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
    Chronno S. Trigger, 12 Nov 2008 @ 5:34am

    Re: misguided

    "This "lexicon" is not a lexicon. It's a remix of Rowling's own works."

    Do we have citation for this? I'm assuming since Hoeppner said the basically the same thing that this must have a citation available.

    Since I don't have a copy of the book to review, I poked around on the web site. I saw a few quotes from the book but not much and even a quote from JK herself saying

    "This is such a great site...my natural home."
    - J.K. Rowling

    Since I see nothing about that in the lawsuit I'd assume she actually said it and has no problem with the site itself. The book has been described as a physical version of the site, so if that is true, than I don't see the problem.

    If this is just a copy-pasta from her book than I agree with you and her, but she or her lawyers need to make that vary clear and not make it sound like she has a problem with lexicons in general.

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