unnatural at best.


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.