NY Judge Issues Restraining Order to Prevent Publication of Lexicon; JK Rowling Updates

112

Nov 09, 2007

Posted by Melissa Anelli
Uncategorized

As stated in a public document and now on JK Rowling’s Web site a judge has issued a restraining order against publication of The Harry Potter Lexicon.

This document, signed by Judge Robert Patterson in NY, denies RDR Books’ claim to delay the matter until January and grants a restraining order for JKR/WB to prevent the book from being published or licensed anywhere worldwide until February 6 2008, when the case for a preliminary injunction may be made. J.K. Rowling says in her “news” updates section, in an entry titled “Lexicon continued,” that this mean the book “cannot be completed, published or marketed until the court has had time to decide whether it would break the law if published in its present form.”

She goes on:

I take no pleasure in the fact that publication has been prevented for the present. On the contrary, I feel massively disappointed that this matter had to come to court at all. Despite repeated requests, the publishers have refused to even countenance making any changes to the book to ensure that it does not infringe my rights.

Unless their position changes, we will all return to court next year. Given my past good relations with the Lexicon fansite, I can only feel sad and disillusioned that this is where we have ended up.

Earlier today, RDR Books issued a press release that claimed that a judge “accepted an order proposed by RDR Books, agreeing to temporarily withhold publication of Steve Vander Ark’s Harry Potter Lexicon.” The release did not mention the restraining order. A motion to delay proceedings owing to RDR Books’ need to retain and familiarize a copyright lawyer with the case was denied.

RDR Books claims on its site that the delay was voluntary and perhaps even their idea, but that contradicts what has been put forth in legal documents as well as what JK Rowling has said has occurred. Also, a source has told TLC that it was Judge Patterson’s preference to restrain the case (and therefore publication) until February, not RDR‘s.

The RDR statement says:

“It is our wish that Ms. Rowling join Mr. Vander Ark in his campaign for literary freedom and free expression by dropping her complaint against a book we are confident she would enjoy reading.”

Update: We have a copy of the judge’s letter (you can download it here, which will be available for download shortly. It says that the book has not been fully typeset for printing, that RDR has instructed its typesetters to cease operations, and that the book “cannot be printed and distributed to the public at this time.” The court orders that the book and all those associated with its publication cannot complete the book, typeset it, print it, distribute it, advertise it, promote it, sell it, license it, accept orders for it – not in the US or anywhere abroad. It also ordered RDR to take the book off Amazon, their own Web site, and any other means of “advertising, soliciting orders for, and distributing the book.” Also any money that RDR gets from activities related to the lawsuit shall be placed in escrow (holding, supposedly pending outcome of the suit). The order will remain until the court has ruled on JKR/WB’s filing for a preliminary injunction.

The preliminary injunction will be filed on January 7, 2008; RDR‘s opposition will be due on January 22, 2008. The reply by JKR/WB is due on January 29. The preliminary injunction hearing will take place on Feb. 6, 2008 or “on such other date as the court directs.

Update 2: You can now download here JKR/WB’s lawyers’ response to RDR lawyers’ attempt to delay the case (a delay attempt that was denied by Judge Patterson after this letter was filed). The letter notes that although RDR is a small company with limited resources, “RDR faced no such obstacles in garnering significant and international attention for itself and its book. Indeed, upon information…RDR continues to trumpet its intention to publish its book.”

The letter also says “RDR has used this lawsuit as an opportunity to publicize the book and disparage my clients in the press,” and said the plaintiffs (JKR/WB) are eager for a ruling because it would only “perpetuate the cloud…and would most likely be perceived as some sort of vindication for RDR—which had been given every conceivable chance to resolve this matter amicably.”

JKR/WB also referred to the request for adjournment as 11th-hour, claiming RDR had since last week to request it, and claiming that if the schedule were delayed new facts would develop or facts would change JKR/WB’s briefs, which had been prepared for submission today.

You can download this letter here.

Update 3: WB has made a statement: “Although sad that this had to go to court, the judgement granting an order against RDR books is an important step in helping us to protect our intellectual property and at the same time, protect JK Rowling’s right to produce her own companion book to the Harry Potter series she created. Both Warner Bros. and JK Rowling are clear that this claim is a matter of infringement of copyright, not a matter of literary freedom.”

Update 4: There is another update on the Harry Potter Lexicon by Steve Vander Ark: “t’s very hard to know what to write. For one thing, everything I write these days ” everything I’ve ever written or said, in fact ” is being dissected and analyzed to make me sound like a fool or a liar or an arrogant jerk (as I’m sure this will be as well). People who know me and have talked with me know that this isn’t the case….To read some of what I’ve seen online, fans have decided that I am just trying to make huge amounts of money or that I have no respect for Jo. Some fans, along with WB, have speculated that I took the material they graciously allowed the Lexicon to use and slapped it into a book without permission. Some have jumped to the conclusion that I blatantly ignored demands that I not create a book from material on the Lexicon. That just isn’t who I am. I would never, never do something like that….One question that gets asked of me over and over is if I have ever met Jo or talked to her. The answer is no, I haven’t. I have always wished for that chance, but it’s never happened. There is a crazy part of me that believes that if she and I could just sit down and chat about this, we could get it all sorted out and put this miserable incident behind us….Maybe then all of us could put it behind us and just get back to enjoying Harry Potter together.”

You can read the full details of the suit here, along with JKR‘s statements (or download the suit for yourself ) or read statements from TLC interviews WB and RDR here. A previous update is also here, and another one here.


The Harry Potter Lexicon is a partner site to The Leaky Cauldron. The opinions and claims argued here do not constitute The Leaky Cauldron’s opinion or claim (of which it has none).





463 Responses to NY Judge Issues Restraining Order to Prevent Publication of Lexicon; JK Rowling Updates

Avatar Image says:

Great news. I’m glad justice is being served.

Avatar Image says:

Yeesh. This is getting really nasty on both sides it seems.

Avatar Image says:

Good!

Avatar Image says:

This is just an interlocutory injunction. Preserves the status quo until the matter is determined.

If the situation is truly how J.K. Rowling has described it, and the publishers really have been unresponsive and ignored her, then I hope Jo wins.

Avatar Image says:

Wow. This is getting bad, i feel sorry for Steve… :[

Avatar Image says:

Atleast this messy business will now lay dormant until febuary.How about some good news about HP @ Warner Brothers?

Avatar Image says:

I don’t feel sorry for steve. at all.

Avatar Image says:

I believe you only have half of the story. If you had stayed to see the resulting hearing at 5pm, you would have heard RDR voluntarily agreed to delay the release of the Lexicon book. The Judge agreed to this, and moved the hearing on the injunction back from Nov. 19th to Feb. 8th. This will allow both sides a chance to properly prepare for the injunction hearing. I don’t understand why you are publishing partial news and a story that is technically outdated yesterday at 6pm. Is there some reason why you are not telling your readers the whole truth about this case? Are you going to censor this post as well? Please try to get your story straight, or tell your readers that you don’t have time to go down to court to find out that your source, Justia.com, has not yet reported on the second hearing. Do you honestly believe that this kind of sloppy reporting and misinformation will allow your readers to trust you? Try to get your facts straight.

-A concerned reader

RDR Books Agrees to Delay Publication of Harry Potter Lexicon

Earlier today, New York Federal Court Judge Robert Patterson accepted an order proposed by RDR Books, agreeing to temporarily withhold publication of Steve Vander Ark’s Harry Potter Lexicon.

The order delays the publication of this 400-plus-page book until Judge Patterson can preliminarly determine the merits of the lawsuit initiated by J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. In a complaint filed on Halloween, the plaintiffs contend that the proposed Lexicon violates Ms. Rowling’s copyright, an allegation RDR Books denies.

Plantiffs’ papers in support of its request for a preliminary injunction are due January 7. RDR’s response is due January 22. The hearing on the plantiff’s request for a preliminary injunction is set for February 6. The Lexicon, which is now in preparation, will not be published until the book is ready to be examined by the court, which will decide if it violates the rights of Ms. Rowling, one of the world’s best known authors. Ms. Rowling has suggested that the Lexicon could hurt the performance of her own encyclopedia, which she has not begun writing.

J.K. Rowling has given her fan site award to the seven-year-old Lexicon (www.hp-lexicon.org). and praised it on her own website::

“This is such a great site that I have been known to sneak into an internet cafe while out writing and check a fact rather than go into a bookshop and buy a copy of Harry Potter (which is embarrassing). A website for the dangerously obsessive; my natural home.”

The Lexicon is enthusiastically used by more than 25 million visitors annually including academics, critics and Harry Potter readers.

“It is ironic that publication of Steve Vander Ark’s Lexicon is being threatened by Ms. Rowling after he has joined other librarians to fight organizations that have attempted to ban or curtail Ms. Rowling own work,” says RDR Books publisher Roger Rapoport. “It is our wish that Ms. Rowling join Mr. Vander Ark in his campaign for literary freedom and free expression by dropping her complaint against a book we are confident she would enjoy reading. We will continue to defend our author and the Lexicon in this David and Goliath battle with an eye toward protecting the rights of readers and writers everywhere.”

Avatar Image says:

Wow, this is certainly getting bigger. I was totally against Steve for what he was doing at the beginning of it all, but after talking to my brother-in-law, who’s a lawyer, the issue is not as black and white as I thought. Steve is redesigning the information Jo has given. He is not selling the information itself, which people can buy in the form of one of the novels, he’s selling a new way of looking at the information – broken down and regrouped into a new format. I still think that Steve and the publishers were in the wrong, but it’s a gray area, for sure, and I’m anxious to see what will happen in the end.

Avatar Image says:

To the person incorrectly titling themselves “In Defense”, the legal documents filed by the judge do not lie, and those conflict with RDR’s claims of voleentary restrained from publishing the book.

it should be noted that the legal documents released by the court do not state RDR making such a request, but that the judge in reviewing the case took out a restraining order against RDR to force them to withold publishing the book.

This person titleing themselves “In Defence” no doubt is a employee at RDR Books trying to do what they had been doing all along. contradicting the courts, and perjurying themselves to try to spin public support that so far has not been sucessful and has turned a great deal of people against them, many who arent harry potter fans themselves.

Avatar Image says:

Wow. “In defense” are you some PR person from RDR? What a way to twist facts to make it appear you were kind enough to voluntarily delay the book. You’re still hoping you can fool some people with the kind of garbage you guys have been spilling since day 1.

A TRO (temporary restraining order) is the preliminary injunction. The preliminary injunction part is OVER. It has been filed and served. They are now moving to the actual determination on whether RDR broke the law or not. Stop with crappy PR already. You’re only making yourself look worse.

Avatar Image says:

This whole thing is very unfortunate. This injunction/agreement was inevitable, so I am not surprised. But the case is far from settled. I’m sure there will be more developments as time goes on.

I still am of the opinion that the Lexicon is an academic work analyzing the books, rather than a re-telling of the story which would be a clear infringement. (And since it is about the books rather than the film adaptations … why does WB have legal standing? I know licensing agreements are complicated … but this crosses my boundary of common sense I’m afraid.) I do still have concerns about the contents of the Lexicon coming from so many contributors. Did they all waive their rights to their work when they had it published on the Lexicon website? (It is quite possible that they signed an agreement giving the rights to their work to the Lexicon – I don’t know as I have never contributed to the Lexicon.)

It’s all very ugly and unfortunate. The Harry Potter fandom has been an amazing thing on so many levels and has been responsible for a number of people being introduced to new experiences. Unfortunately, it is now giving a number of people their first introduction into copyright law.

Avatar Image says:

“disillusioned”? What does that mean? I’m starting to worry for her.

Avatar Image says:

I feel stupid as fan.

Jo always finds time for update her website about eBay and Lexicon issues, but we don’t have FAQs, RUMOURS, WOTM, EXTRA STUFF and other updates from months or YEARS ago. Now I know which are Jo’s preferences.

It’s mi opinion.

Avatar Image says:

Who does JKR think she is? Does she really think she owns Harry Potter? Harry Potter is a real person, and his story belongs to everyone!

What do you mean Harry Potter isn’t real? JKR really does own the story? Trademarks? Copyrights? I have a bad feeling about this…

Avatar Image says:

Wow. That had to be the worst attempt at spin I’ve ever seen. How utterly pathetic.

Avatar Image says:

shut up. the lexicon is one of my most favorite harry potter site! and the work is always been great!

Avatar Image says:

“In Defense,” The Lexicon is a partner site to TLC, and Steve Vander Ark is a friend to many of the Leaky Staff. He’s also a Pottercast host, which is run by Leaky. So why would they avoid any new information, or “not tell the whole truth.”

Avatar Image says:

This is all so sad…

Avatar Image says:

Mr. Blood—WB has legal standing because they’re officially licensed to make the HP films and they hold several HP trademarks of their own. If you take the time and read the original lawsuit, it’s all explained in there.

Avatar Image says:

This is a really sad situation but I feel that Steve (which I am sure is a great guy) and his people behind the book; could have easily prevent all this by simply talking with Jo and her people when they made that request.

I support Jo 100%

Avatar Image says:

by now, you would think RDR would get a clue on how to present itself, wouldn’t you? Clearly, the publishing house exists mostly to print and market the owner’s own books, but still at this point a more dignified approach, and one that incorporates basic common sense and legal advice, would be more productive. does RDR stand for Rinky Dink Riters? (the spelling error intentional, obviously)

Folks, please stop the Steve vs JKR stuff. Steve is essentially on the sideline, and has been for the past two months or more. Everything has been RDR, and if my own experiences with publishers is a useful reference, he actually has little or no input into what is happening.

Mars, I always read your postings since you have much to contribute, clearly have knowledge, and present with clarity ...please dont let your annoyance at some of the other participants get in the way of your solid postings? Its not worth it (think of your bloodpressure!)

And, Melissa and Leaky, as always thank you…may I ask again if we could learn more of what’s going on with Emerson and MuggleNet?

Avatar Image says:

It’s sad because JKR is trying to protect her books, but some “fans” think they have more of a right to them than the author herself. I really hope she starts banning sites after this, if only to give those fans a real reason to complain.

Avatar Image says:

An attempt to discredit us on our own boards is really below the sporting line of what’s fair, whomever is-or-is-not-an-agent-of-RDR that posted that comment. You seriously have no idea the lengths we’ve gone to, to preserve fairness on this site, and trust me, not because RDR has been so nice to us that we should. Both sides are presented, and that is that.

Thank you, everyone.

Avatar Image says:

And I agree with Karina. We haven’t gotten anything (except the Beedle the Bard, but that was recently) since Deathly Hallows came out, and now she’s posting all of the time about the law suit? It’s not right. I expected her to post some kind of “So, you have the book, let me tell you what it means to me” thing. Or at least a “Hey, enjoy the book!” But we’ve gotten NOTHING. Her diary is still from the 18th, and everything else has remained stagnant. I may be on Jo’s side about the suit, but I’m disappointed in her about her website. It feels like she’s sort of forgotten the fans, and now with this Lexicon debacle, she might forget us even more. Talk about disillusioning…

Just my opinion, of course. I still love Jo!

Avatar Image says:

budb: As far as I know, keeping in mind that I am not MuggleNet, their encyclopedia will not be published. There is no cover art image, there has been no announcement, no preorder push, no press – that’s not a coincidence. It’s only on Amazon.com, I understand, out of some fluky inability to take it down.

That’s all I’m going to say here for now, guys – please be nice.

Avatar Image says:

RDR is only making it worse by continuing to engage in “bad faith” acts. Trust me when I say, judges hate that very much. Sometimes its better to just shut up. Every day RDR is losing whatever leverage it has for a settlement.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa, thanks! Keep up the good work, and thanks so much for keeping us informed. And I personally am looking forward to your own book, which promises to be very original and deal with the unique impacts of the HP fansites.

And may I also echo, to everyone, fight nice?

Avatar Image says:

Hey bdub. Couldn’t help it bro. That attempt at a spin post seems to assume that the readers here are stupid.

Avatar Image says:

NotTheHBP: “In Defense” has a point. Since we have heard from both sides that the delay is in force, then we can take it as true. The document linked to in the article was presumably superseded by what happened at the 5pm meeting that document mentions, and any documentation from that meeting is yet to appear.

Avatar Image says:

MarlenaNargle – I always thought she was not talking about DH on her website in consideration for those who were(are waiting for the translations. Plus she took a well deserved holiday after the book was released and then she went on her book tour. I personally think it’s unfair to demand a diary updates and so on after she just finished giving us the last Harry Potter book and then taking the time out to visit I don’t know how many children in USA on her book tour. Plus she obviously has her hands full at the moment and have been for the past months with this lawsuit, writing the companion books and god knows what else. She will probably update again one day when she feels the time is right. Of course she is finding the time to update about this whole Lexicon lawsuit because that’s close to her heart at the moment and she wants us to know where she stands and how she feels about this.

Melissa and the rest of the Leaky crew – I really appreciate how diplomatic you guys are regarding this whole matter. I still feel that I can read your news about the matter and still get the accurate and fair coverage. Thank you for that. :)

Avatar Image says:

JK said that the judge already issued a restraining order. Considering the history of statements from both sides so far, I doubt that they would lie about that. And I’m pretty sure Melissa did some background inquiries before posting.

Besides RDR said their voluntary stoppage was up to January 7 (the original date in their motion that was denied), but the TRO extends up to Febuary.

Avatar Image says:

Thanks Melissa, and though I already send you guys a feedback in gratitude for your wonderful handling of this situation, thanks again for showing just how much better harry potter fans, even ones with connections to the lexicon or in my case, a huge fan of the lexicon are then RDR which has made clear perjurish lies throughout this entire ordeal as it has unfolded.

I do not know the details of when contracts were signed with RDR to when jk rowling’s camp said no to this book, so I am trying to refrain from commenting on how much involvement steve has in this, but I take it from how jk rowling has handled her post, and the fact that steve is not named as a defendent in a case that steve is sadly now along for the ride.

Kudos to jo for being so diplomatic in this entire preceddings far, and shame of RDR for not being capable of doing simple task like editingg their books, most of which were written by this roger fellow. shame on them for not understanding the conccept of copyright laws, trademarks, and intellectual property laws. Shame on them for lieing against the cold hard facts of court documents to try to get public support that they are not getting. Shame of them in general for shady ill mannored and unprofessonal business tactics that even though I am not a published author, I have found to conflict with my research on publishing and writer’s rights on what makes a reputable and trustworthy publishing house. they have broken every rule that I have found in my researching.

Avatar Image says:

Mars, i know, it gets to me periodically and i snarl as well…that’s when i know its time to take a break from Leaky and watch the movies while re-reading the books…

picture Hermoine muttering “Just ignore them, just ignore them”

Avatar Image says:

Feel sorry for Steve??? He is going against Jo’s wishes. The second Jo said no, if he was a TRUE fan, he would have backed off. This shows a complete LACK of respect for her and her talent. If Steve doesn’t see that, he deserves to be embarassed like this.

Avatar Image says:

Roonwit, RDR’s statements however do not tie up with the offical court documents that were released and noted of in the news post that this comment is attached to. the documents make it clear that RDR did not request said restraining order but that it was a decision made by the presiding judge. court documents are filed by the court when judges make desicison and are impartial, not to take sides, but to state the facts of the descision made in the case, be it if the case is ongoing or not.

RDR is claiming that the restraining order is at their request, the court systems say otherwise. this also conflicts with the statements that were up even yesterday by RDR saying the book will be published as planned. Now they are claiming that they asked for the restraining order. the court says they didnt and that it was a decision made soley at the discression and choice of the judge unprovoked by RDR to allow time for the issue to be further investigated.

Avatar Image says:

And I agree with other comments. Leaky is doing a great job covering this, but I do recommend that until it is resolved you should take Steve off Pottercast.

Avatar Image says:

I am behind JKR and WB in this case, but I also hope that Steve doesn’t get off too badly. I can’t support the Lexicon in ignoring Jo’s wishes, since this is quite obviously copyrighted material, but I’m not sure how much control Steve has over this anymore. It seems more like a battle of the lawyers or something, and rather out of hand.

Avatar Image says:

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Robert P. Patterson from David S. Hammer dated 11/8/07 re: a request for an adjournment of the briefing schedule and to meet with the Judge today. ENDORSEMENT: Defendant’s application for a seven week delay in answering plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction is denied without prejudice to counsel for defendant and plaintiff appearing this afternoon before 5 PM with a draft Temporary Restraining Order which would be in place during further briefing of the pending motion. SO ORDERED (Signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson on 11/8/07) (kco)

this is the docuement discription which shows that the judge deined RDR’s request.

Avatar Image says:

Oh, and also, anyone who says Leaky hasn’t been posting the “whole story”, you need to catch up on your news.

Avatar Image says:

I have some knowledge with regards to publishing contracts. It is standard in all contracts (that I know off) between an author and a publisher, to specifically state that the author takes responsibility for any copyright infringement by the book. Of course if they knew they were infringing in the first place, Steve may have been smart enough to put in the contract that RDR takes the responsibility.

In any case it is standard to put in the contract that one of them has to take the responsibility (or specifically state that they share it) if copyright infringement crops up. Unless they didn’t sign a standard contract of course and it wasn’t specified who is to blame, in that case WB can focus their case on RDR.

Avatar Image says:

Hmm I also noticed the “disillusioned” comment by JK. That’s a scary comment.

Avatar Image says:

Mars, thats a point that keeps running through my mind. How could RDR not have a basic understanding of copyright law if they are a publisher. having flicked through their books in the library, they dont even have a basic understanding of editing. I am not a master of grammar and syntax, but I can spot glaring mistakes when I see 8 or 9 of them on a single page. Seeing that the editor is also the writer of the majority of the books published by RDR, I guess I should not be shocked. but still, there is no excuse for not having a basic understanding of copyright laws and trademark laws and intellectual property laws.

every writer seeking publication owes it to themselves to research this for their own protection. even more so every publishing house better know it because if they dont, then I personally think they should be held responcible for it. even if you do not have a IP lawyer in house, you still should understand it. I also love how they are saying it will take 7 weeks for their cousin who is a lawyer to research copyright laws. honestly, I think that is overkill.

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Mars in regards to contracts. It sounds like my understanding as well (I have a MFA in writing). It should be clear though to people want to support Steve in this—He is making a decision to stay in the fight. It’s not like he has made a bad decision and can’t get out. No, he is putting up a fight. And for that reason, I am disgusted by his treatment of Jo.

Avatar Image says:

Well remember that this is a publisher who doesn’t even have an IPR lawyer in their phonebook at least. The question is, what the heck is Steve doing with them???

Avatar Image says:

NotTheHBP, I agree with you that writers seeking publication should research copyright laws in this case. Steve’s a fantastic ambassador for the fandom, but I’m not sure he is completely innocent in this case. What I hope is that he did ask someone if his book would infringe on Jo’s rights, and that person gave him bad advice. I doubt we’d ever find out for certain, however.

In the mean time, RDR is being completely ridiculous. They better pray this publicity stunt doesn’t backfire in their face.

Avatar Image says:

See, that is a question I have mars. Did they approch steve, or did he approch them. there is so much we dont know about how this all started out before it became apperent to chirstopher little agency.

If they apporched him first, before steve had asked permission, that was a bad choice on steves part to sign a contract before seeking counsil with jk rowling’s camp.

if he apporched them after jo said no, then he really is to blame.

its about dates that are why I havent totally made a judgement on steve’s involvement in this and how deep it is and when it began in the coughtimelinecough of all of this.

Avatar Image says:

I’m a freshman in highschool, so I don’t pretend to understand these things, but it seems painfully obvious even to me that this is copyrighted. I am 100% behind Jo, because Steve’s (and his publishers) treatment of this case has been terrible. It seems like they hold no respect for Jo or her wishes. She owns Harry Potter, and she can sue somebody for practically re-publishing her work. So it’s facts about Harry Potter with no other work done to it? No theories or anything original, just assembled facts? How could they expect to not be sued? It’s a really weak case they’re making for themselves.

Avatar Image says:

I think, besides the mistreatment of Jo’s wishes, the thing that bothers me the most is how you keep hearing RDR speaking about their rights. I’m all for free speech, etc., but it’s like they are using our rights for their own misuse of another’s property.

I said it before earlier, but since Steve is not fighting to get out of his contract and continuces to go against Jo’s wishes, he deserves all the embarassment he is getting. And I hope he and RDR have to pay her lawyer expenses for this.

This is Jo’s property and I’ve always believed that as a fanbase we’ve taken it for granted that since we love the world we are owed something in it. It’s Jo’s world, period. We are just lucky that she allows us to read it. I think everyone who writes fan fiction should take note. These are her characters, her plots, don’t consider ever putting your fan fic in print or this will happen as well to you.

In saying as much, Pottercast should really reconsider their idea to do “new Potter stories” with actors. I can see that coming back to bite them as well.

Avatar Image says:

Well the case is far from resolved. The court needs time to read all the evidence and make a determination (including a timeline). And honestly at this point, all the judge needs to see is the book. Is it infringement or does it fall under Fair Use in its current form? As I said in a previous post, copyright abandonment is almost impossible to prove short of a letter from JK signed and sealed.

Apparently from JK’s post, they are still trying to request the publisher that they be allowed to make changes in the book (so as not to infringe her rights) and apparently Steve and RDR are STILL refusing. I honestly don’t get it.

Avatar Image says:

I’m speechless at the arrogance of RDR’s statement. I studied intellectual property cases while in law school and was shocked they (Vander Ark and RDR) thought they could get away with this, but this is getting ridiculous! RDR will never be able to print this book. Are they hoping Rowling will pay them to go away?

Avatar Image says:

Not to mention their utter lack of respect for us, the fans. The fact that RDR seem to be trying to use us by posting anonymously in these talkbacks to try and drum up support is I think pretty disgusting.

Avatar Image says:

I have a few theories, and remember this are just theories.

1.) It’s possible that they have already printed a lot of books and they don’t have the money to print an edited version.

2.) It’s possible that Steve has already gotten money from RDR and spent it and thus he can’t get out from RDR’s clutches.

2.) We know that RDR has already sold the book’s rights to other publishers and it’s possible the they have spent the money and has no choice but to go through with this or go bankrupt since they can’t return the money to the other publishers.

Avatar Image says:

Ouch. Poor lexicon. Poor Jo for being in that position.

Poor me because I was going to buy it! :-)

Avatar Image says:

I still believe Leaky should watch this very carefully. This is a fight over intellectual property (not just copyright) and trademark infringement. So far the U.S. Congress has kept the lawyers hands off the internet, but as we can see here with the sympathy (and I fee it too) toward J.K. Rowling, the fact remains that if the intellectual property and trademark lawsuits are justified, the internet will be next. We haven’t forgotten that Time/Warner (which has some other issues going on as well) tried to challenge the fan sites in 2004 until someone realized it would be a pr nightmare.

Just imagine when these lawsuits turn to the internet. That day is coming, friends. But so far, Congress has beat them back. How much longer, though, how much longer?

zr

Avatar Image says:

bah I numbered them both 2 lol

Avatar Image says:

“fee” is supposed to be “feel” – Freudian slip, I’m afraid. And it may have been 2002 when WB was yanking the images off the fan website. I can’t remember if it was 2002 or 2004.

zr

Love you guys, Leaky – if I sound cranky lately it’s because I am alarmed. I’ll try to go find my sense of humor. It’ seems to have gone missing …

Avatar Image says:

There is so much we dont know about when all this began to happen – contracts signed – that we need this information. We can already without a doubt say that RDR is not the victim in this case. they have lied left right and center, defied court statements that are impartial to either side but making desicions based on law and not RDR’s claims that they dont have a lawyer that understands copyright.

honestly, if RDR is bankrupt, it wont be that much of a lose to its authors, because there are so few who arent the owner of the publishing house. hopefully they can find more reputable publishers and I wish them the best of luck.

People who perjur themselves in attacks against jk rowling/wb in relation to harry potter tend to get hit hard with heavy fines. nancy stouffer was found to have created false documentation, some of which if it was real, she would be in federal prison as those are docuements that are not public accesable and are considered private information. she lied about publishing deals with publishing houses that either didnt exist at the time, or had closed down before her books were ever published. she walked away with 50k in fines and fees she had to pay on jo’s and wb’s lawyers. I have a feeling history will be repeating itself, and RDR will get hit hard for malpractice.

Avatar Image says:

Well if you have read the complaint ZR, WB has specifically stated that they are not including the Lexicon website in the complaint. Only the book.

Avatar Image says:

Although I think RDR has apparently handled this badly, you have to keep in mind that no matter how awesome Jo is, she still is telling us her and her publisher’s side of the story. RDR isn’t too great at PR, but I’m still not convinced that they’re wrong. Steve’s book might be Fair Use – in fact, I spoke to a someone who’s studying law and he said he thought it was okay. I don’t think either Steve or Jo is “helpless in lawyer’s clutches” but that’s my own opinion. And RDR were the people who proposed a delay – and wrote in their letter that they were willing for a freeze on the publication. Check the doc, folks. Before you call anyone a RDR PR person, I’d say WB probably has more money to pay for that themselves.

Avatar Image says:

RJ, jo rowling is the holder of the copyrights that the lexicon infringes upon. also, it should be noted, if you had read the news posting, RDR’s request was denied by the judge. the TRO is far diffferent from what RDR was requesting, and was enacted by the judge without counsel of the two parties.

Jo is working to protect her creation from other people repackaging and profiting from. she told steve no, and steve either went ahead with it, or was already locked in a contract with RDR he could not get out of.

Avatar Image says:

RDR’s request was denied – agreed. But they said they were willing to freeze publication in their request. (by the way, someone said in the comments that the hearing is delayed. Does anyone have info either way, about the conclusions of the hearing?)

And not all “repackaging” is illegal -there’ve been plenty of books that do that, and they’ll be plenty in the future. The lawsuit’s here to decide that.

Avatar Image says:

Wow, Rowling is really letting the money go to her head. Apparently she’s forgotten where she came from, and is now afraid of others continuing or adding to what she has decided to end. While I will always enjoy the books, my respect for Rowling dwindles almost daily.

Avatar Image says:

Hey, just because I think Jo might be wrong, doesn’t mean it’s okay to throw insults at either party. This is a legitimate lawsuit – nothing to do with money going to either side’s head.

Let’s keep this argument civil.

By the way, thanks to leaky for fostering an atmosphere of civil discussion and straight reporting.

Avatar Image says:

Potterverse, goodbye (just checked Leaky, The Lexicon and Rowling’s site at alexa.com).

Avatar Image says:

the other books that have been allowed to be published RJ were not repackaging, they were crytical analyasis and essays. the lexicon has said the book wont include the essays which make up the entirty of any form of critical analyasis that exists on the lexicon.

Also, the other books are not encylopedias that just takes the facts from the books and repackages them in lists for profit. the website was allowed to exist because it was not for profit.

and keene, just because jk rowling has finished the seventh book those not mean she looses ownership of her world. she retains the copyrights and trademarks and full owernship of the entire harry potter universe as it is her intellectual copyrighted property. if your respect for her is dwindling because she is protecting her rights and property, you might want to rethink the position she is in. this isent about money. her encylopedia she has been discussing long before the lexicon became a entity within the fandom will not finacially benifit her in any way because all royalties that would go to her are to go to charity.

this isent about greed, its about her rights being infringed upon.

Avatar Image says:

Well we will know soon enough, but based on the evidence produced so far, all of my colleagues say that this isn’t even close to the “line” (that vague area where Copyright and Fair Use overlap). There is more than enough to say that the Lexicon book took too much (especially the pictures, Lexicon should’ve gone for original illustrations or something). And the fact that is is for profit doesn’t help (Yessir, in Fair Use the more money you will gain from the book the more it hurts you).

Of course, RDR hasn’t presented evidence yet. So we reserve our rights to change our opinion. :)

Avatar Image says:

Mars, what is your opinion on the fact that RDR has not provided evidence. the only thing I see them doing to make a stab at fighting back other then claiming innocence is to claim warner brothers and jk rowling stole the timelines. technically, jk rowling owns every event in the timelines and therefore the timelines would not have existed without jk rowlings copyrighted books from which they are dirived. the timelines were great even though they were inheritenly flawed when you really looked at them in detail, which to steve’s credit, is understandable because to build them you have to make decisions on when somethhing happened when it is not easily noted in the books that the timeline is built from.

Avatar Image says:

There were books similar to encyclopedias – an “unofficial encyclopedia from a-z” and a harry potter word book, as well as many others. Steve is not just copying the books – there probably couldn’t have even been a lawsuit with that.

Steve has written – in his own words – the different times and places different spells have been used, just as one example. As another, he has discussed different pronunciations of words, looked up the full moons and calendars to fit everything in – for once and for all, this is not just cutting and pasting. (I’m still not sure if it is legal nonetheless, but I think Steve has a point.)

Avatar Image says:

“Wow, Rowling is really letting the money go to her head. Apparently she’s forgotten where she came from, and is now afraid of others continuing or adding to what she has decided to end.”

And it is exactly this sort of arrogance from the fans that assume Harry Potter is theirs do do with as they please is the reason why she needs to take steps to protect her work to begin with.

Avatar Image says:

Agreed. Don’t have this blow up into a whole internet lawsuit and curtail all the great stuff online.

Avatar Image says:

RJ, the A-Z book was very incomplete even for a book published before deathly hallows, and also was granted permission from jk rowlings camp because it actually was found to be within fair use copyright laws. also, alot of these books that are published are published because the publishers work with wb/jk rowling to ensure that they are allowable within copyright laws. the lexicon website in published book form those not conform in its current state to fair use laws. the issue is that this book is being published after jk rowling and wb first said no, and then the publisher refused to comply with wb/jk rowling, the people who have full and total ownership of harry potter, and therefore, by international copyright laws has the right to block anyone trying to profit from it if they see fit.

Avatar Image says:

ALL the “encyclopedia’s” you guys keep refering to have all been contacted by JK’s agent and where properly edited to protect her rights. Heck even one author blogged about the changes JK asked of them.

JK has been very lenient, they’ve been allowing books to be published AS LONG AS THEY ALLOW THEM TO EDIT THEM SO AS NOT TO INFRINGE THEIR RIGHTS.

The case with Steve’s book is no different. Just look at JK’s latest post:

“I take no pleasure in the fact that publication has been prevented for the present. On the contrary, I feel massively disappointed that this matter had to come to court at all. Despite repeated requests, the publishers have refused to even countenance making any changes to the book to ensure that it does not infringe my rights.”

Avatar Image says:

Exactly Mars, RDR was given repeated cease and desist letters when they refused to work with WB/JKR. This is not a matter of JK Rowling or WB over stepping their bounds. this is a case of a publisher refuseing to comply with people who control the copyright and trademarks of a book that infringes and repackages that copyrighted material…

expecially after years of jo saying she will be writing a encylopedia. RDR is idiotic for claiming that because jo has not started the encylopedia yet, that she has not legal right to it.

Avatar Image says:

NotTheHBP: Well considering that RDR is claiming that they don’t even have an IPR lawyer (and can’t afford one) and is only using a cousin of the publishing house’s owner. I have no idea how they’re gonna defend themselves.

Avatar Image says:

Good news. I hope JKR/WB bury RDR.

Avatar Image says:

JKR does not own the events in her books, actually. There are plenty of Spark notes and Cliff’s notes books that make pretty free use of other people’s book’s events.

The Fair Use laws don’t automatically compel you to ask the author – as long as you’re within them. And you don’t have to give them to the copyright publisher to edit – as long as you’ve made sure yourself that they’re not infringing.

And completeness -as to encyclopedias – is not a measure of infringement.

A note – to Melissa, if you see this: (“I miss Melvin” too, btw) You really should have all “sources” in news stories identified by name.

Avatar Image says:

Well, I agree, RDR dug their grave by refusing to comply with the people who have full ownership of all copyrights, intellectual property, and trademarks.

RDR deserves what they are getting. they were given multiple chances to work with WB/JKR on this issue and they ignored and practically slapped them accross the face and went on with it. RDR may not have a IP lawyer in house, but that is no excuse for not having one they can consult, and even worse, a basic understanding of copyright law. RDR is at total fault here for refuses to work with WB/JKR.

the biggest warning every author I have talked to, and every book I have read is that no reputable agent or publishing house those not have a good understanding of copyright laws. both to protect themselves, and to protect their authors and illistrators from people infringing upon their copyrights. RDR clearly did not understand that extremely crucial aspect of publishing, and they are now going to pay the price. Ii am confident the judical system will rule against them for their actions taken in bad faith.

Avatar Image says:

Well there’s a new update and apparently the preliminary injunction is not over yet. The judge used the word restrained but not really an injunction. So they sort of granted RDR request, but the judge won’t accept that it’s voluntary to make sure RDR can’t wiggle out of it.

Avatar Image says:

What it looks like to me is that RDR is counting on an illiterate fan base when they make their statements with regard to their actions; that they hope we either will not see or will not understand the legal documents.

Of COURSE they are VOLUNTARILY witholding publication; Judge Patterson ORDERED them to. Technically, they are complying voluntarily. They could be appealing to a higher court to overturn the restraining order – or they could ignore it completely. I mean, they COULD still publish the book as no one has destroyed their presses – it would be fatal (even to the point of criminal, as in JAIL TIME) to ignore a restraining order, but they could still do it. Perhaps this is what they mean by “voluntarily”?

That might sound sarcastic, but it really seems to be the spin RDR is putting on this because they also claim that they turned over a copy of the book “in a timely manner” to WB. Of course they did – about 15 seconds after the court ORDERED them to – not at all anywhere near timely from when it was originally requested.

This is not simply the little guy versus the big guy, RDR is handling themselves horribly and it is not helping their case either in the courts or with their image.

Avatar Image says:

Mars, Melissa just shot down one of your theories. She just updated the story, and she said that the book has not been “typeset.” So they have not begun printing the book.

RJ, as for the other books you mentioned, we do not know if WB and JKR filed similar suits against those books. We know that in the past, some manuscripts have been edited by WB to make sure they do not infringe on JKR’s rights. Also, one of the charges against RDR and Steve is “false advertising.” No where in the title or on the cover does it say that this is an “unofficial” encyclopedia.

Avatar Image says:

“JKR does not own the events in her books, actually”—RJ

What do you mean by that RJ?

Avatar Image says:

mollywobbles : True. And I think that was one of RDR’s mistakes – not to agree to “unofficial”. But not all other HP books have had the word unofficial on them – I searched ebay for the so-called 46 books – found more like 26 – and some of them didn’t have unofficial.

And RDR does not need to agree to have them edited by WB (even tho that was prbably a mistake not to) as long as they’re within the law.

Avatar Image says:

RJ, not to sound rude, but it has become apperent you are not very knowledgeable on copyright laws.

The events in jk rowling are copyrighted to her because she created them. they are her intellectual property.

Avatar Image says:

Has RDR reps really appeared here in the talkbacks… heeheehee… That is really pitiful. Really presents the idea that they are quite ignorant of the business.

The PR is awful if Jo takes on fan fic, potter sites etc. Can you imagine if she tried to finally put a stop to fan fic. “Jo says no to children writing.” Eek!.. Who would want that bad pr? No wonder she has been lenient so far with fan fic and the lexicon, etc. It was only a matter of time before someone crossed the line. I have to admit I am surprised it was the Lexicon, I always expected the Sugar Quill to be the first and try to publish something and get in trouble.

This is JK’s property. I support her fight. Go Jo!

Avatar Image says:

I think the judge is very smart on this one. RDR has the right to seek proper legal council before the preliminary injunction so they gave them 7 weeks but the publication of the book also have to be restrained properly (the word “voluntary” gives too much wiggle room for RDR).

Avatar Image says:

Sorry mollywobble. I posted the above before I saw your other post.

JKR does not, contrary to popular belief, own her events to the extent that they-must-not-be-named in any other book. Some people have said that she does. Spark notes, cliff notes, and the like have summarized many books events. If the authors owned the events, how could they have done that?

Avatar Image says:

thank you for all the updating! great work, but an uncool affair. just look at this:

http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/suing-your-fans

Avatar Image says:

Also, RJ, the reason for this suit is because RDR refused to hand over a copy of the manuscript so WB/JKR the copyright holders could confirm if the book would infringe upon their rights. they made numerious request, and eventually court ordered demands that RDR surrender a copy of the book.

Avatar Image says:

Bottom line, Jo does not want this book done. She does not. You can tell by her statements that she is saddened by this and I don’t blame her. She probably even feels really hurt. Because of the relationship she had with the Lexicon. It should not be published, I never would have bought it anyway, and Steve should really respect Jo’s wishes. I love the Lexicon site, I am always intriqued and amazed when I go on there and I feel very sad about the whole situation. :-(

Avatar Image says:

mollywobble: Yah, so the excuse that they can’t edit anymore goes out the window.

So again why are they still pursuing this?

Avatar Image says:

I don’t deny that RDR seems to have been pretty stupid over this whole lawsuit.

Avatar Image says:

wow, it is hard to keep up with postings, they are happening so fast.

RJ, cliff notes does not infringe upon jk rowlings fully within the international law legal ownership of the events within her boooks because cliff notes with fully knowledgeable of copyright laws and works under fair use laws. when they feel there is a chance that to properly do the cliff notes, they will contact the publisher sometimes to get permission to go beyond fair use laws to properly summeries the book.

Avatar Image says:

NottheHBP: the key word is “sometimes” they contact the publishers. You are allowed to summarize books events without contacting the publishers.

Avatar Image says:

to a point. Fair Use laws do not give you unlimited free reign to do whatever you want with other peoples property. accordingg to RDR, the book is a print off version of the lexicon that was allowed to remain because it was a free non for profit resource for fans. given its current state, it has already been shown that it would not qualify under free use beause 80-90% of the material is taken directly from the books without anylasis and commentary.

Avatar Image says:

A note – to Melissa, if you see this: (“I miss Melvin” too, btw) You really should have all “sources” in news stories identified by name.

And, RJ, in a perfect world, I would. We never use an unnamed source unless it’s necessary. You really should show me your journalism creds before giving me lessons in Journo 101. :) Thanks.

Avatar Image says:

RJ, you should also consider the fact that many of the books in cliffnotes are by authors long dead. There is a rule that after 75 years of an author’s death, everything is up for grabs. So they don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to do that… And for the still living authors, the publishing house is smart enough to ask first. There are a lot of important books that aren’t in cliffnotes because the author said no.

RDR has stepped over the line. JK has probably the best lawyers on her side, if she didn’t have a case, I think SHE would know.

RDR and Steve are going against her wishes, really, RJ, you don’t need to know more than that if you are a fan.

Avatar Image says:

Like NotTheHBP says, Cliffnotes and Sparknotes seeks permission first if they are worried. If you can go back and read the very first news post on leaky about this case, WB claims that Steve never asked permission to publish the Lexicon in printed form.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa, I’ve been a fan of pottercast and this web site since I discovered it a few years ago. I want to say, (even though I rarely post), I think you are doing a stellar job.

Good luck with your book. I look forward to reading it!

Avatar Image says:

Sorry, Melissa. Not a Journo student – but I stand corrected. Hope that “source” isn’t too scared of crazy fans.

Avatar Image says:

I know about the dead author +50/75/100 years copyright laws. However, plenty of books about living authors’s books can and have been written without editing from the author.

Avatar Image says:

Well to summarize it up in lay man’s terms:

1.) RDR wanted an extension before the preliminary injunction because they claim they are poor and cant afford a lawyer that can answer fast. In return they will voluntarily freeze their publication.

2.) The judge wanted to give RDR the time they asked for but at the same time he didn’t want the freeze to be voluntary (I’m guessing the judge doesn’t trust RDR he he ). So in compromise both parties agreed to allow the judge to move the date of the preliminary injunction at the same time an order to restrain any and all activities related to publishing the book including advertising.

3.) I guess that’s it lol

Avatar Image says:

And tho I’m a fan, I think it’s important that RDR be allowed to do whatever is within the law.

Avatar Image says:

its a matter that if you havent done your homework, dont state things as facts. it should be noted that you dont have to be a lawyer to understand RDR is made mistake after mistake after mistake in this matter, and they have said alot of things that go against the judicial rules to try to give themselves a better image. they are spinning in ways that can be considered perjury, and if the judge decides to persue that, RDR is in huge trouble. however, people need to remeber that the books that have been published are not the same as the lexicon book. those books were not found to infringe upon copyright becaue a great deal of them were written within fair use laws, or the authors openly worked with WB/JKR to ensure that the books were acceptable.

most every one of those books are also purely commentary and critical anaylasis. encylopedias dont all under that, as they are a regurgitating of facts. RDR has mishandled this and they are the reason for this lawsuit, that they refused to work with the owners of the copyrights at hand.

Avatar Image says:

“However, plenty of books about living authors’s books can and have been written without editing from the author.”

maybe because the author didn’t mind?So he didn’t use his rights even if he could have?

just a wild guess

Avatar Image says:

It’s a shame that this couldn’t have been settled out of court between JKR and Steve. Very sad. I kinda feel bad for both of them. What a weird situation!!

Avatar Image says:

I have the odd feeling, based on the passion RJ has for RDR’s rights, that RJ is a plant… How many other people agree with me? Show of hands?

Avatar Image says:

Im not going to raise my hand on RJ being a RDR plant. In defense, who posted on the first page would be a more likely canidate in my mind.

Avatar Image says:

totooum : When I said :“However, plenty of books about living authors’s books can and have been written without editing from the author.”

I meant that the author’s consent wasn’t necessary.

Again, I am unsure if the Lexicon’s book is one of those books, that needs author’s consent. However, it is not just a copy of her books, or even a random rearrangement of facts. Rather, it has plenty of analysis

Avatar Image says:

So many people have been asking what the difference is between something like the Lexicon and Spark Notes, so I thought I’d have a stab at it.

Spark Notes are first, “A Study Guide”, which actually puts them in a different category of Fair Use – as in for educational purposes. These are a summary of sorts, not a detailed account of everything in the books(s). Not that it’s an easy distinction to make, but does anyone actually read spark notes for entertainment purposes? There just isn’t that much there when compared to the novels.

The Lexicon, however, is a total repackaging of everything; like a dictionary of everything JKR created. It’s not just a summary of events to aid a reader.

Avatar Image says:

FYI, Cliffnotes does care about copyryights and other’s rights… You can tell because they care about their own… This is from their web site—

To request permission to use material from a CliffsNotes title, please visit our Web site at http://www.wiley.com/go/permissions or contact our Permissions Department at (317) 572-3447.

So I think the debate over whether they just take material without permission is moot.

Avatar Image says:

Well done, Leaky! I appreciate your stellar and professional reporting. We are lucky to have you here for us.

Avatar Image says:

I think it’s funny you think I’m a plant, as I’ve said plenty of times that RDR’s been pretty stupid over it.

Are you so sure of copyright law that you think anyone on the other side is a plant?

Avatar Image says:

RJ, how do you know that “However, it is not just a copy of her books, or even a random rearrangement of facts. Rather, it has plenty of analysis.”

Interesting that you know that… Seriously, RJ if you work for RDR why are you wasting your time here? Don’t you have more important things to do?

Avatar Image says:

No but you seem sure of it. Calling RDR stupid is a great way to deflect the idea that you are a plant, RJ. Wellc done.

Avatar Image says:

Few things to note:

1.) This is not a TRO. This is more like a kind of preemptive order.

2.) Wierdly enough I’ve never heard of a publishing house wherein the book has not been typeset for printing and yet the book is already set to be published within the month. shakes head

3.) All in all when they said RDR was a small publishing house, I never realized it was that small. It’s like a person created his own publishing house so he can say his books were published.

Avatar Image says:

Well, I can easily say I know more about copyright law than anyone that works at RDR since I would have never made this mistake in the first place.

Avatar Image says:

Well, I still see a high possiblity that “In Defense” was a plant, because he was just copying and reposting RDR statements from the website which are filled with things that contradict the legal actions that have been enacted so far. has anyone noticed no legal documents from the court have been found dealing with RDR’s cease and desist on the timelines created solely from jk rowlings intelectual property?

Avatar Image says:

Melanie: “Spark Notes are first, “A Study Guide”, which actually puts them in a different category of Fair Use – as in for educational purposes. These are a summary of sorts, not a detailed account of everything in the books(s). Not that it’s an easy distinction to make, but does anyone actually read spark notes for entertainment purposes? There just isn’t that much there when compared to the novels.”

Is anyone going to read the lexicon either for entertainment? I’d read JKR’s for entertainment, but not the lexicon.

Avatar Image says:

Since it’s a Temporary Restraining Order it IS a TRO, Mars. That’s what TRO is. The letter says that the PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION will be decided in January. Therefore this is not a preliminary injunction. This needs to be explained, really?

Avatar Image says:

While I think the legal aspects of this is all interesting, we need to step back and remember this is going against JK’s wishes. She is posting against this on her own web site, for frak’s sake.

Avatar Image says:

Mars, are you serious about RDR planning to also use illustrations from the HP books?

Avatar Image says:

RJ, or anyone else, if you’re still confused about “Fair Use” rules, this a good site to check out: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html . It comes directly from the US Government.

The point is, if you’re going to make a profit on a book, if it’s NOT for educational or journalistic purposes, and the book uses a large majority of someone elses work, you need to get permission for the orginal author. Steve and RDR never asked permission.

Avatar Image says:

Interesting that you know that… Seriously, RJ if you work for RDR why are you wasting your time here? Don’t you have more important things to do?

Posted by , on November 09, 2007 @ 01:30 PM

Don’t you have more important things to do yourself then defend jo. You and other around here must be jk plant, or just worshipers.

Avatar Image says:

Good job Mollywobble

Avatar Image says:

I dont really get why the lexicon getting sued, when mugglenet seem to exploit harry potter fans and to make money WAY more….??

Good points everyone btw. its interesting to have a comment box with actual decent comments for once.

Avatar Image says:

if I am understanding this correctly, RDR wanted to postpone the release until it was cleared up, but did not volunteer to stop work on the book until the judge, seeing the flaw enacted the TRO to put a blanket ban on it completely to prevent them from working on it. the key question is will they keep the promise or secretly continue to work on it.

Avatar Image says:

In addition to my last post, RDR is arguing that because JKR praised the online version of the site in the past, she was giving Steve permission to Print it. WB and Jo are arguing that just because you like a fan website, it doesn’t mean you can make it a print version and sell it.

Avatar Image says:

Yeah, actually I think I would be proud to be a JK plant (Which I am not, never met her, would like to though). And I do worship and respect her talent, and in regards to her work, I respect her wishes about it.

All JK worshippers raise your hands!

Avatar Image says:

Thanks – mollywobble, for that link. I checked it out and:

While they do say getting permission is the safest way to handle it , there is no obligation to.

Quoting: The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

Although it’s great to get permission – it never says straight out that you must.

Quoting again: Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

So Jo does not own the events she made up.

Avatar Image says:

Umm don’t be so excited. There’s a difference between a TRO and a restraining order. If its a TRO, it will specifically state “Temporary Restraining Order”. Once a TRO has been issued and served (usualy after a preliminary injunction) a Show Cause Hearing is set. After that the judge can decide whether to issue a permanent restraining order. Again as I said, this is not yet a TRO. Only a pre-emptive restraining order.

Avatar Image says:

heeheehee… Seriously, RJ you are such a plant.

Avatar Image says:

Well considering the book is apparently not yet typeset apparently the contents of the book are still in contention. I’m actually confused about this part.

Avatar Image says:

RJ, once against, not a law student, lawyer, or educated in copyright laws.

A author has copyright ownership of the events in their books that they created. if a person lifts those events to use them in their books, they are infringing on the originators copyrighted creation, which explains my puffed up little poppin jay why jk rowling has in the past sued and won against people lifted events and plots from her books to created harry potter knock offs. tanya grotter and the magical double bass is a prime example of her winning to protect the copyright on the plots and events in her books.

Avatar Image says:

This whole affair is really sad… Since I am no lawyer, I am just reading the facts and doing my research here and there. Thank you Leaky for providing all this info to us fans.

I’ve read over and over in these past threads about these encyclopedias that already exist on the market. All I can say (and I’ve written this before) is that the ones I’ve read don’t have anything that is copyrighted by Jo. I have a few of them at home and all they contain is information on things like centaurs, veelas, basilisks, or info on where certain names come from (like Malfoy, Minerva, etc.). It is not Jo’s property in that sense. The info can be found in mythology, english or history books.

My opinion (based on all the information that I could get) is that if Steve/RDR wanted to publish a book containing info on sphynxes, wolfsbane and giants, they have that right fair and square. BUT if they were to publish a book containing info on Horcruxes, the Black family tree, who lives/dies in the series, etc., then I believe that this IS infringement on Jo’s rights. But what do I know… I’m no lawyer.

I’m really sad about this whole thing. I always loved to listen to Steve in CC on PotterCast, and I’ve used the Lexicon before… I’m sure he’s a really nice guy, but (I’m sorry to say this) as a fan, he should have respected Jo’s plea not to publish such a book…

Thanks, Melissa & TLC staff, for this great reporting!

Avatar Image says:

In reading all your new posts, and claims by both persons, and the lawsuit, I back Jo 100%. Steve is infringing oh her rights, and she can sue him about it. Now, I may be totally wrong, but yea. I’m not professional lawyer or anything. Having people from RDR books (or whom appear to) on these comments coughrjcough is quite disturbing. I hope this all turns out well~

Avatar Image says:

RJ, you’re confused by what “extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work” means.

For example, much of the Harry Potter books are about love. Though “Love conquering evil” is a huge theme in HP, Jo can’t copyright it. That is what they mean by ideas.

Now, factual information is also different. Jo can’t copyright “halloween,” but she can copyright what happened on Halloween in 1996 in her magical world. The same things goes with the magical creatures in the book. Jo didn’t invent a hippogriff, for example. But she did invent their temperment and how to approach them. If you read the Lexicon, those descriptions are included, and are rightfully Jo’s work.

Avatar Image says:

I support jo also. I myself am a writer preparing a manuscript that I hope once I finished my second and third drafts to start persuing agent and publishers. I am keep a extremely close watch on this story because I am seeing all my research in author rights and copyright laws in action. I am taking this as a learning opertunity to see how it plays out in a judical system.

However I am refraining from all out vilinazation of Steve. honestly he has made some bad choice it seems, but there is not enough information for me to say we should take him and the queen, down to the guioltine, and shorten him a little bit.

Avatar Image says:

Someone here’s a bit off their rocker…

Avatar Image says:

dont worry sha, I always wear my elbow pads, knee pads, and padded head gear when I use the rocking chair.

Avatar Image says:

NotTheHBP, remember—- before you show your book to anyone (agent, fellow writers, etc.). Get a copyright from the library of congress (loc.gov). It’s really easy and cheap and will protect your manuscript.

Speaking as a writer (and professor in writing), it’s a tough world out there. But as long as you are happy with the work and it satisfies your artistic hope, getting it published is just an added bonus. It’s a tough road to walk towards publication. Don’t let the roadblocks bring you down.

Also, remember, very few writers can live on their writing alone. Don’t expect a big cash day. Just concentrate on writing the book you want, than everything else that happens is a nice bonus, whatever success you find.

Good luck.

Avatar Image says:

NotTheHBP: I agree that Steve has made some bad choices, and RDR books aren’t helping him one bit. I hope Steve can make the right choices from now on, and I hope if RDR books lose Steve doesn’t go down with them. Furthermore, I hope that his website will continue to run and be a nice place for fans and that he doesn’t try this again.

Avatar Image says:

thanks for the tip. I was about to print a copy out and mail it to myself to prove it was mine like some authors say to do, but I dont think I want to waste the ink cartrage it would require to do that.

Avatar Image says:

“Although it’s great to get permission – it never says straight out that you must.”?

and

“So Jo does not own the events she made up.”?

—I actually typed a pretty lengthy reply about these claims and “interpretations” but I think it’s absolutely unnecessary. How can you take something totally out of context like that?

Avatar Image says:

Nah, it’s easier and better to go to the loc.gov and just print up a form and send it in with the manuscript. It’s a stronger arguement for your protection than anything you could do in the mail. Also, the second someone opens the envelope (by accident perhaps), you lose the protection.

It’s not that much to copyright really and worth it…. and, funny enough, if you do it, you will have all the same protections for your manuscript as JK has for Potter!

You can protect yourself from future lexicon books about your book if you want… heeheehee…

Avatar Image says:

I can’t believe Steve is still garnering sympathy. He is in the wrong and he should be held accountable for his actions. He not only let Jo down, as she tells us on her website, but he’s let the fans down as well. He’s tarnished his reputation and that of his website. I pity him because he’s an idiot worthy of Darwin.

Go Jo!!!

Avatar Image says:

is 45 dollars the fee for copyrighting it, or do you have to pay a extra fee on top of that. the chart was confusing on the loc website. it had numbers next to phrases like copyrighting published photo