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. icon
    Mike (profile), 8 Sep 2008 @ 4:04pm

    Re: get a grip

    BUT, if you're going to snipe at the legal system, then at least get some basic facts straight. In the first place, the judiciary does not make the laws; instead, judges interpret and apply existing law in accordance with previous decisions and with current statute law (certainly, in the US, Canada, and the UK).

    Indeed. My complaint is that the ruling misinterprets the law on fair use.

    Secondly, if you don't like the copyright system or the way a particular is being applied, try this: quit bitching and whining, get off your backsides, and lobby your congressperson or MP for changes to the statutes.

    I always find this amusing. Do you not think that talking about it here where tens of thousands of people will read about it doesn't help create the push needed for change.

    What sort of statement is it to say "don't speak up here, only talk quietly to your Congressperson."

    Sorry, the world doesn't work that way.

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