Publisher Appeals Ruling Against Harry Potter Lexicon

from the good-for-RDR dept

We were somewhat dismayed by the ruling against the Harry Potter Lexicon, a guidebook of sorts for the universe created in the Harry Potter series of books. J.K. Rowling argued against the book on emotional, rather than legal, grounds, but the judge still found it to be a violation of copyright, and not covered by fair use. For a variety of reasons many copyright scholars felt this to be a bad decision. However, since the judge put in place a rather low fine, it wasn't clear if the publisher would bother appealing.

A bunch of folks have been submitting the fact that RDR Books has, in fact, decided to appeal the ruling and to argue that publishing such a guidebook is, indeed, fair use. Hopefully the Appeals Court recognizes the problems of the lower court ruling and protects fair use for such guidebooks. Of course, some of us are still hopeful that even J.K. Rowling realizes that pursuing this case only serves to damage her reputation, and that she realizes (as she did when the Lexicon was just a website) that allowing fans to help explain and expand the universe she created only increases the value of her works.

Filed Under: copyright, harry potter, j.k. rowling


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  1. identicon
    SteveD, 12 Nov 2008 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re: misguided

    This has little to do with music, but you do know there are remix 'artists' out there that get paid large sums of money by the majors to turn their pop releases into dance tracks to be sold to nightclubs? Right? Oddly enough they don't actually come up with new words or lyrics to do it.

    But this isn't about talent, its about fair use and value-added.

    The value added in this instance has nothing to do with plagiarism, but by remixing the work of Rowling in a way that gives it a new use that the original work lacked.

    People talk about the copy/pasting of words as if saying exactly the same thing with different words would be any lesser form of plagiarism. Its bizarre. How can it ever be anything else but plagiarism unless the guy adds his own ideas into the mix, and how then would it still count as a Harry Potter lexicon?

    This whole issue is all about ownership and control belonging entirely to the artist and never to the public, even if their artistic work is based of the cultural heritage of the public.

    And I still don't get how money being introduced suddenly turns this into a moral fight over the artists rights. Hell, when it was just website people were gaining info from it WITHOUT PAYING THE ARTIST. Surely by RIAA logic there must be something illegal with that.

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