JKR/WB File Full Request for Injunction (Part 2)

114

Jan 17, 2008

Posted by Melissa Anelli
Uncategorized

The full request for an injunction against a proposed Harry Potter Lexicon book has been filed; we began going over this 1,100 page document in this morning’s post. Please read that for the basic summary, including JK Rowling’s statement and the overview of what this document contains.

These documents have now been posted on Justia.com with all assorted exhibits and evidence. Examples of the book in question may be found here, here, here and here.

Below are more prevalent facts from the arguments and evidence pulled from this huge document:

1. Steve Vander Ark’s contract with RDR contained an abnormality for publishing contracts in general in that the publisher, and not the author, was responsible for copyright infringement claims by J.K. Rowling (but not by others). It also “tried to hide its infringement by insisting that foreign publishing agents not show or discuss the Book with publishers of the Series.”

2. The contract also specified that Steve Vander Ark be given a 50 percent cut of any book sold through the Lexicon or “any other Floo site,” meaning Steve Vander Ark’s portion of the sale price of a book sold through any Floo web site would be about four times what it usually is for a hardcover. The total profit of the book would be split between Vander Ark and RDR. This was not discussed with all Floo webmasters.

3. In this law suit, WB is also seeking a judgment that the Hogwarts Time Line in their DVDs does not infringe any “purported rights Defendant or anyone else claims to have in a Harry Potter-related time line from either the Infringing Book or the Lexicon Website.”

4. The contract with RDR was signed on August 23, 2007, and a deadline for the book was set for Sept 1, 2007 (though we believe was met a few weeks later).

5. The complaint includes entries of the Harry Potter Lexicon book (as well as a lengthy excerpt as an exhibit). Two such entries:

Abraxan – A breed of winged horse; the Abaxan is a gigantic, exteremely powerful Palomino (FB). Madame Maxime, headmistress of Beauxbatons, breeds them (OP20) and the winged horses that pull her carriage are Abraxans. They drink only single malt whisky and require “forceful handling” (GF15).”

Abyssinia Another name for Ethiopia, and presumably the home of the Abyssinian Shrivelfig (PA7)”

6. J.K. Rowling’s name has been used on the cover of the book as well as in marketing materials

7. The latitude given by JKR/WB regarding copyright is meant for fans who offer free-to-public sites, and “cross the line when they are offered for sale instead of fun…while some fan sites feature ads, the sites are free to fans and the ads primarily consist of minimal Google-style automated ads that Plaintiffs permit to help the sites defray their operating costs.”

8. The claim asserts that to determine whether a book is “transformative” (for all intents and purposes, allowable) the law indicates consideration of whether it’s a commercial work, and whether the new work transforms the original to create new, protected expression. In the case of the HPL, “profit is its only possible purpose as nearly all of its content is already freely available on the Web site. Nor is it transformative, as it adds no value to the copyrighted work by using it as raw material ‘in the creation of new information, new aesthetics, new insights and understandings’ and is merely meant to ‘repackage [the original work] to entertain[the original work's] viewers.’” (The quoted portions refer to a verdict in which a book of Seinfeld facts and trivia was found to be infringing.)

9. RDR instructed foreign agents not to pitch the book to any of JKR’s publishers. (Letter of proof included.)

10. Jeri Johnson, academic dean at Exeter College, University of Oxford, said the Lexicon fails to constitute a work of scholarship because “it lacks any degree of originality or inventiveness, nor does it contribute in any original way to the creation, development or maintenance of the intellectual infrastructure (of the language or discipline of ‘Harry Potter’) that is particularly necessary for this type of work. There is no information contained within the Lexicon that is the original work of its author or that is derived from any other source other than the Harry Potter Books or the statements of J.K. Rowling…. Mr. Vander Ark incorporates virtually no independent analysis of the Harry Potter Books. He engages in no discussion of the themes, metaphors, or literary devices that are present within the Series. The Lexicon remains silent on its logic of definition or etymology; its principle of organization is simply alphabetical, that of selection: don’t select; include anything and everything. Overall the Lexicon adds nothing new to the field with respect to the Harry Potter Books.”

11. Neil Blair, solicitor for the Christopher Little Agency, notes in his declaration that Steve Vander Ark has “long been aware of Ms. Rowling’s efforts to balance the interests of fan sites and those of Ms. Rowling. In the past, CLLA contacted Mr. Vander Ark on behalf of Ms. Rowling and asked him to remove certain infringing content from the Lexicon Website. In that instance, Mr. Vander Ark posted content obtained by decompiling files from Ms. Rowling’s copyrighted website without permission and reengineering them for display.” The string of emails that follows is attached; in it, the request to remove the content is agreed to promptly, and then followed by further requests which are also met.

12. William Landes, the Clifon R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School, who also holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University, also signed a declaration attesting to his expertise in the “economic analysis of law, industrial organization and intellectual property.” He was asked to evaluate RDR Books’ use of JKR’s material from an economic perspective. His major views on the economics of copyright law are that granting JKR rights in derivative works “promotes economic efficiency both by reducing transactions costs and by bolstering the incentives to create new works. As a corollary, the rights to derivative works should be extended both to authors of highly sucessful original works, such as Ms. Rowling, as well as the authors of less successful works,” and that, “under limited circumstances, the “fair use” of material without the copyright holder’s consent will promote economic efficiency.”

He goes on to say that the publication of works like the Lexicon “requires permission of the copyright owner,” with limited exceptions. “In short, copyright protection increases social welfare by preserving the incentives to create and distribute new works,” without such protection people would be less likely to invest in new works because of an expected limitation to financial success.

Examples of works that constitute “fair use” are instances in which the harm to the copyright holder is negligible, for instance in direct quotation of brief passages from a book, or unauthorized photocopies of newspaper stories by teachers.It can also promote economic efficiency when the use generates a financial benefit to the copyright holder – as in the unlicensed use of small amounts of copyrighted material in a movie or book review. It can also be considered acceptable fair use, he states, when despite small harm to the copyright holder, others are significantly benefitted, such as during software development.

He says that the HPL does not meet any of these conditions, and contains no literary criticism or analysis that would make it legitimate. Also the book uses an extensive amount of material from the HP books: “It does not merely use a few brief passages.

“Publication of the HP Lexicon would be likely to impose significant costs on Ms. Rowling. Not only would Ms. Rowling lose licensing fees from RDR books, but also from publishers of other derivative works that otherwise might attempt to license from her. Perhaps more importantly, Ms. Rowling also could lose income from the sale of her proposed companion encyclopedia…the HP Lexicon and Ms. Rowlng’s planned volume may be close substitutes as gifts for Harry Potter fans, but the website does not serve this purpose. Thus, the harm to Ms. Rowling resulting from publication of the HP Lexicon is likely to be substantially greater than the harm resulting from the website.”

13. Diana Birchall, story analyst for WB, notes that the Lexicon book “simply reorganizes and restates the Harry Potter story. it does not cite to any third party sources.” It notes that the Harry Potter entry is over 10 pages long and restates the story, retelling the entire series (similar with Voldemort’s entry). Some entries rely “almost entirely on quotes…extensive plot summary and paraphrasing.”

14. Melanie Bradley, counsel at WB’s law firm, catalogued what is considered an interactive dialogue, and non-infringing areas of the site, and noted that they are not included in the HPL book, nor is anything arranged by topic as it is on the web site, only alphabetical order. She also points out that Steve Vander Ark says on his web site that almost all the material on the site is from the Harry Potter books, and no source “not directly attributable to Ms. Rowling” has been considered unreliable. It also points out that Vander Ark and staff recognized the effect of posting the entirety of J.K. Rowling’s two charity works as competitive with sales, and so refrained in that instance.

Her declaration also mentions the copyright claims made by Steve Vander Ark on his web site, discouraging people from “framing” his web site or copying information from his site to another because “not only is that illegal, since everything in the Lexicon copyrighted, it’s also just plain wrong,” and that the Lexicon disabled the right-click feature on its web site in an attempt to claim copyright.

A cease-and-desist letter sent to Warner Bros. regarding the Hogwarts Time Line is attached (written by Roger Rapoport) and says:

“It has come to our attention that the ‘Hogwarts Timeline’ included in the extra features of the Warner Bros. DVD versions of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was copied directly from the Harry Potter Lexicon website without Mr. Vander Ark’s permission. We have been given to understand that the timeline will also be incorporated in the special features of the forthcoming DVD version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, announced for December 2007 release… No such timeline is contained in any of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. Mr. Vander Ark published details that were found nowhere else. This timeline, like all the material on the 1,000-plus-page Harry Potter Lexicon, is the original work of Mr. Vander Ark and his elite team of academic scholars, literary critics and reference librarians. It is copyrighted 2001 through 2007 by the Harry Potter Lexicon.”

The declaration asserts that the HPL has no copyright claim, and that even if it did, WB’s timeline does not infringe.

Claims that the book is an academic resource are rebuffed by a piece of evidence showing Roger Rapoport’s instruction to a colleague to focus on children’s bookstores for sales.

The question of authorship arises here as well: Steve Vander Ark has said the Lexicon was “created, edited, written and maintained primarily by one person, me,” and the book has listed only one author; however an e-mail from Roger Rapoport says the book was the result of 20 academic scholars and reference experts’ work.

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More if it becomes necessary.





179 Responses to JKR/WB File Full Request for Injunction (Part 2)

Avatar Image says:

sigh.

Avatar Image says:

He is SO busted!

I don’t understand why they don’t point out that any of us could re-create his work using the HP Books if we wanted to dedicate our time to it…thus, it can’t possibly belong to him. There is absolutely no original thought, just a re-ordering of information that is useful to us fans to help understand the books when needed.

What a shame. It makes me sad.

Avatar Image says:

asi feared it is becoming nasty it is a shame some agreement could not be worked out, what id love to see is Steve and Jo sitting down over tea or coffee ( I have no idea of their preferencesin hot beverages) and working out an agreement but alas it looks like that is not to be

Avatar Image says:

The article helps clear up some things for me. I just find the whole thing a mess and distasteful though necessary.

Avatar Image says:

It is all fascinating, from a legal standpoint, and I am utterly on on Jo’s and WB’s side – however, I can’t help feeling bad for Steve. It must be tearing him apart to know that someone he looks up to is filing suit against him, especially if he hadn’t even been in it for the money. (I am still undecided on this point. I don’t want to think too ill of him, however the evidence is rather damning. Why else would he do it?)

The most disturbing things are the emails he sent back to those fans before book seven, saying he knew it would be illegal to publish it. I don’t know what to think about that. Why would he have changed his mind and done it anyway? The whole thing is so distressing.

Avatar Image says:

I can’t believe that people think that WB & Jo winning this will HURT the fansites. The opposite is actually the case. If WB & JKR lose this they will be forced to more drastically protect their copyrights. God, this is such an unfortunate situation, but it’s become quite obvious that it’s arised due to Steve making many unfortunate choices. Sad.

Avatar Image says:

Ascatal, sitting down is never going to happen. Its not about bad feelings between the people involved, its simply that this is a serious issue now and no lawyer would likely advise JKR and WB to simply throw caution to the wind. With the judicial system involved, not too mention a lot of money, all things must now be done carefully and correctly.

I have to admit, I really don't feel sorry for SVA. I don't think he's some evil human being, but I do believe he knew what he was doing and chose to ignore common sense. Of course, that's just my opinion.
I do, however, feel great sympathy for Jo. SHe's given us a wonderful series, and she gets people try to screw her over.

Oddly enough, why is it that so many posts say they feel sorry for SVA but don’t mention Jo (not all). Is she not human too? Is she not deserving of sympathy and support too? Does she not deserve the benefit of the doubt?

Avatar Image says:

I agree with buggub – I could have created the Lexicon myself had I had that much time to devote. He may have put a lot of time and effort into it, but he simply organized facts out of a book, he didn’t create anything. The timeline thing really bothers me too – I don’t think he had any right to that either, again, anyone could have sat down and figured it out properly if they cared to. I’m finding this whole debacle infuriating, for Jo’s sake of course, but also that anyone could have the gall to try to pull something like this! And get so far with it before being shut down.

Avatar Image says:

What a freaking mess. No one is looking good in this case, including Ms Rowling who I wish would stop claiming the lexicon book would hit her profits. No one in their right mind would not buy her book and buy this one instead.

SVA though is looking more and more desperate. What a shame private emails have been produced in court but that is the risk you take. To insult teenage webmasters is just not cool. Age is nothing if you have dedication and skill – Mr VA is now coming across as pathetic and desperate.

No winners – just one helluva mess.

Avatar Image says:

You are a brave and courageous woman, Melissa, for reading 1100 plus pages of legalese in such a short time!

Many thanks for keeping us so well informed.

Well, folks, now we wait to hear what RDR responds in a few weeks….

Avatar Image says:

That sound you hear are the anvils of total pwnage falling on Steve Vander Ark and RDR Books.

I don’t see how they stand a chance. It’s best to just kiss any published HPL goodbye now, because there’s no way they’re surviving this suit.

Avatar Image says:

WB and JKR are too money hungry. I love the books just like the next guy, I’ve read them each over 10 times infact. Let the guy publish his book. Some of us may buy it, most won’t. Most of us will wait until JKR publishes her encylopedia anyway. They can share the wealth, let Vander Ark sell a couple thousand books. Its nothing we don’t already know if you’ve read the book. The guy has obviously dedicated a lot of the past decade to Harry Potter and has complied facts that a lot of us would like in book form for easy access. This shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is. JKR can shard .0000001% of future Harry Potter earnings with this guy.

Avatar Image says:

Serafina, if one person, just one, says they dont have to buy the “Scottish Book”, because they “already have the other”, then it did eat into her profits. But to me, that’s not even the issue, especially considering what I’ve see of the exhibits. I cant imagine why anyone thinks SVA should have any right to sell this book. I know someone already said this, but I also dont understand all the sympathy expressed for SVA, as if he is some innocent party. He’s smart enough to know he does not own any of these rights, and has no right to post. And this mornings post, including the email where he tells someone that it would be illegal to publish, proves he DID know already.

I also dont get all the hubub over the timeline. Um… where do we think he got it? Yeah, JKR’s original work. Nice try, tho.

Avatar Image says:

Ditto on budb’s comment: Melissa, you are one dedicated webmistress. And, exactly how many cups of coffee did you need to consume to stay focused while reading through this mess?

I am anxious to read SVA/RDR’s reply. But, as of now, I’m not sure what they could say that would make this any better. It’s like watching a train wreck…

Avatar Image says:

In response to Amanda, Jo Rowling is not in the wrong in any way shape or form. A published HP Lexicon would hurt profits for exactly the reason stated in the summary: it would be bought as a gift for Harry Potter fans. Not everyone who knows I am obsessed with Harry Potter would know that JKR is planning to write the “Scottish Book,” so why wouldn’t they buy me the Lexicon if they saw it? Vander Ark is being simply rediculous and I personally can’t wait for him to lose so Jo will have more time to work on the “Scottish Book!”

Avatar Image says:

Sorry Amanda, my response above was for Serafina. And to Devin, JKR doesn’t sue the many Harry Potter companion books because they incorporate some of their own insight and research based outside of the Harry Potter series. He has basically copied right out of the books. The reason we have copyright laws is to protect authors from people like Vander Ark.

Avatar Image says:

@Dustin: Rubbish. Total rubbish.

Let’s take a different example. Bill Gates has billions of dollars, but the average Joe can’t just repackage and sell Microsoft Office for profit. It doesn’t matter how much money Gates has, or that Microsoft is a huge corporation. Theft is still theft. Gates and Microsoft would be entitled to protect their property from someone seeking to profit from their hard work.

JKR and WB are no different. It’s not about money as much as it is protecting what belongs to JKR and WB, and maintaining their legal rights to all things Harry Potter. You can’t just do what SVA is trying to do. The law doesn’t work that way, even if JKR and WB are rich.

Avatar Image says:

Yes, rubbish.

He’s repackaging and retooling information from her books for his own profit, and without her consent. That’s theft.

I don’t care how rich she is. I don’t care how many books she’ll sell on her own, or how many people will stand in line at midnight to buy them. She’s still entitled to protection under the law because of the copyrights she holds on her work. And WB are entitled to having their trademarks protected for the same reason. Period.

Avatar Image says:

This whole scenario is just unfortunate. Alot of people are confused as to why people feel bad for SVA, but its because like Melissa, John, and Sue he is someone that we “knew” through pottercast and he was/is a respected Harry Potter Fandom member. Its like if your Cousin Barry got sued for stealing someones ideas….you’d still feel bad for him even he was totally in the wrong. I still maintain that RDR and not Steve are the ones making the horrible choices in this matter, although…I’m starting to doubt that.

Melissa, I just want to echo everyone else’s praise for you remaining dedicated to reporting and not becoming biased. We all know you are busy, and truly appreciate all of your efforts.

Avatar Image says:

BTW, point #2 in the list of relevant facts that Melissa posted is interesting.

If I am reading that correctly, SVA not only planned to profit from his sales on his own site, but he also planned to take half of all of the revenue generated by the other Floo sites as well if they promoted his book. I’m sure that went over like a lead balloon when TLC read those words.

Not only was SVA planning on making money off JKR’s back, but on the backs of the rest of the Floo Network. That takes serious cojones.

Avatar Image says:

Thanks for the updates, Melissa & Leaky. What a tour de force of distilling a giant legal document!

I’m very sympathetic with the claims of the complaint, but I cannot agree with the statement that the Lexicon (whether online or in print) serves merely to ‘repackage [the original work—i.e., the HP series] to entertain[the original work’s] viewers.’ I don’t go to the Lexicon to be entertained; I go to it when I’m reading or discussing one of the Harry Potter books and need a quick way to recall a detail about a character, item, place, or plot point. In other words, I use the Lexicon as a tool for enriching my reading and discussion of JKR’s books.

I’m not trying to say that RDR is in the right. I just think that some of the other sides claims are misleading at best.

Avatar Image says:

@Minnie,

I totally agree, I forgot to mention that Floo Network business in my first post! I was appalled to read that and am still hoping that I don’t understand it. I’m afraid that I do, and that is really shaking the moral ground.

That point in particular, makes the TLC stance even more honorable.

Avatar Image says:

To clarify my previous post: I realize that the above quotation referred originally to the book of Seinfeld trivia, but I presume that the complaint, at least by implication, is applying the same words to the Lexicon.

Avatar Image says:

As an online tool, the Lexicon has its value. Even JKR and WB see that, since the suit doesn’t target the online Lexicon at all. They’re going after the published book.

It’s not that SVA has all the info freely available online. It’s that he’s trying to make a buck off of it in stores even though he’s not able to legally due to the fact that JKR owns her copyrights and WB has the HP trademarks.

Avatar Image says:

To people who claim Jo is too money hungry…. she’s intending to donate the proceeds TO CHARITY, just like the other companion books. Keep this in mind when you accuse her of being selfish – she may actually be trying to maximise profits for the charities instead.

Avatar Image says:

From the quoted expert on what’s scholarly and what isn’t: “The Lexicon remains silent on its logic of definition or etymology.”

What does that mean?

Avatar Image says:

Dustin, You’re forgetting one major problem. Steve is publishing what was a free fan website, and publishing it in book form. If JKR and WB did not argue against this, future fansites (not just Harry Potter ones) could do the same. For example, JKR has said she liked certain fanfiction websites. If Steve was able to publish the Lexicon, then a fanfiction website could be allowed to publish all of their best fanfiction pieces in a book simply because Jo said she liked the website. I think most of us would agree that that would be wrong. But RDR and The Lexicon would set a precedent, which would be difficult to overcome.

Avatar Image says:

From the U of C law professor: “The HP Lexicon and Ms. Rowlng’s planned volume may be close substitutes as gifts for Harry Potter fans.”

That’s actually kind of convincing. I mean, a hardcore Potter fan isn’t going to choose SVA over JKR, but a slightly out-of-it grandmother might easily pick up Steve’s instead of Jo’s as a gift for her Potter-reading grandchild.

Avatar Image says:

From the quoted expert on what’s scholarly and what isn’t: “The Lexicon remains silent on its logic of definition or etymology.”

I believe that what Jackson is saying is that the Lexicon doesn’t explain how it decides how to define a term (definition). As far as etymology, that’s the study of word origins and evolution, so my I guess is she’s saying that the Lexicon doesn’t get into how/why Rowling made up the words that she did. Anyone else want to do a better job than I did with that question? :)

Avatar Image says:

You go, Jo!

Avatar Image says:

Arithmancer: Etymology has to do with word/name origins, I think. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong…). I read that statement to mean that the lexicon seems to randomly choose where they discuss definitions and word origins, and does not reference any of those small pieces of information (which are clearly not SVA’s original work either).

And about the lexicon being a “repackage[ment] of [the original work]”, that is essentially what a reference book does (with permissions, etc., of course). You don’t read a reference book to read the author’s own commentary, opinions, etc.; you read it to find a fact quickly. But no one buys real reference books – they go to the library or something, so a reference book would not usually be a book sold for profit. Of course reference books can be scholarly, but they are not the original work of a scholar. For example, you could not submit a reference guide as your masters’ thesis or doctoral dissertation, however wonderful your organizational skills; it must be your own work. It is that same reasoning that makes the lexicon unpublishable for profit.

Avatar Image says:

To ramble on… It’s really worth loading at least one of the PDF files (where Melissa says “here, here, here, and here” and seeing examples of the Lexicon book.

Meanwhile, the business about the contractual stipulation about RDR being responsible for any infringement lawsuits shows that legal trouble was not unexpected.

Also, I’m confused about how the 50% take on profits from books sold on the Floo Network sites would have worked? Would that have cut into the Floo sites’ take, or would that have been between SVA and RDR, in the way they split up their profits, after giving x% to the Floo site?

Avatar Image says:

Arithmancer, when you asked what the “logic of definition or etymology” quote meant, I think it is referring to the fact that the Lexicon book is merely an alphabetical listing. Obviously this is not the case for the website, since websites can make use of links, keywords, programming, etc…but I digress.

The point is that derivative works that don’t have analysis might still be allowed some copyright leniency, IF they create new cataloging techniques to make sense of large amounts of data,and then use that technique with the data (in this case, Jo’s world).

They were just pointing out various exceptions that the Lexicon book doesn’t meet.

Avatar Image says:

Looking at the photocopies of the actual book, there really isn’t any evidence of outside sources other than the HP books themselves. While this book would be useful, I would rather have it come directly from the author herself. That way I’d know I’m getting my moneys worth. The extra canon wouldn’t hurt either.

Avatar Image says:

Well done, Melissa!

“This timeline, like all the material on the 1,000-plus-page Harry Potter Lexicon, is the original work of Mr. Vander Ark”—Correct me if I’m wrong, but is Ark claiming copyright to his Lexicon book, and all the HP material in it, before the book has been published, while the legitimacy of his book, not to mention who the HP material belongs to, is being decided in a lawsuit? Rather presumptuous of Ark, is it not?

Avatar Image says:

Personally I find the entire situation painful. One of my most favorite segments of Potter Cast is the Canon Cunundrums. It is what drew me to the podcast in the first place. I thought Mr. Vander Arks input was insightful and his decription of the literary techniques used help create a better understanding of the characters and the entire Harry Potter series. I find it troubling that so many are quick to throw so much blame on to Mr. Vander Ark alone. I believe in, and share, his passion for the Harry Potter story. I do believe he has made some mistakes in jugement. Mistakes that I believe he will regret for a long time. And yes, he may have thought that in some way ‘book’ was ok now since the series was completed. Please don’t misunderstand!! I think morally to sell a book that would compete with a publication whose proceeds was perviously announced would go entirely to charity is reprehensible. But I think as passionate outsiders in this situation we must consider that fact the Mr. Steve Vander Ark was also misled, decieved and lied to by his own publishing company, RDR. The way I see it this company is the one with the $$ in their eyes. A small company hopeing to cash in on something they thought would be an instant jackpot and imediately put them in the waters with the big publishing companys like Scholastic!! They obviously knew what they were doing was wrong or all of the secretivness and legal misdirection would not have gone on. In my view one or a combination of three things happened: -They either told Mr. Vander Ark not to get involved and he listened. -Perhaps due to his own poor jugement, he signed a contract that bound his hands and he legally gave up his rights to get involved. -Or RDR kept all of this dispicable activity from Mr. Vander Ark and he never knew what was going on until it was too late.

More likely he may never have known what was happening until it hit the press. We have no way of know what or how things were said and presented to Steve. To precipitate such a rapid contract signature and turn around publication date is suspicious to me. My bottom line is: -Mr Vander Ark’s motivation, I believe, was not as underhanded as everyone makes it out to be. He has made some bad decisions, yes. We have yet to hear his side of the story. -I believe that publication of this book would indeed have an impact on the sales of JKR Scottish book. The charities that she supports are worthy causes and I for one would rather my money go to them than any where else. -I belive RDR has created an aire of deception, shady business pratices and just plain ‘sliminess’ for their company which in my opinion has done them a great disservice. If I had a book to publish I would not be running to them right now. -JKR and WB are well with in their rights to be concerned about this book and legally have done nothing wrong. It does appear so far that they have tried numerous times to resolve this issue ‘peacefully’. Who knows how much of those attempts were share with Mr. Vander Ark.

My final thought as a big Harry Potter fan, proponant of JKR’s work, podcast listener, and Lexicon user: the entire situation makes me ache with sadness.

P.S. I make appologies for rambeling, spelling and grammer mistakes. I am nursing a VERY bad head cold my 3 1/2 year old triplets shared with me!! At least they know how to share :-)

Avatar Image says:

I think SVA is throwing mud in the face of JKR & WB, nothing more or less. He’s stealing from JKR after all this time that he has pretended friendship with her, going behind her back with full knowledge of his wrongdoing. I have absolutely no pity for him. If I wrote a book and someone paraphrased it and tried to slap a copyright on it out of greed I would feel just as betrayed and confused as I’m sure JKR does.

For everyone who thinks that JKR & WB have plenty of money and they should share, where have you been? JKR does more for charities than she keeps for herself anymore, and by publishing his big fat plagerism, SVA would be stealing from the underprivileged children who would have benefitted from the sales of the Scottish Book.

And did anyone notice that the Lexicon is still listed in the fan sites on the official HP website? My respect for JKR just went up even more, that even after seeing what kind of person SVA really is, she didn’t completely turn her back on him and expunge everything about him from her life.

Avatar Image says:

Oh, how I wish this ugly mess could go away. It is so unfortunate that people I admire are in dispute with each other. However, posts like these need to be made. It is good to see an impartial summary of the important details.

Thank you Melissa. You’re doing a fine job.

Also, I hope the work on YOUR book is going well. I can’t wait to read it.

Avatar Image says:

hank you all for the nice words. Been a long day. To clarify:

“Also, I’m confused about how the 50% take on profits from books sold on the Floo Network sites would have worked? Would that have cut into the Floo sites’ take, or would that have been between SVA and RDR, in the way they split up their profits, after giving x% to the Floo site?”

It means that whenever a link from Leaky or any other Floo site results in a sale of a Lexicon book, Steve would get 50% royalties. Typical royalties on a paperback are 7.5%, on a hardback 12.5%. So, basically, he would be increasing his profit share with his publisher by more than four times (I would be more accurate but his other royalty numbers are smudged in the document) through the other sites. This was not mentioned to at least one Floo webmaster (me). Nothing would go to the Floo sites, only Steve and RDR.”

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Re: AkhenatenII @ 10.58 – “No such timeline is contained in any of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. Mr. Vander Ark published details that were found nowhere else. This timeline, like all the material on the 1,000-plus-page Harry Potter Lexicon, is the original work of Mr. Vander Ark and his elite team of academic scholars, literary critics and reference librarians. It is copyrighted 2001 through 2007 by the Harry Potter Lexicon.”

What RDR is saying is that, all the content on the Lexicon website is original and belongs to the Lexicon website, and that the timeline in particular (since that was what RDR’s complaint was about) belongs to the Lexicon website also. So they’re not really claiming anything as regards the books. It’s still a silly statement, in so far as the details are found somewhere else (the HP books!) and whether anyone but Rowling owns the HP characters, events, objects, etc. is (as we are seeing!) is highly doubtful. It sounds like RDR was sort of trying to “hit back” about the timeline issue rather than address the copyright concerns Rowling/WB had with the book.

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From Melissa .

“This was not mentioned to at least one Floo webmaster (me). Nothing would go to the Floo sites, only Steve and RDR.””

Wow – and if I understand things correctly, you guys have given them their website for free. (I read that somewhere) If that is the case, then I’m speechless.

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Thanks for the explanation, Melissa. I couldn’t figure out what the 50% was 50% of. Really appreciate your cool head and all the reporting!

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That is indeed the case Kyle. And thanks, again, guys. I’ll edit the post so it makes that clearer.

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I have been behind JKR since day 1. It’s sad to think a fellow Michigander is doing something like this. I do believe he is doing this for monetary gain. SVA cannot claim copyright on any timeline. The entire HP series is the intellectual property of JKR. It was was Melissa and the rest of the staff here, I would break off the partnership with the Lexicon. I understand they may have to wait until the final word…but after that I wouldn’t want to have my site’s name next to SVA’s.

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This has nothing to do with JKR or WB being money hungry. JKR has said many times that the proceeds from her encyclopedia would go to charity. She doesn’t want sales of Steve’s encyclopedia to jeopardise the sales of her own book, and therefore, the amount of money she will raise for charity. Of course the hardcore fans will buy both, or just JKR’s book, but the casual fans probably won’t, JKR realises that, and that is why she is doing this.

The fact is, JKR owns the Potterverse and should have the right to give a green or red light to any work that uses it. Simple as that. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with selective enforcement of an authors copyright. When it was a free web-based resource, she was fine with it. Now that it’s set to become a publish book that will eat into the amount of money she can raise for charity, of course she wants to assert her copyright and block it from being published.

It will be a serious miscarriage of justice if Steve is successful in publishing his book.

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I don’t know.

I would buy the HPL by SVA if it came out jsut because I am very hungry for any information about the series. That does not in any way mean that my buying SVA lexicon book would influence my decision on buying the Scottish Book. I don’t think charities would lose out much, at least not from the real fans.

I will buy anything JRK ever publishes that is Harry Potter related (and I hope for everyone’s sake she changes her mind and publishes more books on HP universe, even if they don’t have Harry Potter as the main character).

That said, I just hope that SVA doesn’t take Lexicon offline because I really like the site.

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What I’ve been wondering is how the people who WORK for the lexicon, who contributed content, feel about SVA publishing their work for profit. Why haven’t we heard from them?

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Melissa and staff of Leaky Cauldron,, when this is all done I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Obviously you can’t right now because you’re a member of the Floo Network along with SVA. But with you guys basically giving promotion for his book for free (if I read your post correctly)....that would piss me off.

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Thanks to everyone who took a stab at answering my question! I’m still not sure what Johnson meant, though. As we can see in the photocopied pages included with the complaint, the Lexicon provides etymologies for essentially all spell and potion names that have a likely origin in a language other than modern English. Seems pretty logical to me. SarahW’s point about the distinction between organizing alphabetically versus organizing in some truly novel or creative way does make a lot of sense. But if that’s what Johnson meant by “The Lexicon remains silent on its logic of definition or etymology,” then she certainly didn’t articulate the thought very clearly.

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I’m sorry but I just DO NOT understand how he could claim copyright over the timeline used on the movies. The HP world is 100% created by JKR, so she could have made the exact same timeline if Steve was right about all his dates. And for that matter, any fan could make the same timeline if we had nothing better to do!!

I just think this whole thing is completely ridiculous, and I completely agree with the person who said something about Bill Gates. Selling a copy of Microsoft is illegal, and he’s one of the richest men in the world, so how is it any different because she’s JKR? The only difference I think is that she has spent a good portion of her life dedicated to nothing but Harry, and has said that the books are like children to her. I think one is even dedicated as her daughters ‘paper and ink twin’ or something.

This whole affair is just something she should not have to go through with, she should be celebrating the end of the series and writing the Scottish book, not getting betrayed by someone she thought was a fan and a friend.

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Well done, Melissa! And thanks again for your work!!

First of all, some definitions:

Lexicon: synonyms: Dictionary or Enciclopedic Dictionary

Lexicon: A stock of terms used in a particular profession, subject or style; a vocabulary: Ex. A lexicon of Surealist Art ................ I only have a thing to say, or better, to ask: Have you ever find a Lexicon with “personal comments”, “oppinions” or “influence” about the things, words, events o persons ?

For my a Lexicon is basically a better and more complete dictionary, I would not like to know the personal opinion of the autor…

If Jo wins, do you imagine how big should be the royalties and other permissions fees that the British Enciclopaedia would have to pay from now on?

Maybe I am wrong about all of this, but surelly it is all about $$$

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I don’t think JKR is doing this for money at all. If they don’t sue, others could take the goahead and make copies of her books for profit as well, and they couldn’t be stopped because if the Lexicon was allowed, then everyone else has to be. It is JKR’s work and needs to be protected. I feel bad for her because she has to sue and people are saying she is money hungry? That is just mean, after everything she has done for her fans and this is how she is treated. Steve should be ashamed of himself. From what I’ve gotten the impression of, JKR thought he was a friend to her and just a big fan of her work, and then he goes and does this to her. It’s just wrong. Poor Jo!! If she doesn’t win this lawsuit I don’t think there is any justice in the universe!

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BigRonFan- I think you ARE all wrong, not to be mean. But Jo has plenty of money, and does so much for charity. Her own encyclopedia’s profits are going to go completely to charity, how can you say that it’s all for the money? Steve is obviously only doing it for the money, from what I got out of this article he is getting half of the profits of the book? The entire lexicon is online for free! There is no need for a book, it is just so Steve can take the HP fans’ money. I also want to say that I think that just having the Lexicon already took away a lot of the profits that could have come from the other two books Jo did for charity. I was going to buy the Magical Beasts book online until I found out I could just read about every one of the creatures on the lexicon site… so…

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BigRonFan – The substantial difference between the HP Lexicon and an encyclopedia of the real world (World Book, Encarta, Encyclopedia Brittanica) is that the latter provide facts about actual, existing things. The world itself is not the intellectual property of anyone. The HP Lexicon does the same for an INVENTED world that is the intellectual property of JK Rowling.

I think JKR is entirely in the right here, legally. Steve and RDR not only tried to publish a book containing no original thought and substantial quoted portions of JKR’s own material, they tried to make it look like it was endorsed by her. They need to be slapped down by the courts, hard.

I do not think this is primarily about money (or competition of the Lexicon with the Scottish book; that is just a legal justification), but about JKR not wanting someone else to publish her own material for profit, particularly as it would encourage others to do the same. Which is perfectly reasonable.

I don’t think WB should have any claim here and don’t like them being involved. Just because they make the movies doesn’t mean they should own Harry Potter.

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BigRonFan:

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias = Archiving real facts from real world, no one owns this information.

HP Lexicon = Archiving fictional facts invented by JK Rowling, information that Jo owns.

Surely you see the difference???

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There are plenty of entries in Encyclopedias about fiction and some entirely about fiction actually

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Just luv how some ppl r steamrolling Sva- W B doesnt need help

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No matter from what perspective you look at it, what Steve VA and RDR Books tried and are trying to do is wrong, illegal, and unethical. They are only after the money. JKR owns the copyrights and so does WB because they paid to have the rights. Neither Steve VA nor RDR Books own any part of HP, and for that reason they can not intend to sell the original content, only re-arranged, for personal profit and call it lawful business. Other books in the market are not infringing the law because they offer either their take or an analysis of the books, that being their creation, and therefore lawfully permitted for sale with proper credit given to JKR & WB for the use of their info for the creation of THEIR work. Also, in response to people’s comments about this not taking away from JKR’s profit, it is definitely hindering JKR and WB’s profits (whether or not they will want the profits from their encyclopedia, it is theirs), and it is especially sad and cruel because the profits from the Scottish Book (HP Encyclopedia by JKR) will be destined for charity. So, unfortunately, Steve VA and RDR Books are directly affecting the profits of the JKR-made Encyclopedia, and consequently affecting the money that the charity/ charities would receive. It’s a shame that RDR Books and Steve VA would not call it quits and accept that they have not produced anything from their own creation that is lawful to sell. They could have just avoided this lawsuit and all the drama by just changing the book from a copyright-infringing encyclopedia to a book on Steve VA’s take on the HP World which would have been a huge success. I really do regret it has come to this because Steve (and the HP Lexicon team) have worked very hard on the Lexicon, and he doesn’t deserve the drama. But, oh well… Even if the intentions were good, the deed was illegal, and here come the consequences.

Finalizing… Good Luck Jo! Steve, if you read this, I hope you can get something good from the experience! RDR Books, rest assured that I will boycott all your products for your stealthy, greedy and deceitful intentions and actions!

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To clarify something from my post… I meant to say: “Other books in the market are not infringing the law because they offer either their take or an analysis of the books, that [analysis] being their creation, and therefore lawfully permitted for sale with proper credit given to JKR & WB for the use of their info for the creation of THEIR [analytic] work.”

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I know you guys have for sure contacted Steve by now and asked about it, but are most likely restraining saying anything about it without actual quotage from Steve (whether written or on PotterCast), especially while legal negotiations are still going on.

I just find it very weird with all the things that we have gotten from Steve that this book was made. I mean all past quotage shows that he’d never do something like this, but he did. Hopefully by the end of this we find out what went down. Until then we wait.

All I can say is that this has to be the biggest legal things fans have payed attention to since it went into question if fansites were legal some years back, all because we love both sides of the argument. We all love Jo of course, and Steve was always a great guy, not to mention that the Lexicon is amazing. But I’m siding with Jo on this, as I always have, especially with the way RDR has been handling this case.

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Bloody Hell (imagine Rupert’s voice). That what’s going through my head over and over when I read this. I can’t believe there’s a Part 2 after all the other points in the other post.

I agree the whole thing is sad but the guy is in the wrong and is coming across very badly which is making people feeling sorry for him. SVA name is going to be dragged through the mud and he has no one else to blame but himself.

I have this feeling that RDR might pull out. Why would they want to go through all this in court. If I was a writer and they represented me I would be really worried. They could screw me over one day.

And I wish people would stop saying that Jo is money hungry. It’s not the point and we all know that she isn’t like that so please just stop.

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i just can’t understand why a great fan like sva would do this. it all started with jo. it’s her world that we all love. he should show some respect. come on it’s jo!

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Morally, it does not matter if you are stealing from a rich person or a poor person. To say that it is ok for the Lexicon to steal from, or infringe upon the copyright or ownership of the WB and J.K. Rowling because they are wealthy already is misguided at best.

Jo is working to protect Harry, HER work, HER creation. Ultimately, it WILL take away from any encyclopedia, etc. she may chose to create… either in terms of money, or creativity. Why should the Lexicon benefit from basically selecting a decent font and printing what amounts to Jo’s work? Why should he profit from “the sweat of her brow?”

Jo has been AMAZINGLY generous in what she has allowed fans to produce online for free… really ahead of many authors in recognizing the fans on the internet. Why on earth should she be punished for that?

Let me tell you… if the Lexicon wins, in the future NO author will be willing to allow the fans such free rein as Jo has in the past. In the future, if you wish to enjoy similar sights as The Leaky Cauldron, you’ll be rooting for WB and Jo.

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I’m sure others with closer connections to this saga would describe it more colourfully, but how intriguing is this case! The to-ing and fro-ing of opinion on behalf of SVA and whether the information on the site is copyrighted to him or Jo, and then the seemingly underhand and unprofessional behaviour of his publishers. It’s like a bad episode of Inspector Rex or something, did they honestly think no-one would notice or care?

And I think the statement from Jo about the quality of Steve’s book (which, if the posted exhibits are what were to be published, indicate a very tedious read – there’s even a section on earmuffs for goodness sake) should be a clear indication of how unhappy she is about this.

All of my arguments have been stated previously and with more conviction and weight but I want to add my voice to those who have praised Melissa for her cool head and professional journalism. I have a fiery temper and would probably not be able to type with such objectivity considering what is being disclosed, so well done and keep up the excellent work!

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Oh, gawd! Guys how can you take SVA’s defence???? He is motivated only by money and nothing else.. And I don’t get those who say that “there are a lot of lexicons around about thousands of subjects and nobody pays attention to them just because they’re companion books or they are just reference books” WHAT THE HECK! We are talking about Harry Potter, for goodness’ sake… Hundreds of thousands of people will be interested in a book like that, and publishing it without the author’s permission is just simply UNFAIR. And it’s just low and mean to think of publishing it if you know that JK herself is going to do it, and FOR CHARITY! Have you ever heard about The Silmarillion? It’s half tale half Lexicon, and I know a lot of LOTR fans who bought it just for the compendium… So… Anyway, as usual I completely agree with MattyJM and with a lot of other people like Minnie and others who explained their (and JO’s) reasons in a brilliant way…Thank you, and thanks a lot Melissa!

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Dudley, you mention something that struck me too. All legal questions aside, the PDFs of definitions Melissa linked us to are BORING. Things that are charming and humerous in context in the books are definitely a “tedious read” as dictionary entries. It’s like someone having to explain a joke – never works. It’s too bad, too,because Steve came across as very humerous and creative in the podcasts. Too bad that doesn’t come across in his work.

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Dudley, you mention something that struck me too. All legal questions aside, the PDFs of definitions Melissa linked us to are BORING. Things that are charming and humerous in context in the books are definitely a “tedious read” as dictionary entries. It’s like someone having to explain a joke – never works. It’s too bad, too,because Steve came across as very humorous and creative in the podcasts. Too bad that doesn’t come across in his work.

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HUMOROUS I mean

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By the way… if he wins (and I hope he won’t) I won’t buy his book: why should I give my money to HIM when I can give it TO CHARITY (and with Jo’s approval)?

And Linden swallow I think you’re right: The Scottish Book will probably be better and funnier… but the point is that it should be the only compendium book existing…

And for those who said that WB is not concerned in this matter: WB is the real owner of the HP brand, while JK is the author and has the intellectual and publishing rights on the HP material… so I think that WB is definitely concerned in this matter…

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Uff!, it gets nastier by the hour, doesn’t it?

Reading all the points of the document (Melissa: your pacience and courage to tackle the whole thing’s reading puts Hermione to shame) it’s becopming clearer and clearer that JKR is right. As for SVA’s good or bad intentions, I cannot tell, however, it seems to me RDR has indeed given a damn about copyright, JKR or SVA. And nevertheless it will be SVA, and not RDR, who’ll come the worst out of it.

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Rose I completely agree with you. There is no way I’d purchase this book, or anything else Lexicon Steve puts out.

As someone who did spend a great deal of time reading over the site, I’m just disgusted that someone would go to these lengths to take things from Jo, and then to take money from his friends who pay for his site. How many free hand outs does this guy feel he’s entitled too.

I know that RDR books seems sleazy too, but Steve had to agree to let them do what they’ve done.

I’ve read this on other sites and it’s been mentioned here, but I’ll never click on The Lexicon (website) again.

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As for SVA’s intentions, his reply to the fans suggesting to publish the website proves that he KNEW doing so would be wrong. Nevertheless, he agreed to publish it later. This negates any possible claim that it’s all RDR’s fault and SVA is just an innocent victim. He’s not.

(In fact, it seems to me that he had counted on getting a job working on JKR’s lexicon, and when he realized it wouldn’t happen, he agreed to publish his own lexicon. This seems to me a pretty desperate and spiteful decision on SVA’s part.)

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In my opinion, J.K Rowling is becoming too greedy. Profits from her books will enrich her even further until she dies, she’s also getting money form the movies, and they’re planning to build a theme park, which will also generate her more money. Let some poor guy publish his book; he is obviously a very dedicate person. And J.K Rowling, stop asking for more money, you’re bathing in it right now.

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Apparently some people still read with their eyes closed.

JKR wants to publish her own lexicon (most probably with additional information and suchlike) FOR CHARITY. SVA and RDR want to publish the book for BIG PROFIT (as it would certainly be very popular). SVA and RDR are the greedy ones here, not JKR. She just wants SVA and RDR to stop trying to profit from her intellectual property.

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I have been, on this article alone, 2 hours now. Reading both the first part, and the second, and as many comments as I could stand. After having read, only the Request For injunction, (parts one and two) how anyone could read anything other than RDR’s and SVA’s unfortunate choices were wrong, on so many levels.. Unfortunate choices. To Carlos: Ms Rowling does not want the money. It has, really, nothing to do with that. Yes, she will gain profit from the items you mentioned: Movies, theme park…but, she does put most, if not all, of her profits and effort into CHARITY. RDR and SVA are ONLY interested in profits. Yes, JKR will “make money”...but it’s HER WORK! As stated, in the Request, (paraphrased) there is no added comment to the work. It is not SVA’s work. It is Ms Rowling’s work, “repackaged” for sale. The “Scottish Book” is for CHARITY. I agree, whole heartedly, with barano (and many others here) The “key words” here, are “FOR BIG PROFIT”! I also agree that, if someone were to buy a gift, for a “Harry Potter Fan”, they might buy this volume, and give it. Thinking that it really IS what it claims to be. Thus, giving more profits, to RDR and SVA. Not to Charity, as is Ms Rowling’s intention. I’m sorry, folks. I am tired and very angry about this. It is a shame and a pitty. Pure rubbish, from start to finish. Thank you, as many have stated, previously, Melissa and TLC, for providing us with “up to date” information. Keeping the fandom informed, with FACTS, is very important. You are wonderful to do this. Please keep us up to date on this. Thanks, so much, for your time and effort!

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As a writer, I know how it would break my heart to have someone “steal” my work for their own benefit. It would not be about the money at all, but that’s the way lawyers & the law must operate. Financial harm can be empirically proved, but mental/emotional distress is much harder, which is why so much of the focus is on the money.

Just consider if HP had come from your heart and mind – how would you feel if someone was abusing it in this way? Really, it’s like having some bully beating up your child! Making profit from your hard work and commitment? Never mind talent! SVA should have put all of his time and energy into his own work of fiction if he wanted to have full rights to its use.

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I had no idea about the Floo Network situation. That threw me quite a bit. I’ve stayed on the fence thus far, but…really? Profiting from books sold through the Floo Network, and no one on the Floo Network knew?

Yikes. : (

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I can’t really say anything that hasn’t already been said, but I just also wanted to thank Melissa for pouring over all of this and breaking it down for us. Don’t know what we’d do without ya! :)

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Even if Jo wouldn’t give the money from the Scottish Book to charity, I dont understand why people suddenly think, she’s greedy. Fans want to read her book, so she writes it. fans buy it. Her work – her money. It’s her creation, why should Steve or RDR have any right to repack and sell it?

And I really dont know what to say to this: “It means that whenever a link from Leaky or any other Floo site results in a sale of a Lexicon book, Steve would get 50% royalties. [...] This was not mentioned to at least one Floo webmaster (me). Nothing would go to the Floo sites, only Steve and RDR.”

I can’t believe it… I really don’t understand how Steve thought/thinks that everything would just work out perfectly well. First he tries to publish this book against Jo’s explicit wishes and then he’s …(trying to think of a nice word) deceiving the people in the fandom that are his friends and most likely to catch him after this whole disaster. That’s so stupid. How could he think people wouldn’t find out?

Melissa, thanks again for keeping us updated and all the work involved.

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Shame on SVA! He’s just bitter because he couldn’t get a job with JKR on her future works. A grown man should know better. I used to enjoy the HP-Lexicon very much. Between books I would look up topics from time to time to keep myself entertained until the next release. I haven’t been to his site since this whole thing came out in the news. His pettiness ruined the experience of his site for me and I will not bother with it again.

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My real worry in this case is that it will come up with a legal definition of scholarly work —something that might effect any of you who decide to go to [post]graduate school. For at least a century, creating concordances has been considered scholarly. A concordance is simple a list of all the words in a book or series, such as Shakespeare or the bible, in alphabetical order -- no definitions, plot summaries, just a list. Before computers this was hard, hard work. It was a tool for other scholars, and it was highly valued. Whether SVA/RDR should win this case in terms of their underhandedness is not my point: if Jo Rowling, who is not a scholar, and her lawyers who are also not scholars, and this chap from Exeter College who is clearly not much of an historian of scholarship, are allowed to determine what is valuable in terms of scholarly work, the world has gone to hell in a jell-propelled handcart.

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You know, what I find interesting is that at some point, Steve had to say, “let me have my attorney look over this before we proceed.” So, from my perspective, Steve did NOT do this and trusted what RDR proposed. Or if he did have his attorney look over the legalities of publishing a book like this, they did not do a very throrough job of giving him advice. I just can’t imagaine that an attorney, whose job it is look out for the legal best interests of their clients, did not think there would be any potential problems publishing this book.

Apparently, both sides are interepreting intellectual property and copyright differently, which is why there is this lawsuit. Do we know how it is that Steve and RDR came together? Who sought whom out?

Steve just doesn’t look good here. He looks like he knowingly proceeded with something he had previously acknowledged was wrong. It’s a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ situation, Someone else posted (can’t recall who right now) that perhaps RDR had Steve under contract and he has to go along with what they say. If that’s the case, Steve has not gotten good legal advice. If it’s not, Steve has not made good decisions and has fallen into a deep hole. I know if it were me I would bow out of this ASAP.

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I am not a lawyer, or a judge,...so I will have to wait and see what the outcome will be. Would I buy a copy of the Lexicon?, ...yes. Would I but J.K.R.’s encyclopedia?...yes. The Lexicon would have been out for sale by now….J.K.R. has said her’s would take about 10 years to do. I don’t see how one would interfere with sales of the other, as they would be sold with so much time passing between the two. I wonder, in 10+ years if we will be standing in line for J.K.R.’s encyclopedia..? I don’t have an answer to that. J.K.R. has hinted that “maybe” she isn’t done with the Wizarding World….maybe there will be other books. All of this is speculation… Some may ask why I would buy a copy of the Lexicon, when it’s online for free. Even though I hate to admit it,...all the Harry Potter online sites will be gone in time, and the chance to have the Lexicon, in print, to share with grandchildren would be priceless. It is sad that things have deterrated to the point where only a court can untangle the legal knots.

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“He is SO busted!

I don’t understand why they don’t point out that any of us could re-create his work using the HP Books if we wanted to dedicate our time to it…thus, it can’t possibly belong to him. There is absolutely no original thought, just a re-ordering of information that is useful to us fans to help understand the books when needed.

What a shame. It makes me sad.

Posted by buggub on January 16, 2008 @ 08:28 PM “

Just to comment on this first post, you are correct that anybody could have recreated the work with considerable effort and dedication. But from a copyright perspective, it really DOES matter who publishes first.

There have been cases where 2 authors have counter-sued for copyright infringement. The final determination was that, because both sides reached the same conclusions essentially independantly and apparently simultaneously, they were granted joint copyright. However, I have heard of no such case outside of research papers (just because I haven’t heard doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, of course!).

On the other hand, where there has been a clear time disparity, i.e. one publishes significantly ahead of the other, the first out of the gate gets copyright. This is because publication is taken as an indication of completion of the intellectual property. It is generally accepted that if you got it out first, it is because you formulated the concept/ideas/conclusions first, and created the report first.

Of course, in THIS case, JKR’s work was published first, and copyrighted first, so this isn’t really an issue.

By the way, as soon as anyone writes a piece of work, or creates a piece of art, copyright is automatic, as long as authorship is clear (at least in canada, and, I believe this is true for WTO signatories). Registration of copyright is not a requirement for claiming copyright. However, registration IS a means of asserting such claim on a wide basis, makes the copyright “official” and establishes time frames.

But the reality is that even when a document is considered at least partially in the public domain, such as a newspaper article (I mean it is published and anyone can purchase it), it is technically an infringement if it is used without permission. The summary “Part 2” noted that, but also pointed out that in such cases (and they gave the example of the teacher, which I mentioned in one of my posts yesterday on Part 1), it constitutes “fair use”. However if a teacher excerpted an entire newspaper for teaching purposes, the situation might be different. The pointis, regardless of the circumstance, requesting permission should be the first common sense thing one does. In EVERY instance that my company uses others’ copyrighted material, we ask permission, regardless of the “public” nature or not. In all but ONE case, the copyright holder grants us permission with no fee, or a reasonable licence fee, as long as we appropriately reference the source. The one case simply said no, which they do for ALL similar requests. Needless to say, we did not incorporate their material, but referenced them as the place to et that material. This benefitted both parties.

Sorry for another long drawn out post – just my style I guess.

M.

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This whole thing is a tragedy that didn’t need to happen. But it did.Yes, Chelle. Bitterness and pettiness. I have never read the Lexicon. I have never been to any of the Floo Network sites, except for Mugglenet. (I’m not sure if that is part of the Floo Network.) I do know that this is a “wakeup call” for everyone. A sad commentary. But needed. You cannot profit, from someone elses hard work, and expect it to go unnoticed. You cannot expect that there will be no repercussions or consequences, from your actions. SVA: You have caused an irreparable damage to yourself as well as potential damage to other FanSites. RDR: you should be ashamed of yourself. Bad advice and ill-gotten gains…or potentially ill-gotten gains. We learned, in High School, about Plaigerism. It is illegal. Yes, it is. Unfortunately, for SVA, that will cost him. The REALLY sad thing is that he, himself, mentioned Plaigerism. For his own work. Now, many people will “not bother with it (the Lexicon) again.” You, my friend, have lost. Your self respect and the respect of others. Again, I echo the sentiments of many others: Shame on you!

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Also, I anctiously await your answer to this…..

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SVA is begining to sound more and more like a loon.

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what exactly can they write about in 1,100 pages? that’s nearly the length of lord of the rings!

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“….J.K.R. has said her’s would take about 10 years to do. “

If you go and read the transcript for the Jo interview where they are talking about “The Scottish Book”, Jo didn’t actually say it was going to take ten years, John did. Jo then went on to say what her ideal layout for the book would be and then John repeated about people being willing to wait ten years for that. At no time did Jo suggest it would take that long, all she said following John’s comments was that she wanted to be able to take the time to do the Scottish Book properly, and not be rushed into print because her hand has been forced.

I think all Jo is looking for right now is a bit of a break and then the time to do her book properly – I would be VERY surprised if it took anything more than five years at the absolute outside limit.

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Gillyweed, check out Pottercast #130, Dec.17th, 2007…....in being questioned, and hopeing that the encyclopedia would be written as soon as JKR would be comfortable writing it….JKR responds with ” Yeah. But would it be okay if that’s 10 years?”....she is in no hurry to get it done.

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well I hope JK does do it well within 10 years, though I’d obviously also be happy with a gradual release of a 10 volume encyclopedia, each taking a year!

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“The question of authorship arises here as well: Steve Vander Ark has said the Lexicon was “created, edited, written and maintained primarily by one person, me,” and the book has listed only one author; however an e-mail from Roger Rapoport says the book was the result of 20 academic scholars and reference experts’ work.”

Wow, SVA’s sounding more and more like another Cassie Edwards.

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Gilyweed you’re right: for me it will take even less than 3 years. (I hope it will come out with the last film :) ). Anyway, that’s not the point, for me, omikse! Let’s pretend for a moment that the Lexicon book comes out: not everyone who buys it will buy also The Scottish Book, even if it comes out 5, 10, 20 yrs later. If you are an hardcore fan you will probably buy both, or just JK’s, but the majority of the Harry Potter readers are not hardcore fans, and they will probably buy the first that is published and not the second, because: who would buy twice the same book (or two books which are slightly different)?

The serious thing here is that, as Morton and others said before, if SVA wins, JK will probably have to pay him the publishing rights when she publishes the Scottish Book, and that’s absolutely nonsense and disgusting, and if I were him I would be very ashamed of myself…

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Well done, Melissa!

Re. – “This timeline, like all the material on the 1,000-plus-page Harry Potter Lexicon, is the original work of Mr. Vander Ark”—Correct me if I’m wrong, but is Ark claiming copyright to his Lexicon book, and all the HP material in it, before the book has been published, while the legitimacy of his book, not to mention who the HP material belongs to, is being decided in a lawsuit? Rather presumptuous of Ark, is it not?”

Just a point of clarification, which I think I mentioned yesterday in my first post opposite Part 1 of the summary. You can claim copyright on your accumulation and ordering of someone else’s material in the sense that the others’ material in YOUR format is what you own. The original material is ALWAYS the creator’s property unless they have legally signed ownership over to another party. And by the way, you STILL have to get the original owners’ permission BEFORE you use their material.

Also, WB does have standing in this case, because they DO own parts of the HP world. For example, JKR never developed the trademarks or other indicia that WB uses (although you’d better believe that WB and JKR negotiated the rights because the intellectual property, on which the trademarks and indicia were based, was JKR’s!).

In all of these situations, it really is the case that if you negotiate first, reach agreement next, and THEN proceed, things go smoothly (usually). But if you proceed first and THEN try and either cover up or backtrack a negotiation, well … you see the result.

Now, my attempt at making sense of the “definition and etymology” statement:

The definitions of the words that have been posted are correct, but in my opinion, the point of the statement was that since the HPL book does not provide a statement of what structure they used, or what method of determining definitions or word origins and so on they were following, and BECAUSE the way it appears in the book is in fact not some new formula of advanced methodology, there is no advancement of the field of knowledge and no original contribution, even including HOW the information was compiled. In other words, there is absolutely nothing original in the book, not even the compilaton methods used.

And please note, it is ONLY the book that is at issue. The website, aside from being freely available and therefore not affecting revenue streams, DOES contain some original thinking and commentary. Nobody is claiming otherwise. It is only the book.

You know, I have to say that I feel sorry for both SVA AND JKR, because this whole situation is probably one that neither party WANTS to be embroiled in. But I feel sorrier for we who are witnessing it and having our world a little more tarnished, when the Books and others’ efforts were so directed at showing that the world CAN be a better place if only there were more understanding and love in it.

M.

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“Yeah. But would it be okay if that’s 10 years?”….she is in no hurry to get it done.”

Ok, I missed that line when I was rereading the transcript, but I remember listening to that particular Pottercast and the whole mention of “ten years” by everybody was said in jest. Sure she isn’t in any hurry, but the ten years thing came across to me as a joke. I could be wrong, but that is the way it sounded to me.

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How depressing. What a shame, that it has to come to this. I feel bad for both Mr. Vander Ark as well as Ms. Rowling.

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It makes me so sad to see all this going on. The Lexicon is a totally excellent resource, and I know I use it a few times a week when I need to remember something quick.

To think that the Lexicon book would hurt the profits of Jo’s encyclopedia is ridiculous, because what Harry Potter fan would pick the Lexicon book over the Scottish book? But then on the other hand, a Lexicon book is TOTALLY USELESS anyway because you can pretty much have the book for free on the website.

I think both arguments are rather silly. But, I guess I side with Jo on this one. As much as I love the Lexicon, just give it up Steve. The world just doesn’t need a lexicon book.

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Isn’t it interesting that SVA tries to claim copyright infringement for the HP Timeline and then apparently infringes on JKR’s copyrights with the contract to publish the Lexicon.

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OK I don’t mean to play devil’s advocate here, I’m honestly curious and I hope someone can help me out. This has been a fabulous discussion of comments so far, and I haven’t read every single one, so I apologize if this has been (specifically) addressed previously. Steve has mentioned that he has done extensive lexicons and encyclopedias on other subjects before, such as Star Trek and Hogan’s Heroes. He published a Star Trek lexicon and has sold all the copies made. What’s to keep the estate of Gene Roddenberry (sp) or the producers of Hogan’s Heroes from taking legal action in those cases? Or is there a difference between television and the written word? Thanks, sorry for the dumb question!

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Morton K., thanks for weighing in with your thoughts on Johnson’s cryptic “logic of definition or etymology” comment!

Of course I realize that the suit is targeting the book and not the website. And I think they have very good justification for doing so. I just disagree with the complaint’s tacit implication that the NON-creative NON-original parts of the website (i.e., the parts of the website were dumped into the book) have no value to Potter fans other than “entertainment.” Frankly, I have little use for the Lexicon’s original, creative content - the essays and fan art and whatnot. The parts of the Lexicon I find most valuable are exactly the parts that got dumped into the book; and I use them as a reference tool, not as a derivative source of entertainment. As others have mentioned, reading through the Lexicon from start to finish is pretty dull-almost like reading a dictionary.

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Darn those strikeouts! I keep forgetting. Please read behind the lines!

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Melissa, Thank you for all your dedication and hard work. That goes to the rest of TLC staff also. I feel so sorry for the other Floo sites to hear that SVA was attempting to receive profit from these sites that promoted this illegal book. Not that you guys would do such a thing and permote something that would hurt JKR. It is a sad situation all around. I liked using Lexicon to find info when I was in need. I think I’ll go else where from now on.

On a brighter note. I can’t wait to read your book!

Thank you all again for creating a wonderful source of wonder and information.

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Men of a certain age seem to come undone. And their undoing is accelerated if fame, fortune and flocks of adoring female fans are involved.

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Dear fab4mom, who is to say that Paramount didn’t object to Steve’s Star Trek encyclopedia? Most Cease & Desist letters don’t make front page news.

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In my opinion, the Lexicon book can be considered as a derivative book from the original Harry Potter. That is to say it is protected by the copyright law provided that it is published under the permission of the original author, which means Jo. I mean it is worth being respected too as a book alone, not a book of theft as some of you keep saying.

Admitedly, anyone of us (to be precisely, must be ones with particular virtues such as well-organized, systematic and detailed mind, and patience as well) can creat something similar to Steve’s. But his was the first and a well-done one, so please kindly don’t lower its real value. (but i have to say i was rather disappointed seeing the pdf version Melissa gave us, it was totally far less amazing than what they have on their website).

That’s for the book itself. Regarding Steve’s (or his chosen publisher?) action, Steve was obviously wrong when he didn’t get any permission but proceeding with the publication. (I wish Jo gave or would give her permission. But if she won’t, it’s ok to me.)

One more thing I would like to add is I don’t feel it’s wrong at all if Steve published the book for money, however little or big money. It’s only wrong if the existence of his book affects the profit of the future Scottish book which is for charity, about which I still doubt.

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There are two sides to every story. Let’s not condemn SVA without hearing both sides. Of course WB’s case sounds very compelling – it’s a legal document meant to cause an injunction – do you think it would show both sides of the story? Of course not.

With that said, the email correspondence(sp) seems quite damning. Also, SVA might have signed his rights away with the contract he signed with the publisher. He may have no means to pull out now even if he wanted to. My guess would be that SVA had little to do with the way the book is being marketed with quotes and pieces of JKR’s words. The is the publishers doing most likely IMO. Seems to me SVA may have gotten hooked with with some shifty people.

In the end I agree with most. No one reading TLC or the internet would buy the Lexicon book because they have access to the online resource which is better. I think WB is making much to do about nothing. Would purchasing the Lexicon book keep any real dedicated fan from buying JKR’s book? No.

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After reading part 1 and then part 2. The entire thing is sad. I think SVA got a bee in his bonnet and thought JKR wouldn’t care if he made this book, since she was done with the series. I understand he went to alot of work on his site to get things in order etc. But he crossed the line when he made the choice to get the book published. If SVA really cared about the fans and getting this out to every one he could of gone to one of those self publishing places and had people buy it for what it would cost to print and bind it. I believe the thought of making some profit crossed his mind, maybe to help for the cost of his site maybe?? I don’t know, other then it is very sad that he did what he did. Do I hate him? No, I just am confused and really want to know what made him do it? Why cross that line and believe he has a right to HP? Wouldn’t he take the same steps as JKR if some one stold things from his site and posted on another web site or book? Wouldn’t he be upset if some one stold his graphics and used it on another site? I believe alot of time people forget that we must respect others wishes and thoughts, even though we may not agree with them we need to honor it. enough of my .02 cent ramble.

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James K, how long do you intend to wait for Steve’s side when we keep finding out that Steve has not been telling the truth? He’s asked us to give him the benefit of the doubt again and again. And then he’s let us down. He never did tell anyone about the book at Christopher Little’s. He never asked for permission to publish. They did talk to him -unlike his claim that they didn’t- and all he did was ask for a job. And then he insulted most of the Harry Potter fan base by dissing teenagers with websites. And those teenagers were his fans too. And they helped to write the HPL. Can there possibly be another side to this story? The only one who is benefitting from our doubt is Steve. And I don’t have any doubts about him now. Not one.

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Sorry. Didn’t mean the strikethrough of “unlike his claim that they didn’t”. Steve did say he tried to contact everyone he knew about the book and they wouldn’t make time to talk to him. But there’s the string of emails from Steve and Emma. It clearly shows he did talk to them and he didn’t once mention publishing the HPL. He’s just been spinning tales like Gilderoy Lockhart.

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I guess I’m missing something – where are these emails you all are referring to?

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Re. James K – I may or may not disagree with you (and the many others who have said similar thing) in principle in THIS case, regarding the potential effect that the Lexicon might have on the Scottish book’s potential revenue.

But thinking dispassionately, that really isn’t the issue. Think of it this way:

1. SVA et. al. win this case, even though the evidence available (and hey, I’ll change my stance if there is sufficiently wieghty and convincing evidence to do so!) suggests that this book would be published, illegally (see the end of this post for a quick comment on anti-competitive activity).

2. I, a poor and struggling author, am in the process of writing what I think could prove to be a highly popular and best selling novel, the first in a series that might span say 6 or 7 books over a multi-year period.

3.Basing my future plans on JKR’s experience (and others, now, that she set the course), I would hope for and encourage fan sites to spread the good word. I’d appear on podcasts. I’d consent to interviews. I’d even encourage the otherwise unauthorized use of my copyrighted material to generate discussion and critical thought regarding my books, because first, that would create more interest, both in purchasing future installments (that’s my greedy side, but remember I’m poor and struggling and this is my vision, not the JKR reality) and second, it would extend the work already started by JKR in promoting reading, and providing material that shines (that’s my altruistic side).

But wait…. look at what happened.

4.Somebody wrote a book that essentially repackages my work, WITHOUT asking my permission to use my copyrighted work.

5. The publisher makes it look like I even endorsed the book through a clever juxtaposition of an unrelated comment I made several years before this unauthorized book gets published, and successfully usurps my ability to generate as much revenue as I might otherwise have.

If that were to happen, would I be so quick to support these fan sites? Would I give generously of my time and support to make it better for all?

The answer, most likely, is – why should I, if it means that I might have to not only continue to struggle for much needed revenue, but might actually be unable to write more books in my series because of the fear that now it might be ME infringing on somebody’s copyright on MY world, MY characters, MY creation.

Now, multiply that by the thousands of potential new writers, artists and other creative souls who also make the decision to not proceed with their dreams, or do so in a cold and seemingly heartless way, just to protect their offspring from being kidnapped and turned against them (that is not overly dramatic either, that is EXACTLY how JKR described the whole HP world, and how other authors and artists describe their creations – as if it were one of their children).

So what has happened is that NOW you either prevent good works from being done, prevent good people from being better, or make good people turn what appears to be cold and calculating, simply out of fear of having their rights violated. That, to me, is what this is all about. Of course, I could be wrong.

Now, the issue of anti-competitive activity arises. In Canada we have the Competition Act, in the US, the Sherman Anti-trust Act. Other countries have their own versions. They are all similar in principle but may vary in this or that aspect. Essentially, by agreeing between themselves to assign revenue streams without consulting distribution and promotions channels, SVA and his publisher have possibly colluded to inhibit the legitimate seeking of trade/revenue of others. That this consultation is something that SHOULD have been done is noted in the Injunction Brief, and evidenced by looking at a whole raft of such agreements where distribution and promotions channels get their cut as well. This is, indeed, an unusual contract. And collusion is illegal, if true.

The difference between this and the copyright infringement we have been discussing until now is substantial. You’ll all note that WB/JKR have not sought damages (at least there is nothing in the filing to that effect). However, if this were a violation of the Anti-trust act issue, we are looking at a Federal offence that carries with it automatic imprisonment and/or hefty fines, if found guilty. Now let me make it clear. The issue of determining whether an action is an anti-trust offense or not is so extremely complex that lawyers and legislators get rich or prematurely old thinking about and working on such issues. I’m not suggesting this is the case here at all, but the circumstances of agreeing to split the revenue, without telling the promotion venues that they are doing that, would be cause for an immediate investigation, just in case it is a violation.

Damnation! but this is both so complicated and so convoluted! I wish even more now, that this was never started!

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Well, I certainly don’t have any doubts about SVA after reading all this. He clearly got too big for his britches and came down with a serious case of fan entitlement. It’s the only thing that makes any sense.

To me, it looks like he made the decision to publish after being rejected and rebuffed when he wrote asking for a job in the UK. And he entered into a quick and shady deal with a local no-name publisher in Michigan just to try and push the book out the door while Bloomsbury, WB, Scholastic and JKR would all be distracted by promoting both Deathly Hallows and the Order of the Phoenix film. I guess he figured they wouldn’t notice.

The other assumption that comes across is that he reasoned that the fandom would be on his side because of who he is. In his mind, it probably also meant that JKR would be less likely to sue over the book since he knows she cares about her fans. Clearly, he thought wrong on both counts. And the shady way he was planning on taking advantage of the Floo Network sites is unforgivable.

All of this just makes SVA look like a sad individual who made a hasty decision to cash in after being rejected by JKR’s publishers, and it didn’t matter who he had to step on to get paid, whether it was JKR/WB or his fellow fans and Floo Network webmasters. It’s sad, really.

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Is it me or is SVR site gone?

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Well I am not giving support to either side, I just hope that this can all be settled and no one gets hurt! People make mistakes, and I hope that no one thinks any more or any less of either party after this whole thing is resolved.

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Although I think it would be cool to have a paper copy of the Lexicon for reference, and I don’t think that this book will really compete with her future encyclopedia (considering that will have NEW as apposed to old canon), I have to agree with Jo. They didn’t and any insights to the work or add some original creative element- all they did was list all of JO’S creativly made characters, etc. This has copyright infringement all over it.

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Wow, some of you do make some extraordinarily long posts! I shall now aim to beat the longest comment with my very deep analytical thoughts on this issue. Right here goes. Um…....

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The Harry Potter Wikia is a much better site than HPL. I find it easier to look up things and it is updated with a fair amount of regularity:

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

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Well, now.. point well taken. I’ll try and not post so long. Of course (nudge nudge, wink wink) if Melissa is willing to give me a place on the team…. but then (nudge nudge, wink wink) if she doesn’t, maybe I can see some way to plagiarize TL … oops.. never mind!!!

Just kidding, but I will try and reduce the verbiage.

M.

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What I really want to know is, how the bloody hell did Super Melissa read 1100 pages in one day?!? I mean thats 20% longer than Order of the Pheonix. I can only conclude that Melissa is using a time-turner. Put to damn fine use I hasten to add. Wonderfully unbiased journalism. I hope she becomes a successful journalist on TV. Her comments on pages 2 and 3 are worth reading to to clarify the spilt proceeds between RDR and Vander Ark (whatever we may think of Steve, he has very cool name!).

Some have commented on never using the Lexicon site ever again. That would be a sad move (understandable) but I think that is not necessary. Remember that Steve has a number of staff who contribute beautiful essays and works hard to compile information for the site. They would be innocent victims of our actions should we bouycott it and if TLC disconnects their website.

I would like to give Steve the benefit of the doubt (though admittedly there are not many doubts to be benefiting from the way this case is going). I like to think that Steve had no ill intentions at first but from his weakness allowed RDR to poison his rationality and instil greed. Even if Steve is a victim of RDR’s bullying (who by the way I have no doubts in my mind are most shrewd, manipulative and bullying), I think Steve should for the time being stand down from Lexicon and hand over to one of his trusted colleague who is not poisoned by any greed (yet!) and perhaps give him/her the opportunity to give the site a fresh approach. It is obvious Steve has made mistakes (even if it is RDR’s but then allowing RDR to influence his actions is a mistake itself) and has even offended his Floo partners. But despite that I hope Steve Vander Ark learns from all of this and progress in his career with success and fair play to all around him including his competitors.

But dont bouycott Lexicon because of this (especially if you have always been using it) because remember, there are others who work on it and are probably very disillusioned with this case. Personally, I dont use the Lexicon as I am not one for detail, just good story telling but I do enjoy reading the essays on there.

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MD Thanks for the link, first time I ever been to this site. Going to go explore now!

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Hey Morten K. I was fairly sarcastic with my first post but now I owe you an apology. I see now how easy it is to get carried away ;)

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I really dont believe that WB and Jo are fighting this for the money, law is about precedent. By allowing HPL to be published they would set a precedent that would strongly restrict the ability to protect much of the copyright in future maybe more hostile situations.

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Uggh…I thought it was more the publisher but now it seems to be just as much from SVA…I really hope this turns out well….

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I’m baffled that some people can believe that Steve Vander Ark deserves to make a profit because he ‘worked really hard’ on the Lexicon.

It takes a lot of time, planning, and effort to successfully stage a bank heist, as well. That doesn’t mean that anyone who manages to accomplish such a feat deserves the money he gets from it. The comparison may seem extreme or unfair, but I don’t think it is. Any money that Steve Vander Ark would make from the sale of the Lexicon book is not his to legitimately have, regardless of how hard he worked to get it. It isn’t a question of who has what money. A penny, a pound, a million dollars, it does not matter: he would have no legitimate claim on it.

No one creates fan sites, or fan art, or fan fiction, because they expect to make a profit. No one made Steve Vander Ark work on the Lexicon. He chose to, of his own volition. I’m sure it took a great deal of time, effort, and dedication, but he provided it knowing that he would be doing so for free. This was his choice. He doesn’t deserve money for doing something no one required him to do. I, personally, spend an inordinate amount of time surfing the internet, which eats into the time I could be using to do something else. This is my choice. I don’t expect anyone to compensate me for it, when I could just as easily be doing something else. Steve Vander Ark could just as easily have chosen to do something with his time that could have lead to a profit. He didn’t.

If you work very hard for the company that employs you, that is commendable, but it does not mean that you own the company. If you work very hard for the Harry Potter community, that is commendable, but it does not mean that you own Harry Potter.

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Just to throw in again that we really should not be talking about either SVA or JKR, but rather about their attornies…I think that is the point that James K was trying to make as well. What we will hear next will be from RDR’s legal representatives…

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When is the deadline for RDR’s defence submission? And will Melissa regain her breath after today’s marathon to start her press-ups for the next round? We shall see

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To the posters claiming they would love to have a copy of the Lexicon Book – you do realise it doesn’t contain any information from Deathly Hallows and Jo’s recent interviews? Judging from the website, it’s not even HBP-compliant.

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Is it me or is SVR site gone?

Posted by Magic What? on January 17, 2008 @ 02:45 PM

I just checked and it’s still there.

Does anyone else actually think that the Lexicon is really that great cause I don’t. The effort put into this site is far superior.

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Professor Potter: The current schedule is that RDR have to respond by 5th February, WB/JKR can respond to the response by 15th Feb, and the matter goes to court on 28th Feb.

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Rach said “Does anyone else actually think that the Lexicon is really that great cause I don’t.”

I wouldn’t say it’s the greatest, but I will admit I’ve found it handy. I use it most often when I’m at work (and therefore, naturally, do not have my books with me) and me and coworkers are having one of our (many) Harry Potter discussions. So as you can imagine a ‘print edition’ (not that I would ever buy it since I feel what SVA is doing is wrong) would be of no use to me.

As for the situation, I’m one of those that’s been on WB’s/JK’s side from the beginning, especially with those ‘smoking gun’ emails of SVA’s being reported. I know it’s been said we should keep SVA and JK out of this since it’s more their lawyers and RDR books that are really in it, but clearly SVA knew and acknowledged that publishing a print version of the Lexicon was wrong and illegal. Something clearly changed between that email and now, from what’s visible, I agree with those that say it seems like SVA got rejected in terms of the job offer and almost said ‘screw you’. Now am I claiming that’s what happened for sure? Of course not, as has been pointed out we don’t have all pieces of the story. But the evidence that has been presented (and with some of that evidence coming straight from SVA) seems pretty damning to RDR books’.

I too am also confused by those still supporting the Lexicon in the sense that it should be published and still insist that if WB/JK win that it’ll be the end of the fandom, while I think it’s been pretty clear that RDR winning is what’s going to hurt the fandom (and not just of Harry Potter, I think) in general. Like many have said, RDR winning will result on a much harsher crackdown on fanwebsites (and that’s if fansites are allowed at all).

To those saying that the Lexicon will in no way compete with “The Scottish Book”, if the publication of the Lexicon results in just one person buying it and not buying the Scottish Book, that can be counted as a loss of profits for JK. True, hardcore Harry Potter fans are going to know the difference, but again (as has been stated, and I apologize for repeating), people who may not be the biggest fan of Harry Potter and are looking for a gift for their obsessed friend/daughter/son/sister/brother/niece/nephew/grandaughter/grandson/etc. may not recognize or be aware of the difference. And given the lack of disclaimer and the misleading quote from JK on the back would make it even more confusing.

I hope this made sense, and I apologize for rambling a bit, it’s been one of those days at work where my brain never actually turned on this morning. After just reading what Leaky has posted, I’m fairly confident that RDR is going to be royally hosed by the end of this.

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Even on the Lexicon SVA has ALWAYS said

“Please take note of the following. None of us is JK Rowling or has any connection with her in any way, shape, or form. We don’t know how to contact her, so don’t bother asking. We do know that Jo visits the Lexicon on occasion to look up a fact, which delights us more than we can even express. However, we can’t get messages to her or pass along your emails. We are not associated with Warner Bros. or Scholastic or Bloomsbury or any of the other official Potter entities. We’re just fans; that’s all.”

Why did he have to muck it up?He is already making $ from the fruit of his labours! I know for a fact he has traveled quite a bit and has been very well compensated for his lectures, more than any other Potterite I know .I was a huge fan of his until I saw him at Sectus in London last summer- I figured there was something up then, he ,well, lets just say reverting back to my high school days- acted like a “Sosh” you know the type, with the “I’m better than all of you ” attitude. Maybe it was a change in his personal life or because he was prepping the book. I will continue to attend all the HP Fan events but I will not go to see him- Besides he has said the same thing at the last 4 events.

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This just makes Steve sound even more greedy. I feel strange, because he has always been such a big part of the fandom, but he and RDR are being idiots. I side completley with Jo.

Thank you thank you thank you a million times, Melissa! bows to the awesomness that is TLC webmistress

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Looks like we won’t hear Steve’s voice on Pottercast all too soon again.

I must say I still am not sure what to think – but I confess I haven’t read much of the info by now.

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MD on page 6 found a link to a far superior lexicon like site which is very Wikipedia in layout. It had a link for random fact and my first click was “the battle of hogwarths” which is an awesome entry. what’s good about this is that every key charcter or item is hyper linked. There is also JK Rowling excerpt links back to TLC!

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There is so much conclusion-jumping here, it makes me feel ill. I strongly recommend that the people who have been automatically assuming the worst of SVA read some of his posts over at the Lexicon’s “What’s New” section, particularly the November 10, 2007 and the December 20, 2007 entries, and the comments to the 12/20 post.

Once lawyers are involved, part of their job is to make the other side look as bad as possible; to that effect, WB’s lawyers are doing their job. You don’t have to lie like Rita Skeeter to warp someone’s words against them.

We don’t know what Steve’s intentions were with Floo-related sales. Maybe he asked for a higher cut on those sales so he could share it around as advertising compensation, but never got to that stage of talking to the other webmasters about it – it’s been a busy year, in too many ways.

I commend Melissa on taking a neutral, wait-and-see approach.

My guess (and it is just a guess) is that Steve didn’t get word on the denial of permission from JKR until his book was in RGR’s hands, by which time his hands were contractually bound. A lot of people seem to be criticizing him for not defending himself, but I am sure that his silence is at the request of his lawyers. For now, I’m still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I hope that it gets hammered out soon.

And, if it really counts, I don’t care one way or the other if Steve’s book gets published or not. I just wish people would stop the personal attacks, especially since none of us knows enough of the story to truly judge anyone involved. Let the courts work out what’s legal, and stop assuming that has anything to do with right & wrong, or that each side must be one or the other.

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Thanks for the info, Roonwit. I guess RDR will use up all the time available to compile their defense and submit very close to the deadline.

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Yes, I can’t see RDR submitting early, and it will probably be a day or two before we find out what is in the submission.

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mbats,

The problem is that some of the information we have here, does not match what we have gotten from SVA in the posts you want us to read. And what we have here is written under penalty of perjury, so I trust it more that a post in the Whats New section of a web site. In the comments section in one of the posts he says “I contacted everyone I could think of in the spring and summer of 2007 and they wouldn’t make time to talk to me. ” But now we find out that Steve was in contact at this time with the The Christopher Little Agency requesting employment on the official encyclopedia. That was a back and forth E-mail conversation where someone did take the time to talk to him, so how hard would it be to for him ask the person about the lexicon book in addition to the job.

That does not even include the e-mail where SVA said that “Jo has reserved all publishing rights to her intellectual property, which means that she’s the only one who may publish any book that is a guide or encyclopedia to her world.” And face it, the Lexicon is an encyclopedia. So what changed between then and last summer?

I want to see what the response from RDR books is going to be, but I am wondering what they could possible say in response to some of these points. But if they have good responses to these points, it will make it much more interesting.

Just my thoughts

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soo sad this had to go so far. I love both Jay-Kay and Steve, but why did this have to happen? I mean, she gave him a blasted FSA!!! Now he just blatantly violates hers, and WB’s, copyrights of HP? What happened? I’m not trying to be mean to Steve, but really, he could have thought about the CONSEQUENCES before he tried to publish the ENTIRE lexicon! I just hope the injunction is allowed. I hope it teaches him a lesson! DON’T MESS WITH JAY-KAY!!!!!

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I’ve been hoping to hear an answer to fab4mom’s interesting question. She states that SVA has also sold Star Trek and Hogan’s Heroes compendia without problem. I haven’t researched OR VERIFIED this, but one big difference in the Star Trek universe is that works of fiction not authored by Roddenberry have been out in paperback form forever, so apparently Roddenberry sold or permitted some rights that Jo has not. As for Hogan’s Heroes, that’s pretty special interest, and was probably under the radar.

I’ve tried to stay sympathetic to SVA and how he slid down this slippery slope, from working his * off on a nifty web site to trying to publish a clearly illegal book. Many people see him as the victim of RDR. But let’s face it; SVA is a big boy. He’s older than Jo. If he’s really this naive, he needs to get out more.

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Part of my understands what might have been SVA’s motivation—he has spent years of his life on the Lexicon with no compensation except for personal satisfaction, and I suspect RDR mislead him about the legality of it all. SVA is at a certain age when you start thinking about socking something away for your old age (I’m about the same age).

But SVA didn’t create it ALL himself - other people have contributed to the Lexicon. Years ago I submitted one tiny factoid under the furnunculus curse (to produce boils) about my speculation that the name of the curse was related to the word “furuncle” which means a skin boil. I submitted it because I thought other fans might find it interesting. If I thought someone would take that, and all the other contributions, and try to sell them in violation of JKR’s copywrite, well, I never would have sent in the entry. And I certainly haven’t heard from RDR about throwing me - or any other contributor—a few coins for our trouble. (I wouldn’t take it if they did, but you get the idea.)

This whole thing is so sad. I admired the Lexicon and its creators, and looked forward to “Canon Conundrums” on the Pottercasts. When the truth is all out, SVA is going to look bad, whether venal bad or deluded bad, who can say?

All those years of building up goodwill and admiration from his fellow potterheads, and now it’s all gone. I’ve been involved with other fandoms besides Potter (Star Trek, B5, etc.). Fans NEVER forget a slight against the creators of their favorite universes. I feel very bad about all this.

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Don’t know why part of my post got crossed out above. Sorry ‘bout that.

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@ Claire

This isn’t even going to just be remebered by the HP fandom. This is going to set a precident for anything like this in the future in any fandom. Which is why I pray that SVA loses. I love Fandom I don’t want it to be frowned upon or feared by writers or movie makers,(I know there are several People that look down on it) that if they create something that becomes successful that people are going to try and profit off their ideas.

I personally don’t see where he has any room to say that he is in the complete right to make a book version of his site. The only reason that fandom is even tolorated by people like JKR and George Lucas and others that have a large fan base is because we give credit to them and that we don’t profit off what we’re making. Fandom is suppose to be all in good fun. Him thinking that he could make a book from this website is like me thinking I could have my fanfiction published. (and atleast fanfiction is more creative then gathering information from the books and putting them in ABC order)

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Wow, SVA wrote the Star Trek Lexicon? I think I have a copy of that somewhere. Did it have hard plastic covers and foldout pages with floorplans of the Enterprise? If it’s the one I remember there was TONS of original material in it. It wasn’t just summaries of all the episodes. I mean there was stuff about Star Fleet Academy, etc. that made the world seem very “real,” at least to this dumb kid. I would think that was more than enough to count as fair use. Now I need to see if I can find it…

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Averyfan, here’s a link from the GVSU forum he spoke at in early December that shows what his Star Trek Lexicon looks like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha_X9v1BEWo

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Averyfan – that’s interesting, but it’s the HP lexicon on trial here, not the Star Trek one.

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Um, why is everyone saying that Steve must’ve misunderstood the contract and not examined it properly, and that this is somehow not his fault but the publisher’s fault and Steve just made an innocent mistake?

It says, perfectly clearly, in this news post, that the contract says that RDR takes full responsibility for copyright infringement claims. Why would RDR shoot themselves in the foot? If Steve wasn’t even going to read the contract, they would make HIM the scapegoat, not take responsibility themselves.

The contract shields Steve from repercussions, so he would have no reason NOT to agree to it, I'm 99.9% certain that this clause was his idea.
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I am sitting in a room with every book ever published about Star Trek, its shows, spinoffs, characters, by the actors, about the actors, etc. I went through all the encyclopedias, compendiums, concordiums and guides, about 60 books and found nothing by SVA. (my husband has been obsessive about it since child hood and we have started a second room for them)

Then Ally posted the youtube link-thank you. He made all of 40 copies of that Star Trek book, mainly for himself & the fanbase in his local area. If he had just went and printed up 40 copies of his HP dictionary (sounds more like that than an encyclopedia), he would not be in this controversy. Instead he and the publisher wanted to go national and international.

It sounds like it stems from bitterness (not getting hired to help JKR) and greed (why keep the Floo network from getting any profit from promoting the book).

I don’t believe he went into getting this published blindly, not knowing about copyrights and fair use. He is a librarian and has surely learned of such things. The librarians in our local library will not hit the copy button on the copiers if you are having trouble because of those pesky copyright laws. Seems if you are copying a page or two for personal use it is OK.

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So Steve has published previous lexicons. Interesting. Ally, thanks for that link. Thats a good capture of his personality and way of thinking. He certainly does love his work and is fairly good at presentations talks. I dont see a naive person but a calculated and driven one, a determined character who may want to reap reward for his hard work. Looking at his personality in that video, I find it a little hard to believe he is an innocent victim of RDR. Of course judging one’s personality is soo open to favaourable or unfavourable perceptions! But that is my perception. I await RDR’s presentation to see the other side of the coin.

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Steve talks about his Star Trek: TNG encyclopedia on the Lexicon website. I doesn’t sound like he printed only 40 copies. He talks of having a publisher, a cover artist and of taking it to a Trek convention to sell. Is there more to the story than that? Maybe Steve is having deja vu all over again.

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I think SVA has a serious case of illiusion of grandeur. Yes he has compiled a lot of information from the homepage. Yes he has typed them up and made them into a book. Wow.. great work for a homepage. But what I dont understand is that JKR has for so long expressed her intention to write an encyclopedia and SVA thinks that I would even be remotely tempted to buy a book that I can read online and that will so miss all the extra detail and attention that JKR obviously can put in to her version.

No SVA even if you dont loose (oh and I think you will) in court then you have lost in my book.. where you before all this was a person that held a deal of my respect for your knowledge now I just think you are sad and pathetic.

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Britannia, I think he’s just phrasing things in a way to make himself look better. I suspect that the “publisher” and “cover artist” are his friends who printed the books and designed a cover… and selling stuff at conventions is not particularly professional (and I seriously doubt he could sell hundreds of such books at a con, given the sheer number of authorized and unauthorized Star Trek lexicons and reference books that fans probably already have).

Menara, The problem is that while most hardcore fans would probably buy JKR’s lexicon, even if they buy SVA’s first, not all people who would buy this book are hardcore fans. Many casual fans or readers would be satisfied with any lexicon and wouldn’t buy another one. Hell, there are even more people who don’t know the fandom, and don’t see any difference between one HP encyclopaedia and another. Imagine a kid with no income on her own asking for JKR’s lexicon, only to have her mother tell her that she won’t buy it because the kid already has one. There are a great many people like that.

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Reading the news and the comments … all I can say is that Rita Skeeter would have a ball with all of this!

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There’s another video from the forum captured by my oldest sister found in the Lexicon Steve thread. sdcurtis reposted it in the new incarnation of the lawsuit thread. The whole forum was kind of amusing when we weren’t being told how much of a hardcore fan SVA is. He also had two versions of the presentation as well, and the one in my video is the muggle version. I’m guessing the fan version had things like expeliepilogus.

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To Diana Patterson (Jan. 17, 9:31), re: concern that considering concordances not to be “scholarly” will negatively effect anyone going to graduate school: as a graduate of graduate school, making a list is not in and of itself scholarly. Scholarly work involves synthesis of ideas. No respectable school will give you a diploma for making a list. Making a list and analyzing it, discussing it, drawing conclusions from it will get you a degree. It is amply clear from the documents filed in court that the Lexicon book is just a list. It frustrates me to hear scholarship held to such a low standard (a list!) in the cause of defending SVA, who’s clearly not been on the up-and-up since the Lexicon book enterprise began.

To another point…it seems clear that in the case of copyright that the choice of when to defend against infringement and when to let questionable material slip by is entirely up to the rights owners. Whether every instance of infringement or possible infringement is pursued or not doesn’t affect the owner’s rights when the owner does decide to sue. So to questions like the one fab4mom posed (Jan 17 12:47), sometimes people like Roddenberry don’t squash fan works by choice. They’re small, they’re marginally commercial or non-commercial in nature, they are not harmful or minimally harmful, so it’s best/easiest to leave them alone. Vander Ark’s Star Trek encyclopedia was an early effort (it was only of the first season), no one knew it would become a mega-hit and spawn official encyclopedias. So it’s different from the Lexicon book in that sense. As another person said “under the radar” makes a big difference.

Book sales: I can imagine non-HP fan people, especially parents and other relatives, buying the Lexicon book for the HP fan in their lives. And I can imagine this conversation: “I want the Scottish Book, Mom!” “I already bought you that other book about Harry Potter.” “But this is a different book!” “No, I’ll get you something different. Save your money.” I’m sure that’s not Rowling’s biggest concern, but it the argument that the Lexico might cut into sales of Rowling’s isn’t bogus.

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@Valerie - I hope SVA/RDR loses, too, for the reasons you mention. I know that Lois McMaster Bujold (one of my favorite authors - pick her up if you’ve never read her) has stated publicly that she won’t read any fan fiction based on her universe or go to certain websites based on her universe because she doesn’t want to be accused of plagerism (spelling?) if she were to produce a story that was similar to a piece of fan fiction. She says she’s getting older and can’t afford lawsuits, and needs every penny from her writing.

Bujold loves her fans, and is accessible to them in various ways, but you can see a little bit of holding back so as to protect her copywrite. Just think how much more careful JKR has to be of her brand, as her brand is worth more in terms of money and reputation (although they’re both wonderful writers who have created fascinating universes - hint, hint - read Bujold if you’ve never done so!).

As another poster pointed out, SVA wasn’t forced to create the Lexicon. Just because he put many many hours of work into it doesn’t mean he gets to profit off of JKR’s universe. Intellectual property rights have to be protected, or what’s the incentive for authors to try to publish their work?

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On a lighter note- when all this is over, JKR/WB could always publish the injunction.

No, really! They could call it ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Court’.

Badabum!

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Thanks, Melissa, and Leaky for this great summary! I can’t even imagine reading through all this legal mumbo jumbo. Thanks for keeping us all in the know—I appreciate it!

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For those who are saying JKR is being greedy and is already rich, please stop. It doesn’t matter how much money she has or how much she stands to gain on any further publications. In fact, take that bit of faulty premise out of the equation entirely. Just because one is rich does not mean everyone has the right to rob her.

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Anise Thank you! your right, just because JKR made something of her self does not mean any one has a right to piggy back off her and her work. She built HP from a whim on up, she deserves respect.

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I first started listening to Pottercast when I discovered the Canon Conumdrums segment. SVA was always such an insightful contributor and it doesn’t look like he’ll be returning at this point. While I am leaning towards JKR at this point, I still will miss his commentary.

I was surpised to read in his email to the Christopher Little agency that he was contemplating a move to London. Anyone have any information on what that’s all about? Does he have family?

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Hear, hear Anise. It bears repeating. The fact that JKR has become rich from writing Harry Potter does not give anyone the right to steal her characters or her fantastic world.

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(Whispered)..... Jensenly- we don’t talk about his personal life..apparantly there is no connection between someone doing a 180 in fandom and the same person doing a 180 in real life.

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??On a lighter note- when all this is over, JKR/WB could always publish the injunction.

No, really! They could call it ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Court’.

Badabum! Posted by Hinoema on January 18, 2008 @ 12:09 PM??

LOL thank you Hinoema for that Friday afternoon humor that sums everything up quite nicely. Someone put the call in to JKR

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Wow, way to exploit the Floo Network. You should be ashamed Mr Ark. This is the last time I am ever visiting the dyslexicon.

Well done to Mellisa though for condensing what was probably reams of documents.

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I don’t know how involved SVA is involved with this, or if he got caught up with RDR and is bound by contract, but I find RDR’s actions reprehensible. I sincerely hope they lose. If they don’t, I know I will not be buying the book, as I can find everything I need on the website and within the books. I highly anticipate The Scottish Book because from the way Jo described the way she wanted to do it on PotterCast, it sounds highly creative and interesting. Not only will we have a ready guide, but more canon and also a glimpse into her writing process. Those little “prizes” on her website of notes will be tactile and in our hands. I wonder if she’ll include her artwork of the characters and settings?

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The Star Trek book SVA describes in that YouTube link is not the book I was thinking about.

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Here is an interesting article and gives some food for thought on thi matter. The article is written by Columbia Law Professor, Tim Wu.

http://www.slate.com/id/2181776/

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Kathy,

I have read that article previously and think that the professor who wrote it was not being very scholarly. Wu cites the Beany Baby case. Beany Baby’s are items where the owner had no writing to copyright. JKR has seven books of writing to protect.

The case he should have cited is about a Seinfeld trivia book that is similar to the Lexicon book in that it also contained almost no commentary and analysis and just facts. Wu either does not know or realize that JKR has let other guides be published about her world, they just have to pass the guidelines of fair use.

The thing that makes the Lexicon so useful, that it is just the facts with no commentary to get in the way, is what makes it so hard to get past the fair use guidelines. It is sad because one of the E-mails presented in the brief makes it clear that SVA used to recognize this.

Over at the leaky lounge we have been discussing the legal aspects of this case for the last 2 months in the Pottercast area. We are on Part 3 of the debate. Parts 1 and 2 were VERY strong on the legal analysis.

By the way, look at paragraph 10 above, it is a very direct answer to Wu. on the issue of Fair Use.

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Joining ImHermoine in applauding Hinema! Folks we all need to lighten up and laugh a bit…starting with at ourselves

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Thank you! Don’t forget to tip your waitress!

Levity aside, this is a very serious situation, if it should, however slim the chance, set precedent. I recall the defense directly implying that by allowing the site to exist, Jo had abandoned her rights to prevent publication of the material, and fair sue declared immaterial. That kind of precedent, should a judge rule this to be the case, could have an enormous effect on all of fandom, as any creators could well be justifiably afraid to allow fansites to use any of their material whatsoever for fear of similar situation, and of having their rights to their creation similarly declared as ‘abandoned’.

Mr. Vander Ark, all due respect, should have cooperated from the beginning, allowing the plaintiffs to judge whether the book was allowable under fair use and working to modify it if it was not. No one forced either him or Mr. Rappaport to adopt the confrontational and disrespectful attitude they have clearly shown in the noted documents. Now, their best hope [two bit opinion] is likely to admit guilt and hope for a lenient settlement [/two bit opinion]. However, considering the potential fallout this could have had- and may still have- I don’t blame many for being appalled and upset.

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Er, fair use, not fair sue. Freudian typo?

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I understand that situations like this can and will likely occur in the future but this really is a stan on the Pottermania history (for fans and the amazing author). Like said above, i would love it if they tried to solve it over a cup or two of hot beverages. May all be set right in the world, for the next generation of crazy Harry Potter fans. Long Live the memory of Dobby

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If I went into my local hardware store and re-arranged some of the items on display by manufacturer, the owners would probably just about put up with it. But if I picked them up, took them outside and started to sell them to people they’d probably get quite upset. Fair enough set up a fan site, but you can’t sell what isn’t yours.

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Very good point Richard Reece, also why would I buy something that I can easyly get for free on the website. What is SVA do about that will he close the site so people have to buy the book instead? I don’t get it

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Pa-the-tic.

SVA is finished. Here’s hoping that someone from among the remaining “elite” scholars and experts working on the Lexicon asserts their copyright and saves the site from this mess.

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I don’t want to minimize SVA and co. hard work and beautiful site. They’ve worked HARD. They got recognition for their hard work from JKR herself on her website. It sounds like SVA got a big head and forgot what the Lexicon is first and formost: A fansite. A JKR/Harry Potter fansite. He didn’t create Harry Potter. None of this would exist without JKR’s imagination. He has no right to profit off of her imagination against her wishes in this way. I don’t care what the legal jargon says. If JKR doesn’t want something, then as a fan of her work he should respect that. It makes me think that he’s forgetting where this all started, love for JKR’s great series. J.K.R deserves to have her encyclopedia and ONLY her encyclopedia out there for her fans. It’s her work from her brain and I’m sure it would top even the best the HPL (as wonderful as they are) could do. I’d rather have JKR’s encyclopedia than HPL’s. SVA should do a behind the scenes book about HPL how it got started, who are the masterminds behind the site etc. etc. It’s very sad when the movie industry has more consideration for a writer’s wishes than her fans. LOL

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I think what upsets me the most is that all fandoms, from now on, will be affected by this one case. Steve, not only without Jo’s blessing, but with her saying to him don’t do this, could possibly remove the joy that fans like us encounter when sharing ideas on sites like this.

I think JKR will win, all of the facts of the case seem to be in her favor and Steve has stepped out beyond the realm of normalcy for fans, but other authors will remember this case.

If Jo wins this case, and I’m sure she will, then I think Harry Potter fans will still be safe in on wonderful websites with caring staffs like this one. But you can bet that other authors will not be so forgiving, they will not be so unlikely to allow online fandoms to flourish because another SVA might be lurking. I think because of SVA we’ll see more authors refuse to allow their work chronicled the way its been done on the high quality sites like TLC and others.

My wife is a Science teacher, and she uses the animals mentioned in the series as a way to teach classification. She has lists of all of the animals in the series, and of the potions that were taught in Snape’s class. The lists were compiled by 5th graders. I know that the Lexicon web site is much more detailed and much more in depth. But if you give anyone the time it takes, and several VOLUNTEERS to help out, then any one of us could have authored that book, especially if the pages we see are typical of the entire book.

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I don’t feel sorry for Steve at all. The Lexicon is a great WEBSITE and it is great for referencing things when writing editorials and such, but why would you put it in a book format? If want to read books i will go pick up one of the best seven books in the world and start reading it!

Steve reorganises JKR’s work, with no new content and i agree with the many people who have said that any fan could recreate the lexicon if we wanted to!

Also did any one else notice the line about profit… “This was not discussed with all Floo webmasters.”

Uh… why not?! hmmm????

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