J.K. Rowling Updates “Companion Books” Article; RDR Books Responds

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Nov 01, 2007

Posted by Melissa Anelli
Uncategorized

As reported yesterday, WB and JKR filed suit yesterday over The Harry Potter Lexicon’s intent to publish an encyclopedia. The action went hand-in-hand with a statement JKR had made on her Web site about not supporting unofficial companion books because they take away from the proposed book she will be writing for charity. Today she has updated that news posting:

“As is now widely known, a complaint has been filed in the name of Warner Bros and myself against the publisher of a proposed Lexicon, written by Steven VanderArk. This decision was reached, on my part, with immense sadness and disappointment, and only because direct appeals for a reasonable solution failed. I never dreamed, in the light of our previous good relations ’ including giving the Lexicon a Fansite Award – that this situation would ever arise.

From what I understand, the proposed book is not criticism or review of Harry Potter’s world, which would be entirely legitimate ’ neither I nor anybody connected with Harry Potter has ever tried to prevent such works being published. It is, we believe, a print version of the website, except now the information that was freely available to everybody is to become a commercial enterprise.

It is not reasonable, or legal, for anybody, fan or otherwise, to take an author’s hard work, re-organize their characters and plots, and sell them for their own commercial gain. However much an individual claims to love somebody else’s work, it does not become theirs to sell.”

UPDATE: RDR has now updated their website with a lengthy response, and has changed the title of their response page to read “Purveyors of quality literature (and the 1st Amendment) since 1983,” a title that does not include the parenthetical elsewhere on the site. The article does not address RDR’s alleged failure to reply to cease and desist letters or provide a review copy, and claims that the book is being published in part to “make its information available to underprivileged children and those in impoverished nations, who may have no access to computers or to the World Wide Web.”

It also claims the action began after RDR Books sought a cease-and-desist order for the timeline, which is disputed in the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court (which claims the first letter came weeks earlier). It also claims the attempt to stop publishing is an attempt to squelch the press and is a first amendment issue.

Excerpts of the statement are as follows:

Does the Lexicon appear to have Ms. Rowling’s blessing?
“No, the Lexicon makes it perfectly clear that this unique reference resource is in no way endorsed by Ms. Rowling or Warner Bros. … It is an original book with a vast array of independently written scholarly articles.

Why did Warner Bros. and Ms. Rowling target the Lexicon when dozens of other similar reader’s companions are on the market?
“At the moment, books published by Penguin (The Idiot’s Guide), Mugglenet.com, Sparknotes, Broadway, Hampton Roads, Ulysses Press and many other publishers are in print around the world. At least 46 such books are presently available in bookstores and libraries….

The action against The Harry Potter Lexicon was commenced soon after we contacted Warner Bros. requesting fair compensation for their unauthorized use Mr. Vander Ark’s copyrighted material on millions of DVDs. The court filing was followed within less than two hours by vast, carefully orchestrated international publicity campaign designed to impugn the reputations of Mr. Vander Ark and RDR Books.”

Is this a First Amendment issue?
Yes. What’s at stake here is the determination of Warner Bros. (which owns trademarks, not copyrights, on Harry Potter characters’ names and place names) to limit freedom of the press. This entertainment conglomerate wants to stop books before they are published, which threatens our First Amendment rights. If they were able to stop this independent critical work, publishers and writers everywhere would find it more difficult to publish important books that benefit all of us. The chilling effect of this lawsuit is its attempt to add harsh new limitations to the principle that, in the immortal words of A. J. Leibling, “Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.” When a person writes a book and publishes it, that book is subject to general analysis and criticism by the public. In the same sense that J. K. Rowling reviews a Jessica Mitford book in a London paper, critics like Mr. Vander Ark provide literary analysis and comment about Ms. Rowling’s books.

Has Steve Vander Ark or RDR Books discussed the print publication of the Lexicon with J.K. Rowling?

>> No. We have been unable to contact her. Although Ms. Rowling has been named as a party to the lawsuit, the only discussion we have been able to have about the book has been in the form of threatening letters and abusive telephone calls from Warner Bros. staff attorneys and the New York office of a large international law firm that also purports to represent Warner Bros.

We continue to keep all lines of communication open at our end in the hope that we can resolve this matter so that readers of all ages can benefit from the scholarship of Mr. Vander Ark and other librarians and professors.”

Thanks to Harry Latino for the heads-up.

Details of the lawsuit, as obtained by TLC, are below:

-The suit says any money award given to JKR or WB as a result of this suit will be donated to charity.
-It claims Steve Vander Ark made claims to rights in the Harry Potter series and threatened to sue WB.
-It seeks to halt publication and recoup whatever profits are made by the book or costs incurred by the suit.
-The suit says four letters to RDR Books (detailed below) regarding the issue before it went to a lawsuit.
-That RDR Books has refused to hand over a pre-publication copy of the books for review.
-It names RDR Books and 10 DOES – unidentified entities/people – who can be named later.
-In response to contact from JKR’s lawyers, RDR Books sent its own “cease and desist” letter to Warner Bros. regarding a timeline on the Harry Potter DVDs they claim infringes the Lexicon’s copyright, which the suit says is “a complete fabrication apparently intended to deflect Plaintiffs’ complaints – but which merely serves to highlight hypocritical nature of Defendant’s conduct.”

Excerpts from suit:

-”Plaintiffs did everything they could prior to filing this lawsuit to engage in a substantive dialogue with Defendant only to be rebuffed and treated rudely. For example, while claiming not to have the ability or time to respond to Plaintiffs’ multiple ‘cease and desist’ letters because of a family tragedy, Defendant instead was hawking foreign publishing rights to the Infringing Book in Germany. Moreover, Defendant had the audacity to accuse Warner Bros. of violating the purported copyrights of the Infringing Book’s author in a timeline based on the Harry Potter Books – a complete fabrication apparently intended to deflect Plaintiffs’ complaints — but which merely serves to highlight the hypocritical nature of Defendant’s conduct.”

-The suit says that there is a “big difference between the innumerable Harry Potter fan sites’ latitude to discuss the Harry Potter Works in the context of free, ephemeral websites ad unilaterally repackaging those sites for sale in an effort to cash in monetarily on Ms. Rowling’s creative works in contravention of her wishes and rights.”

-JKR has been “careful not to license” other “tie-in or companion books” which merely “regurgitate her creative expression without adding valuable analysis or scholarly commentary…in part, because…she has authored and published her own Companion Books and intends to create additional companion books.”

-JKR’s agency, Christopher Little, heard about the book from an online listing on Publisher’s Marketplace. The book and its disclaimer-less title led JKR and her agency to contact the author.

Pre-lawsuit timeline, as detailed by the complaint:

September 12: The Christopher Little Agency e-mailed Steve Vander Ark with a copy cc’d to RDR books, containing a reminder of JKR’s plans to write a future book and a statement that JKR did not wish to grant rights to any third party. “Appealing to Mr. Vander Ark as a friend and supporter of Ms. Rowling and the Harry Potter books, Ms. Rowling’s agent asked Mr. Vander Ark to forgo publication of the Infringing Book.” The email went unresponded for six days.

September 18: JKR and WB’s lawyer forwarded a letter to RDR Books and Steve Vander Ark via e-mail, notifying them that the book would be infringing copyrights and citing precedent (Twin Peaks Productions, Inc. v. Publications Int’l, Ltd, and Castle Rock Entertainment v. Carol Publishing Group; the first regarding a book of Twin Peaks plot summaries and the second a book of Trivia about the Seinfeld series). The letter requested the publication cease, in the U.S. and to all foreign publishers, and asked for a list of those entities so that JKR’s lawyers could contact them directly.

September 18: Steve Vander Ark responded to JKR’s agent by e-mail saying he had “been asked to leave all correspondence in this matter to others.”

September 19: RDR Books replied, saying, “[i]t is our intention to thoroughly study the various issues you have raised and discuss them with our legal advisers.”

October 3: JKR and WB counsel wrote again, “after waiting another two weeks and receiving no substantive response…emphasizing their clients’ concerns and the impending publication date.” Roger Rapoport, president of RDR Books, requested more time due to a death in the family, which was given by JKR and WB’s counsel.

October 11: JKR and WB counsel discovered that in the time period in which he had requested for a “good faith” delay to deal with a death in the family, he had sent a “cease and desist” letter to WB regarding “a timeline appearing on some of the Harry Potter DVDs [that] infringed the Lexicon Website. Warner Bros. responded that it would look into the matter more fully. In the meantime Warner Bros. asked for a copy of the”print version” of the Lexicon Website referred to by RDR Books in order to aid in its evaluation of the claims. RDR Books summarily dismissed Warner Bros. reasonable request,” the suit claims, “stating rudely: ‘If you do not know how to print that material [from the Lexicon Website] please ask one of your people to show you how.’ ”

October 19: JKR and WB counsel wrote a third letter; RDR responded again that they would reply after looking into allegations.

October 23: Christopher Little Agency learns that RDR had recently offered the publishing rights for the book in Germany to Random House and in Taiwan to Crown Publishing. “Plaintiffs grew increasingly concerned during the course of these events because it appeared that RDR Books was duplicitously stalling its response to Plaintiffs’ concerns in order to surreptitiously promote the Infringing Book in advance of the rapidly-approaching publication date.”

October 24: JKR and WB counsel wrote a fourth letter to RDR Books, “expressing their grave concerns about RDR Books’ recent behavior and asking for confirmation that RDR Books would not publish the Infringing Book until it attempted to resolve this matter in good faith.” The lawyers also repeated their request for a copy of the book. They also set a deadline for response of Oct. 29.

October 24: RDR Books responded that the “Plaintiffs’ ‘unwarranted’ objections were not appreciated,” and that the book was a “print version of the Lexicon Website, which was allegedly permitted by Ms. Rowling, and that there were allegedly other Harry Potter guides similar to the Infringing Book on the market.” The suit says in response, “While Ms. Rowling has permitted some fan sites certain latitude to make use of the material in her books, these sites are generally free to the public and exist to enable fans to communicate, rather than to permit someone to turn a quick and easy profit based on her own creativity. Ms. Rowling never gave anyone permission to publish a 400-page Harry Potter Lexicon.”

October 31: Suit filed. “It is apparent that RDR Books has no intention of working with Plaintiffs to resolve this matter amicably. Plaintiffs therefore have no choice but to file this lawsuit.”

The suit also states that JKR and WB are concerned not only because they claim the book infringes and it conflicts with her own plans but because “RDR Books has confirmed…that it cannot be trusted with one of the most beloved children’s book series in history.”

The suit also quotes a statement made by Steve Vander Ark on his site, that says, “…I don’t give permission for people to just copy my work for their own use. Not only is that illegal, since everything in the Lexicon is copyrighted, it’s also just plain wrong. Hey, I did all the work,I put in all the time, it’s my skill and talent in this area which allowed the Lexicon to come into being. No one else has the right to use my work.” The suit says, “this is exactly what Defendant is attempting to do here in connection with Ms. Rowling’s work.

Without a review copy, JKR and WB’s lawyers have been told the book will be a “print version” of the Lexicon, which they maintain means it will surely infringe on JKR’s copyright. It mentions the maps and passages of the books that the Lexicon has on its site, as well as lists and facts, class schedules, potion ingredients and wizarding histories. “The Lexicon Website also slavishly copies lyrics to entire songs, lifts long passages directly from the Harry Potter Books, and transcribes magic spells word-for-word. In addition to copying the fictional facts and language of the books, the Lexicon Website also contains numerous infringing photos taken from Warner Bros. copyrighted Harry Potter films.”

It also cites the “lengthy plot summaries and detailed descriptions” of characters.

“These descriptions, character details and plot points comprise stories created and owned by Ms. Rowling, who has the sole right to control their distribution and who did not give permission to the Defendant to publish a book that stands to make millions of dollars off the back of Ms. Rowling’s creativity.”

The suit also maintains that the book will be marketed to mislead consumers, because it does not have a disclaimer in its title or subtitle and is referred to as ‘the most complete and amazing reference to the magical world of Harry Potter,’ which the suit claims “gives the false and misleading impression that the book is an official Harry Potter book and that Ms. Rowling or Warner Bros. has authorized it or is associated it with it in any way.”

The suit claims seven counts:
-Copyright Infringement
-Federal Trademark Infringement
-Unfair Competition and False Designation of Origin
-False Advertising
-Deceptive Trade Practices
-Unfair Competition
-Declaratory Judgment Regarding Copyright Infringement

The suit asks for the court to find that:
-RDR Books has infringed copyright and trademarks and used a misleading book cover, design and advertising materials to “falsely designate the origin of the Infringing Book, falsely advertise the Infringing Book, and unfairly compete with Plaintiffs.”
-RDR Books and defendants have engaged in deceptive trade practices
-The “Hogwarts Time Line” in the DVD does not infringe the Defendant’s copyrights
-There is a substantial likelihood that defendants will continue to infringe unless halted permanently

The suit also asks for:
- a permanent injunction against the Defendant and associated entities from selling or distributing works derived or copied from Harry Potter
- an order instructing a recall of the book
- a judgment for damages and profits

There has not yet been a reaction filed by RDR Books or any other defendant.


The Christopher Little Agency has also answered some questions for Leaky in response to what has been mentioned in comments:

-The difference between the book and the Lexicon web site is that “the website is free for all fans but the book is to be sold,” and “other free web sites are fine so long as the material is appropriate.”

-Regarding whether the Lexicon has rights due to JKR’s use of it in the past, the “Lexicon has no rights in Harry Potter.”

-They can’t comment on whether it would have really overlapped with J.K. Rowling’s intended because they haven’t seen the book, and this was why they wanted to review it.


The Harry Potter Lexicon is a partner site to The Leaky Cauldron.





832 Responses to J.K. Rowling Updates “Companion Books” Article; RDR Books Responds

Avatar Image says:

100% Jo! You have every right. Now I have to sit and read this thoroughly!

Avatar Image says:

How could somebody do that to JKR after everything she’s done for us? Seriously? Bad form.

Peace, Rotae

Avatar Image says:

The HP Lexicon just lost a lot of respect.

Avatar Image says:

Jo its your story, your world I’m behind you 100%. You had no choice after everythings been said. I still cant believe that Steve would do this, utterly appalled at his behaviour. God she must be so saddened by this, I would really like to hear what the Leaky gang thinks of all this. Cant wait to here your thoughts guys.

Avatar Image says:

The HP lexicon just got a lot more publicity :-D

I hope steve got money up front for the publishers use of his work because I doubt this unofficial lexicon will ever hit the shelves.

Avatar Image says:

It doesn’t seem like Steve has much to do with this. it seems to me that his publishers are telling him not to worry about and let them handle it because i’m sure they will lose money if they had to cease and desist. i’m torn because i can see how both sides have good reasons for doing the things that they do.

Avatar Image says:

and now with all this proof you try to exempt steve? come no. read the thing. He got the emails. He’s the author and could have stepped up and taken responsibility and he DID NOT.

Avatar Image says:

Tread carefully here. J.K. said she has used this site herself. There is room for both. While a J.K. book will have more substance (sub plots etc) the Lexicon’s will have the mundane details that Jo is too busy to put into print. The Lexicon should aim to complement J.K.’s work, not replace it. See all the Star Trek manuals for examples.

Avatar Image says:

It’s going to be funny seeing everyone who hated JKR this morning and turned their backs on her coming crawling back.

Avatar Image says:

Tread carefully here. J.K. said she has used this site herself. There is room for both. While a J.K. book will have more substance (sub plots etc) the Lexicon’s will have the mundane details that Jo is too busy to put into print. The Lexicon should aim to complement J.K.’s work, not replace it. See all the Star Trek manuals for examples.

Avatar Image says:

I am in total agreement with Jo here. Said agreement is further fueld by Steve and PDR’s bad behavior regarding the suit. Asking for an extension due to family tragedy and then using said time to prepare a lawsuit against WB and hawk the book to other countries? Distasteful.

I have the utmost respect for the Lexicon as a site, and have used it time and time again. If they’d just planned on publishing the book and then pulled out on it when they were first asked to at the beginning of September, I wouldn’t have any problem with it at all. But dragging this out in such a tacky manner has earned them this lawsuit.

As for the timeline being used on the PoA dvd. He might have an argument against WB for that, but not JKR. Not her doing. As for JKR using the site. She said she’s used it for quick reference when she doesn’t have her books with her. That doesn’t really change anything, and she used the SITE which has been said to be okay.

JKR has been more than lenient with her material. We have an entire movement of music based on her work- some of which does take direct passages from the books. There are loads upon loads of supplemental books for the series- both positive and negative. She encourages both fanfic and fansites. She’s not clamping down on every possible HP copyright like some have said.

Avatar Image says:

I’m behind J.K. Rowling 100%! But I don’t understand why Steve didn’t tell the public about his book?

Avatar Image says:

Under the advise of legal counsel I refuse to comment.

Avatar Image says:

New post on “What’s New” at HP Lexicon website! Not a word about this lawsuit!

Avatar Image says:

The name “Mozter” comes to mind…

Avatar Image says:

I admit, that this now sounds completely different and I really can understand Jo.

Avatar Image says:

It just makes me sad to think that Steve van der Ark would try to capitalize on this. The website has always been an open forum to all HP fans, and it doesn’t seem that he’s thought this through; to try to use what JKR has given us over so many years for his financial gain, when he is basically just a fan as well. The website is well organized but that doesn’t give him the right to get money for the structure of it, or for putting it in print, to get the jump on what Jo plans to do in the next few years.

Avatar Image says:

I’m not to worried about JK, Steve has no legal leg whatsoever. He’s shooting for the moon just to gain a bit of profit. Even if he wins this suit, the legal expenses alone is more than what he will be making because trust me there’s no chance in hell a true fan of JK will be buying this book. It’s in the Web for free for goodness’ sake! How badly does he need money to push through with this? Do you think he’s in some financial trouble or something?

Avatar Image says:

it seems like JK is on a run to sue anyone who tries to celebrate anything having to do with her books. This is the second time in a month she is trying to sue someone. I understand that they dont want anyone to cash in on anything having to do with HP, but come on. Is this that serious? Like another comment said, HP Lexi is probably trying to add little details for hardcore fans that JK thinks too mundane to put in her books.

Avatar Image says:

I am, also, 100% behind JKR! Given the “timeline”of events, leading to this, I am suprised at Steve Vanderark has acted so rashly and irresponsibly! How very sad. Events are more clear, now. I am, most definately, a fan of HP, JKR and TLC!

Avatar Image says:

I don’t understand how anyone could think that it’s okay for anyone except for JKR to make that book. I didn’t understand it even before JKR updated her news post. JKR has already quite famously stated that she’ll be writing the HP Encyclopedia herself…and everyone knows HP is copyright to her, her publishers, and Warner Bros. The Lexicon and those other publishers don’t make that list.

I won’t visit the Lexicon again. And if I ran Leaky, I wouldn’t want to be Partnered with them anymore.

Avatar Image says:

This is truly a sad turn in events relating to Harry Potter fans. JKR is completely right, which is sad…I must wonder why Steve would even write the book in the first place without checking with Jo…sighit appears the fandom has become large enough to begin to fracture…with the knowledge of Dumbleddore’s sexuality a portion of those who were prejuduiced broke off (though I can’t say it’s bad that the prejuduiced peopl left). Now the most respected fans are getting into trouble. October and November willnow be known as a sad period in HP fandom history. JKR is completely entitled to this.

Avatar Image says:

I’m still behind Steve.

Avatar Image says:

Let’s not bully Steve Vander Ark too quickly here. He may have used some bad judgment, but also may have gotten in over his head. The majority of the blame, from the lawsuit specifics, seem to fall on RDR Books, who stand to gain enormous profits.

J.K. Rowling and WB are trying to protect their property. RDR Books is trying to take what is not theirs.

Avatar Image says:

Whatever, he is the author, and has rights to tell his publisher to stop. Let’s not call him a meek little bystander either.

Avatar Image says:

Taking the “lexicon” & “leaky” sites off my favorites.

Shame on you.

Avatar Image says:

I am completely and utterly behind JKR. This is her work, that she’s been devoted to over the years. It’s taken her 17 years to complete it, should that deserve some respect?

How much joy have we all got from the books over the years? How many of us have grown up with Harry Potter? As fans, shouldn’t we be angry that someone who calls themselves a fan, would go and use JKR’s wonderful work for their own gain? Not only that, but putting a price on what they’ve offered for free before.

I’m appalled at this, and couldn’t believe it at first. My heart goes out to Jo, let her know some fans are staying true to her.

Avatar Image says:

Why taking Leaky off your sites? they didn’t do this and are he only ones telling us anything abou tit…

Avatar Image says:

cross-posting from another thread, I’m starting to forget which discussion is happening where, for which I apologize.

ok, so the legal argument now centers on whether or not the planned book is primarily composed of direct quotes from either JKR’s writings or interviews she gave. In that case, the matter does become one of publishing copyright [not intellectual property] —JKR owns (with WB, Scholastic, etc to some extent) the copyright to anything she wrote; the copyrights for interviews are usually held by the interviewer (that is, when she was interviewed by Meredith Viera, the copyright would be with MV’s employer, NBC. again, much depends on the contract JKR signed when she agreed to be interviewed).

Legally, anyone can write a book about HP (etc), and quote up to X number of words from a specific book (I do forget the exact number of words, its something like 3000 from a single published work) without seeking permissions from the copyright holder. If Steve’s project was to be a hard copy version of the site, then considerable portions would be direct quotes from JKR’s writings, and he can’t do that without the permissions. If on the other hand he paraphrased the bulk of the information, had as few direct quotes as possible, and provided correct full citations for his information (those good old foot/end notes!), he should be allowed to go ahead.

alas, i know a bit about the murky intellectual property legal debates, and a bit more about copyright (I say alas because I really wish I didnt need to know such things). Steve probably is being advised by his legal rep not to say a word at this time….

I just spotted Frtis’ psoting about nothing on Lexicon today. Again, Steve is probably being told to not say a word…

No matter how you cut it, this is sad.

Now, my personal (vs professional) opinions: 1. A Lexicon based what is available already on the web would almost certainly be very very different from what JKR ultimately gives us in the Encyclopedia. Therefore, there can be a market for both, IF a compromise can be found (perhaps a % of the Lexicon’s profits to charity? or “co-authorship”?). Let’s be honest, we’d all buy both!

2. Steve could recast the material along the lines suggested above, paraphrase, give citations for legal reasons and avoid direct quotes…and then he should be able to avoid legal problems. A lot of work, but not impossible.

Avatar Image says:

I didn’t have time to read the comments and respond this morning, but I supported Jo even before she updated the site. Steve wanted to make a profit on information that is out on the internet for everyone to see, and it’s not his original work (like the various analysis books out there about the series) but a compilation of information found in the books, information that is owned by the W.B. and J.K. Rowling. This is like someone writing summaries of the books and selling them to make money. I like Steve, but it was poor taste for him to continue to push this encyclopedia after being told not to go forward with it.

A little off topic, but isn’t the timeline used on the POA DVD incorrect anyway. I know it said Hermione was born in 1980, but we know she was born in 1979.

Avatar Image says:

Sorry about the “double post”.... @Susan…I don’t believe that JKR is “on a run to sue anyone who tries to celebrate anything having to do with her books”. As is now clear, she has a good reason, behind her suit. It was also attempted to stem this unfortunate event, even before all this “hoopla”. It could have VERY EASILY BEEN AVOIDED. I am pretty sure (my own opinion, BTW) that JK has quite a bit in mind, for her Encyclopedia, that is not “too mundane” for hardcore fans. How rediculus to even suggest such a thing! JMHO

Avatar Image says:

Steve’s publisher went about the whole thing wrongly. It seems JKR’s people have tried time and time again to have a dialog about this. But that camp didn’t seem willing. Well, now they get to reap the reward of not talking. I find it difficult to feel to badly considering the information presented in this article. Steve, you should have just talked to her.

Avatar Image says:

I am thinking that Steve is going to get a load of crap for this. He did not make himself look too great. Jo’s doing an awful lot of suing lately though isn’t she?

Avatar Image says:

Jo has got to be kidding. Who is giving her advice these days? They should be fired. What a public relations disaster. Suing the Lexicon – after she’s admitted she’s gone to the Lexicon to look up facts herself?

Has she been imperio cursed or something?

Very disappointed – this could have been handled so much better. Fire your PR firm, Jo – they are giving you terrible advice on how to handle these things. Or take a long break. zr

Avatar Image says:

Hey Steve – create your own ideas and publish a book not poach someone else’s work. This includes the many contributors on the Lexicon that have written essays and articles. You could save face by contributing every penny to J.K.’s charity.

Avatar Image says:

I’m with you Jo 100%. The Lexicon should be ashamed that they have to put Jo through all this. People are talking all this junk about her without knowing the full story. Jo’s going to write an ecyclopedia and that’s the only one I’ll read.

Avatar Image says:

Seems to me JKR is entirely within her rights to protect all the wonderful work she’s done.

But this is very sad. I’d like to hear from Steve VanderArk.

Avatar Image says:

I’m so confused as to what is going on.

Steve’s trying to publish a print version of the Lexicon and Jo and WB are saying it’s copyright infringement? Am I getting this right?

Someone help me out here.

Avatar Image says:

ZoeRose,she not suing the lexicon site,that has nothing to do with this

“this could have been handled so much better”

what is she supposed to do when steve and the publishing company ignore her request for 2 months?

Avatar Image says:

This is just weird and awkward and unexpected. I’m still reserving judgment until we get even more information. Many did previously agree, before all of this happened, that WB totally did use the Lexicon’s timeline, though. Just sayin’. Thanks Leaky for getting this stuff to us so quickly. :)

Avatar Image says:

Oh yaeh, one more thing. Why is Leaky backing up the Lexicon for anyways? I always loved Leaky but maybe not so much anymore…What Jo did was right. It’s HER stories. HER characters and HER world. She was just kind enough to share it with us. And now Steve feels the need to take advantage of this? I’m ashamed, if anything.

Avatar Image says:

Hmm so how was this a PR disaster? PR wise this was handled very well, a great amount of sympathy is on JK’s side and only Steve’s “fans” are siding with him on this one.

So she used Lexicon’s site, what does have to do with copyright infringement? Absolutely nothing. The Lexicon is a collection of HER work. What is once free for every fan of HP, Steve is now trying to profit from it. He has no legal or ethical leg to stand. None whatsoever.

Avatar Image says:

Ouch. I really assumed that this was going to be an analytical companion book. I mean, why would an encyclopedia full of things HP fans already know be a good idea? ...The whole reason JRK was writing one of her own was to release NEW information.

This summary changes my view on the case..

Avatar Image says:

Sounds like bad judgment on lexicon and the publishers part.(Though mostly the publishers because they have more to gain or loose) This very unfortunate.

Avatar Image says:

I like Steve so I don’t think he intentionally did anything. Then again, I haven’t read much on this, but i mean still. you know? How sad.

Avatar Image says:

I’m so confused. What exactly is the issue here?

Avatar Image says:

I agree with what this girl said: http://shampoopy.livejournal.com/4166.html

I am sure lots of people will now come crawling back. Not just shame on Lexicon, shame on the fans that turned on Jo so very quickly. How awful Jo must have felt all day having to read some of the comments about her!

Avatar Image says:

It was very nice to hear some more explanation on this!! I think I feel the same as everyone else seems to: I’m very sad for the Lexicon but agree that it’s in Jo’s right to do this.

Avatar Image says:

This is a tough and messy issue. I guess I think that if Jo thought the online Lexicon was cool, she’s being a little petty suddenly saying that Steve is not entitled to sell the same material in book form, after all the hours of work he put into the website. That website was one of the fan sites that helped promote the books and therefore increase HER success, after all. It’s not hard to extrapolate that he realized that finally he could get some compensation for all his effort, and that if Jo approved the site why wouldn’t she approve the book? (Fans need to eat too!) On the other hand, Jo certainly has the legal right to retain control over her creations.

I think one solution is that Steve should apologize (even if it was really his publishers up to whatever negotiations were happening) and agree to give the majority of the proceeds from the book to the charity or charities of Jo’s choosing, keeping only a small portion as payment for his web work (which DID, after all, support Jo’s own income). The book should be clearly identified as “Unofficial”. Jo and her lawyers and the WB folks should definitely see galley proofs and be able to demand changes pertaining to copyright issues. But I think the book should be allowed, after that scruitiny.

Jo’s Encyclopedia will not be out for years. It will sell extremely well because people who already bought (at least) 7 books are likely to be completists about having EVERYTHING. Steve’s book can only have content that already exists along with any speculation he may have, so Jo’s book will have tons of new (to us) material and be totally definitive. Therefore worth having even if you do have Steve’s book, too.

Obviously, this is just my opinion. But I hope the issue can be resolved with minimal anger and animosity. (I suspect that this suit is actually meant to scare off any other vultures who want to make a buck off Rowling’s work, even more than to stop or punish Steve. And in that regard, I kind of wish sh’ed laid down the law earlier, there is some serious drek out there!)

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Leaky isn’t backing the lexicon, they’re just saying they’re partners. you have to admit that stuff even if you don’t wnat to i guess. i really wonder what leaky’s stance really is.

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Steve, what were you thinking? Seriously…

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I think the lexicon’s website is down as well?

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Heidi,

You had it right, the argument is that Steve VA’s planned book would be primarly composed of direct quotes from JKR’s writings, and that the legal folks are stepping in to prevent publication on grounds of copyright infringement.

So, let’s hope a sensible compromise is worked out?

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Still appalled that JKR is all bent out of shape. If a print version of the lexicon will detract from her own encyclopedia (which could and probably is years off) that guess what? THE ONLINE VERSION WILL TOO!!! So what’s the problem? A guy selling something he made? For shame! Some of the blind devotion to JKR is scaring me.

Besides that, the “lawsuit for charity” bit has me rolling.

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I dont blame Steve too much for this. First of all, what we were reading were excerpts from the case. That means that JKR’s lawyers wrote that whole bit about him being rude etc. That is probably not entirely accurate. It is their job to make a persuasive argument making this essentially Anti-Steve propaganda in order to win the case. JKR created the fandom but Steve created the Lexicon. He may have gone about it the wrong way but his idea to publish it is not all that crazy..

honestly, we dont know all the facts of the case so I think its cute how quickly everyone wants to pretend they know who is definitely right and definitely wrong. I have faith that Jo would not arbitrarily sue one of her biggest fans but at the same time, i’m annoyed about all the negative comments about Steve.

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APPALLED that people can take side with steve here. unbelievable. let’s not paint him as a poor pawn here, he had every right NOT TO DO IT and had the COMMON SENSE not to either. phlease.

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Jo’s obviously read some of the comments out here today and that’s why she has updated her site… It’s sad that she should feel the need to justify herself to her fans! Agreeing with everyone who’s said shame on those who so quickly turned their backs on her.

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Somethingwicked: I did not pick up any indication of support or otherwise for the Lexicon on Leaky’s part. I’m sure Melissa and the other senior staff are attempting to remain entirely neutral and not make any rash decisions. After all it has only been two days, any sudden decisions from leaky would not be a good idea at this moment. They are simply reporting the news, as always, and giving all the facts available to them.

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“A guy selling something he made?”

I didn’t know Steve made Harry Potter

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He made the lexicon. That’s what he’s selling. More power to him.

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I have never understood how comercial HP websites or reference books got away with making money from Rowlings work. When I finshed reading this and understood that Rowling had tried to the utmost to be polite, and these people simply ignored an authors right to her own work… for shame. And to have the audacity to claim that she owed you due when you were attempting to make money from her work! I’m done with the Lexicon.

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Heidi – copyright infringement is very straightforward for this case. If you write a review, commentary (with the proper citations of course) then you are absolutely free to do so. But the Lexicon as it stands is a set of direct compilation of her work. Now the Worldwide Web is different. Copyright is very sketchy here since there is little to no profit.

But once he prints the Lexicon as a book to sell for profit the rules become clearer. And considering most of its content are direct quotations, facts taken from JK’s work or interviews (since it is an encyclopedia) then it is most definitely copyright infringement.

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I seem to remember several original essays being contained in the lexicon, so let’s stop pretending Steve just regurgitated the books, ok?

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unless that book is ALL ESSAYS, then yes, he just regurgitated the books. and if the book is all essays then it’s not a lexicon. so let’s not be blind.

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“He made the lexicon. That’s what he’s selling. More power to him.”

So if he writes and sells a book about the marauder’s adventures at hogwarts and does a really good job after putting a lot of hard work into it,more power to him right?

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I’m just going to repost what I posted on the comments 2 news posts ago. I also want to add that I don’t respect people who lie either. Jo lying about never been asked about DD’s love life. Wow. Not just one time, but repeating it on bbc this today. I don’t feel sorry for her.

“The community group that created the replica is in a quandary after being summoned to a Delhi high court in a copyright infringement suit seeking two million rupees ($50,140 Cdn) for permission to show the castle.

In Rowling’s books, Hogwarts is traditionally protected by magical spells. In this case, the size of the fine may be enough to deter the group.”

aource: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2007/10/11/hogwarts-replica.html

I lost my respect for this woman when I read about this. She maybe right about this, but she is no nice at all.

Posted by Not on November 01, 2007 @ 12:19 AM

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And I cannot believe that some people here are arguing that once an authors material is out there for fans to play with, the author must simply submit to what ever they want to do! That they lose the right to decide what happens to their own work! Is this seriously the Pro-Lexicon argument!!

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Not: The suit was dropped. That is old news. They were allowed to keep the castle.

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I’m behind steve too. Sorry, but I think some of you have crossed the line from ‘fan’ to ‘suck up’. Steve isn’t using JKR’s material, hes compiling it all into a reference work, referencing her material, I don’t believe is illegal. I have a big problem with Jo’s people saying Steve wants to “turn a quick and easy profit based on her own creativity.” First of all, by no means do I think compliling the lexicon was either quick, or easy. Its taken a long time and I believe Steve has likly complied a more organized compleate work then Jo herself (who has admitted to using it, and futhermore admitted to using it when she ‘couldnt run intoa bookstore and buy a copy’ or her own book to factcheck. The fact she phrased it like this instead of saying ‘refer to my own notes’, makes me think she knows this is a more compleate organized work then her notes. Making an encyclopedia and making a fiction or fantasy novel are two very different tasks, and I belive Jo is more qualified for one, and Steve for the other. I will not be surprised if Jo’s work takes some pages from the Lexicon website’s style/organization. I will admit RDR is handling the situation poorly and childishly. Its too bad Steve is afiliated with them. But I still support him and his right to publish this book.

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Jee: that’s my site (http://shampoopy.livejournal.com/4166.html), glad you agree ;)

I have to join in with the “shame on you” to the people who turned their backs on Jo without knowing the full story (not just referring to people at Leaky comments – most of the worst comments i’ve seen today have been elsewhere) and will now, likely, come crawling back. It’s awful Jo had to justify herself on her website. No doubt shes read comments here and there today and felt just awful!

I hope it can all be resolved quickly and with very little stress.

I’ll support Jo always. I am grateful for everything she has given us all these years.

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“He made the lexicon. That’s what he’s selling. More power to him.

Posted by Corey”

He made the Lexicon using Jo’s work. So when you really think about it, all the information on the Lexicon, not including reviews, essays, etc, are Jo’s property. If Steve was just going to publish the essays, reviews, thoughts, then yes, he would be fine. But he’s publishing what’s Jo’s, and not his. And no, we’re not talking about the website, we’re talking about most of the content on the website itself. And most of it is not his. So he has no right to publish any of Jo’s copyrighted work.

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JK Rowling has been far more lenient with her copyrighted material over the years than some other authors I could mention. She is one of the few authors I know who actively encourages fan fiction, for example. It’s sad to see her kindness and trust in us repaid this way.

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Ed, she is talking about the Lexicon BOOK, not the free website.

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Ugh, while I care about JKR and stuff, this is all really silly business. JKR used the Lexicon, the Lexicon made a big mistake and denies stuff, and now there’s a big case again the Lexicon, who had pretty much organized JKR’s piles of paper. Silly mainly for the Lexicon (which’s being stupid), and sad now that all the books are out and JKR won’t be writing for a few years. Well, at least I have Shakespeare to study (no sarcasm, don’t kill me, I like it). I honestly just hope this spat with end abruptly and we will get some cool movie news soon.

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I just want to say I support jk rowling and steve in this. I think it was a unwise of Steve to consider this, but its to be seen if he sought to publish this, or said publisher apporched him.

J.K. Rowling created the entire harry potter world in which the lexicon could never exist in the first place without it. the timelines, which were compiled by steve, and I thank him for it because they are really great and helpful were compiled from material copyrighted and owned by jk rowling. all of the events in the timeline are copyrighted by jo, Steve just did a absolutly wonderful thing by sitting down and working out the order.

I love the lexicon and I feel sad that a Publisher has forced it to come to this. I dont think Steve is the kind of person who would have done this will ill intent towards jo, but knowing there was to be a encylopedia as fans have known from comments by jo for four or five years, I would have thought he would have taken the cue not to publish his own.

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I would be shocked if JKR wasn’t planning to use the Lexicon to write her encyclopedia.

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So, the issue is that Jo and Wb says it’s copyright, and Steve and his publishers say it isn’t, is that it?

If you’re a true Harry Potter fan and you try to publish something on the books and Jo says that it’s copyright, how can you argue against her?

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Wow, I think Steve’s publishers messed up big-time.

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Oh, c’mon, is JKR within her rights? Obviously. See, LegalBeagle’s post.

That’s not the point. The point is why can’t he still put out his book? He’s just compiling the material for reference, not creating new stories to sell.

I’d be flippin’ honored if someone wanted to put together reference works based on a world I created.

Sounds like she needs to take a lesson from the Serenity/Firefly crowd and let fans have a little freedom.

Will she win? Of course. But that doesn’t change the fact that it still stinks.

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Not: The suit was dropped. That is old news. They were allowed to keep the castle.

Posted by Kelly on November 01, 2007 @ 04:16 PM

The point is she sued. I remember reading that the judge told the group not to use it without permission again, and not award jo an award. Good for him.

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Bad form, Steve. Shame.

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awkward….

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“the most complete and amazing reference to the magical world of Harry Potter”

How does that give “the false and misleading impression that the book is an official Harry Potter book”?

I think this is an idiot suit, and I also think (and have thought for years) that copyright law needs some major revisions. Creative Commons (and the like) FTW!

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Ashes, of course it is illegal to take someone else’s work without permission and then present it in a re-organised form for sale. You cannot simply ‘compile’ someone’s intellectual property in this way. If it contains mostly original comment and analysis that would be different, as it would be if permission had been granted but….it seems it doesn’t and it definitely hasn’t.

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This is another example of someone trying to cash in. Harry Potter belongs to JK and WB. Period. Or should I say “full stop.”

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Just because you compiled someone’s work, no matter how good a job or how hard you worked doesn’t mean you can publish it. You did all those on your own volition because you enjoyed it as a fan. Why should you profit it from it?

I still think that Steve is in some sort of financial trouble. No way you would risk all your hard work and good will he created with JK unless he really needs money.

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wow. just wow, redwall. come on. it’s like someone taking all the pics from your flickr or imageshack or whatever, putting them in a book in different order, and selling them as “A book of Redwall’s photography.” You might be honored but your copyright is also violated and if they make a success of that book, they’ll be denying you tons of money. Whether or not JKR has tons of money already is irrelevant; it’s her creation. period.

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I think the fact that the Lexicon website did so well got to Steves head. He should have had more respect and common sense than to do this. What was he thinking??? That JK and WB wouldnt say anything when theres SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many excerpts and quotes from the books, movies, and interviews that are typed word for word??? Common Steve just give it up.

And to Corey, Yes he made the Lexicon and without JK and the Harry Potter books and movies he wouldnt have made anything. So technically he’s selling what JK made and is rightfully hers. Common Sense Buddy…..

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Man, what an interesting couple of weeks, Dumbledore came out, Lexicon and its pubs are being sued, J.K.Rowling actually hasn’t taken a break from writing, she wrote another book, but mostly just for close friends, family and top potter people and finally, Hagrid’s Hut is being built…AGAIN. My head is spinning.

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This is mess.

I mostly blame Steve’s publishers, not Steve. They clearly goofed up here. I don’t think Steve is trying to make commercial profit off of this book. But from the looks of it, his publishers are.

I would like to hear from him, get his perspective.

I really hope this can be resolved quickly. And I am still hoping to get a print version of the Lexicon. (I’ve been hoping for a long time)

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Not: Sorry, I think you’re wrong. Did you read the comments to the post? It’s standard legal action. The copyright needs to be enforced so people don’t think they can do whatever they want with their material in the future. This is especially true as the books are over. They fully expected it to be settled in a non-messy manner, and it was. Just as they probably fully expected THIS mess to be settled as well without a mess.

MORE importantly- I don’t recall Jo being even involved in that suit! I know it said her name on top of the Leaky headline, but there’s no snippets from her or anything of the like. So did SHE even sue? In fact, being that the lawsuit dealt with Hogwarts castle as seen in the movies and not the books, it’s WB’s territory not hers.

And a lot of these suits would be resolved by one very simple action- ask permission!! Shame on those who do things like this and don’t.

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I was fully behind JKR last night and I’m fully behind her now. Go Jo!

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wow. I just don’t know what to think about all of this. It’s all very complicated. Such a shame that this happened. I don’t think Steve intentionally meant to infringe copyright. I hope it all turns out okay for both parties.

Good luck Jo and Steve.

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I didn’t know common sense meant going to court everytime someone said “Harry Potter” without your permission.

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Heidi, You are getting the idea, yes, WB, JKR’s folks, and so on are saying the planned Lexicon publication would violate her copyrights. Tho, since we have not heard from SVA or RDR publishing in detail on that issue, nor have we seen any comparision of the planned book and what JKR has written, we don’t (and won’t) know ourselves. As someone put it (sorry, I forget who), a team would need to sit down with the book manuscript and really do a word by word, sentence by sentence comparison and even a word count to see if SVA’s manuscript violated copyright laws.

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Errr, you are exaggerating wildly Cody.

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Not: Think about what you are saying when you accuse JKR about lying about Dumbledore. The question was asked before the realease of Deathly Hallows and she was not revealing any secrets from that book. She would have given away what she revealed about his relationship with Grindlewald. Get off it already.

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I was not aware of this story until a few minutes ago when I read it on Leaky and I of course stand by JK Rowling. It saddens me that people would comment on Leaky(which is a Harry Potter fan site) and support Steve. Harry Potter was written by JK Rowling and she is the reason that we all have read and come to love the Harry Potter books . I’m amazed to hear that some fans are against JK Rowling and those who are should be ashamed of themselves.

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What silliness. I don’t see the point of turning a website that anyone can access (and for free, mind) into a book anyhow (well, the monetary profit obviously, but I mean aside from that).

Also, I doubt JKR is worried about the Lexicon book being competition for her own encyclopaedia. That’s just nonsense.

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Corey,

Its common sense when theres so much money involved. Its not right to take away from Charity and from the pocket of the person who came up with all these wonderfull ideas. It doesnt matter how much shes already made. She deserves every penny she makes. And its not right for someone to take ANY kind of credit for her work. If it wasnt for JK then Steve wouldnt have a website PERIOD.

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Corey: Tons of supplemental books, the entire Wizard Rock movement, close to millions of fanfictions and fanarts, and all these fansites likely agree with your statement- as imagine this- they’ve never gone to court for using “Harry Potter.”

It seems Jo agrees as well that it’s not necessary. She’s very lenient.

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This whole thing makes me very, very sad.

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It’s like this people….

Steve walks into a store of a high end cloths designer. The clothes are laying on the floor, but everyone around the world is able to go there to experience them. The designer created these clothes and is planning to eventually hang the clothes up…

But Steve comes in and starts hanging the clothes up himself, he even does it in order of year they were made and color.

Everyone loves what Steve did and Steve is proud that he made this designers clothes look nice in the store….

BUT, now Steve is getting greedy and wants to be paid for his organization skills even though the designer never asked him to do this.

So Steve starts taking video of the store where he organized the designers clothes and is now going to sell the video to make money.

The designer ask him not to because the clothes are HER creation and she wants people to experience them at the store, not in the video.

The designer has every right to stop Steve from selling that video. She never asked Steve to organize her clothes, it’s nice that he did, but she never asked him to. It is selfish and greedy of Steve to try and profit from her creation…

The End

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I remember hearing Steve’s presentations at Prophecy, and he kept talking about how Jo has stepped out of the fandom, and it’s time for the fans to step in.

Jo is not finished, even though Steve really preached to the fans that it is time for us to do with the characters and content as we want. I think he is getting Harry Potter confused with his past fandom, Star Trek… It’s not a free-for-all yet, especially because Jo plans to continue with an encyclopedia of her own.

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As has been pointed out several times, the idea that Steve’s book would take money away from Jo’s is a JOKE. And if it wasn’t for Steve, Jo would have had to buy her own books so she could figure out what she’d written!

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Someone mentioned the original essays on the site…. I had an essay up there once. I don’t know if it still is up there. If it were to appear in the book, I wouldn’t be ok with that. Not only because of everything that is happening, but because I wasn’t asked. Now, its probably not still there, nor would it probably be in the book, but its how I feel.

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Jo Rowling is a control freak who created a world that got to big for her to control. My respect for her has GONE.

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@ Kelly,

I didn’t address the this lexicon lawsuit except to say I don’t feel sorry for jk. Second, the indian lawsuit, jo was part of it. Her layers were involved.

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Thank you for this! I was seriously wondering how on earth I managed to read that article yesterday without picking up all the things about Steve and the lexicon++. :P But this explaines it..!! :P Now, back to studying for my religion test tomorrow.. :(

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Thanks Ashes, that was what I was trying to say in the comments of the other article. Jo is better at writing novels and Steve is probably better at writing an encyclopedia.

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Jo could look at her own notes if she needed to remind herself of something. Just a thought.

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Very well put, Neptune

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I just want to add that in NO WAY does the Lexicon book take money away from Jo’s encyclopedia – a book she says she hasn’t even started yet. It could be years before hers comes out and it will have new stuff in it. This whole thing has made me feel the fandom is swirling down the plug.

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Except that she publicly stated she used the lexicon when she couldn’t find a book!

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I guess I just want to know how much Steve was personally involved in this. I don’t want to jump to the idea that he did this purely for personal gain, least of all because I really enjoy him on Canon Conundrums.

So for now I blame the people at RDR until I hear evidence to the contrary.

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Neptune: have you heard Steve say that he wants to get paid for his organizational skills?

So far, the only factual intention we can glean from this whole debacle is that he wants to make a print version of the Lexicon.

I personally do not believe Steve is doing it because he wants to get paid for it. He’s doing cause he loves HP and wants to share all his hard work in another medium. That’s my personal opinion.

Frankly, the publishers are the ones who are most at fault. What the heck were they thinking when they sent that complaint about the timeline?

I think we need to hear Steve’s perspective on this.

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And that doesn’t give him legal rights TO HER WORK!!!

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Jamie, JKR created Harry Potter. She owns the right to all things HP. It is HER property. She has every right to protect it. NO ONE has the right to take her creation and try to profit from it without her permission. NO ONE not ever “poor ol’ Steve” from the lexicon who took all of her info and re-packaged it to make some money…

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GO JO! I support you 100% on this one.

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Corey – JK and WB didn’t “just sue”, they contacted Steve and his publishers since Sept and tried many times to work things out behind the scenes. But they never answered and kept pushing for the publication and made flimsy excuses while negotiating with out-of-country publishers. Obviously they were trying to stall so they can make a few bucks before WB shut them down. Unfortunately for them, JK and WB took pre-emptive action and I doubt his book will ever hit the shelves.

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Not: I didn’t address the lexicon suit either in my reply to you. The Indian situation involved something that could have been avoided by asking permission. Also, JK said absolutely nothing on the issue.

I just can’t believe how people can jump JK for these couple situations when on the overall she has been EXTREMELY lenient.

Corey: You don’t think she owns her own books? She used it a couple times when she was on vacation and didn’t have them with her. I personally wouldn’t lug those bricks around.

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I support Jo in this 100%! Shame on the Lexicon!

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“I don’t want to jump to the idea that he did this purely for personal gain”

What other possible gain? He wasn’t donating the money to charity, he wasn’t adding anything to the universe that anyone couldn’t get on his site. So material and immaterial reasons are accounted for. Of COURSE he was doing it for personal gain.

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I didn’t know common sense meant going to court everytime someone said “Harry Potter” without your permission.

Posted by Corey on November 01, 2007 @ 04:30 PM

@Corey…After all the attempts made by JK, WB and her people have been rebuffed by Steve and crew, did you really expect her to just lie down and not fight back. Unbelieveable! You are really blinded by your affection for Steve. Sad.

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Wayne, whether Steve is the best/worst/most middling encyclopaedia compiler the world has ever known is totally irrelevant to this case. It is not about the quality of his work or the extent of his efforts, but about whether he has the right to produce this book.

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“I’m amazed to hear that some fans are against JK Rowling and those who are should be ashamed of themselves.”

I agree. It’s sad to see that some fans don’t understand how unusually generous JK Rowling has been in giving her fans such a free hand with her material and take it for granted. This sort of thing is only going to make authors become even more protective of their work in the future.

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Wow..fans are really fickle. Chill out guys. This isn’t about you. Its between Jo’s Lawyers and who every they are suing. Its interesting news, not the end of the HP fandom.

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Philip Pullman, quoted in THE ELEMENTS OF HIS DARK MATERIALS: A GUIDE TO PHILIP PULLMAN’S TRILOGY

“It’s flattering, of course, to find one’s work the object of such care and attention; but how much more satisfying when the work of reference that results is so accurate, and so interesting, and so full.”

Shame on you, Mrs. Murray.

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I cannot reach HP-lexicon anymore. The whole situation, the scenario is just grotesque from my point of view.

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Flattering does not equal legal.

And it’s Mrs. Murray now? ! Talk about disrespect?

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TigerLily, does he say anything about people who cash in on his hard work?

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Thanks, Melissa, for the detailed post explaining what’s going on with this whole mess. Like most everybody else, I had no clue Steve was even writing a book until this happened yesterday, and it’s kind of a sad situation all around. Steve obviously has spent a great deal of time on the Lexicon site and I always enjoy the “Cannon Conclundrums” part of PotterCast that he participates in, so I’m reticent to think ill of him. However, we’re all here because we love Jo’s work, and it is HER work, not ours, no matter how much we love it or how much effort we may put into paying tribute to it. Technically, Jo doesn’t even have to allow any Potter WEBSITES to exist outside of the ones she and Warner Brothers authorize, but as she has said, they’re available to everyone free of charge and she appreciates the sites and those who maintain them. But books are different from websites. And sadly, a book that sounds suspiciously like the very sort of unofficial Harry Potter encyclopedia Jo doesn’t want published (particularly when its publishers refuse to share its contents with Jo or her multitude of legal and business people), does seem more like an attempt to cash in on the whole Harry Potter phenomenon than an attempt to serve as a resource for the fandom. The Lexicon website is already seen by fans as THE place to go for quick reference of facts and details (just like Leaky and Mugglenet are THE places to go for news!), so the respect and acknowledgment for the effort in creating and maintaining it is already there. (And fansite acknowledgment doesn’t get much higher than an official site award kudos from Jo!) If it really wasn’t about money, why not concede to the initial requests from the lawyers and try to work WITH Jo (since she’s notorious for accidentally Flinting some of the numerical aspects of her world) on the official encyclopedia instead? I’ll not pass judgment on Steve himself (particularly since he hasn’t made any kind of official statement on his participation in this, so we’re really just speculating about his motives), but as far as the lawsuit goes, Jo is definitely within her rights to try to stop the book.

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You can say that again, IndigoMisfit. and oh dear, the lexicon has been updated, but without any word of the suit. blah, I wonder when he can talk about it. Wow, to go from such a slow news period to so many controversial issues popping up is kinda’ overwhelming, I can only imagine how those that work on the site feel! geez louise…can’t wait for PC’s and MC’s input on this. it’s been a while since the last leakymug, eh?

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You cannot assume Steve did this for personal, monetary gain. I frankly would never believe it.

I think it a hundred times more likely that he’s just trying to get some extra revenue for the wesbite. I will be dissapointed to find otherwise.

He ought to have made it for charity in the first place, or put a disclaimer in the title, or explained it was to support the website…

He ought to have done a lot.

But I’m not going to irrevocably judge him until I hear his side of the story.

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Now that I’ve read all the info, I’m 100% on Jo’s side. It seems like Jo tried to solve this as easily as possible, but RDR didn’t cooperate. I love hearing Steve on Pottercast, but I’m just on Jo with this one.

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Corey, your vast bias is showing. She knows her world more than anyone on the planet. She doesn’t need Steve to “help” her with it. Just because her notebooks are in boxes and not organized on shelves does not mean that she can put together a spectacular encyclopedia, which, as she has stated NUMEROUS times, will include every tidbit from the world she created, from A to Z. Even if Jo said “OK” to Steve’s book there would be no need of it.

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I think some of these “fans” are starting to believe their “fame” from running HP fan websites is free rein to JKR’s work.

No one, no fan, not you, not me, not Steve have the right to make money off of JKR’s creation without her consent. I think fans are forgetting this. I think some people believe they own the rights to HP, but they don’t, JKR does and she has every right to protect her art. Some people need a wake-up call.

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As has been pointed out several times, the idea that Steve’s book would take money away from Jo’s is a JOKE. And if it wasn’t for Steve, Jo would have had to buy her own books so she could figure out what she’d written!

Posted by Corey on November 01, 2007 @ 04:35 PM

Ok seriously dude, She would have to buy her own books??!! Are you on crack?! She has all the information written down in her notes wether in books, journals, pieces of paper etc. I’m sure she used the lexicon because it was more CONVENIENT to just look it up rather than hevingto go through her books. And I’m sure the facts she wanted were small things, you all makin it sound as if she relied on the lexicon heavily to finish the books when that is not the case.

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My guess is that Steve has signed a contract and accepted an advance for the book. He has to work with RDR on this, and their behaviour is appalling.

I’m sure that JKR did not expect it to come to this and while I’m saddened, I understand why she is taking the action.

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KioRustleweed, I agree with you 100% and you stated what I said a moment ago with a good deal more eloquence. Isn’t it possible that Steve WASN’T doing this for the money? We shouldn’t judge him immediately before we hear more!

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Not: Think about what you are saying when you accuse JKR about lying about Dumbledore. The question was asked before the realease of Deathly Hallows and she was not revealing any secrets from that book. She would have given away what she revealed about his relationship with Grindlewald. Get off it already.

Posted by tinagin on November 01, 2007 @ 04:32 PM

She said she was NEVER asked about dumbledore being in love with anyone before. That is a lie. she was asked in the peter show. That is different then saying she didn’t want to answere before because it would give away DH. Sorry if me pointing out jk as a lier bothers you.

Here is what she said on bbc today, and below is the question she was asked in the blue peter show. People can judge for themselves if she told a lie on bbc today or not, but to me that is called lying.

“No-one ever asked me had he ever been in love or fallen in love. People were very focussed on what happens to Harry so I had never been asked a direct question.

“And because to answer it would immediately flag up an infatuation with what happens in book seven, I never said it.”

ROSE: My question is did Albus Dumbledore ever fall in love?

JKR: Ummmm… Well, in the course of a long life, I think nearly everyone falls in love, but you probably shouldn’t read too much into that answer. BBC “Blue Peter” Show Interview July 20, 2007

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Neptune, I’ll say it once again:

You cannot say for certain that Steve was doing this just to make money.

I don’t believe it. If it turns out he did, then I will be very disappointed.

Now whether his publishers were doing it to “cash in,” thats another story. It could be bad judgement on Steve’s part.

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Not, maybe you haven’t considered the possibility that she forgot? She does a lot of interviews.

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wow.. I hadn’t realised it was this bad.

Still, I’m very glad that you put the “The Harry Potter Lexicon is a partner site to The Leaky Cauldron” part at the end, I’m not entirely sure why, but it just seems honourable :P

runs away

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KioRustleweed, Who is he NOT making money from this? He made a book version of the already free online lexicon and it’s being sold on the book publishers website for $24.95. Nowhere on the book does it say “unofficial” but it does have Steve’s name and promotes his free lexicon website. He will see about $3 for each book, meaning he is making MONEY by re-packaging JKR’s hard work.

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I meant how not who….

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RDR has misbehaved, yes. But legally, you’re allowed to quote from a book without permission up to about 3000 words, and you’re allowed to reference other books as much as you like! Why doesn’t Steve just paraphrase and reference?

He can also write on the cover a disclaimer. JK’s encyclopedia would be entirely different from Steve’s Lexicon – it would have new stuff, and Steve is just quoting old stuff.

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“You cannot say for certain that Steve was doing this just to make money.”

But i’m pretty certain the publishing company was doing this just to make money.

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Thank you Eva.

Folks, we haven’t heard anything from Steve yet. He may have made bad judgment with his choice of publishers (or in his email responses) but we really shouldn’t condemn him until we hear from him.

I sincerely doubt he wanted a print form of the Lexicon to cash in on the fandom. If that were the case, I think he would’ve skipped the FREE website.

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Not, maybe you haven’t considered the possibility that she forgot? She does a lot of interviews.

Posted by Eva on November 01, 2007 @ 04:51 PM

I did consider that but this is not the first time she said she was never asked before. she also said it the day after the DD come out too. She could’ve checked it. It was not hard to get this qoute. I got it from leaky page.

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The publishers are legally allowed to make money quoting other people’s books, and it’s not taking away from JK’s encyclopedia – it’s entrely different.

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Neptune, just because the book will make money, doesn’t mean he wrote simply because he wanted to make money.

Don’t confuse the two.

I agree that publishers probably DO want cash in. Bad judgement on Steve’s part. But bad judgement in choosing that company, not in wanting to make a print form of the Lexicon.

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Hmm, if Steve did get an advance for the book and perhaps spent the money already, then he has no choice but to stand by with RDR books on this one. If that’s the case then this is a truly sad story.

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KioRustleweed are you a Steve fan? Explain to me how he’s not making money from his lexicon book. He went to a publisher and agreed to publish the lexicon website in book form. They are charging $25 for the book on the publishers website. The book has Steve’s name on it as the author. STEVE will be getting paid for every book that sells. He will be making money by re-packaging JKR’s info….

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I do not understand why it could have been possible to make a Harry Potter Lexicon book without clarifying the judicial condition, or did I understand something wrong? If so Steve is to blame not to have asked the author(Rowling)of the books, that´s clear. Anyway. I just wonder why the whole issue could not have been handled without public knowledge?

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Not: She could have checked it? Do you think she had time to go through all her interview tapes (I’m sure she doesn’t have them but if she did) and check to make sure she’d been asked before in between press conferences? She probably forgot, and if there was no inkling at the back of her mind that maybe she had been asked in the past, why would she think to check? Why is that so hard to believe? If she hadn’t forgotten she would have just said she felt it could be a spoiler for book seven, which it sort of is.

So nitpicky…

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I didn’t buy the HP books just for the info inside them – I bought them because of how they’re written. Steve is not copying that.

It’s ok to make a reference work – plenty others have been made, just this will be the best.

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QUOTE* KioRustleweed

“Neptune, just because the book will make money, doesn’t mean he wrote simply because he wanted to make money.

Don’t confuse the two.”

Um, hello… Why else would he agree to sell the lexicon in book form when it’s already online FOR FREE if he didn’t want to make money from it.

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Chrissi: It would have been handled without public knowledge had it been settled before and without all this avoidance from Steve and the publishers. Remember this has been going on for TWO MONTHS and we just now found out about it.

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Neptune, I’ve already explained.

Yes the book will (or would have) made money.

But just because it will make money, doesn’t mean that he wrote it BECAUSE he wanted that money. Yes he would probably have appreciated that money. But you do not know for sure that he was going to keep that money for himself and buy a jacuzzi. Most likely, he was going to use it promote his FREE website.

Steve, I am sure, did not set the list price.

The publishers most likely are the ones who are money grubbing.

I am saying that you should not condemn Steve as a miser until you have hear his perspective on it. That is all.

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Jane – you are allowed to quote another book up to 3000 words, but the core of the book has to be either a review or a commentary (in other words, the author has to have a unique perspective) and using only the quotes as reference. If it’s true the the book is a print version of the Lexicon website as it stands now, then it is most definitely copyright infringement.

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JKR doesn’t sue people for fun. She does it because she HAS to do it in order to protect her intellectual property generally.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse for general ignorance, people. JKR is merely trying to prevent free-for-all use of her intellectual property, and if that means suing SVA or a parade organization in India, that’s what it means. It’s not her fault when people decide to go overboard with the use of her intellectual property for their own profit.

I said it on another comment thread, but some parts of fandom really need to get over themselves. You people did not make HP what it is today…JKR, and the millions of HP book-buyers who wouldn’t know a fansite if it bit them on the butt, did. JKR owes you nothing, yet has been incredibly lenient and accepting of websites and fan fiction. Talk about giving an inch, taking a mile. Sheesh.

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All I can do is put myself in JKR’s place and I find that I wouldn’t want people to make some money out of something I worked so hard to create.

But SVA did NOT have permission by JKR and he and his publisher appear to have deliberately ignored the request by JKR to stop and, not only that, appears to think that he is entitled to publish the book simply because he has put so much effort into it.

The simple fact of the matter is: HP was created by JKR and that should be respected. SVA was not asked to create the lexicon (despite the fact that it was appreciated by the author) and by the looks of it, pushed JKR into a corner, leaving her with a situation that she cannot, in any way, ignore and that, no matter what the outcome, is very damaging towards her.

Should she show SVA any favoutism just because she likes the lexicon? Why should love for the books or voluntarily picking out details out of them be the measure for a person’t entitlement to what is, essentially, someone else’s work?

People are essentially arguing that this suit is unfair towards SVA. But ask yourselves this: if you were in JK ROWLING’S place, would you think it was fair towards yourself?

All this could have been avoided if SVA had asked for permission before he started and respected the answer.

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Maybe someone can explain why it’s wrong to make money from making a reference book?

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I still think that a fan has a right to an unofficial book. If they spent the time to go through the books maticulously, they deserve to have the guide and to publish it. It seems like the fault is on the publisher, not so much the Lexicon. I found out that The Vampire Companion: The Official Guide to Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles” was written by Katherine Ramsland in collaboration with Anne Rice. It seems like JKR would not allow this kind of collaborative effort. But I know a lot of people who would buy both books—wanting the Lexicon’s to support their efforts to the fandom (which have never been compensated for financially before)l, and then JKR’s as the official of the two.

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Oh, I love coming to Leaky for thoughtful, rational conversation, where people weigh their words and can discuss any topic with open minds and logic.

For those who insist on bringing up the Dumbledore Revelation—look, we all suffered through about two weeks of that nastiness. This thread is about the sad situation surrounding the planned publication of a “lexicon”, exact contents not disclosed. Please discuss the Dumbledore stuff somewhere else, not here, and I promise not to pay the slightest attention to you.

For those getting into heated shouting matches, please stop. You are detracting from the conversation.

And to those trying to make sense out of the snippets of information about the planned publication of a ‘lexicon’ and the current legal situation, thank you for your calm, your patience, and your insights.

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QUOTE* KioRustleweed

“Neptune, just because the book will make money, doesn’t mean he wrote simply because he wanted to make money.

Don’t confuse the two.”

Um, hello… Why else would he agree to sell the lexicon in book form when it’s already online FOR FREE if he didn’t want to make money from it.

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“Um, hello… Why else would he agree to sell the lexicon in book form when it’s already online FOR FREE if he didn’t want to make money from it.”

Because he wanted to share his labor of love, his hard work for the fandom, in another medium.

If he really wanted to “Cash in” Steve would have skipped the FREE website part and just made the book.

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Jane, No. You are wrong. JKR’s book will not be just “new stuff” and therefore “different than Steve’s”. It’s an ENCYCLOPEDIA. Everything is going be included in her edition. It’s going to be a comprehensive book, inclusive of everything we know (or Steve knows) and things we don’t. This is one of the main reasons why she wishes for their to be one book. Steve’s book would be redundant.

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Neptune

Even if i’m behind JKR,the point people are trying to make is this:

they highly doubt that steve woke up one morning and thought “hey,i could make lots of money buy making a lexicon book” they believe that the more likely situation was a woke up one morning and thought “hey,i’d be really nice for fans to have the lexicon in printed format,like that they won’t need a computer to access it everytime they need it”

Of course,that doesn’t change the fact that despite his good intentions,what he’s doing is illigal.

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I’m quoting this from Legal beagle over on the other comment board….

The difference between opinion and a legal precedent is that the former has no validity in court, however well informed or well intentioned; the latter is what the sitting judge will determine damages and set awards.

This is, from the lawyers’ point of view, a LEGAL matter, not one of fan opinion.

From a legal point of view, the matter at hand is clear-cut: This is a matter of what’s called “derivative use.” It means that the copyright holder – in this case, Joanne Rowling – can mine her own work to construct quizbooks, puzzle books, and encyclopedias.

In the matter of derivative use, the key criterion is whether or not an unofficial/unauthorized book merely REARRANGES the existing text to recast a “new book.”

When viewed in that light, Mr. Vander Ark’s book fares poor legally because it is 100% (judging from the his website) based on what’s in Rowling’s books.

Mr. Vander Ark’s proposed book is not commentary; it’s not opinion; it’s a re-edited edition of what Rowling has carefully chronicled in her book.

The legal precedent for this was when a publisher issued an unauthorized “Seinfeld” quiz book. The court decided that there was nothing original added, that it was all repurposed, and that everything had been drawn from the television series. Therefore, as all the material was derivative use, the unauthorized book was held legally accountable for damages.

Give Rowling and her lawyers a little credit: They don’t sue capriciously; they sue when they feel they have no other choice in protecting their rights.

This explains why two former encyclopedias – AN UNOFFICIAL MUGGLE’S GUIDE TO THE WIZARDING WORLD: EXPLORING THE HARRY POTTER UNIVERSE (ECW Press) and THE J.K. ROWLING ENCYCLOPEDIA by Connie Ann Kirk – are probably out of print: The amount of derived material exceeded what’s called “fair use,” which is the test as to whether or not a work is considered to be within the legal limits: “1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; 2. the nature of the copyrighted work; 3. amount and sutstantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and 4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work [see www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html].

Rowling’s lawyers will likely cite that Vander Ark’s book (point 1) is for profit, (points 2 and 3) is principally or wholly derivative in content, and (point 4) will have a deleterious effect on the sale of Rowling’s own encyclopedia.

Of these points, in my considered opinion, only #4 will materially fail as fans of Rowling may buy an unofficial encyclopedia, but will buy the authorized book no matter what. The publication of an unofficial encyclopedia will not substantially hinder sales of the official one. In other words, some fans will likely by both, but no fan will buy the unofficial one in favor of the official one.

As for the proposed Mugglenet.com book (UNOFFICIAL HARRY POTTER COMPANION: THE ENCYCLOPEDIC GUIDE TO THE BOOKS, MOVIES AND MORE), it depends on how Mr. Spartz and Mr. Schoen handle the material: If it’s straightforward in encyclopedic format and uses the same material as Kirk’s J.K. ROWLING ENCYCLOPEDIA and Fionna Boyle’s UNOFFICIAL MUGGLE’S GUIDE TO THE WIZARDING WORLD, then it too may be on the lawyers’ radar. If, however, the text is not derivative, in terms of encyclopedia entries, and has original material (extensive commentary, contextual information) and stays away from a bare bones misappropriation of Rowling’s original texts, then it may (and I use that word guardly) escape the hangman’s noose.

Bottom line here, folks, it’s not about whether Mr. Vander Ark is a great asset to the Harry Potter community (legally, that’s a non-issue); doesn’t matter if Rowling uses his website for reference and has praised it (legally, both are non-issues); doesn’t matter if Rowling is a multi-millionaire (legally, a non-issue); and it doesn’t matter that Mr. Vander Ark has spent years researching Rowling’s universe. Doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is whether or not the book is substantially derived from Rowling’s texts.

That’s what the sitting judge will decide after examining the manuscript or finished book, and that judge will cite the aforementioned legal precedent regarding the Seinfeld quiz book.

Class is dismissed!

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I’m surprised Steve would keep pushing the subject which is the way this sounds. I want to hear both sides of the story before I snap to any judgments.

I can see where the confusion started. As a couple others here noted, JKR is quite liberal when it comes to people using her literature to inspire art, music, fanfic and even other books; and even making money off of it. Steve’s book must really cross a line. It seems like the line here was that the HP books didn’t inspire the Lexicon book but were used to build every piece of it and the fact that JKR has said a few times that she’s going to publish something similar made the line a bit more clear.

The Lexicon is an awesome web site but maybe he should’ve just kept it on the web.

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The encyclopedia about Pullman’s work costs $24.95. More quotage:

“I can’t recommend it too highly to the reader who’s found anything interesting or enjoyable in this story of mine. I know I’ve returned to it frequently during the writing of the book I’m doing now, and I know I’ll continue to do so.” —Philip Pullman

Sounds an awful lot like ”...I have been known to sneak into an internet cafe while out writing and check a fact rather than go into a bookshop…etc…”

Mr. Pullman clearly knows the difference between a reference book done with intelligence, care, and love and a cheap cash cow. Mrs. Murray needs to listen to more librarians and teachers and fewer lawyers. She’s getting horrible advice that will affect the legacy of the Harry Potter series for years to come.

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@Kelly, thank you. I did not realize the whole story earlier.

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Whoknowswho, it depends on how you construct the reference book. If its primarily your own words, that’s one thing; if its primarily made up of another’s words (in this case, JKR’s), that does get into copyright issues.

freeluciusnow21, you have hit on an obvious solution, which would be to have the planned publication be co-authored, and bear JKR’s name as well. Rice got money from collaborating Ramsland. So, why not in this case, with JKR giving her share to charity if she wishes?

But, its now up to the contending legal teams to work out.

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“Maybe someone can explain why it’s wrong to make money from making a reference book?”

It is only wrong if the referenced material therein has been lifted from someone else’s intellectual property, rather than information already within the public domain. JKR owns the world she created and no-one has the right to sell a version of that without her agreement.

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It was very nice of Steve to compile Harry Potter facts into a free-to-use fan site we can all share and enjoy.

It is very ignorant of him and his publisher to think they can make money off of it.

They should have cooperated; it seems so far that Jo and her people were trying to be amiable. He might even had the book published after all, if it was deemed to not infringe.

It is an unfortunate turn of events, but it seems Steve brought it upon himself here. Now even if the book did reach the shelves, I don’t think it would do very well. I would say this is a rare exception to “there is no such thing as bad PR.”

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freelucius21 said: “I still think that a fan has a right to an unofficial book. If they spent the time to go through the books maticulously, they deserve to have the guide and to publish it.”

What colour is the sky in your world? A fan has the RIGHT to publish an unofficial book. Wrong. Dead wrong. Just because someone “spends the time” to do something does NOT mean they DESERVE anything, let alone being paid. This reaks of entitlement, and it’s disgusting.

Furthermore, many people write original books and screenplays that are never published. Do they DESERVE to be paid for it just because they “spent the time”? What if the writing is horrible, should they still be paid even if the work is horrible?

Just because you “care” about something and spend time building it does not guarantee anything. Life does not work that way.

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What I’m struggling to understand is a) Why the publishers didn’t make some adjustments to the book b) There have been other (worse) reference books out there, and they’ve gotten the okay, and if SVA would have altered the Lexicon, it would have been the same as the others, just better c)JKR’s encyclopedia is entirely different from a reference book, and I would get it for the new stuff, not the old info

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I think Jo is instructing her lawyers to reveal all this information because she now realises the backlash against her. Many respected and long standing members of this fandom are now turning against her – I think what she has done is appalling. Why shouldn’t Steve make a little bit of money after all he has done for the fandom and Jo over all these years? Leaky makes money, so does MN. Why not the Lexicon?

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Well. I am neither with Jo nor Steve.

Steve can “prepare derivative works based upon the original work” Not sure if that is what he plans to do or if its no more than a ‘cut & paste’

Jo next move will be to sue little kids making Hogwarts sandcastles. Or anyone who draws a lighting bolt scar on their forehead.

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“Because he wanted to share his labor of love, his hard work for the fandom, in another medium.

If he really wanted to “Cash in” Steve would have skipped the FREE website part and just made the book.”

He did share his labor of love on a free online website for YEARS, and now that the books are completed and he can complete and gather all the info from them he wants to sell his “labor of love” for $25 a book. He wants to be paid for something he worked hard on, but the creator never asked him to do it. She allowed him to present her info online for free, but she never gave him permission to re-package it and sell it for profit.

I like listening to Steve on Pottercast, I have nothing against the guy, but to think think that he wasn’t thinking about the money is just silly, especially when it’s already online for free. He’s trying to cash in….

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Y is RDR pushing this? the stuff written on this news post all indicate their clear disadvantage even before the case is taken to court. That makes me wonder if theres something they know that they’re not revealing bc honestly ud have to be stupid to fight the sort of claims WB/Jo are making.

i dont know if Steve’s in control now, as much as he was earlier in the game when he could have called it quits and walked away respectfully. that also makes me wonder if Steve has signed away his rights where theres a conflict with the rights of RDR. Im also now starting to wonder if Steve had this plan from the beginning bc he has put far more effort into the site than someone who just happens to enjoy the books.

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@TigerLily: The difference there is it’s the AUTHOR’S PREROGATIVE whether to give permission or not. Pullman endorsed, Rowling does not. Case closed.

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Lexicon does not just focus on the canon universe. The Lexicon encyclopedia would by nature have more content in regard to the films, games or other offshoots than Rowling’s would. Additionally, I am at least under the belief that unofficial works raise more interest and funding for the official works. There will clearly be a several year gap without any new material from J.K and between now and when her encyclopedia will come out, there is certainly room for a print compilation.

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Leaky and Mugglenet are discussion sites, they’re not selling stuff using intellectual property, they sell advertising (at least I think they do). Steve would be selling the intellectual property itself

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I will never be able to look at Rowling the same way again. This is just sad.

Apparently now WB and Rowling are on the idea that because this are her characters, her story; then she can do whatever she likes with any work that contain her characters. No need to give credit, since the characters are hers to begin with. Never mind legaly, that is moraly wrong. How about their work and effort in organizing that information? Nice way of thanking the fans for supporting your work.

Rowling was never perfect doing math or timelines. Steve site gave fans a more clear vision of her work. In fact it was so clear that she admitted to using it to check some detail at any point. Apparently because it’s from her work, WB and her felt there would be no problem in using Steve’s work and not give him credit for it.

Now she’s attacking the printed version of the book only because it’s not free. Has she looked in Amazon? Because theres a truck load of companions books about HP and one of them even has the name of ‘HP Encyclopedia’. All those authors have made money of her creation. At least Steve is a fan. There are a couple of books there that is obvious that the authors are not huge fans of the HP series. Yet here is a true fan of the series trying to put his work into print and that suddenly is a problem. If someone benefits from my work; I would hope he’s a true fan and not and opportunist. What makes Steve any different than anyone of those authors?

I’ll tell you what makes him different. His book is a problem because it’s well analyzed information, something that I’m sorry Rowling is no good at it. Because of that they don’t want the book to be published. Never mind that this is a fan that has donated to your books probably hundreds of hours and that you have benefit from it. I don’t know who said it before, but I agree. Why didn’t you team up with him and made an Encyclopedia of the online version of the site? Then the additional information that you had was added. Now, that would have been a book worth spending money on.

Even more astonishing is the attack of the Lexicon site on the lawsuit and the way Little now talks about the sites that are fine as long as they have “appropriate material”. Next thing she’ll be doing is dictating what we can say on sites. Wait for it.

It’s a laugh that she thinks Steve book can affect the sales of her book. Really, who would buy a Lexicon book over a Rowling book? The idea is laughable.

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I think people are wilfully misunderstanding the law if they think we can’t dress up as HP characters! Rolls eyes like Mad Eye Moody.

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NOT: I can read. I saw the BBC interview. I also know the earlier quote you are referencing was made during a pre-DH release interview. Give it a rest.

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This is incredibly sad. I’ve always enjoyed listening to Steve on Pottercast and the Lexicon is a wonderful resource. However, after reading about all of this, I sincerly hope that Leaky discontinues their relationship with Steve and the Lexicon. I certainly hope that he doesn’t make any more appearances on Pottercast unless it is to deliver a heartfelt apology. This is not the behavior of a true fan who respects Jo and her work. She has already promised us an encyclopedia, and we will get it eventually. I for one and willing to wait patiently for hers.

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Also note that this is just the latest in a recent string of lawsuits. It seems that J.K Rowling and Warner Bros have become obsessed with stifling creative fan expression. A religious festival in India was sued for making a Hogwarts replica, for instance. It is truly sad to see someone who started as a common reader with a heart turn into a corporate entity

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Neptune, no one is arguing that it has reached a point where Steve and his publishers are committing copy-right infringement. Well, I’m not arguing that. Other people are, ha ha.

My whole point is that Steve, or more likely, his publishers have handled it very badly and brought it to the point where legal action is unfortunately necessary.

BUT I am arguing that we should not condemn Steve as money-grubbing jerk. Not until we hear his perspective at the very least.

We have only seen one side of this story. And I think people here should stop wishing shame upon Steve’s head. If he were really money-grubbing, he would’ve skipped the FREE website part and just tried to publish a book.

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Symphonyofdissent: More material on the books and games? ...What? That is plainly untrue. The lexicon features game and movie spells and lists who plays who in the movies, but it is 95% or more book material.

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I’m with John – except that Steve does copy passages – which is just cutting and pasting. If he just left out that part . . .

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Well its been an interesting day. The funniest thing I’ve read is the assertion that Lexicon “helped” make Harry Potter famous. Question is what percent of the people who read Harry Potter actually has seen the Lexicon website? 5 percent would be very generous. Sure it helped the fans who wants to know every single detail about HP but it doesn’t exist to the casual Harry Potter fan.

Anyway I just find it funny when the fans think they’re bigger than the author. Ciao everyone!

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Neptune, some people just prefer print version to electronic media. He wants to share. There are a lot of Harry Potter fans out there who don’t visit website, but purchase “fan” books.

Thats all there is to it.

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Once again, a reminder that it’s important to get the facts before taking sides in any disagreement. I fully support Jo in this one and I’m very disappointed in Steve’s actions and attitude.

What a sad way to end such a wonderful series, under a cloud of law suits and animosity. I really wish Steve had thought this one through more thoroughly—no one should profit from just re-working someone else’s creative work. In school, this sort of thing would earn him an “F” for stealing the work of another.

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Also Symphonyofdissent Two lawsuits is a very short “string of lawsuits.”

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The idea that someone whom JKR has called a friend would turn around and try to profit (steal) from her and the charities is just revolting. SVA Lexicon has been a great place to check a fact from JKR’s HP Universe. I have used the site when there is a question that I cannot answer from my memory. I won’t use it again. JKR has been very generous with the fan driven web sites based on the series, but putting a web site down in print and profiting by it is theft of JKR’s ideas. No matter how much of his time that he spent on the Lexicon, SVA did not come up with anything original on his website, it is all JKR’s original material. If he had asked for permission to publish the Lexicon WITH THE PROFITS TO GO TO CHARITY, that would have been different and perhaps something could have been worked out. SVA’s greed has risen up to bite him in the b*tt after he tried to stab JKR in the back. I’m with you JKR! Jo’s Army, UNITE! (Spell in unison: SVA,,,, BEGONE! With lots of waving of wands, a la Lockhart!)

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I removed the Lexicon from my favorites. The Leaky should seriously weight the evidence and consider dropping the Lexicon as a partner site. The reason TLC is my favorite site for all things HP is because of their reputation. They get permission from WB & JKR before using any material that is copyrighted and I support that. I am not happy with how Steve’s people are handling this and not working with WB JKR. To me, WB & JKR tried to do the right thing here and were not met with the same respect.

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TigerLily, Laurie Frost wrote the themes and character analysis in her own words for that book, she didn’t sit down one day and copy & pasted them straight out of the HDM books as in this case. You are barking up the wrong tree.

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“he would’ve skipped the FREE website part and just tried to publish a book.”

And made no money. He’s using the popularity of his web site to make money, it doesn’t take a genius to see that.

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Steve is not just reworking JK’s work. Yes, he’s doing something illegal as it stands, but he did much, much, more than just copying. He made timelines, organized e/t, figured out problems with the books. ..

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I removed the Lexicon from my favorites. The Leaky should seriously weight the evidence and consider dropping the Lexicon as a partner site. The reason TLC is my favorite site for all things HP is because of their reputation. They get permission from WB & JKR before using any material that is copyrighted and I support that. I am not happy with how Steve’s people are handling this and not working with WB JKR. To me, WB & JKR tried to do the right thing here and were not met with the same respect.

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Jo Rowling is a control freak who created a world that got to big for her to control. My respect for her has GONE.

Posted by Jamie on November 01, 2007 @ 04:36 PM

Thanks for the laugh Jamie.

Look people this Steve guy is in the wrong and that is all there is to it. End of story.

I don’t think we will be hearing from him any time soon since it looks like from the article posted that his publisher has put a “gag” on him.

I hadn’t even heard of his site until this came up yesterday and quite frankly I don’t think his site is that great at all. The way some of you go on about it made me think it was going to be something special. It’s not. Besides JK’s offical Leaky is the only one I visit to get my HP info because the effort put into it with the layout, info and graphics is way better than the others put together.

I know I’m not the only one who has noticed over that years that certain HP website owners (main one starts with M ends with NET) get a little to big for the boots thinking that they know everything and you don’t in Harry Potter land. I just can’t be bothered dealing with egos – Leaky gets my vote.

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Quote John: Apparently now WB and Rowling are on the idea that because this are her characters, her story; then she can do whatever she likes with any work that contain her characters.

Of course she can! She created them, they are hers. Only she can make money off them. How would you like it if someone coppied your work and tried to make monry off it?

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Steve is NOT HP Lexicon. There are working other fastasical people, for the whole HP fandom. Don’t make them suffer for one’s mistake.

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Reference books ARE constructed for educational purposes—that’s the point of them. They are used in libraries and schools. No one gets “millions of dollars” rich from selling a reference book. Just ask the college kids selling Britannicas door-to-door!

The claim that Steve’s book would be taking money away from a charity years from now in the future is simply ludicrous! This author has NOT ONCE thanked her fans for ANYTHING, and this treatment of one of her best, and best-known, fans shows a complete lack of respect for all Harry Potter readers around the world.

Wake up, people!

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It’s not copying, it’s organizing – which took hours and hours of work. Steve is still wrong though.

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fantastical, sorry

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It’s organizing her work. She never asked him to do it and he has no right to sell it for profit.

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I’m behind Steve on this one. Not because I’ve met him and like him, not because I agree with his methods here, but because I’d like an encyclopedia of the World of Harry Potter without the extra Jo facts shoved down our throats.

You’re done Jo. The world is complete. You don’t need to tell us more. We didn’t need the epilouge, and we didn’t need any other information that you’ve decided about the future of these beloved characters.

I know most of you won’t agree with me, and that’s fine. I don’t really care.

I just think that Jo has pushed it too far. If it was important it would have been published in the book. Everything that she’s added after, including the epilouge and including future information in her encyclopedia has and will destroy what made this world so special: the fact that it was open ended.

In my own opinion, humble though it is, it feels as though she is now just out for the publicity. The last book has been published, therefore we must find other ways to keep Harry Potter in the news. It’s wrong.

I agree with the people that say there is room for both, because there is. One will contain the new shiny information that Jo will throw up on us, and one won’t. We don’t know all of the specifics of the case, and people are way too quick to turn their backs on the Lexicon now. If you boycott the Lexicon, Leaky or any of their other partnered sites, it’s your loss, and we won’t miss you.

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Mason: “This author has NOT ONCE thanked her fans for ANYTHING, and this treatment of one of her best, and best-known, fans shows a complete lack of respect for all Harry Potter readers around the world.”

JKR has shown plenty of appreciation (see book 7, first page and website.

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This fandom is seriously deluded if you think Steve has any right to do what he intended to do. Big deal how rich Jo is? Its her books, her story etc and who the hell does he think he is that he can take it and make a few pound out of her hard blooody work. Anyone supporting him and calling Jo names should be ashamed of themselves. You are a disgrace. I bet Jo is so glad she can move on from Harry Potter soon because some of you are a disgrace to fans. Take every single one of them down Jo-you have every right!

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wow, if you want to think the worst of this situation, be my guest. I doubt I can dissuade you.

Clearly creating the Lexicon was a giant premeditated set up so that when the 7th book was published Steve could use a good reputation and all his material to publish a book and cash in.

Makes sense to me!

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It was really nice to have the lexicon, but it is JKR’s work that he is using, it is her property, knowing that she wanted to publish a companion book why would he do it and especially without permission? Its taking credit for someone else’s work. Its really sad, I am disappointed and have lost a lot of respect for Steve and the lexicon.

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And surely his writing a book after he has a successful website means he’s OH SO NOT A MONEY GRUBBER! Come on now.

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I think Steve could have done this in a slightly different way withut stepping on any toes. That publishing company has a lot to answer for. . .

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My best to Steve, though I do support Jo in this suit, as I should. She has her right definitely.

I still do not understand why the theory books are not guilty, though. Yes, they are not just rehashing her characters and plots and devices, but they ARE trying to make a profit on something that she, and only she has created (by that I mean any books about Jo’s life, the phenomenom or the fandom are fine).

Also, I still do not understand why anyone would want to sell or buy the HPL anyway. That would be like trying to publish Wikipedia or IMDb.

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I’m astounded at this idea that authors need to “thank” their fans or go out of their way to make them happy. I called it disgusting before, but quite frankly I’m now freaked out by it. Jo gave us a wonderful story, and we “thank” her by buying the books which we enjoy. So what if Jo has never formally thanked her fans? It doesn’t change my life a bit, I still am thankful she wrote HP. You don’t know her, and she doesn’t know you. She doesn’t owe you a thing.

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I am terribly saddened by this whole situation. I had always hoped that Steve would publish a hard copy of the Lexicon, so I could have it as a resource, but I had assumed that he would get Jo’s permission first. I hope that they will be able to work something out. It would be a shame for us to lose the Lexicon. I have used it as a resource for years. The amount of work that has gone into the design and organization is incredible.

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marillawhite, the theory books are not wrong because even though they ARE making a profit from HP, they are doing it the right way:

-quoting less – and analyzing more -not quoting only stuff from the books, but putting their original thoughts in -quoting less than the limit (I’m not sure what that is, but the lexicon overdid it)

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I remember that time when Steve asked Jo if she knew anything about WB using Lexicon’s timeline and it was a loooong time ago. Could’ve expected it’d grow for years and kick people in some nasty way.

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The other imbalance of power in this besides the money and legal clout is that Steve Vander Ark cannot say anything in the press in his own defense because his lawyers have probably gagged him, while Rowling and her attorneys can issue press releases that go around the world, defame Mr. Vander Ark’s character on HP fan websites, etc. Doesn’t anyone see the lion after the mouse in operation here? And for what? The amount of ill will among the fandom that this suit will create is not worth any possible gain.

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MB – JK doesn’t need to thank them, but she has many times

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Didn’t Mugglenet also publish a book about Harry Potter? And quite a few other people? I don’t understand why this book is a copyright infringement & the other ones were not.

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Yes, Steve is the “mouse” in the “lion and the mouse” but he’s still wrong.

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I am not basing my faith in Steve simply off of the fact that he has a free website.

I am basing it off of the care he has shown towards the fandom and towards the canon. Feel free to have a different opinion, but nothing I have heard or seen of Steve gives me the impression of money-grubbing.

I don’t think I’m wrong. But trust me, if I am, I’ll be very disappointed.

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Is Jo’s website, her updates, her books, her dedication at the start of book 7, her letters to many fans, her book tour etc etc NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU ALL?! What do you want? Personal recognition for buying her book?!? Seriously, deluded people.

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As I said before, the other, theory books are not wrong because even though they ARE making a profit from HP, they are doing it the right way:

-quoting less, and analyzing more, not quoting only stuff from the books, but putting their original thoughts in, and quoting less than the limit (I’m not sure what that is, but the lexicon overdid it)

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Regrets to Steve, but even tho I really appreciate what he did and don’t think he’s at fault here, he’s still not allowed to publish the Lexicon and sell it

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2 comments -

1) To the person that referenced the Star Trek manuals – those are all authorized by the owners of the Star Trek franchise. Those aren’t independent works.

2) To the person who commented that Steve should get some $$$ for his work, what do you think all those Google Ads plastered all of his site are for? Especially with the traffic today, he’s probably making a boatload. Don’t cry him a river – he’s doing fine.

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”, but nothing I have heard or seen of Steve gives me the impression of money-grubbing.”

EMMM KioRustleweed-does the fact he planned to release a book not suggest he wanted money?! I think so. The website was fine, it was a free resource for all. Putting it into a book which he knew Jo always planned to do is purely a cheap attempt at exploiting fans. I cant say it enough-hes in the wrong. She has every right to stop him.

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I think it’s unfortunate that anyone gets sued over copyright infringement.

If Jo wanted to take the high road, she could announce that she wishes Steve wouldn’t publish it and ask fans not to buy it. She could ask Steve to donate half of his profits to charity. Then she could donate the millions she is going to spend on lawyers to charity.

But instead, she opts to rip apart one of her most dedicated fans in court.

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The issue is not whether Steve will make a lot, a little, or very little money out of this (how well did other theory books do?) or whether he is in just for the money or not!

The issue is whether legally, he can do this. And the answer so far seems to be no.

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RJ- Yeah, I thought she had (thanked the fans) but I didn’t want to say so without knowing for sure :)

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I’m with you JKR! Jo’s Army, UNITE! I had to laugh right out when I read that ;-) and I support it…

Let’s please stay friends all the same! Can you imagine how Jo does feel tonight? Otherwise she would not of up-dated her Website today!!! And while I am here, can someone answer me this question: is it not so, that every time we visit/click one of the Harry Potter websites (or other sites),it counts? Do they earn money with that? I have noticed the commercials – especially on Mugglenet..if this would be true, some people are already making A LOT OF MONEY with J.K.Rowlings Harry Potter !

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Derek, I sincerely doubt that Steve makes money off those google ads.

I’m pretty sure all proceeds are used to support the site.

Could be wrong, though.

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I’m behind Jo 100%. She should protect what’s hers!

Em,

Here’s the difference between MuggleNet’s book and Steve’s book:

MN’s book analyzed the HP series and wrote about their predictions of what would happen in DH.

Steve’s book regurgitates the HP series. It gives the details of the characters and events that are written in the books already.

I think that’s what’s going on. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

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But she asked him not to publish it for two months and he ignored her. So the most dedicated fan ended up showing his true colours.

He’s 100% in the wrong here and brought whatever happens on himself.

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The many posts that blast J.K. Rowling for “not caring about the fans” and being “greedy” are horrible. It reminds me that these ignorant (meaning uninformed, not stupid) people probably vote for President with the same ignorance and cancel out my vote. Sad, sad, sad.

J.K. Rowling, WB, and their legal teams should press this as hard as they can to stop the release of this Lexicon book. RDR Books should be forced into bankruptcy unless they agree to stop it. Steve Vander Ark needs to make a public apology.

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RJ you are right. Legally he cannot do it.

That doesn’t mean that people should condemn him a some jerk just in it for the money. I’m arguing for less insulting of Steve, and more tolerance. At least until we hear his perspective.

I think if he or his publishers had handled it correctly, he could have published it legally.

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I think all the fame she’s gotten is showing us Rowling “rolling” off her rocker. She needs to shut up about backstories to HP (who cares?), write more books if she wants to (we’ll read them), and get her lawyers/henchmen off speed-dial. THey say fame can make you paranoid and crazy. Anybody need any more proof of that?

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Yesterday I was really confused and I couldn’t figure out what to think. After reading more into it I can see Jo’s angle a little more clearly. Yesterday my first thoughts were “What’s the Big Deal?” but I think I understand what this book actually is now, it’s just a re-organization of Jo’s material without any original material from Steve. I don’t think Jo would complain if he had a lot of his own original material in the book along with her material. Yes, he did take the effort to re-organize it and that is a lot of work and commitment I am sure, but it’s plagiarism. Plagiarizing could be hard work too, especially if you were completely re-organizing it. I do feel sorry for Steve though. He is such a huge fan, obviously, and I hope this doesn’t ruin Harry Potter for him. This whole situation feels very awkward and uncomfortable to me. I don’t like tension, it’s stressful. I hope that in the end it is all just a big misunderstanding and that more of the blame goes to the publisher. Maybe Steve was just really confused or something. Legal stuff with copyrights and stuff is complicated, I don’t understand it very well. Plus, he was probably facing the prospect of a lot of time and probably money he spent on compiling the book being a waste. I just hope this ends peacefully and works out for both sides of the lawsuit. I still love you Steve! The Lexicon really is an awesome website!

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Pawnblue wrote: “But instead, she opts to rip apart one of her most dedicated fans in court.”

Which wouldn’t be happening if, in “dedicated fan” form, he would have simply not pursued publishing the book after she asked him not too.

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KioRustleweed: I agree absolutely.

I’m sure what happened was more the publishers, and not Steve, and some compromise could probably have been worked out. . . if they’d answered more emails.

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I’m totally and definitely with John. She has become an obsessed freak, a very disagreable person. As someone asked in an old movie “HOW much is enough?”

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Glad to see we’re all pretty much behind Jo now. Yesterday’s comments were getting damn depressing.

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marillawhite : “I still do not understand why the theory books are not guilty, though.”

From what I understand (and please, if I’m wrong, someone please correct me!), one needs to make a very clear distinction between two types of books.

A book that relates to OPINIONS on the books, which includes theories about what was going to happen later in the series or involving analysis is acceptable.

Here is what JKR says: “From what I understand, the proposed book is not criticism or review of Harry Potter’s world, which would be entirely legitimate – neither I nor anybody connected with Harry Potter has ever tried to prevent such works being published.”

The other type of book is based purely on FACTS, which is, presumably, what SVA is supposed to be doing. It is not his opinion – he is taking something out of the books, re-phrasing them, and selling it for profit in a different form.

This is JKR’s view: “It is not reasonable, or legal, for anybody, fan or otherwise, to take an author’s hard work, re-organize their characters and plots, and sell them for their own commercial gain. However much an individual claims to love somebody else’s work, it does not become theirs to sell.”

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RJ,

Yeah that whole email thing seems pretty bad. Thats part of the reason I’m waiting to hear from him.

I think it must also have been some bad judgement on Steve’s part too. Why the heck would he send a complaint about the timeline thing? That seems a little brash of him.

Its too bad because I’m willing to bet this could’ve been sorted out much easier. And I would LOVE to have a print version of the Lexicon.

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After all these insults to Jo:

She wrote the books – she’s allowed to sue other peoplpe if she thinks that they’re plagiarizing illegally. Whether she’s right or not is a different story – but as she is, I don’y think you can call her a freak for stopping someone from plagiarizing from her.

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Glad that was clarified. It seems an amicable approach was tried first and JK was just forced to do this. It also demonstrates either she or her people do read these comments, specially on important matters like this, so I’d just like this opportunity to say…

Hi Jo! Love your books! I’m also 100% behind you!

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About the timeline: according to Steve (on his website, have not verified this), the timeline was obviously a copy because of its similarities and that it copied a mistake of his too! He wrote a wrong date and somehow they had the same error. Sounds like copying to me.

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I think it all comes down to “Where do we draw the line on what point is considered infringment”. I think the suit was filed for 2 reasons. 1.) Being the obvious is that RDR didnt have common sense or decency to answer any questions or send them a copy of the book. (Which on their part is stupid because if it was in fact “just” a printed version of what the website is then it would have stopped the law suit. So its kind of obvious they knew it was infringment.) 2.) If JK would have permitted this then it opened the door to tons of fanfics, encyclopedias, ect. being published.

I dont want to take sides but the fact remains that the line has to be drawn somewhere. We should be happy that she permits the website which has way more than 3000 EXACT quotes from the books/movies. (Which legally means that it’s infringment)

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Legally, yes we are behind Jo.

But to be honest with you, in the spirit of the thing I’m behind Steve. (Jo I think is too, she seems saddened that legal action became necessary)

I just think it was handled very badly.

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Can you publish fanfics (with proper disclaimer, etc.)? I’d love to know the legalitiez of that.

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Love seeing a global celebrity and mega-multimedia corporation beating up on a school librarian. Pass the popcorn!

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I am, as should the entire fandom be, behind Jo totally and completly. That being said, I think the lexicon is a fantastic resource and, having heard Steve’s opinions on many Pottercasts in the past, greatly respect him, both as a Harry Potter fan and an intellectual. I do not believe that the creator of that valued site, a partner to TLC, is at fault, I instead blame the publishing company he chose to do business with. Never be rude to Jo. Its as simple as that.

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I seem to be in the minority here, but I have to support Steven VanderArk here, not JKR.

There are definitely already similar books on the market (although not so complete, perhaps). I own one of them.

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RJ, no, you cannot publish fanfics for profit. And yeah I think WB obviously copied the time line from the Lexicon but if you come down to it Steve does not own that timeline, and WB is being gracious in even letting him put it on the internet. The fact that he’s trying to bring that up in court is seriously making me LOL, it’s just going to make him look worse to the judge.

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I’m going to add my voice to this topic and say that I’m behind JKR, but sad because she’s been forced to this position. I have enjoyed reading through the Lexicon and have found it to be a nice little site, a tribute to a fan’s love for a book and the world an author created. But, there’s a fine line between tribute and plagiarism. I don’t know if Steve crossed it on his own, or with some help from his lawyers and the publisher, but it was crossed. And, anyone who thinks that Jo is being too litigious, remember she’s protecting her work. How would you feel if it were you and you’d spent a decade of your life creating something out of nothing, and then have a host of people try to cash in on what you’d created.

Not to mention that Jo has had to deal with some pretty nasty people who don’t like her series, who’ve been mean and petty. They’ve tried to ban her books, they’ve accused her of being in it for the money, or practicing witchcraft, etc. They’ve said all sorts of mean things about her, her family and her work. She shouldn’t have to deal with someone who was supposed to be a fan who turned out to be just another person trying to make a buck off of her work. Shame on you Steve. I won’t be visiting the Lexicon ever again.

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I’m with Jo. Steve was someone i always seen as a decent guy and i enjoyed listening to him on Pottercast when he did Cannon Conundrums but what he’s doing here is just wrong! He’s a complete hypocrite.

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I cant believe some of these posts Im reading bashing Jo!!! How can you all sit there and say your a real fan and thinking rationally??? The only thing I hear when I read these posts are children screaming “We want more! We want more!” How much can this poor woman give us??? Honestly if she wanted to she could have just given us the 7 books said to hell with us and run off with her money. But no she stuck it out and gave us EVERY SINGLE LITTLE DETAIL WE’VE ASKED OF HER. Is that not enough? Are we asking her to use her works for our own advantages? To go against what states in the law as illegal and let us do it? Let someone else make money on all her hard earn 17 years worth of blood, sweat, and tears? Take away from charities that NEED the money? What are you going to ask for next????

Im surprised she even wants to write about the HP world anymore. I would be disgusted and say the money is not worth this abuse from people I dont even really know.

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Re: publishing fanfics.

Isn’t there a rule about non-author written sequels, prequels and fictional companion books being written so many years after the original authors death? Hence the many Peter Pan and Jane Austen sequels out there?

This is just my curiousity right now, not related to Harry Potter or the Lexicon anymore.

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“Steve’s book regurgitates the HP series. It gives the details of the characters and events that are written in the books already.”

True, but I don’t think ANYONE can argue that anyone will EVER think Steve created the Harry Potter charactors. Rowling is known for HP, shes a household name just as much as Harry himself. So I don’t think hes using her ideas to make money, if he were writing a fictional story about the charactors to publish, I could see the problem.

But this REFERENCE, this COMPILATION I think is compleatly different. He isn’t claiming its his own work, and I don’t think anyone of us could be foolish enough to think anyone will ever assume it is. Hes just organizing it, and I think that should be allowed. I think if I wanted to compile a book listing all the charactors in Lord of the Rings, providing information which quotes directly from the books, as long as I reference the books, and do not attempt change, develop, or add to the charactors, I think that should be alowed.

Again, I think Steve put a lot of work into the lexicon, probably giving the Potterverse more thought and more organization then JKR ever did herself, and I think he should be allowed to profit from the work if he so chooses.

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I’m all for Jo. I never thought Steve would do something like this, but he IS the owner and is responsible for the encyclopedia. Think about it, about all Jo’s given us.. she’s been more than lenient. I don’t understand why he would want to make a book out of the Lexicon. I’m not saying I know the entire story. I’m just saying.

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Thank you Leaky and Jo’s team for getting that information to us! This is much easier to understand.

Was this tiny little publisher the only one that Steve could get to buy his book? I visited their website and they’re certainly no great shakes. I have to wonder if larger publishers turned the book down because of the copyright issue.

There’s a rebuttal statement on the RDR website, but frankly most of their arguments don’t hold water. There is one point, I believe, that WB should clarify. Which lawsuit came first? Steve’s against WB or WB against Steve?

As I’ve said before, WB can go hang and I had faith that Jo would not let me down. I consider Jo and WB two very separate and distinct intities. Jo was instrumental in getting my dyslexic son to become a voracious reader. WB hasn’t done anything except change the books that have so inspired my son.

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I’m TOTALLY with you, STEVE. Remember my words? Hugs from RITA and her mother

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I do have to say that I’m with Jo on this… but I’m not going to be so quick to shun Steve Vander Ark. It really seems as if this was just an act of bad judgment on his part… he probably assumed that since so many other Harry Potter related books (primarily, Mugglenet’s book) have been published, his would be okay as well. And I don’t think that he wrote the book solely to make a profit, just as the Mugglenet crew didn’t write their book solely to make a profit. However, that still doesn’t make the book okay… and Steve’s publishing company definitely screwed up.

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Ashes: “Hes just organizing it, and I think that should be allowed”

But it’s not allowed, legally, and he does cut-and-paste many phrases. The Lord of the Rings book (I think) has lost its copyright by now. Jo’s has not, and he’s overdoing the cut and paste. Yes, he’s spent a lot of work on it, yes, if he published it differently (with some changes) it would probably be legal, but the publishers have refused to discuss it.

Thanks, JKR, for your fantastic books – and thanks, Steve, for dedicating so much time to it – and I hope something can be worked out between them.

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I dont think that Steve is doing it to make himself look like the guy who made HP but I do think that maybe he’s been bitter to the fact that the Lexicon is so much hard work and he gets no income from it.

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“I think he should be allowed to profit from the work if he so chooses.”

The law says different. Otherwise anyone could nick stuff from anyone else and sell it on. But they can’t. As for not ‘using her ideas to make money’ of course he is.

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Well done Rosa P and all of you who defend JO. I’m with you JKR! Jo’s Army, UNITE!

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I am, of course, behind Jo on this one, but I feel bad for Steve. I’m sure he realises that he shouldn’t publish the book now, but it’s kind of out of his hands now. If he says anything, he could get sued by his publisher, and it’ll be a whole mess.

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I have enjoyed this site and the lexicon site for a number of years now and it is with sadness that I now remove the lexicon from my favourites. It would sadden me further to have to remove TLC from my favourites. I hope that the editors will soon make their position on these recent events clear.

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Thank you Mistral. It seems that now the series is over people resort to tabloid style hatred and stereotyping.

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“Isn’t there a rule about non-author written sequels, prequels and fictional companion books being written so many years after the original authors death? Hence the many Peter Pan and Jane Austen sequels out there?”

I think it is 70 years after an author dies. It also depends on the type of work and when it was published, and what country.

Posted by marillawhite on November 01, 2007 @ 06:04 PM

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Jo has allowed all sorts of analytical, speculative companion books and I have got a few of them and enjoyed reading them.But an encyclopaedia which takes her ideas and catalogues them is a different thing. Especially as she is planning do do the same thing herself. Permission needs to be sought and if not given then such a book cannot legally be published.

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I think the problem arises from the fact that JKR had said that a HP encyclopedia was in the future. Her die hard fans knew this as did Mr VanderArk.

If she had never thought/mentioned it and SVA came up with the idea – no problem. SVA and RDR books start promoting a “HP encyclopedia”, shopping it to publishers in other countries, etc. Knowing what she had already planned.

If SVA had gone to JKR and asked, there probably would not be a problem, it may have been published, published abridged, or not at all.

It seems as though SVA went to RDR Books first. He may be in a contract with them that he cannot get out of, even though he might want to not publish the book or at the least work it out with JKR. RDR seems to be the one pushing forward with it now.

JKR and WB’s lawyers have been told the book will be a “print version” of the Lexicon. Which has chapters, quotes and illustrations directly from the HP series. Is this where the problem lies?

If SVA was just putting out a book of his own essays and drawings inspired by HP, I would back him completely, but there is so much of her original work on his site, I think there is much in the way of copyright infringement.

SVA does give WB the trademark mention at the bottom of every page, but nothing towards JKR’s copyright.

Hindsight being 20/20 he should have gone to JKR first.

I believe she is correct in trying to stop the publication. And hope it can be worked out peacefully.

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I’ve always had a lot of respect for the Lexicon. This is all a bit of a shock. Thanks to Leaky for providing fans with the transparency they desire and posting all this info. Want more details before I pass judgement.

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opps, messed up that post above…here we go

“Isn’t there a rule about non-author written sequels, prequels and fictional companion books being written so many years after the original authors death? Hence the many Peter Pan and Jane Austen sequels out there?” Posted by marillawhite on November 01, 2007 @ 06:04 PM

I think it is 70 years after an author dies. It also depends on the type of work and when it was published, and what country.

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As much as I would gladly purchase a copy of the Lexicon to put on my shelf, I do believe the rights to such an encyclopedia belong to Jo. I have been a fan of the Lexicon and Steve since I first discovered it only months after it was created, and simply cannot believe they have been involved in anything like this. I can’t wait to hear Steve and Leaky’s take on this!

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Beating up on a school librarian—yes, I think so. And one of us, too, a major fan. I agree-shame on Rowling. Shame on fans, too, for jumping all over this person who is one of us and who cannot currently speak up for himself. What’s wrong with you people?! Legal-schmegal. This is not morally right.

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RJ: Legally, I think its debatable, hence the lawsuit. And cut and paste is in my opinion, a credit to Steve. He is VERY good at referencing, and he references ALL Of his facts, its what makes the lexicon so great. When you write a scientific paper to be published, you can directly quote as much of another persons paper as you like as long as you properly reference it. Steve’s lexicon in my opinion, is much more like a scientific paper then a story or ficitonal work.

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The statement on the RDR website sounds like they’re try to cover their asses. Sound’s like a bunch of babies to me.

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I”m sure from the moment the email was first sent to Steve, his hands were tied. That being said, you would think that he would have (or should have) gotten some sort of tacit approval to do something like this before he shopped the book to a publisher. Did he think of copyright infringement when he started the book? Or, perhaps, did RDR publishing contact him and get the ball rolling. I think there’s more to his side of the story than is out there.

Bottom line, though…JKR and WB will win, hands down. At least some charity will benefit from it.

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If Rowling’s projected encyclopedia is so similar to the already exsisting Lexicon – then there is no point in her wasting her time and talent in producing it. Rowling is an artist. I wish she’d stop squandering her gifts by involving herself in murky lawsuits.

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“What’s wrong with you people?! Legal-schmegal. This is not morally right.”

It is morally right to protect your intellectual property. On the other hand, it’s not moral for fans to think that Harry Potter is theirs to do with as they please.

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Ashes & Corey “Steve isn’t using JKR’s material, hes compiling it all into a reference work, referencing her material, I don’t believe is illegal.”

Read the details of the lawsuit and you’ll see that Jo asked for a copy to verify whether or not it infringes on her work. The publisher would not give it. Original work is allowed to be sold. Personal thoughts on HP are allowed to be sold. Copy and pasting is allowed for non-profit sharing. Copying and selling not is illegal.

Steve is hardly the only one who has done a lot of un-compensated work on a fan site. He’s not even the only one to win an award on Jo’s site.

Jo does not use Lexicon to get new ideas. Just as a reminder because the site is a regurgitation of her OWN work.

Google turns up 632,000 results for “Harry Potter fansites.” That’s a lot of people sharing, comparing, and discussing Jo’s work. None of that is for financial gain.

And no, Corey, it’s not about money taken from Jo. It’s money taken from charity. Anything from Jo’s own encyclopedia is for charity. Anything gained from this lawsuit goes to charity too.

Libby, I think you’re the only sane one here.

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I agree James

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lucky-lou

Who’s not moraly right? So its morally to make money off of someone else’s hard work? Yes Jo has made tons of money off the books and is why all the money made off her future books about HP will go to Charity. But should someone make ANY profit off of her 17 years of hard work? I dont say its not about money because if it was then he would have said he would contribute his part to charity as well.

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But he is selling it for profit. While he has the site, it is ok. It is free.

I’m a member of some groups who make Star Trek and Doctor Who fan films. These are films are ok, as long as they are not sold for profit. The BBC and CBS are ok with it. If these films are sold at conventions, then those companies will be very cross.

A while ago George Lucas sued someone because they were selling material that while fanmade, was still containing copyrighted material.

All of you people slagging JKR off, take a moment and think about. Read some of the other posts here, they know a lot more then me. She is only doing what is right to protect her property.

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I’ve said it before on other comment boards and I say it again (just for fun) – Steve was very very very foolish to even think about publishing a book version of Lexicon.

its all about stoppingmaking people making profit from your creations without your authorisation. Its as simple as that and perfectly justified.

What is sad is how easy it is for so called Jo fans to turn immediately against her when anything apparently negative surfaces without giving thought to a valid reason for her actions. I am glad to see this article but I am puzzled as to how we are getting to read all this detail as I thought no one should be commenting!

Anyway, Jo Rocks – yeah I am a biased fan ;)

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“It is morally right to protect your intellectual property. On the other hand, it’s not moral for fans to think that Harry Potter is theirs to do with as they please.”

Exactly! Thank you.

No one asked Steve to create the Lexicon. And it’s cool that he spent all that time and effort updating and cataloging the site, but none of that gives him any legal right to profit off of JKR’s work. You can’t just compile all that info into a new package and sell it as your own. It doesn’t work that way.

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at least put ur tales of beedle the bard on the internet

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I’m with Jo on this. I mean, how many jobs has she created with her writing? All the websites, movie productions, and books have meant jobs for people out of thin air, just from her writing from her imagination. But you give people an inch, they’ll try to grab a foot. No good deed goes unpunished. I bet she’d rather take a beating than have to deal with this, especially considering it involves one of her biggest fans. Not in the brochure when she signed up for the job, I’m sure.

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I can’t even process the fact that some people are STILL on Steve, and the Lexicon’s side in this matter. It was pretty clear yesterday, just by the brief info we got, that Jo and the WB tried to reason with RDR and Steve, and they were ignored, and even treated rudely.

The facts are there. The Lexicon is an online encyclopedia of JK Rowling’s work. It’s allowed to exist in it’s website form because it is free. Now Steve and RDR are trying to make a profit from it, while ignoring Jo’s wishes. And to make things worse, everyone knows Jo is making her own encyclopedia. People are saying, “yes, but Steve’s Lexicon version is different, because Jo won’t include those mundane details, so both should be allowed.” Guess what. How does ANYONE know what will and won’t be included in Jo’s version? OR what is included in Steve’s? And if it really is just a printed version of the lexicon, and you’re upset that you now won’t get to own it, why don’t you just visit the website like you always did?

Seriously, what the hell kind of fan is Steve to try and “compete” with his favorite author by releasing his own version first? Something tells me his reality has been blurred a bit. Yes, he obviously put a lot of work into organizing Jo’s world for the fans. But, that work is still not much more than a online filing cabinet of Jo’s creations. Just because you copied and/or pasted things from different sources, doesn’t entitle you to the rights to those words, and the characters, and the story.

Though, honestly, it does seem like his biggest mistake in this matter was letting RDR handle the WB and Jo, instead of talking to them himself. I mean, can you imagine how it must feel for Jo to HAVE TO sue a big fan of hers like this?

It’s obvious this decision wasn’t entered into lightly. Just look at the many other HP-related fan books, music, stories, and art out there. Most don’t, but some ARE making a profit. Obviously, she’s really lax when it comes to copyright infringement, and giving her fans a chance to use her characters to express themselves in different ways. But there’s a line there, and Steve obviously crossed it. And as soon as he knew that Jo was not okay with this book, that should have been the end of things. Steve should be ashamed, and RDR are really screwing him and themselves over by trying to “bite back” and argue this thing.

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To me, the issue isn’t so much if JKR has the legal right to sue as it is if she should give a break to someone who loves her work so much that he’s put countless hours into organizing it. She hasn’t started her encyclopedia, last I heard. It might not come out for years. Everyone’s going to buy it anyway to see what the additional information is. In the meantime, it might be nice for some people to have a print resource of various information.

I don’t know Steve Vander Ark or much about him, but the way I see it is, Steve scratched JKR’s back. He loved her books and even once helped her in the writing of one, albeit in a small way, as she herself has said. Now she’s failing the “you scratch mine” part of the original “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.”

Her own organization isn’t always very good. There are essays and message board threads about the countless mistakes you can find in the books, from character information to timelines that don’t make sense. Personally, if I were her I’d say, “Hey, thanks, Steve. Maybe when I get all my new information in order we can re-publish your encyclopedia with my stuff added. I really appreciate all the time you’ve taken from your life to make such a good resource for my fans.”

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This is soooo embarrassing! Imagine what she must be saying reading all the hurtfull and hatefull comments being made about her about outing DD and now all these hurtfull and hatefull comments about her on this matter that she had no choice but to make.

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To all the people that are commenting, make sure you read this ENTIRE post before commenting. I really dislike it when people make misinformed comments and it makes you look stupid. Anyways, I’m really disappointed in Steve. Even if his lawyers told him they would take care of it, after that first e-mail he should have been like No I’ll deal with this. I mean, come on, Jo was e-mailing him directly. He really needs to get on the ball and make amends with Jo so he doesn’t lose every cent he’s made in the past with the website.

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will someplease explain to me how lawyers can stop publicaiton of a book that they say by their own admission, they HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN???

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I too would like to know TLC’s views on all this. They are reminding us at the bottom of their stories that the HPL is part of their family thing. Im sure many fans want to know-especially with Melissas plans for her book-I know they are different books but still, interesting.

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Emily, actually Jo’s agent was emailing him directly. Prehaps you should read the entire post again. ;)

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What I really want to know is that if its not about the profit on Steves part and the book is supposly just a print out of the website then why wouldnt we be able to do that ourselves??? We can print out the website right now if we all wanted to! And it would be for FREE! SO why do it through a publishing agency and price it at $24.95? Are we paying $24.95 for it to be bound??? lol… it’s rediculous…

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Great post Maria

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JKR created Harry Potter, the Lexicon is about the books/characters JKR created thus it’s hers to decide what happens and what books are published. He has no right to take what she made and sell it. The free website is one thing. As for her using it so what! She’s out and around and she doesn’t have her notes and checks there that doesn’t mean she has to let him make money off her. I can’t believe someone would have the audacity to try to write the book she already promised to write. Talk about trying to beat someone to the punch. Yes her book will have more ‘new’ knowledge as well as what we already know, but it will (at least for what I was expecting) have much of the same stuff if not all the Steve would be publishing—how is it okay to use her book to make money.

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“will someplease explain to me how lawyers can stop publicaiton of a book that they say by their own admission, they HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN???”

Well obviously because the title implies it is a straight lift of JKR’s intellectual property and, since the publishers have refused to show the contents to prove otherwise, the lawyers are proceeding on the understanding that there is a copyright infringement.

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jo didn’t email steve directly from what we’ve been told. she sent her “people” to do it… agents and lawyers. i agree with the big lion attacking the small mouse theory.

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“will someplease explain to me how lawyers can stop publicaiton of a book that they say by their own admission, they HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN???”

They haven’t seen it because Steve’s publishers have refused to give them a copy.

Also, JKR, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, WB, and others own the copyrights. If they don’t want a book published, especially if their efforts at seeing the book have been ignored, that’s their right. They’re absolutely entitled to defend their property from what they see as infringement.

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Having spent the better part of my afternoon reading both sides of this debate, I can express only one thing for sure, which is that JK Rowling has - time and time again - gone above and beyond to reach out and happily coexist with her fans and the fan sites. There was a time when authors, creators, and production houses regularly and rabidly went after fansites in other fandoms with Cease and Desist Orders just for daring to display a handful of screen-captures, and (to my knowledge) neither JKR nor Warner Brothers has ever done this to us. They have recognized the value of the fandom to excite and invigorate the franchise, and even opened up wider connections, granting outstanding fansites such as Mugglenet and Leaky more access, and graciously allowed (and in JKR’s case, even promoted) webmasters to provide free content to the fans.

Whatever the legalities involved, I am saddened to think that, because of any of this, JKR and Warner Brothers might now begin to rethink allowing such activities, and that cornerstones of the online Harry Potter community (such as the Leaky image galleries or the online Lexicon) might now be in danger. One of the joys of this fandom has been the wealth of information, imagery, and movie clips that have proven to the copywrite-concerned companies that free online sharing of their copywrited images and information will encourage and increase rather than harm their profit, acting as free and positive PR.

JKR has time and time again respected and encouraged all manner of fandom activities that directly and legally infringe her creative property - including the Lexicon, fan art, fanfiction, image galleries, etc. - and to my knowledge all she has asked in return is that her original ownership of this world she invested 17 years of her life in be respected, and that people do not attempt to turn a profit on the coat-tails of those 17 years without permission. In light of her past positive relations with the Lexicon, I am surprised and saddened that the staff of the Lexicon either did not consult with her on this project or respect her wishes after she granted them such overwhelming leniency with her work (something she was certainly never under obligation to do) in the past, and that they might have now made JKR, her publishers and Warner Brothers reconsider allowing the fandom such reign.

JKR has respected and encouraged the fandom from the beginning. Regardless of the dollars involved, I believe she has earned our respect in turn and that her wishes in this matter should have been followed in the spirit of continued good will.

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I don’t know why things were struck through, up there… I didn’t intend to put in any strikethrough, and don’t think I can go back and fix it… Ack! Any mods out there who can help me?

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Great post afterthree

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Nothing to debate. Harry Potter is hers.

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Excellent post, afterthree!

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Conveniently, I just took a class that dealt with “Fair Use” under copyright law…which is where I think this would fall. There are a few key aspects that are looked at when deciding if you are using copy written material under Fair Use guidelines. The 2 that are glaring to me are that it cannot cause financial loss to the copyright holder, and that you can’t use more than 10% of the copy written material. Obviously this book has the potential to cause financial loss to Jo/Scholastic (read-the charity she’s donating the profits to). And if the book contains even a time line, it’s going to be copying 10% of the material, because the series of events in the book is a significant part of the material. So even if Steve and his publishers wanted to claim that it was Fair Use…they would have no case.

Obviously siding with Jo. She has every right to object to someone else profiting off of her work. Yes, Steve worked to organize it, but as others have said, without Jo he wouldn’t have had it to organize. Organizing information doesn’t make you an artist…it makes you a secretary.

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Judging how UGLY and undesign and messy to negative Lexicon’s site is, his book version probably would be just as ugly and undesign and no way I’d want that to pollute my bookshelf.

I guess judging from what Steve-defenders are saying, I can also take what’s on his site as a ‘reference’ and publish my own lexicon book too, I would do a much better and prettier job. I have the same entitlement too.

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For thoughts who are against Jo on this one you need to wake up and smell the copyright. Go read up on it along with fair use, Steve has crossed the line big time and has taken advantage at Jo’s leniency.

Some of you have no idea how lenient she is. Fan fiction, fan art, filks est. Some Authors wouldn’t allow such a thing never mind encourage them openly.

At the same time though there has been a lot of abuse towards Steve. People also need to stop doing this and wait for him to defend himself. It’s obvious he’s been told not to comment at this moment in time.

It’s sad Jo had to resort to this and it’s couldn’t be settled another way. And as for certain person who said Jo should let he creations go because the books are finished and she shouldn’t do any more. Shame on you she happens not to be quite done yet and wishes to do something else both for charity and to please her fans.

Also what’s wrong with Jo using the lexicon when she couldn’t get a hand on her own books at the time to use as a reminder. Sorry she can’t remember every detail of the book she’s been writing for years, sorry she is only human.

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Thank you Rosa P! ”...if its not about the profit on Steves part and the book is supposly just a print out of the website then why wouldnt we be able to do that ourselves??? We can print out the website right now if we all wanted to! And it would be for FREE!”

Steve could have just added a “printer-friendly” icon to the site.

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Nicely put Yuck!!!

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wow leave it to the internet to once again disillusion me to how unbelievebly quick to judge people can be. no wonder there are so many wars in the world, you hear one side of an argument and everyones ready to pick up their pitch forks and tar and feather either Jo or Steve. WE HAVE NOT HEARD BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT PEOPLE.

shame on you for passing any sort of judgement based on one article found on leaky. it disgusts me that anyone could think they could form an educated opinion based on what we know. did the daily prophit not teach you anything? everyone has an agenda, never make a judgement based on ONE source of facts.

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Books_4_eva I think you were refering to me and for your information I didnt say she let her creations go and should be finished with the books. I said Im surprised after all the abuse she has taken that she hasnt done so yet. Its very hard to be in the media and talked about as it is for witchcraft, gay rights, ect. then to be bashed continuously over and over again by supposed fans must be depressing.

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Thank you siyrean. Great analogy. Let’s make love not war fellow fans!

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Great post, afterthree.

And for those of you using the “One of Us” theory, seriously, that works when you’re 12 but not so much after. Come on, is that really how you define yourself? Is it really “the members of my fandom right or wrong!” Pul-eaze.

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Seems to me that the HP train and JKR is become a tad sue happy lately..Everything from extra companion books to bamboo hogwarts models ..Harry is every where and a part of the 21st century. SHe has enough money and if the fans didn’t want more more more Harry we wouldn’t buy it. This takes nothing from her or us..so its time to let it go and quit jumping on the USA sue happy wagon.

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I totally agree with Jo on this matter, BUT

what’s going on with steve? i mean this is our steve, why would our steve have reacted in such a way

i expect pottercast to address this or even get steve on (of course he might not be able to if there are legal restrictions)

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lol why what could his defence possibly be that Jo obviously hasnt heard from them already before she made this public?!

Jo is the only one in this who deserves support. Steve say ££££$$$$ and he is stealing from jo. That is not allowed!! Its not that hard to understand guys, please come on, how can he be justified!! Its absurd. Some people here look at Steve like a bloody celebrity. Its wrong. Big deal he took Jos info and put it in some order. Wow. Doesnt give him the right to publish it in encyclopedia form-especially when we as fans have known for several years it was what she planned to do herself-FOR CHARITY.

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The statement on the RDR website sounds like they’re try to cover their asses. Sound’s like a bunch of babies to me.

Posted by Lamb on November 01, 2007 @ 06:17 PM

They must have taken it down already, I don’t see it. What did it say?

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that was not me

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It is incredibly clear to me that Rowling and the WB are completely within their right to do this. That being said, when RDR and Vander Ark lose the suit, will TLC and Melissa, who has said she is completely loyal to Jo and the integrity of the Harry Potter series, remain affiliated with a webmaster who so blatantly infringed upon Jo’s rights for his own personal monetary gain?

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Bethers

Why is it Sue Happy?? If you spent 17 years of your life creating something out of thin air why wouldnt you defend it???? And dont go there about JK having enough money. She planned on doing the same thing with more info on HER OWN work and donating it to Charity not her own pocket like Steve and RDR.

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I’m with Jo on this one. Steve has no right to make money from Jo’s work. He should have asked her fist. She said already that no permission was asked. It’s her creation not Steve’s.

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I have four comments to make:

1. – I’m finding this publisher rather odd – what harm would have come from sending Christopher Little a copy of the book? They may have agreed to let the publication continue (or they might have still sued, but its not like giving them a copy of the book would automatically mean that if they didn’t like it they could stop publication). Reminds me of how I feel about New Line lately as they for some strange reason are unable to do what Peter Jackson asked either (though the LotR cases are completely separate and to do with financial issues, not copyright).

2. – I thought that the DVD timeline may come into it. And I was right.

3. – While at first I thought that Steve was stuck in the middle, I am now starting to agree with others that he does seem to be getting a little too big for his boots. Until he makes some form of public comment though I’m going to reserve judgement.

4. – Fantastic journalism by Leaky – we have news outlets here in Australia who would most likely ‘forget’ to mention they are partners/owned by the same company or whatever. Yet if you were here I’m guessing that you wouldn’t fall under those guidelines, but you still do the right thing. Plus your coverage is non-biased as well – its a good example for other media outlets.

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Thats sooooooooooo out of order!!! i’m glad jo’s not taking it and takin action!!! we’re all behind you jo!!!!!!!

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http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7299302&nav=menu44_2

According to Woodtv.com (link above)

“Publisher Roger Rapoport of RDR Books saw the site and got with the editor to make a book version. Now, though, less than a month until the publishing date, Rapoport ran into problems with Rowling.”

May not have been SVA’s idea, but he went along with it.

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“They must have taken it down already, I don’t see it. What did it say?”

There’s a link right on their front page. It’s basically the publishers playing the “this big meany is picking on a small book company, why me?”

Well, because you are illegally selling a book that has copywrite info.

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I’m still 100% with Steve and I think WB and Jo did use his work without paying. So it’s just proper that the lawyers use it. What people must understand is that it’s her world, her characters and plots., but it is not the world the characters or the plots the real content of Lexicon or the book. It’s content is the organization of information and the quick way to know things. I worked in a Brazilian site for four years and i have used Lexicon a lot to translate the news about her website, for insytance. I have all the books, but when I had to know if some character mentioned at her website (like that member of Weirds sisters) had already appeared in the books, I wouldn’t reread all of them, I would use the Lexicon. When there was a character with Dragon-Pox, I would use the Lexicon. I have worked on similar stuff and I know it is not easy nor quick. As a matter of fact, this is Steve’s area of expertise, he is a librarian, someone whose work is to organize information. The mere existence of information doesn’t mean it is easy to know it. Just think of Google, what people woukld with the net if there weren’t sites like Google, altavista and Yahoo? The information is there, but it is almost useless, if we don’t have easy ways to access it. Steve did a work in his area of expertise – to make it simpler and quicker to access information about HP. WB has repeatedly stated that they used his site (and not only his timeline – the time line isn’t in the books, btw, he had to deduce it from sparse information) in DVDs and films. He was always gracious about that use. but now, it is different, people are just ignoring all the enormous effort he had to compile and organize all this information. I think Jo is being ignoirant and arrogant, when she doesn’t admit there are different creative works here and Steve is not stealing hers (but she has stolen his, a lot). Steve has already helped her make a lot of money, because WB used his work and I suspect the foreign language translators did too (when the RAB issue transpired, it was evident there was a large group of translators consulting him). now she could just admit it and let it be.

Now just an example. Do you think that people that make dictionaries should pay Jo copyright when they add the words Muggle and Quidditch in their new editions? No? Well, Steve’s work is similar.

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at first, i wasnt too sure which side i was on here, but after reading all this, i think im on JKRs side. it seems like they gave the publishers every chance to work this out and were pretty much denied. at some point, you have to take action.

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This matter was out of Steve’s hands when he signed with RDRRDR could do anything to him if he says or does something that could potentially harm them in any way. HE hasn’t behaved badly, they have.

JKR is certainly within her rights. That being said, I don’t think she should do this. So what if they make money off of it? What dire consequences follow? It won’t take anything from her or the charities she hopes to benefit with her own encyclopedia.

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If he just changed the title to the “unofficial HP Lexicon” would he be allowed to print it? Why can other sites print their books, like mugglenet or the great snape debate? It doesn’t seem like Steve to do this.

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Steve’s online “fame” has gone to his head, now he thinks he can get away with making money off of Jo’s work. He should have asked permission first then there would have been no problems here, although I doubt she would have given him the OK even then. Good for Jo protecting her work!!!!!

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I should really read the whole lawsuit before I post. I realize now that Jo is in the right and that Steve is steeling her work to make money. A free Lexicon online is one thing, but to sell it in a book without permission is another. Shame on Steve.

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And, funnily enough, the Lexicon has turned off their comments. Though I suppose that could be for legal reasons as well.

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It’s her work he’s reorganized and now he’s trying to make money off of it. Plus it’s going to compete with the encyclopedia she’s writing FOR CHARITY. She has every right to sue.

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dude steal someone elses name please, its the internet, its not like anyone will know who you are either way. i’m am not making any judgement till i have a lot more information.

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oh sorry Rosa P it kind of got mixed together with eveything else I was getting a little annoyed.

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dude steal someone elses name please, its the internet, its not like anyone will know who you are either way. i’m am not making any judgement till i have a lot more information.

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Completely agree Wydok.

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This blind, thoughtless following of a celebrity is unbelievable. Can’t you people see she’s bigger than he is and she’s going to win and she’s going to hurt a person very badly to do it? It doesn’t matter if she’s right legally. She has the power to give this super-fan a break, and she isn’t going to do it. She will crush this man, both his finances and his reputation. He’s a librarian, for god’s sake, not some sleazy Rita Skeeter type. He was not going to get rich off of her story, and he was not going to take food out of the mouths of caged children in Eastern Europe either. There will be people now who will turn their backs on Ms. Rowling because of her Cruella DeVille tactics toward fans and not buy her book, whenever it comes out—that will take money away from the charity, which is a darned shame.

Ms. Rowling is hurting her own cause. If even one child suffers another day because of her ignorance, greed, and possessiveness over this petty issue, she will have negated one day of good she may have brought to the world if she had just kept her focus on the bigger, more important things.

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And another thing, Steve should have just asked permission to use Jo’s work. I mean, who in there right mind would take someone else’s work and try to sell it for money?

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@FflippingTonks:

Analysis and criticism of another person’s work is within the rights of “fair use”, so The Great Snape Debate and the Mugglenet prediction books analyze the events in the HP series. What this guy is doing is just reprinting information we already have directly from the books.

Unless he plans on including the analysis and criticism included in the Lexicon, but then that means he should be sued by the people who wrote those essays.

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@lilypad

How are children suffering by preventing the Lexicon to be printed? Is it going to be printed on Cancer-curing paper?

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LilyP you should re read the comments before posting. Its already been discussed and solved that as long as theres less than 10% of what is HP word for word then its legal. The deffinitions for Muggle and Quidditch are deffinitely less than 10% of the seven books combined. So yes Dictionaries should be able to add those in without permission. Its perfectly legal.

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“Ms. Rowling is hurting her own cause. If even one child suffers another day because of her ignorance, greed, and possessiveness over this petty issue, she will have negated one day of good she may have brought to the world if she had just kept her focus on the bigger, more important things.”

Umm, I don’t want to become involved in this argument, but I do believe that the website says that any money won is going to charity. How is a child going to suffer because of it? Fact still remains that whether we believe it’s morally right or wrong, legally she has the right to her material, and its up to the courts to decide.

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Here’s the thing, Steve’s timeline is made up of all of Jo’s characters, places etc. The point is it is not Steve’s info so he has no rights to it. Just because he took Jo’s information and put it in another format does not makes it his. Come on people. Those of us in the US (not sure when other countries are taught) learn about plagiarism and copyright somewhere around age 10. For Steve to think he has any rights to Jo’s characters is crazy and all of you who think he has a right to publish her work need to go back to basic 6th grade English class. When you see sequels to classics like Pride and Prejudice or Gone with the Wind it is because the copyright has expired or the family of the author has given permission. Neither is the case with what Steve is trying to do. How sad for a so called Harry Potter Fan to do this to Jo. If I was Jo I would feel like I was stabbed in the back. WB has granted Steve access to the movie sets, he has got to do so much that so many of us wish we could do in the HP world. He was given this treatment because Jo saw the work he did on his website and acknowledged it. What did she get in return? What she got was a so called fan that used her and WB to make a buck. It does not matter if Jo has all the money in the world. It is not about her making money it is about her right to protect her work. The difference between Melissa’s book and Mugglenet’s book is that they are not taking Jo’s material and repackaging it as their own material. Mugglenet’s book was an opinion book and Melissa is about the fans of HP not about the characters of HP. Jo please know that there are so many of us behind you on this and you have so many fans that just love Harry Potter as a great story and we would never think to use your hard word to profit for ourselves. You and only you have a right to say who gets to use your beloved world of Harry Potter.

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lilypad, she asked them to stop since sept 12th and they denied her requested, she was ignore and treated rudely. Stop being a fangirl of Steve’s and actually read the lawsuit. If it wasn’t for Jo and her creation Steve would never have even been to make a free lexicon online, then it get to his big head and try to sell it as his own work….

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Thank you Lamb! I was going to the wrong RDR publisher website

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Go to RDRBooks.com and read their statement. You will laugh. A LOT. “Knowing that the Harry Potter novels have had a profound effect in encouraging literacy among young people around the world, we believe that publishing the website content in printed form will make its information available to underprivileged children and those in impoverished nations, who may have no access to computers or to the World Wide Web.” LOL! Steve is just trying to help teh childrenz!

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@Lilypad

You are unbelievable! How can she give Steve a break and not everyone else?? Explain how she can possibly do that without looking unfair? If she gives him a break then everyone on Mugglenet would have a hissy fit! You cant do that to people. We all as fans are being treated equal by her doing this. Shes saying this is not right and I wont let ANYONE do it.

@ Books_4_eva

Its ok. I figured you got messed up thats why I wanted to let you know. No harm done!!! ;)

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Maybe some else spotted and mentioned this earlier on this board but I just noticed The Lexicion link on top of the Leaky Page does not work anymore. Click on it, it takes you to Podcast! Is Leaky disassociating themselves from Lexicon for the moment?? Until this issue is over?

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I forgot to address an issue in my previous post. there are lot of companion books in the market. why did Jo go against Steve’s and only his? Perhaps I’m too harsh on Jo, but it seems to me that it’s because she knows he would write the definitive encyclopedia, not she. People are writing here about lots of works done by lots of sites and that all this work was non-profit. Yes, but even so, there is one site everybody uses when a quick reference is needed(including WB), and it’s not Jo’s. It’s the Lexicon. The real reason why the Lexicon is being sued is because it is a very good work and everyone really interested in a printed encyclopedia would want it. And I sincerely doubt Jo has the competence to write an encyclopedia similar to the one Steve did. she is always messing up her timelines in the books. she also uses different names for some spells or for Departments of the MoM. A tool like the one Steve has built would have helped her a lot not to make those mistakes. Her encyclopedia will be interesting and appealing only if it something along the lines of her previous companion books, where the creativity is the important thing, not accuracy. So I hope she realizes her creative work is something completely different from Steve’s and real fans want both.

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Amy S, that’s hilarious. Give me a break, they are hoping to make money off the fans who already go to the online Lexicon not the poor starving childernz in 3rd world countries who don’t have internet access, but are huge HP fans and want more info and want to put money in the pocket of some “fan” steeling Jo’s work….

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I can hear Maud Flanders now “Wont somone please think of the children?” lol Saint Steve, saviour of underpriviliged children who need an encyclopedia for a book they were probably too poor to buy. Great work RDR, dig the hole deeper!

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Very interesting to read. Well done by Jo’s and WB’s lawyers. Cant understand why they wanted to do a book out of the lexicon anyway. I mean most of the fact is in the books and you got your site.

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I cant read the entire statement on the RDR website! It makes me sick!!! How can they market the book through the law suit lmao… And to top it off some of the stuff their saying is rediculous!! It specifically says that its the same thing as the website. So why would I pay for it??? When I can print it on my own for FREE!!!

For anyone who wants to know, I work for a printing company. Anyone who wants it bound can shoot me an email! Trust me its a lot cheaper than $24.95!! And if your imoverished and underprivileged than Ill give you a discount! lmao….

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I’m so silly, I need to learn to read the entire artical and all the other comments on the board before commenting myself. There IS a difference between the lexicon book and the other books which are just fans giving their take on HP, where the lexicon takes Jo’s info and is trying to sell it. That’s just wrong Steve…. I wish he would have thought about this before he sold the lexicon book for some quick cash.

I feel bad for the fans who are dumb enough to buy the book and put money in his pocket.

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@LilyP

The past companion books were written as a oppinion/theory book. Thats why Mugglenet was able to publish that book and not their version of the encyclopedia.

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BTW, the Lexicon link still works. It is the TLC link. The links are still off since the site reconstruction. The Lexicon link actually leads you to Accio Quote, Acccio to the shop and so on.

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I just read that other fans, including the mugglenet staff had planned on making their of lexicon type book but they were asked to stop and they did!!!!! Then there was someone else in Europe who was doing the same thing and asked to stop and did, yet Steve and his publishers wont. That’s sick. I thought Steve was a big fan of Jo’s, why would he do this to her?

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Oh, and I guess all Jo is asking is that the money made from the lexicon book go to charity. I agree with her. Steve has no right to profit off her work. It would be nice of him and the publishers to give the money to a charity, maybe a charity that will help these poor kids that don’t have internet access, or maybe the money could go to buying kids computers so they can see the already free online version of the lexicon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The Lexicon is not working! Or is just my comp??? Someone else check…

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I think JKR’s doing the right thing.

Fan-entitlement issues, much?

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SORRY! its my stupid computer!!!! The site is not down!!

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RDR Books is really wrong. Their statement makes them look like idiots.

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sorry if this has been mentioned but I see Jo’s agents have answered some Leaky questions-

The Christopher Little Agency has also answered some questions for Leaky in response to what has been mentioned in comments:

-The difference between the book and the Lexicon web site is that “the website is free for all fans but the book is to be sold,” and “other free web sites are fine so long as the material is appropriate.”

-Regarding whether the Lexicon has rights due to JKR’s use of it in the past, the “Lexicon has no rights in Harry Potter.”

-They can’t comment on whether it would have really overlapped with J.K. Rowling’s intended because they haven’t seen the book, and this was why they wanted to review it.

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Lilyp, get your FACTS right okay? For the last time, all the theories books (including the Mugglenet book) out there are allowed within limits because they fall under academic studies and critical, meaning their content is the writer’s opinion and theories on Harry Potter books. This is NOT WHAT STEVE is putting in his book. What Steve is doing is purely lifting dates, names and facts from the harry potter books and re-arrange them as a encylopedia/Lexicon. There is NO opinion, NO criticism, NO academic analysis involved. That is NOW ALLOW. Are you that stupid to understand this difference? Have you ever taken a literature class? Know what ‘literary analysis’ is? That is not what Steve’s book is, his are straight facts COPY from books and that is copyright infringement.

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“Lexicon has no rights in Harry Potter.”

Exactly

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I can’t believe the lexicon could be so careless. now, they may never be able to right any Harry Potter related book because they couldn’t comply with JKR or WB’s initial four requests to see the book. If they’d just let them see the book and made any necessary changes, they might’ve still been able to sell it. I’m so shocked that Steve Vander Ark and the lexicon couldn’t comply with any of Jo’s requests when they owe so much to her.

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1st Amendment Rights? C’mon RDR you can do better than that. If you want to talk Constitutionality, what about your move to impede Jo’s rights to the books and the fact that the Lexicon would be making a profit off of this?

Besides, why would I want to pay 25 bucks for something I can just get for free on the internet? Plus I can just click on links instead of having to look up and flip through pages.

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Yes, RDR… “underpriveleged children in impoverished countries” routinely have 24.95 to spend on HP ripoff books. Their parents sure wouldn’t buy food or medicines with that money (if I roll my eyes any more today they’re going to get stuck like this). Can we assume RDR will be donating several hundred thousand copies of this book to each of those underpriveleged kiddies without computers? I’m betting not.

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Yuck, you are completely right. I really need to learn my laws and learn how to read properly. I’m so slow sometimes when it comes to this stuff. I feel bad for Steve, but why would he do this to Jo if he’s a fan of her work? Why would he steel from her. I don’t understand.

I also feel bad for Jo, it looks like she truly asked him and the publishers to stop and they didn’t. It’s her creation, not Steve’s to sell.

I’m disappointed in Steve…

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Mom Weasley, exactly what I was thinking.

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What I mean about Ms. Rowling’s Cruella DeVille tactics hurting her cause is that there will be people now who will not buy her encyclopedia for charity when it does come out because of her actions. That will hurt the children. Her cruel actions in this are not worth taking that chance, in my view, for whatever small gain she would get in money for the charity. Mr. Vander Ark has helped Ms. Rowling by helping build up her fan base over the years as well as helping her books be taken seriously be being something worth having a reference written about them at all. The first time he needs help, she crushes him in public and defames his reputation through the media and Internet websites. Not pretty.

She’s more powerful than he is—we all agree on that. Where’s the compassion?

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I need to learn the laws and I need to properly read the lawsuit that was filed. Steve has no rights to Harry Potter at all.

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I’m rather upset that Steve seems to have tried to take Jo’s work, order it differently and then try to sell it to us. I would think a librarian would know copyright laws and would understand he’s breaking them.

I’m just glad that Leaky remains such a respectable site.

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Disappointed in him? Seriously people…it’s like going into someone’s garage and stealing their lawnmower. The man uses characters he did NOT create, in a world he did NOT create, and from books he did NOT create. He is a thief, plain and simple.

Shame on any fans who did not support Jo in this—she does not HAVE (yet she generously tolerates fanfic) to give any licence whatsoever to anyone concerning her intellectual property. Steve just got too big for his britches and tried to cash in with the snakes at his publishers.

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Oh, and she asked plenty of time since Sept 12th to stop the book being published but Steve and the publishers refused and treated Jo and her people rudely. She did all should could to protect her work, and when they didn’t comply she took the next step. I have no doubt she feels bad about the way this ended up, but she has to protect her creation. It’s her not Steve’s.

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I havent read through all these comments yet, but I did see someone make a really ridiculous and immature statement on the first page about Leaky, so I just wanted to say a quick word myself (I’m sure others have already said the same):

I want to congratulate you on your professionalism during what I am sure is a very difficult time. I’m sure it has to be tough to report on this stuff, yet you have been completely upfront about everything. You’ve handled this news with journalistic integrity, and have not shied away from full disclosure. Congratulations.

Now, I’m off to read through this thread.

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The lexicon link worked for me. It takes you to an intermediate site and you have to hit another link.

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Wizengamut is correct!

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“Rudely” is a word used by JKR’s lawyers—remember that. We’re only hearing THEIR side of the story. I’m sure Steve V. would have plenty to say if he was allowed to say anything by his attorney. He’s probably scared **less by now. I would be.

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I find the following statement from RDR disgusting:

“we believe that publishing the website content in printed form will make its information available to underprivileged children and those in impoverished nations, who may have no access to computers or to the World Wide Web.”

It is trying to give legitimacy to this whole business, but is, in actual fact absolute rubbish. I’ve lived in a developing country for nearly my whole life and have, in fact, known many of those “underpriviledged children” and the truth is, with the illiteracy levels, the shaky publicly funded education, the high price of books and the fact that not everyone can afford to pay for english lessons not to mention that they wouldn’t be able to order the book, not having computer and internet in the first place, I’m sure buying the latest UNOFFICIAL HP encyclopedia will exactly what’s on their minds when it is released.

One small thing, though: just how many of those books are they planning to sell? By that comment it would seem quite a few, which means they would, in fact, be making a great deal of money out of this.

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If Steve is such a big fan why would he use Jo’s hard work and repackage if it’s his own to make money off of. That’s so wrong. People have the right to protect their work, Jo’s is in the right to stop this book from happening.

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It’s completely disgusting Gringa. I hope Steve isn’t backing them up on these sick statements, and for that matter the TLC.

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With TLC’s update, we are now into the realm of “He said, she said” and the “merry-go-round” begins, kids! At least TLC is keeping the readership appraised of what’s happening. Not so, Lexicon, or other sites. How ‘bout we “move on” and just watch, for a while. This is going to go on for a LONNNNGGG time, I’m afraid. I really want to know what’s happening with HBP, now. 387+ posts is quite enough. I think we need to let THEM “sort out their priorities”. JMHO

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Why does everyone think Mr. Vander Ark would make so much money on this? You’ve got to be kidding. He’s not going to sell as many books as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books sell. Who are you kidding? It’s a reference book, for god’s sake. Most people are not going to buy either one of these books-they’re just going to be pages of entries of facts-talk about unexciting reading! It’s like reading a dictionary! References are used for other purposes, for writing papers in school and stuff like that.

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It gave Steve and Lexicon uttered bad image that he’s allied with the likes RDR and now comes their laughable justification. Buying a $25 lexicon would be LAST of an underprivilege kid’s concern. If i’m freaking underprivilege kid with limited money I’d rather save up to buy and enjoyed the actualy harry potter novels. It just seems to me he’s grasping at straws and spelling out that’s he’s really after personal, selfish, greedy monetary gain.

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But I have to realize that money is not the point here. It’s Jo’s work, not Steve’s to sell. If Jo allowed Steve to get away with this, then that give all of us a free rein on her material. I could go to the lexicon right now and re-write what is on there my own way and try to sell it, but that wouldn’t be fair to Steve right? or Jo for that matter.

Man I really am slow at these things. I need to read other peoples post and the entire lawsuit before I make stupid and silly comments.

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OMG Im embaressed by this comment-

“Mr. Vander Ark has helped Ms. Rowling by helping build up her fan base over the years as well as helping her books be taken seriously be being something worth having a reference written about them at all.”

He helped her build her fan base?! How?! Surely his site is used by fans-people who have already read the books and wanted more info. LOL How does that give him credit for building the fanbase?! Its her books, her story, her characters that made the fanbase. Another fine example of people getting confused about who or what Steve is. He is not a celebrity, or an author. He is a fan who got recognition and is using it now to make money.

I certainly took Jos books “seriously” and again I find it absurd anyone can claim that just becuase Steve had the time to set up this online encyclopedia that it makes people take her books seriously. Such daft stuff people are coming out with.

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You know … I think I might now know how Prime Minister Fudge felt when he was told Voldemort was back. He preferred to be in denial as the thought of “he must not be named” was too horrible to bear. I plan to exercise my right to be in denial and ignore all of this.

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So sad. Still no word from Steve. If he has anything worthwhile to say to defend himself, why on earth has he not yet posted it on the Lexicon? Does he not realize his reputation – and by association that of the other people at the Lexicon, and by extension, of so many of us – is suffering more by the minute?

The only thing left for him to do is ditch that RPR outfit, apologize to Jo in public and do whatever he can to settle the matter out of court. Then, maybe, with time, he might regain some sort of standing in the fandom. Until then, I am very sad to lose canon conclundrums.

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That is embarrassing Ryan. Steve has no rights to Jo’s creation. He is steeling her work to make money from and that’s wrong.

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I don’t expect to hear from Leaky regarding their stance on this. Why on earth would I expect or need that? The people at TLC obviously adore Jo and they also have wonderful friends at the Lexicon. I think it’s pretty much a no brainer that TLC staff is sick at heart to see their good friends come down to this. Why on earth would anyone think they need to come out with a statement of support for one beloved friend or the other? Isn’t it enough to know that there is much sadness without demanding bitterness be spread also?

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Melissa, Thanks for presenting this so professionally. You’re the best journalist I’ve ever seen or read.

It makes me sad to see this happen and JKR does have every right to do what she did. Harry Potter is her world. She worked hard to bring it to the world and it’s sad that a fan as well known as Steve made such a bad judgement call. I enjoyed Steve being on Pottercast and admired him for putting together the Lexicon web site, so this leaves me feeling very disappointed in him. In no way does this reflect how I feel about TLC. I am very proud of The Leaky Cauldron and their staff for everything that you’ve done during this trying period.

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oh this is getting so confusing! to me it seems that steve wrote the book thinking he had perfect legal right since everything on the lexicon site is copywrighted. he wrote it and it was set to be published. then jk comes in saying he can’t. then his publishers told him to let them deal with this and they didn’t handle it very well. i don’t think that it is neither jk or steve’s fault. they both feel that they have legal writes to do what they are doing. its all a question of which overrides the other.

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Many many rounds of applause to the TLC staff for providing us with all available information, and for staying (very appropriately) neutral.

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Did the Leaky staff know what Steve was doing? Did they support this before this all came about? They can’t be that stupid to support someone who is trying to make money by publishing a free, online version of gathered info Jo created and charging $25 a book for it.

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“Many many rounds of applause to the TLC staff for providing us with all available information, and for staying (very appropriately) neutral.”

I agree! The fact that TLC could have easily ignored this piece of news and chose not to shows a great deal of integrity. My opinion of the TLC staff has gone up considerably.

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Lacey, Steve has NO RIGHTS to Harry Potter. NONE, ZIP, ZERO. I could sit here and take all the info I can find from the books and make my own chart, but that doesn’t make it mine. It’s Jo’s creation, not mine. I have no right to sell it. Steve’s lucky she has been so nice not to stop his website, but now he’s getting greedy and trying to sell that info in book form for $25.

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(Joining in the round of applause, with budb) Thank you, indeed TLC, for being the “voice of fairness” in this mess. Posting BOTH SIDES, as they “come in”...You definately deserve kudos and thanks!

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lilypad- Please, take your meds and get off the computer!

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“Melissa, Thanks for presenting this so professionally. You’re the best journalist I’ve ever seen or read.

It makes me sad to see this happen and JKR does have every right to do what she did. Harry Potter is her world. She worked hard to bring it to the world and it’s sad that a fan as well known as Steve made such a bad judgement call. I enjoyed Steve being on Pottercast and admired him for putting together the Lexicon web site, so this leaves me feeling very disappointed in him. In no way does this reflect how I feel about TLC. I am very proud of The Leaky Cauldron and their staff for everything that you’ve done during this trying period.”

After taking the time to read through most of the comments… all I can say is this: I agree with you LisaRosa, and all who have voices the same opinion… What a mess! This is just crazy!

So thanks Leaky, and thanks Melissa, for being the absolute opposite of that Skeeter woman, and keeping it as neutral, factual as it can be! I am thorougly impressed…

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I agree that the Leaky Cauldron is to be congratulated for their coverage. They come out smelling like a rose. Reading the article as it is updated and reading the comments is rapidly becoming addictive. I want someone else to make a statement so the article can be updated again! This is good stuff.

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There is so much about the RDR statement that made me chuckle, but the line about making the Lexicon available to “underprivileged children and those in impoverished nations” left me LOL!

Do these people realize how transparent they are?

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There is a person on here posting as me, and it’s annoying and childish. My position is that Ms. Rowling is too big to concern herself with petty lawsuits like this. Anyone who posts as me saying anything otherwise is not me.

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Oh, and BTW everyone, you’ve made it over to Fandom Wank, where they are delightfully watching the crapstorm raging over here, and copying some of the more inane comments verbatim. Congratulations.

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OWG what ever, how dare you pose as me. Your views are stupid and wrong, I’m smart enough to realize that so there is no way you are the real lilypad. Steve has no rights to Harry Potter at all. It’s Jo’s work, no one else’s.

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No one comes out of this looking good. Steve, WB or sadly, Jo Rowling. It’s all very sad that it’s come to this.

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Lilypad- What a moronic comments- had you read everything I’ve been posting it would, ah SHOULD be abundantly clear that I have been on JKR’s side since yesterday when this all started. Why don’t you take you own advice and READ before you post.

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i don’t know about you guys, but i can’t wait for pottercast this week.

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various odds and thoughts, or odd thoughts…

1. from the legal timeline posted on TLC: September 18: Steve Vander Ark responded to JKR’s agent by e-mail saying he had “been asked to leave all correspondence in this matter to others.” Steve is acting correctly, he should not say a word, or at most “This is a sad situation. I like JKR, I have worked well with her in the past, and I hope we can find a friendly resolution to this sad situation.” Anything more than that is inappropriate. Don’t expect to hear from Steve, folks!

2. TLC is not required to have an “opinion”, although we can assume the individual staff members do. They are not required and should not be asked to give their opinions. For legal reasons, it probably would be inappropriate for them to do so.

I would add that like many I come here for information, even rumor…TLC is acting with class, giving us the available information and that’s it.

3. The focus must be on the planned contents of the “lexicon”, and frankly none of us knows what those contents are (were?). 3a. As discussed in detail above, there are sharp limits on how much material can be taken directly from JKR’s works or other copyrighted sources. I won’t rehash that discussion. 3b. IF original essays posted on the HP Lexicon site are the bulk of the planned book, THEN each of those authors must sign a contract with RDR allowing the individual essays to be printed. Such a contract also would spell out what compensation would (or would not) be given to the contributers, even if its just a single free copy.

So, without knowing what the contents are, we can only shake our heads, and wish for a friendly solution to the sad situation.

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Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of those commending Leaky for its transparency (acknowledging that the Lexicon is a partner site) and fair and balanced reporting of this news event.

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Obviously there are either two lilypads or you have multiple personality disorder, in either cases I apologize to you (or, ah, both of you) because honestly, I can’t figure you out.

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I’m very happy that Leaky is providing as much information on the subject as they can. Thank you for keeping us so well informed, like always.

I don’t agree with what Steve did. I wonder, however, if he simply made it clear that this was an “Unofficial” encyclopedia, much of this would be avoided. Still, I have a problem with people writing encyclopedisa and other companion books without the authors permission. That is common sense.

Note to everyone, before you decide to publish ANYTHING make sure you understand your country’s and international copyright laws.

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This is really upsetting. It’s truly shocking to me that Steve would try to sell something like an