Lexicon Trial Updates and Important Announcement about Floo Network

113

Mar 24, 2008

Posted by Melissa Anelli
Uncategorized

We owe quite a few updates tonight, and there is an important announcement following (since the information in this post is vital to that announcement, so make sure to read the whole thing):

Update:: Agence France-Presse says JKR will be a witness.

Firstly, the April 14 trial in the JKR/WB vs. RDR Books case will be a bench trial, meaning that there will be no jury. A witness list is due by April 4.

Secondly, Steve Vander Ark of the Harry Potter Lexicon gave an interview recently to BlogHogwarts, which Alejandro of BlogHogwarts kindly sent to us in the original English (it was translated to Spanish for the site):

  • * * *

Do you think that, if Lexicon wins the case, the Harry Potter fansites are going to be affected in any way(Lexicon Online included)?

A victory for RDR Books will protect the rights of fans to create based on someone else’s work. If RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc. So a win for RDR Books is definitely in the best interest of fans who create websites, write fanfiction, make wands, compose wizard rock, and so on. I am surprised how many fans have missed this point. Their freedom to create is on the line here.

How many pages does the Lexicon book have?

The Lexicon book will have around 400 pages. It’s 160,000 words. The book has four authors. I am the main author, but three of my Lexicon editors worked on the book as well.

If the Lexicon is published, once the Scottish Book gets out, will you still update Lexicon Online and Book?

I’m as excited to buy Rowling’s Scottish book as anyone! It will be very different from the Lexicon book, with a lot of new and exciting information which only Rowling can provide. I will continue to update the Lexicon website. I love working on the Lexicon and will do so even if I have no staff and even when people don’t read Harry Potter much anymore. Beyond that, I have written another book, called In Search of Harry Potter, which will be published in July. I’m starting on another one as well. I intend this series of books to comprise a complete independent reference library to Harry Potter. The second and third books will not generate the kind of legal concern that the Lexicon book has, thankfully.

Do you consider that your fanatism or admiration to J.K. Rowling is less now after all that have happened?

My admiration for the Harry Potter books is as great as ever. I’m still a huge fan. I’m also still a fan of Rowling, although I think her current actions are unfortunate and badly advised. I still admire her as a writer and a person and I don’t expect that to change just because she and I have a disagreement over a legal issue. Friends can disagree and still be friends.”

  • * * *

And finally, we have a very important and related announcement regarding the status of the Floo Network.

The following is an announcement that contains commentary.

The interview quoted above contains a number of assessments about J.K. Rowling’s intentions and what the Lexicon case means for fandom as a whole. The comments sat uneasily with many of us as soon as we learned about them, and prompted a discussion among our entire staff about Leaky’s association with the Harry Potter Lexicon, in which it became overwhelmingly clear that Steve’s thoughts on this matter and ours differ so greatly as to be polar opposites; we do not think a win for J.K. Rowling means tighter controls on fan creativity at all, and are concerned for the opposite, as well as the attempt to misportray the issues of the case as stated in sworn affadavits. So, after a few days of careful and many-sided discussion, we, as a full staff, decided that people who have such a fundamental disconnect in beliefs cannot and should not be partners in name or spirit, and two days ago informed the Lexicon that we are severing our association.

There were many who called for this since the day the lawsuit was filed, and on many occasions since, but we decided to wait to make the final decision until we were able to shake out more about the case and the beliefs of the parties involved. Now that it has been made clear to us that the Lexicon’s leader and we disconnect on such a fundamental level regarding fandom, it would be disingenuous to continue calling ourselves partners.

We had intended not to make this decision until the case was completed, so as to not sway public opinion. The comments in question, however, combined with the suit’s history and revelations therein, make us too uneasy to continue affiliation for a moment longer. We had also wanted to refrain from offering commentary on the case, but we all agree that if it meant the continued propagation of comments against our beliefs by someone so visibly associated with us, silence could not be maintained.

That it was a fully supported decision doesn’t mean it wasn’t very hard for this staff, who have for so long considered the Lexicon an ally in all things. The staff was sobered and saddened to find itself walking so uniformly toward this decision, even knowing it was the right one. We have enjoyed an excellent five years as a member of the Floo Network, and don’t regret that time for a moment. We wish everyone associated with the Lexicon health and happiness in the future.

We plan to retain strong affiliations with Accio Quote, though how it would manifest depends on some future decisionmaking, as things are slightly upended right now. This decision in no way affects the regard and admiration we continue to have for Lisa Bunker and her staff, or for Belinda Hobbs and the work she has done on the main Floo page; we hope to remain closely associated with them and their sites. In addition we strenuously discourage anyone from taking frustration for this decision out on any associated staff members, of the Lexicon or any other site. This was not a decision based on hate and hurt, it was rooted in the sad realization that we are much too different now to remain partners.

As for what this means, more functionally: This essentially means the Floo Network has been dismantled, as the network would be, then, Leaky projects and Accio Quote, and that’s more a partnership than a network. (We will sort out what to do with the main Floo page, and its content, as well.) There have been many asking, since November, whether Steve would return to PotterCast: That answer is now no. And while Leaky has always owned the hp-lexicon.org domain and paid for the site’s hosting, we’ve promised to transfer the domain to Steve as soon as litigation is complete (a stipulation that would not have been made had ownership not been mentioned in court documents). We will continue to pay for hosting and provide free support until that day.

This has been very emotional and trying for the staff here so we hope you’ll forgive our little foray into the commentary area. Since people are by nature opinionated, and we are all human, we wanted to keep the personal opinions we all have separate from the pages here, which is why after the first few weeks of figuring out what was going on with this case, we began to stick to linking to and summarizing court documents and other publicly available pieces, and trying to ask further questions to clear up misconceptions when they occurred. The rationale there is that if it’s publicly available there’s an easy check on its accuracy, and goodness knows our users are nothing if not close readers. We have been mentioned time and again in these proceedings, which makes us involved to a certain, small extent; therefore the coverage will continue to be simple linking-to and explaining-in-layman’s-terms legal documents, so you can easily read them yourself if there’s ever any doubt what we say is true. That said, we don’t expect any significant public documents until reports start surfacing of the April 14 trial; there might be a few article updates and more interviews, but mostly we are waiting for the courtroom proceedings to occur. As usual, we’ll keep you updated to the best of our ability.

Thank you for understanding, and as always, we thank you in advance for your civility and respect to each other in the comments.





663 Responses to Lexicon Trial Updates and Important Announcement about Floo Network

Avatar Image says:

It’s sad, but definitely the right choice…. :(

Avatar Image says:

Haven’t read the entire thing yet, and I’m sure this was addressed. But I think Steve is so horribly wrong in saying that all HP fansites and wizard rock and everything would be on the line. Jo doesn’t want to stop any of that stuff ( I assume), anyone back to the article for me.

Avatar Image says:

Yeah, he is completely wrong.

“we do not think a win for J.K. Rowling means tighter controls on fan creativity at all, and are concerned for the opposite, as well as the attempt to misportray the issues of the case”

Avatar Image says:

And, now I’m also very sad Leaky had to severe it’s ties (as old Perce would say) with the Lexicon. Especially that he won’t be on PotterCast anymore, I always liked him on CC. But, like Leaky, it would be sort of hard for me to just ignore what he was saying about the case. And I 100% agree with their decision, sad pandas to all.

Avatar Image says:

Definitely the right choice. I’m sort of surprised this didn’t happen sooner.

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Couldn’t be prouder of you, Leaky Staff. You guys have been great representatives of the fandom. I think you guys made a very fair and well-informed decision. Well done!

Avatar Image says:

tis a sad day but i foresaw this day comming ( and no im not related to Sybil Trelawney ) I agree with this decsion 100% and i do not think HP fan sites and such would effected by the outcomeof this case outside the possibility of the lexicon, but it is possible that other authors would not be so generous and force websites and etc to shut down idf the do not pay some type of licensing fee

Avatar Image says:

This is very sad, but necessary for Leaky. As always, I applaud you, Melissa for trying to stay neutral until this point and do not blame you or your staff for making the decision you did. Breaking up a friendship is very hard, but in order for a person/web site/fan site, etc to remain healthy, they must break away from what is considered an unhealthy relationship. I’ve had too much experience in this, but don’t regret it because I’m a much healthier person for it (mental and physical).

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone on Leaky. hugs

Avatar Image says:

I am really impressed with the way Leaky and all those at Leaky have handled this situation. You have been professional and generous, and that is inspiring. Everyone at Leaky does a wonderful job, and everything you do makes this a Potter site to truly be proud of.

Avatar Image says:

A throughly contemplated decission based on principal and high standards reminicent of Harry and friends. That, however, does not make it any less of a painful decision. Kudos for you all. I also agree and trust Ms. Rowling’s statements she is not against sites and fans, just those profitering off of her extensive and exhaustive work.

I again ask that if things should not go as we hope and steve’s book is published there is a complete boycot of the book. If they do not yeild to common sense and courtesy, then absent sales will let them hear our displeasure loudly.

Avatar Image says:

Well, this is rather sad. Not entirely unexpected, but sad. Wish I could say that I didn’t see something like this coming, but, oh well. What’s been up with Steve lately anyway? He seems a bit…off. I always thought he was a really nice guy, but saying that Jo would try to “ZOMGAbolish All FanworksWTF!!1!”? Not on, Steve. Not on. D:

Avatar Image says:

It really is a sad day, but it was inevitable. I’ve kept my opinion for myself since the beginning of the case, in order to have arguments from both sides to consider and I agree with TLC (and therefore with Jo). Can’t you see it Steve ? You completly misunderstand the nature of the relationship linking Jo with us. It’s all about trust, confidence, mutual respect and above all, Love. And now you’ve been (temporarily or not, that is for Jo to decide) cast out of it. You’ve been badly advised, you should at the very least recognize that, if only for the devastating effects your behaviour and your position has generated. I really do hope that RDR will lose the case, or it will be a new era for authors and their fans, an era of defiance and mistrust, an era I don’t want to know of.

PS : sorry for the mistakes, french guy speaking here… ^^

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It is clear that an awful lot of thought and care went into this difficult decision. I applaud you all for the professional, caring way you have handled the entire drama, and for being able to put aside personal feelings and emotions to stay so neutral and fair. It’s sad that it had to come to this, but definitely the right decision based on everything that has happened.

Avatar Image says:

You’ve made the right decision. I must say I really don’t understand what the Lexicon has been doing from the start and I also disagree with their comments. I don’t think any website will be affected : there’s a huge difference between writing online and publishing to make profit. It’s impossible for them to win. It’s obivous the Lexicon book is an organized copying and pasting of what’s in the books ( their character pages especially ), I don’t see how it can possibly compare to fanfiction, Wizard Rock or anything else for that matter. I really love the Lexicon as a website and I’ll continue loving it after the trial although I so strongly disagree with Steve on the publishing issues.

Avatar Image says:

Firstly, I applaud the entire Leaky staff. This was a really brave thing you guys did, some people/places would shy away from making such a stand as this. You guys are truly my heroes in standing up for what you believe in. That being said; if our Fandom and whatever meager rights we have or don’t have as Fans who write fan fiction, create Wizard Rock, build Websites, create Fan Art etc, is in jeopardy, it is because of his lack of forethought in regards to compiling a piece of work in order to earn a profit from it. Steve should have left it at a website – where millions of people could have had access to it at a moment’s notice.

Greed is a terrible, terrible thing.

Avatar Image says:

This is the right decision for Leaky. While it was probably very difficult for you all to come to this point, it’s not entirely unexpected, and it preserves your integrity as a fansite. I applaud all of you in the staff for taking this hard, but needed step. Hopefully people will understand why you had to do this.

It’s sad that it has come to this, but let’s remember that Steve Vander Ark brought this on the fandom, and on the Lexicon all by himself. It was his choice to publish his site in book form, and to bring all of these legal proceedings on in his and RDR’s actions towards JKR and WB.

I’m sorry to see the Floo Network gone, but if it preserves Leaky and all of the good you guys do for the fandom, I’m all for it.

Avatar Image says:

It is a sad day, for all of Leaky and the fandom in a sense, but I’m proud of you guys Leaky Staffers. This was the right thing to do, and I’m happy that at least majority of the fandom is together in this.

As for Steve’s comments, well, Steve, it’s not us who’re missing the point, but you who don’t even seem to be trying to get it. If RDR wins this case, then no other author will ever trust any fansite at all, and they’ll all work harder to protect their rights. And if Jo herself imposes any restrictions after such a scenario, then I can completely understand it.

Hope everything turns out fine and this trial goes through properly enough. Thanks a ton once again Melissa for everything. Your trial summaries were just what a layman like me needed to understand this whole thing and you’ve done a fabulous job sorting through it all to bring it to us in simple language.

Avatar Image says:

It’s sad that it has had to come to this, but it was a necessary move and I applaud Melissa and the entire Leaky staff for making it. Steve has separated himself, in my opinion, from the vast majority of the fandom – and it’s time to make it clear we don’t agree with him. A win for Jo is a win for the fandom – let’s hope for the best.

Avatar Image says:

My thoughts are with the Leaky staff right now. As the Harry Potter books (and ultimately, JKR herself) have taught us, sometimes the easy path is not the right path. As Neville Longbottom stood up to his friends, so have you…. and it is difficult. I’ve had to do so professionally and personally, and I know this was painful for so many at Leaky (I’m 36 years old, have had 3 careers… of course I know!)

For Steven to make statements that he is essentially doing this for the fans is ultimately reprehensible. My goodness, Jo Rowling has been exemplary in how she has encouraged fans online, especially in the Leaky Cauldron, and others. My goodness, I cannot think of another author who has made sure that the online fan representatives such as Melissa on Leaky Cauldron and Emerson on Mugglenet have a seat, front row and center, at many Harry events. I’m a 36 year old avid reader, holder of many obsessions such as HP, Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc., and internet surfer – and I cannot think of an author or creator who has promoted his or her own fans like Jo. See… I feel so close to her that I feel that it is okay to call her by her first name!

Shame on Steven, and BRAVO Leaky Cauldron.com. I’m proud of you, and I”m sure that J.K. Rowling is touched by this.

Avatar Image says:

That was undoubtedly a rough decision to make, yet it feels like the right thing to do. I support you all the way, Melissa and your whole team.

Avatar Image says:

I just want to start by saying The Leaky Caldron has had to make a very difficult decession, and I think they have made the right choice. I’m a two month old newlywed to home internet, and there for very new to Leaky. So for I love you site, and am over joyed by Potter Cast. I have never been to the Lexicon website, but I do belive I’ve checked out a book about hidden clues in Harry Ptter leading up to The Order of the Phoenix. I did enjoy that book, but could never read it again if MR. Vander Ark wins this case. Jo has rights to the material she has written, and he has to honor them. If she says she doesn’t want him to write a book about Harry Potter, she doesn’t need a reason. From what I have heard & read, Jo’s main concern is that Steve is now wishing to sale for money content that up till now has been free on the internet. That is so wrong to do to the fans of Harry Potter. And just because Steve & Jo have a disagreement, doesn’t mean that she’ll close down all the fan sites, wizard rock bands, and the like if she wins the case. I feel like that is a scary tactic on MR. Vander Ark’s part to win over the fans. If the Lexicon is published, I will not buy a copy, or ever read one. I will wait for Jo to publish her own Harry Potter Dictionary, which I belive she has said will be called “The Scottish Book”. As I love all things Scottish, I’ve fallen in love with the name. I wish you the best of luck Jo, and the staff at Leaky! May Harry Potter live for ever!!

Avatar Image says:

I definitely applaud the decision of the Leaky staff, as hard as it was to make. The parting of ways between friends is always a difficult choice. But, as it was mentioned, organizations with polar ideas, opinions, etc., would find it hard-pressed to work together or be partners.

I stand 100% behind Leaky’s decision and may the world of Harry Potter fandom continue on.

Avatar Image says:

Its sad that the floo networj is no more, but I can see how it woulkd be impossible to have two partys who clearly think differently about matters such as what is right as a fan and what isnt, to not be able to work together.

Avatar Image says:

I’m supporting the whole Leaky staff on this decision. That was the right choice to make. I do hope that someone will soon pop Vander Ark’s bubble. Reading the above interview gives me the impression that he’s living in his own universe now and that he’s completely disconnected from reality. Fans have not missed the point, he has.

Avatar Image says:

If RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc. So a win for RDR Books is definitely in the best interest of fans who create websites, write fanfiction, make wands, compose wizard rock, and so on. I am surprised how many fans have missed this point. Their freedom to create is on the line here.

Their freedom to create is on the line, but only if RDR WINS. Until now, there have been plenty of authors who do not allow fan fiction or other fanworks. The vast majority do, of course. However, I’m sure most of these authors who allow fan fiction would not be so forgiving of fanworks which attempted to interfere with their own profits, or in JKR’s case, charity fundraising. Especially since not all authors are as well of as Jo.

The only thing a win for RDR means Steve, in case you missed the point, is that authors will have to control their copyright more rigidly and ban all fanworks, fearing that if they selectively enforce their copyright (as JKR has done) and only try to block publication of books that take away from their own profit (rather than free to access fansites or fiction, or companion books that will not take away sales from their own books), they will not succeed due to the precedent that has been set.

Copyright holders already have all the powers Steve has listed. They already have the power to shut down sites and stop authors from writing about their works. At least in terms of fanfiction. They certainly don’t have the power to shut down commentaries, news sites, and anything parodying the copyrighted work, that’s covered by fair use. But JKR has had every right to stop fanfiction, and the only reason most authors might stop fanfiction in the future will be because you forced their hand, Steve. You forced them to completely and totally defend their copyright and disallow all works not covered by fair use.

That is what this case is about. You’re the one who is putting our freedom on the line. Not Jo. She is merely blocking publication of one book which would interfere with her own sales. You should have respected that and backed off, Jo is the only one who has the right to make profit off her own creations (excepting fair use, which exists to preserve free speech with minimal infringement on the author’s rights or profits). If anyone else profits, it is by her grace. Note that I say profit. Jo has been perfectly respectful of fansites merely raising money to keep the site operating via advertisements.

Commentary books are covered by fair use. Trivia books are covered by fair use. Fanfiction is not covered by fair use, but Jo has kindly allowed it. Neither the site, nor the published Lexicon are covered by fair use, and Jo has not allowed the published version. In the future, if authors feel they are not allowed to choose, they will simply ban everything and we will end up with a worse situation than at present, all so you could get your wannabe Scottish Book published, Steve. I understand that you want to get something back for all the work you put into the Lexicon. But you knew, or should have known, when you set off down that road, that you never had any right to profit off that site.

Whoa, that was a long post.

Avatar Image says:

Good decision, Leaky. Well done.

Peace, Rotae

Avatar Image says:

i am so happy to see the Leaky Staff not back Steve. When we allow people to make wide sweeping accusations on what would happen when this case is resolved we run the risk of alienating the entire fandom. I also love to see the respect shown by the staff to Jo. If we can’t be fans without having to steal from the creator of what we are fans of… then we aren’t true fans.

Avatar Image says:

“It’s sad that it has had to come to this, but it was a necessary move and I applaud Melissa and the entire Leaky staff for making it.”

I second that. Well done to Leaky.

Avatar Image says:

Thanks for your courageous decision guys.

Avatar Image says:

Ditto to all of the above. Personally I think that the fans in a certain way have a say in what happens (to a certain extent) and based on the above it looks pretty unanimous what we all think.

Avatar Image says:

Dear Leaky Staff,

Thanks for being Dumbledore’s man (ehem…people) through and through. And know that like Harry, you aren’t alone in this.

<333333333

Avatar Image says:

condolences to all of us

Avatar Image says:

That is quite some decision, but very understandable and of course neccessary. Thank you very much for staying neutral until now. It made it a lot easier to understand the ongoings. But this has defnitely reached a point, where Leaky had to make their position clear. And thank you for doing it. After what Steve said and did, there was no other possibility. I cannot understand why Steve gave that first answer. Jo made it perfectly clear that this was exactly what she didn’t want to happen. And MattJM is right in assuming that this will happen if Steve/RDR wins. It is all in all a very sad case and in the end it is all about money. And I don’t understand Steve why he went down this road at all.

Avatar Image says:

‘ear ‘ear!

You’ve handled this beautiful, Leaky. I agree with everyone else, you’ve all been extremely admirable. Thank you for that.

Avatar Image says:

Thank you Leaky staff for always maintaining high standards of honest, fair reporting. I have a lot of respect for the diplomatic way this has been handled, and you have, as always, made the correct choice to maintain the interests of the fans and be an ambassador for us. No wonder Jo has the confidence to associate with Pottercast and the staff at Leaky.

Avatar Image says:

“people who have such a fundamental disconnect in beliefs cannot and should not be partners in name or spirit”

You mean people with disconnects like the citizens of the United States? Or the member states of the UN? Or the students at a major University?

While you have every right to do this, it is the first disappointing thing I’ve seen or heard from the Leaky staff in . . . well, frankly ever. You disagree with Steve’s actions and his interpretation of the likely fallout from the case—as does practically everybody (though I think things are much less certain than portrayed here). That’s all you need. But the “principle” you cite above is really not the philosophy you have followed for many years and in my opinion is beneath you.

Avatar Image says:

I totally agree with Tom (first page) and I couldn’t have said it better. It’s sad that Steve won’t see that he is on the wrong side.. And I can understand that it isn’t easy for you all of the Leaky – couldron – group. Thank you for keeping us so well updated Sue! Hope you are well!

Avatar Image says:

It really is a sad situation and I respect Leaky even more for a very caring and sensible attitude toward those concerned. So many fans must be really hurt by the change in Steve , not least those who used and enjoyed his website. Thanks again to Melissa and all the staff, it can’t have been an easy decision.

Avatar Image says:

You should have severed the connection as soon as it became obvious where your loyalties lay. Steve is right about the chilling affect. this could wreck a lot of things for a lot of fandoms, not just this one.

Avatar Image says:

Sorry, I was wrong with the name, it’s Melissa.. hmm

Avatar Image says:

Whoa.

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Not a bit surprising that a bunch of sycophants like the people running this site would both miss – or not care about – what’s really going on with this case and also dump a colleague and friend over it. Shameful & stupid. (What else is new?) However, having always found it unfortunate that the sites were associated, visiting the Lexicon without having to see reference to this place will be a great silver lining. So, good riddance.

Avatar Image says:

I am sorry but for me a win in JK direction would only mean that she wants more money (Even if it goes to charity, it would be donated by her and not the fans who truly support her and her new life style). To say on record that if Lexcon wins then she might not publish the book is like holding it ransom (if you don’t agree with me then you get nothing!). How childish! I am sorry but after reading everything on this case and how they split the last movie in two halves just makes me think that this thing called HP has changed from fan to money it is no longer about the fans anymore…Joe has what she wants a large fat pocket and could truly careless what her fans would like. I think that if the lexcon was printed people would still surely buy her copy of a HP book, me being one of them but to say “Don’t print that because I want to make one first” is a bit too much for me.

I love joe and wish her the best but to come off with an inflated ego has driven a wedge between my love for her creativity and my sense of morality. How is allowing people to make music using quotes and characters from the book ok (even when they are making a profit from them) better than selling a book with the same contents. And I am sorry but there are many books out there with the same text quoted in those reference books but nothing has become of that.

I think a win for Joe would be a bad move on fandom as a whole…...if she doesn’t like the contents of your site she can have it closed. If your fic is not to her taste she can have it removed. Saddly this has been approved but all you sheep that are lead by this site so blindly because “It’s JOE and I would support her no matter what.” mentality. People wake up, we have something that is called the fifth amendment and I like Steve have opt to use it.

I would advise others here to go outside of this board to look for information on this case because I am sorry to report this site is bias. They have made contact with Joe and want to remain in her good graces which is understandable, just don’t go so willingly into others paths ask questions and demand replies. You, as a fan have a right to question those you want to follow ( The word follow here is used to describe your opinion and how hearing on side can alter that opinion.)

I would also like to say that I think this site is great, it has a lot of news and comments on topics on Harry Potter but to say that you remain un-bias is not true you may have tried but it is always very hard to leave emotions out of something you feel so passionate about. I do applaud your efforts. I would hate to think that if Joe wins and someone post something she dosen’t approve of may it be a comment or a topic she would close you down or worst ask you to deleted it….....everyone has a right to be heard!

Always a pleasure, Nef

Avatar Image says:

Well said, Melissa.

I agree with Leaky’s decision to ‘sever ties’ with the Lexicon and remain as factual (and unbiased) as possible in the posts about the trial. I’m so glad this site has not suffered because of these crazy legal issues. I can’t imagine anyone who choses to plant their loyalties on Steve’s side is going to maintain many fans after all of this.

I don’t understand how he can be so disrespectful. This case has gone further than I ever thought it would. It’s all very sad.

Whatever the case may be, I hope both parties (and fans and whoever else involved) don’t get too invested in this emotionally. There are, really, bigger things to worry about.

peace and best wishes to everyone,

sue.

Avatar Image says:

Sorry for my bad english

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It seems to me in reading what Steve read that he is “towing the corporate line” or what he’s been lead to believe by RDR Books. If you tell yourself a thing enough times – and it sounds logical – you start to believe it. I never would have thought in a million years that he would say that about Jo. I, too, will miss Steve on Pottercast – I thought he was a great addition to the show on CC – but all of the events recently have made it nearly impossible for me to listen to him on even older Pottercasts I have D/L to my computer – I can’t imagine what it would be like if he were to return [had this decision not been made that is]. I agree with everyone else here – kudos to the Leaky Staff for making a very tough, yet correct, decision…you have the support of the fandom in this one.

Avatar Image says:

Thank you Leaky Staff for being so professional and caring for all concerned. The consideration and thoughtfulness you have displayed is what makes your site so well supported. Thanks for the explanation and the time you and the staff have taken to put all the above information together. Keep up the great work. I wish you all well.

Avatar Image says:

about time!

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Dear Leaky staff,

I’m sure this wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do. Being associated with the Lexicon, given their questionable actions throughout this entire sad affair, could have affected this site as well, particularly considering Steve’s ludicrous belief that he is somehow fighting for fandom in his lawsuit rather than his own wallet.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to someone you thought was a friend, but in the long run, this was the best thing for Leaky to do. You guys don’t need the bad karma and misguided views that SVA and RDR have, particularly towards Jo, and you deserve better than to be potentially tainted by their foolishness.

Keep your heads up, and don’t let anyone tell you that you were wrong to do what you did. Severing all ties with Steve and with the Lexicon will be a good thing for the long term health of both the Leaky, and the HP fandom as a whole.

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You guys have made the right choice. As Dumbledore said, you choose what is right and not what was the easy way. A partnership can no longer function, when both are so obviously on different sides of the debate. I personally think Steve is wrong in saying, if Jo win’s she’ll crack down on the whole fandom of HP.

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It is sad that it had to come to this but I think that Leaky made the right decision. I think everyone at Leaky has conducted themselves in such a great way. I am proud to be a fan and a member of Leaky now, and in the years to come.

Crookshanks144

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Steve wasn’t being a friend or colleague to Leaky by dragging fandom at large into the mess he got into by trying to publish the Lexicon site as a book.

He also wasn’t being a friend or colleague to Leaky by inflating the profits he would have gotten for his sales if they came from a link posted on a Floo site, including Leaky. He would have gotten 50% and RDR would have gotten the other 50%. Friends don’t deliberately plan to take advantage of their friends like that, yet Steve did. Just look for his publishing contract in the court documents.

And he was no friend or colleague to fandom by trying to make the wrongheaded, 1984-style argument that a win for him is a win for fandom when the actual legal truth is the other way around. If he wins, we all lose, but he can’t and won’t see that. If he loses, we’ll be fine, but if he wins, fandom will be in danger.

Personally, no matter how hard this was for the Leaky staff, I’m glad they cut their ties with him. They’re even going to give Steve the Lexicon domain, which Leaky still owns, once the suit ends, and they’re going to pay for it until the suit ends. That’s a gift. Leaky doesn’t have to do either of those things, but they are, and people should realize that.

As hard as it might have been to say goodbye, it will be a benefit for fandom in the long run, and it will be good for Leaky.

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In comparing the ability to make the right decision it is obvious who the responsible adults are here. Melissa and the entire Leaky staff have shown extraordinary maturity, objectiveness, and careful consideration in covering the whole JKR/WB vs. RDR/SVA suit.

The decision to sever relationships with the Lexicon and Steve must have been heart-wrenching, but I honestly don’t see how it could have been any other way. Steve is going to be the big loser no matter what the outcome of the lawsuit. He has lost a good proportion of the support of the Potter fandom. He has lost his place on PotterCast where I think he held a position of influence and respect and most of all, he has lost his credibility. I don’t expect that we will be seeing him portrayed as a Potter expert on any future movie DVDs.

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If the Leaky staff think that this move will further endear themselves to Jo and the fandom, that they will appear the ‘good guys’ then I am not surprised in the least. Ambition on a purely cruel-hearted Slytherin level has been a trademark of so many at this website, and this move further condemns them as nothing more than self-servers, rather than true fans.

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Adding my voice to those who have said that this “parting of the ways” was a sad but necessary decision. Thank you, Melissa and the rest of TLC’s staff, for doing the right thing.

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The only self-serving, Slytherin level ambition comes from the so-called “fan” that tried to not only publish his website as a book, but who moved to take advantage of the good relationship he had with Leaky by piggybacking on them for more money.

Leaky have been more than professional through all of the nonsense that Steve and RDR have inflicted on this fandom for their own greedy purposes. Why should they be tarred by their association with the Lexicon? It wouldn’t do them any favors, and they disagree anyway.

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Agree with Minnie, Steve was no friend or colleague. If he himself had cared so much about “friends and colleagues” he’d never have let this thing stretch to such an extent. And yeah, one more thing, I’m sure Jo is going to be very touched by this, and you guys have proved that you really are “Jo’s Army”...

And Mater Inferorum, tell moe then, does being a “true fan” mean doing what Steve has been doing? If it is so, then sorry, I’d rather not be a true fan at all…

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Just adding my voice to the support here. I understand and support TLC’s action, it’s a difficult decision to execute so kudos to you. I also disagree with Steve on his comment that RDR losing would mean a constriction on fandom – as so many of us do, and am surprised that he can’t see the other side.

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How typical. Instead of talking about the decision that the entire staff of Leaky made, some would rather attack Melissa directly.

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I’m definitly proud of being a Leaky Fan…! It’s hard but those choices matter. After everything he said, it would be very sad otherwise…

“Keep each other safe. Keep faith.”

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I’m definitely proud of being a Leaky Fan…! It’s hard but those choices matter. After everything he said, it would be very sad otherwise…

“Keep each other safe. Keep faith.”

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It’s sad that the floo network is being disbanded, but I respect Leaky’s decision. This is not an easy choice, and as we have seen in these comments, there will be a backlash towards Leaky. However, in the long run I think this is in the best interest of the The Leaky Cauldron, but I do hope there will be a strong partnership with the other floo network sites.

I also respect the staff’s decision to speak their opinion on this case now instead of waiting. It’s only fair to the fans. I know that Leaky will continue to provide straightforward information regarding the case, and links to the trial documents for every fan to see.

I’m sure this is a tough decision for you all, but you have to go with what’s in your heart and mind. I think regardless of what side you’re on, you have to respect the decision.

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I feel even more proud to be a Leaky reader today after their display of such courage in their actions. So professional, so dignified, so committed to their readership. Their clarity in reporting, their attempts to not let anyone feel hatred towards individuals or groups but to understand the concepts of “difference in opinions”. I am in admiration for the staff. But I also feel their pain in making such difficult decisions. I think they are feeling a little low right now but I hope they remember that most of their readership will be in awe of them and immensely proud of them.

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I absolutely agree with Prenz and Minnie. Steve should have “ceased and desist” at WB’s request if he cared about the fandom if he so truly believed that the “fandom rights are at stake”.

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I’m sure this was a very difficult decision for all of you to make, considering your history in basically starting the homes of the HP fandom together. You are quite right that you need to stand by your convictions and I congratulate you all on being brave enough to do so. I hope this lawsuit is settled soon and we can all get back to discussing Harry’s world, and not the Muggle world’s messing about with it.

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Once again Ms Rowling has to battle through the bilgy by-products of her success and once again she does this with inspiring humility, compassion, courage, clarity and brilliance of mind, humour and standing unfaltering for what is true and right. Once again, the world will cower gratefully behind her trailblazing.

For someone who never wished for any of this, I’m amazed that she still has the generosity of spirit to keep fighting, keep writing, keep supporting and championing those in need and keep so grounded. I know I would never have managed this.

Whatever the outcome of the case, I fear for the unique, warm and privileged relationship the fandom has enjoyed with Ms Rowling.

I have been saddened, over the years, by the degree and volume of hurt and liberties apparently considered acceptable to pile on her, especially by so-called fans. What would be the outcome if all this worldwide attack was aimed at one unknown man in the street? It seems that each single voice of reason is drowned out by an envious mob.

So thank you, Leaky, for doing the right thing and for speaking out. Now that the lips have been unsealed, is it possible for your admirable staff to pen an open letter of support to Ms Rowling on all of our behalf?

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It’s the right choice.

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Steve is facing a brave battle.. but I think it could be a rather foolish one.

Then again, I’m trying to stay out of this. I have great admiration for both Jo and the Lexicon and have no intention of jumping on any band wagons. I really, really dislike Harry Potter Politics.

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I am very proud of being a regular Leaky visitor right now.

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A little late, but finally a course of action I can applaud. Well done for finally having the courage to do this, Leaky.

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Word of the month “sycophant” has been seen on this discussion board repeatedly when criticisms are being flung at both the Leaky staff and their readers. I have seen it on other HP sites as well in reference to this lawsuit. I am thinking if RDR has assigned this to it’s people to spread their word and attitude – they need a new dictionary, it’s getting a little boring. Congratulations to the Leaky staff for keeping us informed and for making a very difficult but, I believe, correct decision.

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There’s no “could be” about it, Linny—Steve’s battle is incredibly foolish, especially since the law really isn’t on his side, and because the Lexicon book uses far, far too much of JKR’s books to ever be considered Fair Use.

He should have held back when he had the chance and tried to work with JKR and WB. At this point, there’s no way his Lexicon book, or anything else for that matter, will see the light of day. He’s destroyed his credibility in the fandom, his reputation with both JKR and WB, and any chances of being a legitimate author by trying to publish a fansite for profit.

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“We are free to do all things, but there are things which it is not wise to do. We are free to do all things, but not all things are for the common good.”

This is the thing I have been thinking throughout this whole mess. Steve may believe that he has the right to do this, and go to court to defend that right, and even, possibly, win legal approval for that right….but that does not mean that it is, in another sense, “right”.

Legality aside, in my opinion it would have been the wise and classy thing to have dropped this the moment Jo said ‘I don’t like it.’

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I applaud Melissa and all of Leaky for making this incredibly difficult decision. In the end it had to come to this and how you have handled this now and in the updates in the past has just been remarkable and the fandom GREATLY appreciates this. Thank You Leaky

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I’m sorry, while I’m sure you’re doing what you think is right, I believe you are wrong.

No, if RDR loses, Harry Potter fandom will probably go untouched, because JKR both appreciates her fans and is savvy enough to understand the benefit she gets from fannish material. But the point is that such fannish activity proceeds ONLY because she allows it. Should, alas, something happen to JKR and the rights fall to someone with a less appreciative and less savy attitude, the cease and desist letters could descend on fandom like the owls on Privet Drive. And with a negative precedence set by RDR’s suit, the chance of making a legal case to stay up in the face of orders to shut down will be harder.

And worse yet, it’s not just Harry Potter fandom at an issue. JKR has been wonderful in her approach towards fandom, but not every creator has been equally open. For years, Star Trek fandom was actively opposed by Paramount (until the fans got them their third season). Star Wars fandom took place under very strict constraints set by George Lucas. Other creators have been very negative towards any fannish activity beyond “don’t you just love it? I do too”.

Clearly, RDR has done some things that have made things worse. If they’d worked with JKR, as some other writers have done, this might never have come up. But having done some stupid things does not mean they are in the wrong.

And I will also say I’m disappointed in the decision to sever all ties with Steve Vander Ark. From all I could tell in the Pottercasts, you were friends. He contributed a lot to the discussion. If JKR is at all the person I believe her to be, I don’t think she’d demand that you push him away as some sort of loyalty test (and if there has been any such pressure from her, I’d really like to know, because it would affect my view of her and my decision to purchase her future works). You have a different view on a lawsuit, and even a larger philosophical disagreement on the boundries of legitimate fannish activity. But as SVA says, friends can disagree while still remaining friends. I’ve lost some friends in disagreements over lawsuits, and looking back, it was a remarkably stupid thing to do. I hope you won’t have to look back in a few decades and have the same reaction.

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Dear Melissa and staff, at Leaky: I want to thank you, all, for your hard work and dedication to remaining as unbiased as possible. It was [is] a hard thing to do. Severing yourself, from the Floo Network, was a very hard decision too. I applaud your efforts and will continue to remain a loyal fan of Harry Potter and recommending The Leaky Cauldron to all my Fan Friends [who aren’t already here, with “the crowd”] I love TLC and all the work you do. As has been stated, by many here, the only one who is truly losing out is SVA. This is a sad event. Please, stay as you are, Leaky. You’re tough, fair minded and helpful…sign me: A Devoted Harry Potter/Leaky Cauldron Fan.

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Leaky, never fear! You have our support!

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I came to the Harry Potter fandom late in it’s life and found it to be THE most open community around! I don’t think any fan believes that a win for J.K. Rowling is going to mean restrictions/control over what fans do to contribute to the fandom…AT ALL! I think it’s foolish for Steve to state such a thing and a convient argument considering his position in this case.

I feel for you guys. It’s not alway easy to make these types of decisions. The Leaky staff all belong to Gryffindor….yes even you Sue!

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GadgetDon, if what you say is true then creators can already block material that they dislike (a la Paramount pictures, for example). In which case, this lawsuit adds nothing new. They will not be granted any new powers that they don’t already have.

If what you claim is not true, and creators cannot block such material, then I’m not sure why you’re mentioning all these worst case scenarios. As I see it, the case is targetting the lexicon due to specific allegations: 1) It’s profit making 2) It’s rehashing JKR’s own work, and adding nothing new

For any future case to be able to use this lawsuit as precedence, they would have to prove these same conditions hold. I don’t feel those conditions are unfair (and do feel that all future work should meeting those criterial should be blocked) because it’s reselling someone else’s work as your own.

Now, if the lawsuit was attacking the lexicon because of its use of the characters, books or trademarks in something original (fan created work) I’d be fully agreeing with you. But as it stands, such work will not be able to use this court case as precedence, because the circumstances will be different.

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In response to the comments about this:

RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc.

He’s not saying that JKR will actually pull the plug on fan activity, but he’s saying that now, without question, she could. As could the countless other authors who’s work we enjoying creating fic and art based on.

This is a completely important trial, with a completely important and valid arguement.

Don’t forget that. It’s not all about Jo vs. Steve.

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It’s the right move, TLC, and one I’m sure you’ve been mulling behind-the-scenes since this case appeared. The business / legal aspects of the decision make it an easy one and the appropriate one—the friendships and invested emotions are what make it so unpleasant.

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Firstly huge HUGS to every single person who works here at Leaky and makes this site a wonderful place for fans.

Secondly, I don’t think there is a single person here who judges you all harshly for wanting to know more information before you break up with a friend. Exactly how Dumbledore felt as he was realizing the true nature of Grindelwald I’m afraid.

Thirdly, I know it’s been said a hundred times throughout this but I know I’m glad that you came to this decision and ultimately I am sure Jo would be happy to hear you have come out and stated publicly that you’re on her side.

I know that every single one of us will be here to support you and this site since we all know it is by far the most comprehensive site for Potter fans. You provide us with an easy one stop for updates and news, friendship and academia, pictures and videos. And in return I hope we all can give you the loyalty you deserve and that you have shown to us, especially in this hard time.

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I am glad to finally hear an oppinion from leaky on the subject. It’s sad, but I also flet I knew somehow it woud come to this. I support Leaky all the way.

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Leaky Staff,

I can only imagine that this must feel like breaking up with a significant other. You know it’s the right thing, but you still love them and miss them. All I can say is that with time, things change and may even heal, and perhaps the relationship may become stronger even if it is a different sort of relationship.

Although I love the Lexicon website and have enjoyed Steve in Pottercast, I have to admit that this is the right course of action. I am glad that the staff waited this long to distance themselves and waited for specific proof that TLC and the Lexicon were going in different directions before taking such a step. To have done so before would have seem like you were leaving a man out to drown and brought up questions of loyalty. By waiting you until now, you have extended your hand and waited for him to grab it. You’ve done your part, now it’s up to him to decide to sink or swim.

Sorry, for all the analogies, don’t know what’s gotten in to me.

I support you guys 100% because your staff has always done the right thing for the fans and I have never had reason to mistrust any decisions you have made about this site.

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I like how it’s okay to put the lexicon online, and how Leaky was more than willing to pay and host the website, and affiliate itself with the Lexicon, and how it was all okay to do until J.K. had something to say about it. Now everyone is bailing on the Lexicon. Despicable! Don’t want bad press, eh?

This case is about more than just the Lexicon and Rowling. It’s about the ultra restrictive copyright laws. So I can’t even say Harry Potter in a book without risking a lawsuit. And when Rowling files suit she will say it’s all for charity, and everyone will fall all over themselves to condemn the author of the infringing book.

I’m not saying I know Steve’s intentions. They may be entirely greedy, and Rowling’s may be purely innocent, but some of Rowling’s stunts lately, after the final book, lead me to think she just wants to remain in the public eye.

I love Harry Potter! I am grateful Rowling wrote these amazing books. I may have never read a Dickens or Tolstoy story if it wasn’t for Rowling. But, I am disgusted by all parties in this suit. It should have never happened. Steve should have responded to Rowling’s original request for the Lexicon book. Rowling should better understand the position she holds. She may have invented the world of Harry Potter, but it is bigger than just her now. And Leaky shouldn’t have made a decision until after the case was settled.

I can understand the Lexicon and Rowling. Both sides might be greedy, or both sides might have honorable intentions. Nevertheless, Leaky making a decision before all the facts are out is despicable!

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GadgetDon, I think you make some good points. However, you mentioned creators who want to limit their fandom (Paramount, Lucas), but what about authors or creators who are more accepting of fan work. We all know Jo has been supportive of the websites and fan fiction, etc., and there are other authors out their who feel the way she does about their fandom. The problem with this case is that it’s a free fan website that Jo supported that is being published into a book for profit. If RDR wins, will future creators and authors, who would normally be more open to their fandom, be forced to supress their online fandom in fear of losing their copyright? I think that is the main issue here.

As for seperating all ties with Steve, I think it is really sad as well. However, we don’t know what is going on in the background. Perhaps there is more to the story than we know, and their friendship is irreversibily damaged. I hope not.

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Well,if Jo doesn’t want the publication of HP lexicon,we should as real HP fans support her!!!I completly with her! and I can’t wait for the Scottish book!

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correction:I’m completly with her. :D

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This is a very sad, but very brave decision. Well done for so carefully stepping into the arena of commentary. I know it’s a hard thing to do when this site is normally so impartial.

I think it’s the right decision.

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Those of us who truly understand what’s on the line here, not only for HP fandom, but for all fandoms, are standing behind your decision, Leaky. Thank you for doing the right thing, even if it wasn’t easy to do.

And I don’t see how anyone who is that disrespectful of an author’s wishes over creative material she OWNS could possibly call themselves a fan. Jo is very generous to the fandom, there are authors who don’t allow what HP fandom can do, especially in regards to fanfiction. We’re allowed to play in her world, but we shouldn’t forget that it belongs to her. I’m sure many of us who do creative works understand her feelings about this. By abusing the privileges we have, we may lose them altogether.

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Good for you, Leaky. I know this must have been hard, but you made the right decision. I find it a bit distressing that Steve can imply that Jo is an evil copyright-grabbing monster trying to stop creativity. Isn’t it just the opposite? Didn’t she come on PotterCast? Doesn’t she browse the fan sites regularly? Wasn’t it she who didn’t freak out when Sue Upton came squeeeing over to her that night at Carnegie Hall? I think it’s pretty safe to say that Jo really likes the fandom. I don’t think she’s trying to stifle creativity, I think she’s trying to promote it. She encourages writing and creative thinking, and she even laughs about the most over-the-top fan fiction. After these and other recent comments coming from Steve, I just can’t imagine him as the defender of the fandom from the creativity-stifler that is Jo. I think it’s Jo who’s the defender of the fandom.

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I think some people are missing the point – claiming that if this lawsuit wins, it opens a huge floodgate to creators being able to control any and all fan created material.

That just is not true.

This present case holds if, and only if, it can be proved that the Lexicon is simply a rehashing of JKR’s material and if it has been done to make money.

There is no issue of “Ah ha! But although JK Rowling WONT shut anyone down, she COULD”. She’d only be able to do that for other people who reproduce her work for profit.

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I think I’m gonna’ cry. This is all so horribly sad, and it was excruciating to read that interview. For him to spark worry in fans in order to sway opinions on the case was just awful. To Melissa and everyone at Leaky, thanks so much for everything. Really. You guys are amazing. While other Potter sites have deviated from their roots (and it was extremely difficult to watch), Leaky has always stayed true. I feel you’ve made the right decision. Yay Leaky, for being the GryffinPuff of Potter sites, always bravely fighting for the right cause. I love you guys so freakin’ much!

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I think y’all made the the right decision and in a dignified way. thanks for upholding great standards in all that you do with this website. Thanks for being honest and forthright as well.

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“I like how it’s okay to put the lexicon online, and how Leaky was more than willing to pay and host the website, and affiliate itself with the Lexicon, and how it was all okay to do until J.K. had something to say about it. Now everyone is bailing on the Lexicon. Despicable! Don’t want bad press, eh?”—Jeff

Jeff, things happen. This is a working relationship, and when you have fundamental disagreements with a partner, even if they are a friend, sometimes it is better to seperate ties with them. They have very seperate views for what is best for the fandom, and it would seem odd for both sites to be listed under the same banner. I’m sure, like most fans, the Leaky Staff went over all of the information provided and made their own opinion on this case. I doubt they blindly accepted the situation in favor of JKR, especially since Steve was a friend (and may still be a friend). Melissa, out of anyone here, has probably spent the most time sifting through legal documents on this case. So I am confident that they did not rush to this decision.

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I think y’all made the the right decision and in a dignified way. thanks for upholding great standards in all that you do with this website. Thanks for being honest and forthright as well.

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To my thinking, Steve has been being missadviced to say such things. I admire his work and all, but the sad part is that this whole ordeal started linking Leaky and of course, since Leaky has such a great relationship with Jo, you can’t risk that. I am really sorry about this, but if there is nothing else you guys can do, parting ways will be. I never thought I’d see the day in which serious Harry Potter websites would severe their association for bigger reasons than shipping. It is really sad.

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I disagree with Steve, and it is JK Rowling’s complete right not to allow them to release the encyclopedia. I will only buy Rowling’s scottish book

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What a tough call to make and I proud of all of you. Like most people who have commented I feel it was the correct decision. Best wishes always.

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I disagree with Steve, and it is JK Rowling’s complete right not to allow them to release the encyclopedia. I will only buy Rowling’s scottish book

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Everyone at Leaky as obviously been very conscientious in their attempts to be fair and represent such a large portion of the fan community. Well done Leaky!

Some of the opinions on copyright are a bit frustrating to me. I don’t know if it is generally understood that it is extremely difficult to make your living in the arts. It is not something that is promoted by our “business” culture. Copyright laws protect writers, musicians and artists of all kinds so that they may bring their work to the public and be able to make a living at it.

Yes, Jo has profited by this more than most artists. She is now wealthy from her efforts and her art, but that doesn’t mean that it is all about money for her. As a writer, your stories are like your children. You feel the same sort of fierce protection for them. For someone to take advantage of your work (the point being the SVA has added nothing new in his proposed book), then you must protect them as Molly protected Ginny in the final battle. It’s the same motivation!

So while everyone is looking at profits and greed in this particular case, remember that there are those of us who have a lot of trouble earning our living from our art, and if it were not for copyright laws, we would have no chance at all. Everything we created would be up for grabs by the public at large, and then how would we pay our rent or put food on the table? The issues here are not just about the moneyed, but about all artists and their right to earn a living from the material they create.

It is a sad situation to be sure, and my empathy goes out to everyone involved.

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I agree with you and think you have done the right thing.

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“If your determination to shut your eyes will carry you as far as this Cornelius Steve,” said Dumbledore, “we have reached a parting of the ways. You must act as you see fit. And I Leaky shall act as they see fit.”

It’s a sad day.

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Alan, the issues of how much control someone can have over fandom is somewhat of an open issue, in most cases the fans backed down and so to the best of my knowledge it hasn’t gotten a precedence set yet. Fans back down for lack of resources, or just a desire not to fight the creators of something they create.

As I understand the issues (I am not a lawyer, though I’ve read on these issues) the profit making element is legally irrelevant, it’s no more legal to violate copyrights or trademarks for free than it is for “I’m gonna be rich”. Creators have more incentive to go after those who are infringing for profit, but you just need to see the headlines about the RIAA to see it’s not necessary. When discussing the books in the Leaky Lounge, I regularly check the Lexicon if I’m unsure of a connection. That seems to be to be adding something new.

I will make this prediction…if the judge rules against RDR, the reasoning stated won’t be crafted in such as way that fanfiction and fanart will be protected. It may not specifically state that they are allowed, but the best we can hope for in such a decision is for our status as a legal grey area to remain.

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Jeff,

They didn’t bail out on him. Leaky was a neutral provider of information on this case. If Steve had not given that interview and said what he said, Leaky would have waited until the verdict before giving their opinion.

When have you known Leaky to be greedy? Have you not been around for the countless charity drives? Please make your points without insults. By the way, Jo didn’t try to stay in the public eye. She’s always been there. She doesn’t need extra publicity. All she has to do is be seen writing at a cafe and the press would go crazy. No to mention that the cafe owner would turn in a nice profit and all those “eye witness” would get paid to talk about what they saw her doing, what she was wearing, and anything else they can think off.

The Lexicon would have no problem going on if it wasn't going to sold.  Even if they printed a version of the whole site and then gave it away for "free" I doubt Jo would have had a problem.  It's the fact that a lot of the site has copious quotes from the HP series and it's being sold that's the problem.  Even with all the quotes on site, Jo doesn't care.  So no, I don't think this is going to affect HP sites.  I cannot say the same for other authors, but for us HP fans, I think we'll be fine.

What I don’t understand is why Steve, being the talented writer that he is, did not just limit the book to essays and articles he and his staff have written. He could have done that and no one would have had a problem. I think the problem is also that the book is almost exactly like Jo’s “Scottish Book”. Change the format and some of the content and publish it that way. Then everyone should be happy.

Leaky, ignore the negative comments, as they are very few.

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Thanks again, Melissa. I know this decision was probably very difficult for all TLC staff; but it’s easy to see that Steve’s latest comments created a tipping point.

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To those who are (like Steve) afraid of the wesites etc. closing down: Somehow this makes me feel a bit uneasy. Actually Jo allows a lot more that most other authors and publishers. She and her publishers actually have the right to close down a site like the Lexicon already (as far as I know), or rather to limit the contents. You won’t find that much information about other series anywhere. E.g. for Eragon the sites have very restricted possibilities to write about the content. The same goes for several other books. I always was amazed how much Jo allowed the Lexicon to publish online. Including copies of texts on her website and large quotes out of her books. It just shows to me that some people can’t handle it if they get too much freedom. And it is somehow unfair to use this freedom as an argument to go even further. And if you look at the copies of the pages of the book that are online due to the case, then it shows that it is just some means of making money and has nothing to do with the website.

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Thank you Leaky! Steve was really getting under my skin, and Leaky was keeping their opinion to themselves. Professional and respectful, of course. But i still didn’t know what to think or feel when it came to regards of the leaky team. It was because of your association with the Lexicon, and even though you’s had nothing to do with it, i was still a bit ‘are they on Jo’s side or Steve’s side?’

So im happy for you guys! I’m happy that you’s made the decision now and not after the case was closed. And because of that im happy knowing that Leaky wont be sucked down along with whatever ship Steve is sailing.

Also, not too fussed that Steve wont be returning to PotterCast. Can we keep Frak instead though?

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I have 2 things. Good for you Leaky for taking action about how you feel instead of ignoring at hoping it will go away. Too many people go along today believing or saying things that are not quite right because other people either don’t challange their ideas at all, or over react and make no point at all. Your way of dealing with the situation has effectively shown your point while not demeaning the other party concerned.

Second thing, I love how polite people are on this page. I have read comments about articles on different news web sites, and it seems like most of the comments are people just ranting about anything. Good for you commenters for reading the article and speaking to the point politely. Thanks.

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ps – I take issue with the person who referred to the TLC community as fawning parasites (sycophants). That is a broad, sweeping statement about thousands of people that you don’t personally know at all.

I think what draws us all to this community are the spirits of hope, friendship and tolerance that are engendered by the Harry Potter novels. There is little enough of those things in the world, and bravo to TLC for providing a haven for us all!

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I’m surprised this decision was not made much earlier.

Could it be that RDR has imperioused Steve? Hmmmm…

OMT

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Erg. You see (my post above) would be a prime example of why i would make a terrible editor.

Keep that chin up Leaky staff!

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I’m surprised this decision was not made much earlier.

Could it be that RDR has imperioused Steve? Hmmmm…

OMT

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Don’t kid yourself, Jeff. Steve’s got no one but himself to blame. Attempting to make Rowling or TLC the bad guys here rather then Steve is disingenuous and extremely puerile.

As for copyright laws, they exist for a reason. You’re entire argument is fallacy. We’re not talking about ‘if only the laws were different’. They are NOT different and you may not like it but that does not change the fact that this is how the law currently stands – which means that Steve should have conformed to the law. He didn’t. Others who’ve written HP fan books have managed to conform to the law. Why should Steve expect the law to be any different for him?

It’s not a matter of JK being greedy or giving money to charity. It’s JK’s work, she’s entitled to earn monies from it and do with that money whatever she wants. She does NOT have to allow someone to steal from her no matter how big a fan he proclaims himself to be!

I applaud TLC’s efforts to remain nuetral and ache for the loss of the Floo Network. But I fully support this decision.

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Can’t fandom just be fun anymore. The problem with HP fandom is everybody already knew what to do. Meaning Star Trek and Star Wars taught people how to react, so in HP we get the super fan. Fill a niche get out the website if this whole HP thing hits we get famous. JKR has embraced this fully and so has WB after some early missteps.

To me HP fandom is starting to get really lame and political. People that read the books seemingly for their own means after it became a phenomenon are flooding message boards with irreverent dialouge and theories about motivation behind certain phrases and characters. I have never been a fan of cannon conundrums because it propagates the idea of mistakes and bad writing in HP. I read the open letter Steve and Emerson put up after GOF? and found it to be pompous and arrogant, I don’t know Steve personally but I never liked his comments in that letter. For a matter of fact, I just saw Steve on the OOTP dvd! Great your’e an expert I get it. So am I, when DH came out I answered a lot of questions about the series for weary fans from behind my Hagrid beard. You don’t see me writing a book using text lifted from HP. The only fan site I visit now is Leaky, I stopped going to mugglenet after the prediction book. How stupid was that? I got all of the same predicitions from my own theories and Leaky’s free predictions on the web. Of which I think Steve contributed to. Thanks Steve those were great. Is HP fandom going to stay like this? Is it destined to be filled with people who want to make a buck and feel they are entitled to do so. Books that don’t compliment HP but regurgitate it like teen dream books about 90210, Hanna Montana or any other hot thing aimed at kids who beg their parents to buy it. Is it destined to be ruled by people who think DH was badly written and others need to stop drinking the JKR kool-aid and take off the rose colored glasses. Because if so, this lawsuit means nothing win or lose because one fan will just go back to reading the books and writing opinions in journals. Please spare us the noble fair use argument Steve this means cashing in while you got the chance. Yours would be the only new HP book on the market for at least ten years, that could be multiple printings, one now and one when the scottish book comes out. CHA CHING,little kid at christmas ten years later ‘Thanks Grandma,(in a whisper) Mom she got the wrong one, this one is written by Steve Vander Ark?” Mom “Shhhh! I’ll buy you the other one tommorow”

In closing, Heres to you www.the-leaky-cauldron.org from your noble charitable roots to your modern incarnation as a place of true HP fandom. One that provides a means fans to post comments on your articles and on your message boards. From your HP video galleries, to the fan art pages; From the Cauldron Shop to the Harry Potter crafts page. You have seeked out and explored every facet of the heart of HP fandom and your site has something for everyone or just one fan with eclectic tastes. You have always done it right the first time, and never had to correct it later. To all staff at leaky now and then, My you never falter in your mission, and never taint your purpose.

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Sad news tonight, Diane. It seems even many months after the final Harry Potter book was released, most of the fans are still refusing to get a life.

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To the Staff of the Leaky Cauldron and affiliated sites,

First of all…BRAVO!!!

It’s about time yall made this decision. Since this whole case started, my respect for Steve Van Ark has gone from great to nil. The fact that he is trying to sell his rehash of the books and world that Jo has spent many years creating, showed me and apparently the majority of the fandom that I’m sorry to say, your love for Ms. Rowling and the fandom are a tad false. Otherwise you wouldn’t be taking the steps you have. Also trying to scare the fandom with your recent statements was reprehensible and unforgivable. Until and after this case started, Jo has been completely accommodating to her fandom as a whole (including fansites, wizard rock, etc.) with only a few exception, which is her right as the copyright holder and creator of the work. I join the rest of the fandom in saying shame on you Van Ark, and know I am one who will never buy any book that you right, regardless of whether it is about Harry Potter or not. You have completely lost my respect.

To those that side with Steve/RDR Books,

I want you all to think about if you were a writer. You’ve spent years creating a world in which your novels will take place. You’ve suffered, scrimped and scraped for your art, and after all that hard work it is finally paying off. During all this time, you have taken pains to be as open and accommodating to your fandom as much as possible. You’ve also given to charities and stood up for causes, whether asked or not. Then one day you find out that someone is trying to publish, which basically boils down to a rehash of the same information that comes from the novels that you’ve created and cultivating…nothing is really different. Knowing that basically this person is reselling almost word for word something that you put your blood, sweat and tears into for many years. Honestly…regardless of how much money you’ve made from YOUR CREATION, how would you feel about it?

Now there are some that say she’s doing it for money. She plans to release the Scottish Book, which has ten times more information about Harry and his world then Steve’s rehash of HER CREATION could ever have, so to say she just wants to get her book out first, as if the two books can be compared is laughable. Being a budding writer myself, I know from experience how hard it is to create anything that’s worthwhile. It comes from your head, and becomes apart of your soul, so to say that it is just about money is ridiculous. It’s about what’s right and wrong, and what Steve is doing is all kinds of wrong, and would hurt all fandoms present and future, if he and RDR Books win.

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I know I’m posting on this a lot, but I want to respond to Amanda’s points.

The idea that Leaky had to “choose sides” on the lawsuit is arguable, but when reporting the news, it’s best to present a view of neutrality, so that we can choose.

The idea that Leaky had to chose the person, that if you like JKR you must reject SVA as a person, is ridiculous. Neither SVA or JKR have made it personal (at least in their public comments), they have a disagreement. I love JKR, I think she’s both a wonderful author and from the way she’s interacted with her fans and other things she’s done show she’s just a very nice person. But I believe she is wrong in the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, SVA has been an active fan, put his industry and his logic at the service of fandom for years, based on his appearances on Pottercast he’s shown more than a little wit. From everything I’ve heard before this lawsuit, he was well-liked and people thought highly of him. Even if you think he’s made a terrible mistake with this book and pushing forward in the face of the lawsuit, that doesn’t negate what he’s done before.

Good people sometimes do things that they shouldn’t. They rely on bad advice, they don’t see the whole picture, and there are times in everyone’s lives where we add one and one and one and come up with five. The way I’ve seen both SVA and JKR behave during the lawsuit does nothing to make me think badly of either of them. It’s rough on both of them, and the best part of when this is resolved is that it will be resolved. The worst part of this is that people feel a need to choose sides, to say “I like you so I can’t like you”.

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Well, that was definitely the right choice. Sad, certainly, but necessary. To confirm what I understood, this means that the Floo Network no longer exists, and that The Leaky Cauldron now encompasses the shop, podcast, news, and search engine, while continuing a partnership with Accio Quote? I just want to confirm what I understood. I suppose I have two more questions. Will Leaky form a new online resource, and would the Floo Network be reformed if another website rose to a similar prominence in the fandom? Otherwise, I thank you for the amazing work you’ve done covering this case.

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Diffinetly the correct choice,sad as it is .As great as Steve was on PotterCast,CC especially,he will be missed but this cannot be helped,it is TLC’s very correct choice and they have my support in this.i do not agree with his assessment either .And i agree with Rose,i am surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.

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JKR has been overwhelmingly cordial and encouraging of all fansites (yes even Lexicon, until their scurrilous antics). I am sure that she looks on, with great pride, the creativity that her work has inspired in others. After all, she is a TEACHER. And to be able to inspire people to feats of imagination and creativity is a teaher’s greatest reward.

To see someone (SVA) ill-use her by pirating her work and casting a shadow on her intentions is truly dispicable. For SVA to imply that he is still a fan is loathsome and sickening beyond endurance, he is showing the greatest disrespect imaginable! His actions are the true indicators of his REAL intentions and thoughts … NOT his pretty, duplicitious words!...Yep. it is true “Actions do speak louder than words!”

I have not been back to the Lexicon site since this whole thing started. I have un-bookmarked it. I have no intention of ever going there again … I will wait patiently for Jo’s “Scottish Book”.

SVA and his site are pariahs in my book! I am boycotting the site because to do otherwise would be endorsing his reprehensible actions!

As a side note: I really do feel sorry for all the honourable people that have worked on SVA’s site, because they have been painted with the same brush as SVA and are seen as SVA’s toadys. They have been ill-used as well. IMO I do believe in the good intentions of people until they have proven themselves to be undeserving. I think it is clear what SVA’s intentions are!

There really is no defense for SVA … just the observation: “The promise of great wealth makes people crazy!”

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Bryan,

Please! If you owned such a lucrative property would you allow people to steal it from you? If you say yes then either you’re not being truthful or you’re terribly foolish.

The copyright/trademarks owner are NOT seeking more rights. They’re only seeking to protect the rights they already have. “Exclusive rights” which are gauranteed to them by the LAW.

Steve is in the wrong. This is not David versus Voldemort as RDR has asserted from the beginning. If anything it’s more like Draco Malfoy stealing Neville Longbottom’s remembral. Draco {Steve} was the thief and he was in the wrong and it was Harry {Rowling/WB} that took up the challenge and got the stolen item back.

I’m sorry you want to turn your back on TLC for doing what is right, rather than what is easy. I support TLC, Rowling, and WB.

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Bryan, look up Anne Rice. You are clearly severely uninformed on the subject of published authors and the fanfiction they inspire if you think JKR/WB is controlling.

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Leaky wont be Jo’s next target, Bryan. Because Leaky isn’t trying to steal from her. Leaky isn’t trying to break the law. I wouldn’t stick by a friend who insists that breaking the law is ‘the right thing to do’. We dont own Harry Potter. JKR and WB does! Its as simple as that! If he didn’t mess with it in the first place, he wouldn’t be in this situation!

I agree with Dumbleweed. You cant just enjoy something anymore. Everyone wants in and everyone wants some of the money. It makes me sick.

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Dang…way to go on sticking to your principles, my respect for Leaky just went up a notch ;)

It is sad though, my heart literally jumped into my throat when I read this. Best of luck to everyone, hopefully this won’t get any uglier than it already has.

Cheers.

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OH! And I forgot, SORRY!

THANK YOU! Melissa and everyone at TLC for your decision to make a stand and distance yourself from SVA and his site!

With all the exceptional support for JKR and her creations that TLC has shown over the years, I would hate that TLC would be negatively impacted by what is going on.

I know it was hard to reach the decision but, ... by inaction one endorses the action. Thank you again, for your action!

A true Fan!

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing!” Edmund Burke 1727-1797

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I completely agree, Leaky I think you made the right choice. I was thinking as I read the SVA interview that he had it completely backwards: If RDR were to win the case, that’s when fan sites and creative endeavors would suffer. A win for RDR (IMO) could possibly set a precident that an author being ok with a fansite was somehow tied to their giving them rights to their work. Authors would end up having to be less… accomodating… to fan endeavors in order to protect themselves. JKR has been so generous with her world and her time and her praise of the sites that celebrate Harry, it would be a damn shame if that came back and bit her.

Leaky, you did do the right thing. I’m sure that made it no easier to do, but I think you will find that most people here will agree with you. It had to be done.

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If anyone thinks that Jo wants tighter restrictions on her fans, they are nuts. Jo has always said that she loves what he fans do and is honored by it.

@ all Leaky Satff: You made the right choice. There was no way to carry one except in this manner. You have my full support

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Anyone who thinks Jo wants tighter restictions on her fans is nuts. She has always said that she loves what her fans do and is honored.

@all Leaky staff: You did the right thinkand have my full support.

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Leaky Staff (Melissa and everyone),

I sympathize with you and admire your decision. I understand those people who wish that this decision could have been put off until the end of the legal case, but I completely understand why you had to make this decision now. Since the Leaky Cauldron and the HP Lexicon are both Internet-centred operations, diverging philosophies on Internet fandom were critical to your decision. This decision could no longer wait on judicial or publishing decisions.

Your objectivity throughout this entire discussion is admirable.

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The difference, David, is the site is not for profit and is careful to always acknowledge copyrights.

The book, on the other hand, is “for profit” and uses enormous amounts of someone else’s copyrighted materials without their permission. The book contains 2437 entries…of which only 403 do not lift text directly from the books or unimaginitively paraphrase from the HP canon. In case you’re wondering, that’s 84% of entries that can be directly attributed to Rowling’s copyrighted works. Which leaves an underwhelming 16% of original material in the proposed book attributed to Steve and his 3 co-authors. That’s severe copyright infringement.

Generally, when a fan writes a derivative book they use approximately 10% or less of copyrighted materials. In legal terms this is known as de minimis or ‘trivial’ amount. That ‘trivial’ amount of copyrighted materials is then expounded upon by an additional 90% of original commentary and other material to make the book conform to copyright law’s ‘fair use’ rule.

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God, I feel a little like I did when my parents split up. Is that weird?

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I do agree with Leaky on this ,since it is a wise business choice, but I have to say everyone sound like Umbridge with all this “they must break away from what is considered an unhealthy relationship” and all.

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I must say that I disagree with the “Its about time” idea floating out there. I commend Leaky for waiting before making a decision in this regard. Steve was given the benefit of the doubt right up to the point where he made his intentions and opinions clear.

Steve hasn’t been abandoned in my personal opinion, his actions have alienated his partners, and Leaky has now merely stated that they disagree with what he has done and do not wish to be associated with his actions or his views.

We must never fool ourselves into thinking the Floo network is the be all and end all of HP fandom. This is not the United Nations of Potterdom, but more like the European Union as it were. Not all sites are in the Floo network, only a few. While it is good for the sites to work together while their visions and ideals coincide, nothing forces one member to remain in the group, and the group does not fail in its objective if one member leaves.

The fact that there are diametrically opposed views in this case is a tribute to the universal appeal of the books to such a wide audience where such people can still share a common love for the stories contained in those seven marvelous volumes.

I would like to salute the staff who allow people who disagree with them to voice their opinions so publicly and adamantly with no fear of censorship as long as decency is maintained.

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I really appreciate that Leaky has approached this matter with such grace. For what it’s worth, I’m fully behind the decision.

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@MattyJM

“Commentary books are covered by fair use. Trivia books are covered by fair use. Fanfiction is not covered by fair use, but Jo has kindly allowed it. Neither the site, nor the published Lexicon are covered by fair use, and Jo has not allowed the published version.”

Actually, Fanfiction may very well be allowed under Fair Use, depending on how it is handled, and whether there are proper disclaimers, aknowledgements and, best of all, permission!

My point is that I have said all through this debacle that we cannot generalize no matter the circumstance, and we should try not to do so now.

Otherwise, a really good post, Matty!

In my humble opinion.

M.

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It’s sad, that it had to come this way, but I do think Melissa and the whole Leaky staff made the right decision here.

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Thanks for remaining neutral for this long and waiting until it was the right time to make a decision. :) I’ve always been on Jo’s side and I’m glad you guys are taking a stand.

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I’m with you all the way keep up the good work guys. Steve i feel was wrong in what he said Jo has always supported fanfics as an outlet for new writers. I admit that this trail may have a role to play in the future of fansites but i feel it would be more to do with people trying to put words in Jo’s mouth in writing something she has had planned for some time. works based on the world she has created is different to putting in writing something only Jo could do fully. :) Good Move guys

Behind you all the way.

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GadgetDon, im sorry. I understand what your saying. Leaky have always been neutral, i agree, and its best they stay that way for everyone. I just didn’t explain myself as well as everyone else has. Im just agreeing with them really. Im glad Leaky severed ties with the lexicon. I WAS thinking which side they were only because of their association. I understand that they aren’t choosing sides. They post the news neutral and will keep it that way. They just dont agree with Steve, and im happy to know this now. They dont want to get cought up somehow with it (which is why i said ‘not being dragged down with the sinking ship’ and all). You see, if it were me i would have thrown my hat down at the begining of this case and severed the ties then and there. I was agree with what everyone else is wondering ‘why did it take so long?’ But it was that interview that pushed them over the edge so… Anyway, look. I wish the leaky team all my best wishes and happiness. It wouldn’t have been an easy thing to do but i respect your decision.

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Dumbleweed, I completely understand what your saying. I feel the same way.

I used to go to most of the HP sites, but then everyone started to come up with books and promoting themselves and it began to seem like a huge advertisement. I don’t mind trying to raise money for the sites, it’s necessary. There are costs involved. I don’t even mind selling stuff to get money to go to the conferences and attend premiers. I think that’s great because it gives the fans a chance to meet face to face. However when nothing is being contributed in the form of new material and it’s all to make a profit, it bothers the heck out of me.

I love these books. I love Leaky. I love the Lexicon. Both sites contribute something to the fandom in their ONLINE format. I’m not going to stop visiting the Lexicon because I think it is a great site that I have used for years, but I will not buy the printed version even if SVA wins. If SVA comes out with an essay book, or other writings that are his own, I’ll probably get them, but not a printed version of the Lexicon. SVA said the Lexicon is a labor of love, well then it should be free.

I agree with Leaky wholeheartedly, but it doesn’t mean I hate SVA. One is not contingent upon the other. It just means I think in this case SVA is wrong.

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Melissa, thank you for your efforts to keep us informed, and for your professionalism, throughout this sad situation

bud

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@GadgetDon

“And worse yet, it’s not just Harry Potter fandom at an issue. JKR has been wonderful in her approach towards fandom, but not every creator has been equally open. For years, Star Trek fandom was actively opposed by Paramount (until the fans got them their third season). Star Wars fandom took place under very strict constraints set by George Lucas. Other creators have been very negative towards any fannish activity beyond “don’t you just love it? I do too”.”

I’m sorry to say that I don’t understand your point here. It seems to me you’ve just pointed out that the other fandoms have been doing what is their right all along, and that JKR is more magnanimous by allowing wider lattitude. This would mean that if RDR wins the case, then Authors and other Creators would find it harder to exercise their rights, because the win for RDR would negate some of those rights. Which is actually WB/JKR’s position.

Now, I’ve said all along that I’ve an opinion, but that I am keeping it to myself until such time as the case is completed. I am sticking to that, and trying to comment specifically on the issues of law. To that end, I must say that if the goal of the Courts is to look at the possibility of setting a precedent or series of precedents regarding Fair Use, in order to try and advance the applicability and understanding of the concept, then the decision might look very different than if it is a simple matter of copyright infringement under the law as it is applied today.

And even if the former is true (that this is going to be a precedent setting case) it may be that the precedent will be along the lines that “even though there may be some question as to how and what the concept of Fair Use covers, we (the Courts) are saying that those questions shall be negated and Fair Use shall be applied as it has been and as we rule today”.

Either way, all of us outside the actual case will have our opinions after the outcome but also, we should all say that “justice was served” regardless, because the use of and actions of the SYSTEM are what justice is all about, not any specific outcome with which we either agree or not. And until a better system comes along (if at all) we need to support it, or someday there will be NO system to rely on for justice.

And “All of us outside this case”, I believe, should be almost everybody who has posted here since the beggining of this debacle – I can’t say “everybody” because I do not know whether RDR or WB or anyone else directly related to the case has been posting. Nonetheless, it is still the VAST majority of posters.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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i think steve is right. jk rowling has a billion dollars.

whatever the legal implications, the fact that she now refers to him as someone who she “thought” was a fan but somehow isnt makes me disgusted.

JK Rowling is lawsuit happy, and needs to get off her high horse and realize that just because someone likes her books doesn’t mean they area “good” person, and just because someone wants to publish an encyclopedia of her stuff doesnt make them a “bad” person.

I started disliking leaky a few years ago, and i now i completely do.

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Well said.

I am waiting for RDR Books to come out and abuse leaky for disloyalty to steve. they have already abused jk rowling, implying she is disloyal to her fans. thats inherently wrong. the fans should be loyal to jk rowling’s wishes, not her loyal to theirs.

I still am annoyed they kept pushing back the court date, and i really hope they do not push it back again. I was certian that this was going to be a bench trial, it would be hard to find jurors who dont have any prejudices either way towards harry potter, given that harry potter is a huge cultural beacon, and even if you have never read the books or seen the films, you likely have heard of them. by doing a bench trial, it means they can insure that a fair trial for both sides by putting it on a judge who is held by the law to be impartial and focus on the issues of the case.

yes, RDR deserves a fair trial, thats the law. even if they have been in defience of the law, morality, and human decencey throughout these precedings.

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Katey.

steve those not own any copyright over harry potter. that is jk rowling. the lexicon book under the law as it currently stands is not legal. jk rowling wants to protect her work, the books she created, from bveing hijacked and stolen for profit, which the law says you as the copyright holder have the right to halt. RDR Books and Steve are trying to take away the rights the law grant the copyright holders.

steve has no right to claim ownership of harry potter as he has done repeatedly after jk rowling refused to create a job in her office for him when he demanded it of her. so he gets a publisher to published a infringing book that he has been recorcded in stating for years would be illegal.

he is spiting jo for not bending over backwards and employing him when she has no need to hire new people now that the series is over.

katey, please understand that the law is on jk rowling’s side here, and she is protecting her fans by stopping people from abusing her fan’s rights and her rights. she has stated time and time again that she is not attacking the fan’s right to legitamate online and free activity. what she is fighting against is fans abusing her rights for personal profitering gain.

if you hate jk rowling so much, go shack up with laura mallory, you can abuse her all you want, but do not come on here and deny her her law granted rights.

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“I started disliking leaky a few years ago, and i now i completely do.” Posted by katey on March 24, 2008 @ 11:48 AM

Just asking the obvious, why are you even visiting this site? People don’t go to sites they hate. It is your choice to continue to frequent these pages and you must enjoy something since you even post. By the way, no one has referred to anyone as good or bad. That’s just childish. Even if Jo has made a billion dollars, she has every right, she earned it. Why do people always criticize when someone becomes wealthy from their own hard work? Should there be a cap to how much money she is allowed to make? Who should decide?

Morton,

I love your posts. They add to the discussion. Keep them coming.

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It sounds to me as though you are quite concerned you all will be sued as well if Warner is successful in its lawsuit against the Lexicon – as you should be. Think about why Stanford took the case.

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To all at Leaky, you’ve made the right decision. It’s sad that this has happened, but unfortunately it was inevitable, and I can see how these latest comments from Steve were the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Yet again you have show the qualities that have made Leaky the top Harry Potter site on the net. You have covered this depressing story with your usual quality and neutrality, and throughout your professionalism has been second to none. I feel so sorry for you all that you have been dragged into this mess made by others.

Neil in Scotland- Leaky’s man, through and through!

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Leaky, I think you made the right decision. I’m with you all the way!!!

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I am very proud of you “kids” (being an elderly HP fan, most of you are “kids” to me) and never have I been more proud to be a member at TLC than this morning. If I were close enough, I’d give all of you a big, warm, Mom Weasley hug. Thank you Leaky, for standing up for the good of the fan community and the rights of writers over their own creations. Thank you for being most excellent role models for younger fans.

Jo, hang in there. At least 95% of us stand behind you with our full support.

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@Jeff

“This case is about more than just the Lexicon and Rowling. It’s about the ultra restrictive copyright laws. So I can’t even say Harry Potter in a book without risking a lawsuit. And when Rowling files suit she will say it’s all for charity, and everyone will fall all over themselves to condemn the author of the infringing book.”

I am sorry to point out that you are incorrect regarding the law as it currently stands. Yes, it already allows JKR or ANY author the right to block any unauthorized use of his/her copyrighted material. It does NOT however, give ANY author the right to block “Fair Use” application of his/her material. You can say Harry potter in anything you’d like (as you did in your post) without worrying about a law suit, as long as it is covered under the Fair Use doctrine as it currently is applied.

Now, if the Fair Use doctine application is changed as a result of this case, you may have to worry. Since authors have the right to block anything except Fair Use, a win for RDR is seen by many as a change in that rule. Unless they win because they can prove that they comply with all 4 Fair Use provisos.

On the other hand there are those that say a win by JKR will change Fair Use, because they believe RDR to have demonstrated Fair Use. What it comes down to is that the courts will decide. If there is a decision that affects how Fair Use is currently viewed and applied, you may very well have to worry about even SAYING “Harry Potter” – unles they elaborate further on what principles will now be followed.

Until that happens, and unless there is change in Fair Use with a JKR win, then nothing really changes from the day before the law suit was launched – in other words ANYTHING under Fair Use is allowed.

So the case is about what Fair Use means. A win for WB/JKR without any change to Fair Use application means the court decided RDR was guilty of copyright infringement – end of story. Regardless of who wins, however, if there IS a change in Fair Use application, all bets are off until those changes can be analyzed.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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Ugh, no real fan would ever buy SVA’s book.

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I have to say I agree with Steve on this. A win for JKR will result in copyright holders exercising more control over the fansites. You forget that Warner Brothers is involved in this as well. Throughout the suit, WB has been dragging the Lexicon website into this (e.g. mentioning the pictures from the movie, etc.). It’s already said that the book is different from the Scottish Book. Also, I believe WB are mainly the ones behind this suit (If I’m not mistaken, the HP trademarks are registered in their name…). This will majorly effect intellectual property rights, which already need serious reform. I intend to write a full-length editorial on this in the near future.

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Phew!! Glad to see Leaky is not siding with the Harry-Hermione shippers. It’s better to stay away from the delusional if one can, especially when they start believing that their version of reality/fiction is better than the C/creator’s. It says a lot for Leaky that they have never gone down the Mugglenet-type route and set up a “Board of Shame” for SVA supporters. Ooooooh, hang on a minute, that’s given me an idea.

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I really disagree with everything that article said-the fans missed the point? No, I really don’t think we did actually-JKR created this universe and it’s her rights first and foremost, he’s not protecting our rights to fanfiction and wizardrock because JKR has already granted us that, he’s just protecting his own little pride issue! It’s like he’s making himself out to be the savior of the fandom or something when JKR has no problem with fanfiction and stuff, but she wants to write her own encyclopedia! And her money goes to charity!!

Seriously this guy is reallly bugging me. I love the Lexicon and all but I think it’s gone to his head.

Harry Potter does not belong to the fandom—it belongs to the writer and it’s her call to give and take. I think it’s outrageous for him to claim that he’s defending the rights of the fandom, Jo has been acceptionally gracious and caring to all types of the fandom and it should be her word we look to for this kind of stuff alone, not some self-righteous fan who thinks he can take the power away from the author!

I’m sorry if that sounded harsh! Hahah! I’m really not that mean but this just ignited my fierce Rowling pride. Steve’s still a fine person but he needs to step back and look at what he’s doing….

Oh and Leaky you’ve definately made the right decision and we all stand behind you on that one!

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Katey, just because someone has enough money, doesn’t mean that anyone can infringe their rights. It is actually the other way round. There are people who want to jump the wagon to make money themselves out of Jo’s work, because she is so successful with it.

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Listen to Morton Kaiserman on his post above – he is correct.

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I guess we still have to wait to see how it all plays out. If the other fansites are to be closed down, I’m sure it will be expressed in the same way.

Very sad.

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Rudius Hagrid, excellent post. Sorry I’m a page late to tell you so.

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Absolutely the right choice. He is way off base here. Why should others profit from Jo’s invention. This is hers and her gift to her readers. Its one thing to fantasize and write it out in a community of fans on a site like Leaky Cauldron- its quite another to publish work for profit using her life’s work.

As a (former) frequent user of the floo network, it is disturbing that its creator has taken such a ridiculous position. I support Leaky 100%. This is not stifling fan creativity at all.

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@ Kari

“He’s not saying that JKR will actually pull the plug on fan activity, but he’s saying that now, without question, she could. As could the countless other authors who’s work we enjoying creating fic and art based on.”

Actually, as I have posted elsewhere, the law already allows JKR and ANY Author the right to stop ANY publication of ANY kind, whether for profit or not, unless it complies with Fair Trade use. So a win by WB/JKR, without change to Fair Use, will change nothing and it will, as has always been the case, be at the discretion of any author what they will or will not allow. Nothing changes if Fair Use doesn’t change.

Now, whether fair use will change or not remains to be seen, but I believe that is really the crux of this case in terms of the potential judgement. See my last post for that issue.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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Well Done Leaky! It’s about time! XD

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@ Katey:

You need to realize people are not allowed to STEAL other people’s hard work.

You think JKs made enough money. Okay then, I think you’ve made quite enough money off of your day job. As a super-supportive and devoted fan of yours you can just start signing your paychecks over to me. After all, it’s only money right?

Just because someone can test drive a car from a dealership does not mean they can take that car without permission and say it now belongs to them. That’s theft, pure and simple, and it’s against the law!!!

Squee’s and lol;JKs got a high horse to go with her big boots. Is in love!

@ Very Concerned and redwwall_hp:

If you were so terribly concerned about fandom, then you’d realize that Rowling and WB haven’t in any way acted against fandom. However, should they lose this case, they WILL. They have already intimated that in the court filings.

It will not be just HP fandoms affected either but all fandoms, because other copyright owners will want to protect their vested interest in their intellectual properties. Why? Well, who would allow their intellectual properties to appear on a fan site if just by allowing it they’ve lost their copyrights to the material used? Answer: No one!

Stanford has clearly been motivated in an effort to loosen copyrights, it’s one of their precepts to their ‘Fair Use’ project.

TLC has made the right decision in dissolving the Floo Network, no matter how painful it has been.

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I’m sure that was a hard decision for y’all to make, but I agree with it one hundred percent. I support y’all the whole way!

“we do not think a win for J.K. Rowling means tighter controls on fan creativity at all, and are concerned for the opposite, as well as the attempt to misportray the issues of the case” ABSOLUTELY!

Thanks and good luck!

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@ Cara

“As for copyright laws, they exist for a reason. You’re entire argument is fallacy. We’re not talking about ‘if only the laws were different’. They are NOT different and you may not like it but that does not change the fact that this is how the law currently stands – which means that Steve should have conformed to the law. He didn’t. Others who’ve written HP fan books have managed to conform to the law. Why should Steve expect the law to be any different for him?”

Yes, as I’ve also said, the law is what it is and it is in that context that this case goes forward. However, there is always the possibility that this case (as I’ve said in other posts in this thread) may become the one that changes the law (essentially changes Fair Use, for I believe this is the crux of the case). If that hapens, then a new set of rules goes into effect and until such time as those are analyzed, understood, applied, and, ultimately, tested in the courts in some new case, the ramifications are not clear.

So, those who say “if only the law were different” are not wrong to think or say that, but that is an outcome that is possible. If the law, or its application, does not change as a result of this case, those who lament its current form will continue to do so, and have every right to do so. But the case is, as you say, being tried on the law as it exists.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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i agree with steve…..., but at the same time i dont agree with him.

(i use to be potterlover92. i changed my name)

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There is ’’no’’ reason a fan site for hp should or would be shut down, if this suit goes in Jo’s favor,such ’’scare ’’ tactics are absurd ! SVA is wrong in his attitude and i find it so very sad[ and down right sickening] he finds the aquirtion of monies more important than his,so called ,friendship towards Jo’s. His respect was apparently lost someplace for Jo’s, she trusted him and he used that trust against her.SVA true colours finally shown thru.

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Mom Weasley, I too am an “older” and sometimes rabid fan of HP and Leaky and I have to say that I am very impressed by the intelligent postings and opinions that I read here. The staff of the Leaky has put information out for us to digest and I find it very interesting reading other views on this matter. Bravo to the Leaky staff for providing the forum.

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LeakyStaff, your post made clear that you have been thinking this step through, and very much so. I always felt that your reporting on this case has been neutral, which I believe shows your professionality. Personally, I think that it was the right step to take, but it also became very clear how hard it was for you to come to this decision. It was a good move to show that not individuals have made this decision but that you, as a team, have made it. Kudos to all of you.

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@Tom

“Sad news tonight, Diane. It seems even many months after the final Harry Potter book was released, most of the fans are still refusing to get a life.”

You certainly have the right, as do all who make their positions known, to make whatever statement you care to. I only wonder what your statement means to you considering that you are following this and actually commenting yourself.

As far as I am concerned, being interested in the series, the author, this case, or any or all of the above is an indication that we have more than a life. If this were our ONLY raison d’etre, then I might have a slight concern. But as there is no evidence to that effect, I wouldn’t make that statement myself. Still, it is always your right.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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Well done, Leaky. Cheers.

And best of luck to Jo – we’re all behind you.

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Katey, a right is a right, and it doesn’t really make a difference how much money that person has. Jo created this world, she has every right to protect it. And a true fan would never try and infringe that right.

And for those saying that Jo just wants publicity, ummm..guys, Jo can’t even answer a small fan question, or a give an interview in an Edinburgh newspaper without it becoming international breaking news. People hound on her no matter what she does, it isn’t like she ASKS for it! I mean, after everything, I still can’t believe people think Jo wants more publicity!! It sounds ridiculous just saying it!!

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I could not disagree with you more Leaky People. I think you are sell outs. Steve’s site and his unwavering support of JKR are clear to me. I have always enjoyed his site and will continue to support it and further more I hope he wins the case against JKR.

Leaky I am ashamed of what hopeless suck ups you are.

You made the wrong decision. You should have stayed out of this period.

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Go Leaky! I ‘m glad you made this decision!

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@ Zebra

You know, it’s sad, but I imagine you saying that aloud in the voice of an annoying 6 year old (no offense to 6-year olds), stomping your feet, pouting your lips, and with glistening eyes on the verge of tears. If it wasn’t for the absurdity of the post it might even be funny.

@M.

Per usual, you are clearly correct. We all have lives. This is just a fun, interesting part of it. Why is “TOM” posting here. Doesn’t that just mean he became part of our lifeless crowd?

People stick to the point. Name calling and insults are not furthering the discussion.

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I think this is the right decision. People are allowed to disagree, of course, but those people who feel the need to insult TLC over this decision should grow up.

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@ Zebra

You know, it’s sad, but I imagine you saying that aloud in the voice of an annoying 6 year old (no offense to 6-year olds), stomping your feet, pouting your lips, and with glistening eyes on the verge of tears. If it wasn’t for the absurdity of the post it might even be funny.

@M.

Per usual, you are clearly correct. We all have lives. This is just a fun, interesting part of it. Why is “TOM” posting here. Doesn’t that just mean he became part of our lifeless crowd?

People stick to the point. Name calling and insults are not furthering the discussion.

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I want to give TLC a pat on the shoulder. You made the right decision. This entire lawsuit has made me uncomfortable as a fan. In fighting against JK Rowling’s wishes, I believe we are destroying more than what we are gaining. Getting the Lexicon published is not worth a fight with Rowling’s lawyers, in my opinion. I was content reading it online. I don’t want it in paperback or anything.

But yeah… I’m relieved and happy that TLC has severed all ties with the Lexicon. It felt a bit uncomfortable here for a while, but I’m glad that sanity has won the battle after all!

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Well said CartoonJessie!

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“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Good for you. I don’t know Steve, but from what I’ve heard he’s a really good, decent person, and has been wonderful for the fandom so far. In this, however, he’s dead wrong. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you guys to come to this decision, but it was the right one.

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Am sorry you’re having to go through this, but it sounds as though you have made a wise and thoughtful decision.

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This whole lawsuit is upsetting. It shouldnt even be a problem. The rights ultimately belong to JKR so they should just give it to her. THE END. I agree with Leaky ’s decision. and they were very proffesional about it so I applaud them.

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Leaky shouldn’t remain a partner with Steve if their ideas don’t align. Concerning the Reference Book that Steve wants to publish, Jo EXPLICITLY said ages ago that she planned to write her own reference book. If the author reserves a single privilege in handling the wrap-up of HER series, why would a true fan deny her that? Besides, Rowling’s motives for writing the book are simply for charity, not profit. Steve has, and plans to write other successful books—so why does he feel the need to fight this issue to gain more profit rather than serve the best interests of the ORIGINAL author and the series?

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You made the right decision, as painful as it was to make.

I’ve heard SVA a time or two on the Pottercast and always thought that he brought a lot of intelligence and understanding to the discussions. But. Copyright law is what it is. One cannot take the work of another person and repackage it as one’s own. This is what SVA is/was trying to do. He’s done something that any of us could have done ourselves, if we wanted to sit down with the books and do it. Trying to profit from this is like taking any other book under copyright, rearranging the chapters, and trying to call it one’s original work. It’s illegal.

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Morton, just wanted to say thank you for your sensible and patient postings in this and previous threads concerning RDR v WB. Please keep it going!

bud

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For a while, I thought that poor SVA was being taken for a ride by RDR: he was a pawn in RDR’s game to get rich… that he had a signed agreement with RDR and that was a train he couldn’t actually get off, and RDR was the ‘villian’ here.

The quotes attributed to SVA in the article paint quite a different picture.

I’m sorry to say that I was giving SVA the benefit of the doubt, but now there is no doubt that he has some wrong-headed notions of what ‘fair use” is, and has made a career on the back of JKR’s work, but maybe got a bit too “greedy” for his own good.

As such, I support the dissolution of Leaky’s association with HPL… Leaky has always been the classiest-act in HPFandom, and this is just another case in point.

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Steve is the one to blame here, Zebra, and not TLC, JKR, or WB. I support this decision by TLC and it couldn’t have been easy for them to do this, either.

Ask yourself:

If Steve had just kept his work when he said “But without her permission I won’t publish it in any form except online” would he be in this pickle now? NO!!

If Steve had just remembered what he told others “I get email every so often from fans asking me to publish the Lexicon in book form, so I’ve dealt with this question before. Basically, it is illegal to sell a book like 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 since we’re fans and supporters of Jo, we wouldn’t do anything that would violate her rights, even if we could get away with it.” would he be in this pickle now? NO!!

If Steve hadn’t attempted to use the Floo Network in a profit making scheme without the knowledge of Melissa [a Floo Network webmaster] 50% of net income that is derived from ordering the Lexicon book online via clicking site links in the Floo Netwook would Steve be in this pickle now? NO!!

If Steve had written a book that fell within the letter of the copyright law and was absolutely ‘fair use’ would Steve be in this pickle now? NO!!

Don’t kid yourself and don’t try to kid others. It’s all down to Steve. He’s the one who’s in the wrong here.

@ Morton: I appreciate what you have to say on the issue and I’ve no wish to butt heads with you but I think my post is quite coherent. As the law currently stands there is no reason to allow the infringing work to go forward and insert grave instability into the status of copyright law. Laws can and do change, but as they have not yet done so, it in no way excuses Steve’s actions to date.

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I’m proud of you Leaky, and sorry that you’ve had to make what must have been a very difficult decision. I stand by you. And if doing the right thing makes me or anyone on the Leaky staff a “sycophant”, then I, for one, will proudly wear that label.

(I’ve always gone by Kari in these comments before, but am now adding my middle name to distinguish between myself and the “Kari” who posted on page 4 of these comments, especially as she and I seem to have very different opinions on this issue. Not that anyone cares. I’m just sayin’.)

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@GadgetDon

“Good people sometimes do things that they shouldn’t. They rely on bad advice, they don’t see the whole picture, and there are times in everyone’s lives where we add one and one and one and come up with five. The way I’ve seen both SVA and JKR behave during the lawsuit does nothing to make me think badly of either of them. It’s rough on both of them, and the best part of when this is resolved is that it will be resolved. The worst part of this is that people feel a need to choose sides, to say “I like you so I can’t like you”.”

With all due respect, and if you have read any of my (yes, I know, SO numerous) posts, you will note that I have refraigned from saying one thing or another regarding Leaky’s collective decision, I do not see how that decison is demonstrative of anything resembling making a choice between liking JKR or SVA.

All I see is a statement concerning differences of opinion and philosophical direction leading Leaky to make a decision to sever ties (though not to hang the Lexicon out to dry – they are continuing to pay for the website venue for the time being, which in itself says something about fairness and integrity, it seems to me).

Nor do I see them trying to force anyone agree with them. I understand their position, as I understand opposing positions stated with logic and thought (such as yours and many many others) and I support the right to make them. I just don’t see in Leaky’s statement anything along the lines of liking one or the other.

That, to me, is immaterial in any case, since I make my own decisions, have my own opinions, and shall continue to do so, regardless of any one statement or another.

No diatribe here, just wondering if I’m missing something that perhaps you saw, or is it merely a difference in interpretation, which is certainly to be expected.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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Leaky, you did a brave a nobel thing. it takes a strong person (or in this case dedicated group of people) to do whay you have done. i support your efforts compleatly!!

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My sympathy goes out to Leaky and AccioQuote. I hope things go smoothly with this breaking apart of the network. Big hugs for everyone.

When your stance on something that important is misaligned, let alone that they are polar opposites, its time to call it quits.

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@GadgetDon

“Good people sometimes do things that they shouldn’t. They rely on bad advice, they don’t see the whole picture, and there are times in everyone’s lives where we add one and one and one and come up with five. The way I’ve seen both SVA and JKR behave during the lawsuit does nothing to make me think badly of either of them. It’s rough on both of them, and the best part of when this is resolved is that it will be resolved. The worst part of this is that people feel a need to choose sides, to say “I like you so I can’t like you”.”

With all due respect, and if you have read any of my (yes, I know, SO numerous) posts, you will note that I have refraigned from saying one thing or another regarding Leaky’s collective decision, I do not see how that decison is demonstrative of anything resembling making a choice between liking JKR or SVA.

All I see is a statement concerning differences of opinion and philosophical direction leading Leaky to make a decision to sever ties (though not to hang the Lexicon out to dry – they are continuing to pay for the website venue for the time being, which in itself says something about fairness and integrity, it seems to me).

Nor do I see them trying to force anyone agree with them. I understand their position, as I understand opposing positions stated with logic and thought (such as yours and many many others) and I support the right to make them. I just don’t see in Leaky’s statement anything along the lines of liking one or the other.

That, to me, is immaterial in any case, since I make my own decisions, have my own opinions, and shall continue to do so, regardless of any one statement or another.

No diatribe here, just wondering if I’m missing something that perhaps you saw, or is it merely a difference in interpretation, which is certainly to be expected.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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Cara well said!

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@GadgetDon

“Good people sometimes do things that they shouldn’t. They rely on bad advice, they don’t see the whole picture, and there are times in everyone’s lives where we add one and one and one and come up with five. The way I’ve seen both SVA and JKR behave during the lawsuit does nothing to make me think badly of either of them. It’s rough on both of them, and the best part of when this is resolved is that it will be resolved. The worst part of this is that people feel a need to choose sides, to say “I like you so I can’t like you”.”

With all due respect, and if you have read any of my (yes, I know, SO numerous) posts, you will note that I have refraigned from saying one thing or another regarding Leaky’s collective decision, I do not see how that decison is demonstrative of anything resembling making a choice between liking JKR or SVA.

All I see is a statement concerning differences of opinion and philosophical direction leading Leaky to make a decision to sever ties (though not to hang the Lexicon out to dry – they are continuing to pay for the website venue for the time being, which in itself says something about fairness and integrity, it seems to me).

Nor do I see them trying to force anyone agree with them. I understand their position, as I understand opposing positions stated with logic and thought (such as yours and many many others) and I support the right to make them. I just don’t see in Leaky’s statement anything along the lines of liking one or the other.

That, to me, is immaterial in any case, since I make my own decisions, have my own opinions, and shall continue to do so, regardless of any one statement or another.

No diatribe here, just wondering if I’m missing something that perhaps you saw, or is it merely a difference in interpretation, which is certainly to be expected.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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Morton, you continue to make excellent posts regarding precedent. I know I have become caught up in the “what COULD happen,” without knowing if the judge would even consider making this a monumental case in terms of fair use and the internet. I’ll be keeping that in mind from now on, but I do hope in the end, the result of this case will protect not just an author’s rights or fair use, but I hope it will protect fans as well.

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Apologies for the multiple postings. I don’t quite know how the same one gets posted 3 times, but I am sure you’ve all seen quite enough of my posts with just ONE occurence.

M.

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I am not saying that this is the right choice, and I am not saying that this is the wrong choice. But severing contact with the Lexicon so quickly was a bit ill advised. It would be best if the Lexicon were to drop the suit and return to the floo network. I am dissappointed.

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I think the most important thing here that a lot of fan sites don’t operate 100% within copyright law, but are ALLOWED to post copyrighted material at the pleasure of the copyright owners.

If the fan sites push into the revenue-generating areas of the big companies, they will have no choice but to clamp down hard on the fan sites.

These are the serious repercussions that SVAs case might cause: in order to protect ANY rights, the copyright holders have to protect ALL rights. If WB doesn’t complain about clips from films or screenshots etc. and other publications don’t complain about scanned articles on Leaky, it’s not because they don’t have the RIGHT, but because they are ALLOWING the sites to post the materials.

If in order to protect ALL rights, copyright holders must pursue ALL offences, then fandom REALLY shuts down.

SVA is pushing the copyright holders to take a lot stronger action because he’s looking to enrich himself rather than play within the fandom rules.

If fandom is going to be negatively impacted, it’s by the actions of SVA, not by those of the copyright holders who have NOT been lawsuit-happy.

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Very good Leaky im so proud! that was a tough decision to make. good job!

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diddnt mean to post it 2 times. o well good job leaky (again)

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Jo Rowling has put her foot down ONLY on encyclopedias that have drawn from her fiction. In that regard, she’s 100% against it, and no one - least of all Steve - should be surprised.

Jo has allowed considerable latitude - more than many other authors - so that fans can use her work as an inspiration for their own original creations.

It does not strike me as unreasonable that Jo would not want people to write fictional encyclopedias about the Harry Potter world. But it does strike me as unreasonable that Steve sees this as a “you’re either with me or against me” and portray it as a Harry vs. Voldemort battle, which it’s clearly not.

Jo wins this one hands down.

Steve is free to write other books about Rowling and Harry Potter, and he’s exercising that right. Those books will sell, or not sell, on their merits (or demerits), and in the end, that’s what all of this is about.

Go Jo!

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I can’t imagine the difficulty the staff of the Lexicon and you especially, Melissa, faced in deciding to do this. I applaud the respectful and graceful manner in which you have conducted handling this case and your indirect involvement in it. We all support you. You have coped with this situation with the professionalism one would just wish to see from the two parties involved in the trial.

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I was wondering when this would happen. I fully support you Leaky for this decision. I want to thank you again for your coverage of the case and eagerly await further coverage once the trial begins.

I have to say that when I first heard of the lawsuit, I didn’t pay much attention. Once I did, though, I realized what a blow to the fandom it would be if RDR won. Steve seems to be under the impression that his book is the same as the fanfiction and fanart and commentary in the rest of the fandom. He refuses, it seems, to realize that his book is no more than a well organized plagirism. It doesn’t fall under fair use and RDR handled WB/JKR’s request before the suit in a very unprofessional manner. If the book is published, this is one fan who won’t even pick it up in the store to flip through it, let alone buy it. The same goes for any other books he may publish, which is a shame as I always enjoyed his commentary on PC. I refuse to reward his bad behavior, however.

I even have a little inkling that perhaps the whole Lexicon book controversy is just a ruse to give him publicity in an effort to assure this other book’s sales. Though, I highly doubt WB will be so willing to allow Steve to publish anything to do with HP after this fiasco.

Steve needs to grow up and accept that he has made a grave error and that he, not Jo, has been badly advised. To me he has reduced Jo’s role in this to poorly advised client instead of an active plaintive. From the few public remarks she has made about the case it is quite evident that she believes strongly that the Lexicon book should not be published and she has her reasons. Everything Steve has said reeks of insincerity and ill-advisement. As much as we all like to think of Jo as a our friend, she’s not. At least not in the way Steve applies his “friends disagree and still be friends” analogy. I doubt Jo wants to be friends with someone who rips off her hard work so blatantly and arrogantly.

So again, Leaky, I fully support your decision to distance yourself from someone whose opinion so greatly contrasts your own.

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Oh this is definitely sad pandas…but it had to happen. My heart goes out to you guys at Leaky!

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First of all.. after reviewing the postings (having finally gotten to the last page of them) I note that I posted one of them not 3 times, but FIVE .. double apologies!

Second, thanks to those who have made such kind remarks about my postings.. it just shows you that you CAN fool some of the people ALL of the time!! (Tonugue in cheek, folks, really a thank you. I am in this to try and make things clear, so any praise is unwarranted, but thanks!)

Third, Cara, we weren’t butting heads at all. I agreed with you entirely. The case is based on the law as it stands. What I went on to say, however, is that if the judge decides that the rules of Fair Use were incorrect, he could exonerate RDR and in so doing change the law.

So, THAT is what is ultimately at stake here, I believe. It comes down to whether the judge believes that Fair Use as it stands is applicable, in which case his decision would likely be in favour of WB/JKR.

Or, he agrees with those who feel the law is wrong (those, for example, who say why isn’t the law different) and wants to change Fair Use because he thinks it actually unfairly restricts those who wish to do what SVA/RDR are trying to do. Then, in all likelihood, the judge will rule in favour of SVA/RDR.

That decision will likely change the way Fair Use is interpreted or aplied, or it will seem so to others who may wish to callenge it as well. And if THAT happens, then it is more likely that Authors and copyright owners (besides the Star Wars and Star Trek and Ann Rice situations) will begin to excercise their already existing rights to limit what fansites and fanfiction, and so on, are allowed to do, as a means of protecting their exclusive copyright.

I don’t say (can’t say) which approach to Fair Use is correct. I just expect that is what the case will hinge on, and the outcome is still anybody’s guess.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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i whole-heartedly support leaky’s decision. they’re totally right when they say it would be disingenuious to remain partners with the lexicon. you have to stand up for what you believe in, and I admire that leaky made this difficult decision because it must cause a lot of complication and confusion for them.

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SVA needs to issue a prompt “mea culpa” and withdraw publication of the Lexicon book.

The impression I have of him now is totally not positive: no matter how much money he makes should the Lexicon book be published, that’ll be all he has. I don’t see this as a little-guy / big-guy battle: Jo may be a master manipulator, but I still see HER as a ‘little-guy” who made it big. SHE isn’t Warner Brothers. SHE isn’t Bloomsbury. SHE is the PRINCIPAL ACTOR against SVA’s publication of this book. It’s not like WB and Bloomsbury are suing and she’s saying “no, don’t”... SHE’S the one saying she things this is a violation, and SHE is actively making statements against publication of the Lexicon.

So, you can spin it any way you like: rich vs. poor, big guy vs little guy, but my take is it’s Jo Rowling’s intellectual property rights vs. Steve van der Ark’s desire to get rich.

I believe the law is squarely on Jo’s side, but more importantly, I also believe she’s got the moral high-ground. Sorry, Steve… but I won’t be attending any of your speaking engagements… SVA on the bill of a conference is actually a reason for me NOT to attend at this point.

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I really do not get how SVA thinks a ruling in favour of JK will hurt the fans and fan activity…The only people who would be “hurt” by that ruling would be people trying to publish and make money with their fanwork. And I’ve got news for you, SVA, 99.9% of the fanbase would never want or try to publish what we make and do.

As for concerns that the ruling would lead to lawsuits against fansites etc.. I think the opposite is true. A ruling in favour of JKR would just establish that there is a CLEAR DIFFERENCE between free websites and published books, giving a buffer zone for those websites.

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My heart goes out to everyone at leaky, and I am sorry it had to come to this. However, that being said …you have my full support and understanding.

On a related note, John and Frak can hold down the manliness for pottercast….they are the greatest anyway.

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I haven’t read all comments but I have to agree that this is the right choice by Leaky Stuff!Go Leaky!

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I guess I’m in the “what took you so long” camp. In reading the new interview, I’m hard pressed to see anything that hadn’t already been stated previously. Was the “last straw” that bit about him writing more books? Don’t know what they would be, but as long as it fell under fair use I can’t see why that’d be a reason to cut ties now. I thought awhile back he was considering offering guided tours to Potter locations, so maybe a guidebook? That would seem to fall under fair use, IMO.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m completely on JKR/WB’s side re: the published Lexicon. And personally as soon as I found out about the Floo Network kickbacks I’d have dropped Steve like a hot rock. My question is why the wait at all?

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Look at what Steve has done to this fandom.

So sad.

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Averyfan, I think the “last straw” was SVA’s comment about how a ruling in favour of JKR would “hurt the fanbase.” Before this perhaps they hoped that SVA at least had a similar view of the fanbase, who both Leaky and the Lexicon serve, but now that they know he does not their differences are too great. SVA is really out of touch and kind of insulting to the fans, telling us we should be hoping for a ruling in his favour.

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I’m so saddened by this whole thing. I really WANT to give Steve the benefit of the doubt, but every time he speaks publicly about this issue, I become more and more dismayed by what he says.

Kudos to Leaky for being objective up to this point, and I respect you for making what must have been a very difficult decision. For what it’s worth, I think you’ve done the right thing.

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Although I understand what Leaky did – I don’t think everyone really understands Steve’s comments. I didn’t read it as that he was saying Jo specifically would shut down sites, etc. but that it would open the door for other authors to do exactly that. There have been other books that have done basically what Steve is doing – who hasn’t read a “Cliff’s Notes” book in their lifetime. I love HP & Jo’s writings, but I support and love the Lexicon – it filled in so many questions I had – and I would buy a hard copy of it when it gets published. It is a great tool to understanding some of the sublties of HP – some of us don’t have internet readily available to us 24/7 and actually pick up books, magazines, and news papers to read. I feel the Lexicon book would be a great addition to go along with the HP books.

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Good on ya, Leaky. I’m glad you all have been concerned from the beginning, as many of us were. You did the right thing.

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Well done and a tip of the hat to your courage. It has put a warm glow in this old man’s heart. Bless you all for your decision and your willingness to make a stand. Also, thank you for “The Leaky Cauldron” website. A task well done.

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Kimerbly, exactly! Who needs Steve when we have FRAK!

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When is the 1st of April?

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I’m behind this decision. Steve needs to get off his high-horse :(

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I am only on page 5 of the comments, so forgive me if I repeat something that was said by another.

I would like to add my support to the staff of Leaky during this very hard time. I am equating this to an old saying of my fathers, “if you wish to ruin a friendship, become roommates.” I still respect Steve’s mind and what he accomplished through the creation of the Lexicon – HOWEVER, when two parties disagree strongly about such a vital issue, they can no longer be partners. Would you go into business with a person who was unable to stick to a schedule or manage money just because they were a friend? Probably not. I just hope that this is resolved in such a way that Steve can continue to give to the fandom as he has done in the past. Unfortunately, as that would require him to admit that he wasn’t as right as he thought he was, I doubt that we will see it unless RDR loses on all their points. All in all, I admire Leaky all the more now that they have chosen the ‘right’ path over the ‘easy’ one.

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I know this is several pages after this comment was made, but I just read it.

I am so sick of being called a sycophant just because I agree with Jo! I’ve been called it because I disagreed with someone’s opinion on the way Jo reveald DD being gay and now here. How can I be a sycophant to Jo when she probably doesn’t even know I exist? We have basically been called Wormtail to Jo’s James and Sirius or Voldemort. Sorry, but I’m not getting a silver hand out this deal. I simply prefer to agree with Jo, who has given more leeway to her fans than most authors. I think that a win for RDR will definitely make current and future creators stifle fan creativity. They already have the right to, but RDR winning would force authors and other creators to not be so easy on websites and fanfiction and art and anything else that could later haunt them in a situation like Jo is facing with the Lexicon book. So, for the sake of the fandom, I hope Jo wins.

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sorry to see so many people disagree with this decision. We’re not “suck-ups” because we side with Jo’s case. If this were your “baby” as it is Jo’s- you wouldn’t want someone else to take it and run—its easy to write “she has enough money”. But if you consider yourself a true JKR fan, you know that her generosity is overwhelming and has saved lives. You know that she is not a sell-out or a greedy control freak… but someone who is seeing their dreams come to life, who worked hard to provide for her family. Call me a suck-up if you must, but she’s made me start writing again. And writing something of my OWN. Not ripping off another person’s life work. HP is her world. She should have complete say in its destiny. Goodbye The end. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

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thanks mollywobble, I’m glad you agree. I hope Frak sees his love from both of us.

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Yes, it is interesting that those of us who agree with Jo are “sycophants”, but those who agree with RDR/SVA are not. Oh no, they’re not sycophants when it comes SVA or the Lexicon! They’re just RIGHT!

Ah, the sweet smell of double standards…

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@mollywobbles23

While reading all the posts here there seems to be a theme that many of those who agree with SVA/RDR reduce themselves to casting insults and name calling. A shame really. But for those types of remarks the messages on this topic have been well thought out and interesting. We are all entitled to our own views…..and let’s face it…..this forum is likely the largest amount of publicity SVA and RDR will ever get.

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Can someone plz explain to me what exactly leaky did cuz im kind of comfused and ive read the article like a billion times but im still confused

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Tracy

Under current copyright law, JK and others are perfectly entitled to shut down any and all sites that infringe their copyrighted works. Instead of doing this, copyright holders “tolerate” this behavior and allow fan sites incredible latitude when discussing their works – so long as the fan site is non-commercial. Meaning earning no money from the sale of “copyrighted” works. This is different from simply selling “ad space”, as it is “space” on the site that is sold and not the “copyrighted contents”.

Steve’s statement indicates that he believes a win for JK/WB would be detrimental to fan sites by giving them more rights than they currently have and having them shut down sites willy-nilly. This is incorrect. A ruling on their behalf simply reiterates the rights that they already have, called “exclusive rights” under the copyright statute.

If, however, RDR wins – then fandoms are truly in trouble. No one will allow any of their works to be used if by allowing them to be included for discussion on fan sites causes them to lose their ownership of the copyrighted material. It will not simply affect Harry Potter fans, but fandoms of every sort. No one wants to lose what they’ve worked so hard to create and they will move to prevent that loss IF it comes to that. Let’s hope it does not.

You mention Cliff Notes. They, and Spark Notes too, use copyrighted materials. As I mentioned previously, a “trivial amount” of copyrighted works may be used for the purposes of commentary, review, critic, scholarship. That “trivial amount” must be supplemented with a large amount of “original” commentary/content. SparkNotes generally seek the copyright holder’s permission before they publish, include large disclaimers, and cautions against copying anything from the book which could be infringing.

To give you an idea, SparkNotes generally employ between 20-35% of copyrighted content and supplement that with 65-80% of original analysis.

The Lexicon book, on the other hand, contains 84% copyrighted materials belonging to Rowling and supplements that with 16% original {and dull} content belonging to who knows how many people…I say this because the number keeps changing. First it was 20, then it was 12, now supposedly it is 4 who’ve co-written the Lexicon book.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but to me 84% is not a “trivial amount”. 84% is an enormous amount of copyright infringement on Steve’s part and this book is not even for ‘scholarship’. Now, throw in Steve’s continued comments and the knowledge that he intended to profit off of the Floo Network without disclosing that information to other Floo Network webmasters.

I support this decision by TLC. They’ve tried to stay out of it. They’ve information that could be even more damaging to Steve’s credibility, yet they’ve refused to display it. They’ve kept the peace on the boards when I or others have crossed the line without favoring sides. They’ve only given the ‘facts’ when telling us what is going on in the court proceedings. Those reports are in no way considered as ‘investigative’ journalism, there’d be more meat and teeth if it were. They’ve promised to continue reporting the ‘facts’ while remaining neutral on the issue. TLC owns the domain name and pay for the cost of hosting the HP-Lexicon site and are continueing to do so without requesting remuneration from Steve, even after learning of the for-profit scheme with the Floo Network.

I’m sorry, but how much is this fandom, TLC, or others supposed to take? Honestly! How much?

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I love Harry Potter. All his books and his movies. I think J. R. Rowling is a genius . But I do not hink she likes her fans. I get the impression that she looks at all of us as the great unwashed. It was her coyness and her attitude towards questions about her books that always made me feel as if she were laughing at us. Who know? Who cares? As I said her books are genius and I will keep reading then forever.

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Once again, proof positive that I am a devotee of the best, hardest working and most truthfully grounded HP fan site. Thank you to you all at Leaky Cauldron for being worthy of my admiration.

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Wearing my Leaky Cauldron shirt with pride.

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I’ve read all 12 pages of comments and agree that Leaky’s entire staff had a hard decision to make. I’m sure there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than we’ll ever know. Having made their decision, I respect it. I know it was not done lightly. I will continue to look for news, crafts and podcasts on Leaky and continue to use the “free” online version of the Lexicon for reference. I’m so glad the case is not going to a jury. After just getting off jury duty, armed robbery, I can’t imagine being on a jury trying to make heads or tails of copyright law. Five days of witnesses, ballistics, DNA and forensics was exhausting enough. I await the decision with interest and hope it is definitive and doesn’t go on and on with appeal after appeal.

That being said, when Melissa’s book comes out, I hope there will be a post to tell me how to buy it so that Melissa and Leaky get the most use of my $$. That’s one book I plan to buy, along with the “Scottish Book” of course.

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If RDR books wins, Jo Rowling and WB will be forced to tighten their copyrights against published books and even fanfiction to prevent something like this happening again. I simply cannot understand the logic of Steve’s comments, and this was the perfect time to severe ties now that his opinion has been made clear. Thank you, Leaky, for preserving the reputation of the fandom, despite the lexicon’s damage. I sincerely hope Jo hears about this – I would hate to think that Leaky supported Steve’s actions.

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A victory for RDR Books will protect the rights of fans to create based on someone else’s work. If RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc. So a win for RDR Books is definitely in the best interest of fans who create websites, write fanfiction, make wands, compose wizard rock, and so on. I am surprised how many fans have missed this point. Their freedom to create is on the line here.

I don´t agree with that either, but it shows Steve´s good character that he doesn´t start a Jo bashing. She herself was not that friendly in her interviews.

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@mollywobbles23

While reading all the posts here there seems to be a theme that many of those who agree with SVA/RDR reduce themselves to casting insults and name calling. A shame really. But for those types of remarks the messages on this topic have been well thought out and interesting. We are all entitled to our own views…..and let’s face it…..this forum is likely the largest amount of publicity SVA and RDR will ever get.

Posted by Cathy on March 24, 2008 @ 03:43 PM

Very true about the most publicity this case will ever get. This is actually the only site that I have found that is even close to being neutral. This separation with the Floo Network is as biased as Leaky has shown itself and it took them a long time to come to that decision. And I guarantee that’s the last we’ll hear of it until the case is over. Notice that none of the high profile staffers have commented at all here, though I guarantee they are keeping an eye on what people are saying.

@ secunda

I think you have missed the point. If WB/JKR wins, they will simply be exercising the rights they already have. RDR has not followed the fair use guidelines at all in this. If RDR/SVA wins, then WB/JKR and all other copyright holders with active fandoms currently and in the future will be forced to block websites, fanfiction, etc… in order to prevent having a ruling like this. It would set a precedent that just because an author/creator allows websites and fanfiction to be published online, that they lose the right to block any and all copyright infringements, even if they’re for profit. Fair use means no more than 10% of material used is copyrighted. However, 84% of the proposed book is copyrighted material. If Steve had decided to publish the numerous essays on the Lexicon as opposed to the entries, that would fall under fair use.

Steve has quite frankly acted like petulant two year old who doesn’t get their way. Shortly after Jo refused his invitation to help her write the Scottish Book, he turns around and does this. He thinks he is better than other fans. There have been plenty of supplemental books about HP, but they all followed the law. That’s all RDR/SVA had to do. They refused to show WB a manuscript until they were ordered to by a court. They are the ones who have broken the law and they are the ones who have put not only the HP fandom, but all other fandoms in jeopardy. I don’t know about you, but I belong to several other fandoms (LOST, Buffy, SFU…). I don’t want my rights as a fan stepped on and I speak as a fanfiction writer and fanvideo maker. My own creative outlet is in jeopardy here and I’m on Jo’s side who has been nothing but accomodating to her fans. Steve ceased to be a fan when he went back on his own word by doing what he is doing. He instead became a parasite, determined to suck all the profit he can out of Jo’s creation.

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I just hope this doesn’t give the WB a precedent to shut down all the fansites, including Leaky. Would Leaky shut down immediately and without a protest?

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I appreciate your well thought out post, Melissa, but if that’s the stance Steve is going to go on record with I feel so very tempted to say, “Good riddance to bad trash.” I’m sorry it had to end up this way for you all—it’s unfortunate and I only wish the best for you and the rest of the staff here.

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Oh, and I’m also totally unconcerned with how this MAY POTENTIALLY POSSIBLY MAYBE NOT CERTAIN (please make note of all these words) reflect upon the fandom because nothing is known for sure and it’s foolish to get all up in arms over mere possibilities. Only start raising hell when it’s set into stone, people.

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i wish sva wouldn’t insult us by imagining that we’re so stupid as to fall for his line, ‘I am surprised how many fans have missed this point. Their freedom to create is on the line here.’ that offends me: steve, don’t lump anyone else into this, and don’t act as if you’re doing this ‘for the fans’ sake’... come on. we’re not stupid.

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GO Leaky!!! Wow. My hat’s off for you, Leaky staff. It’s the RIGHT decision! Don’t let SVA uses you or drags you into his mess. Thank you Melissa. You and your staff are great!

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This makes me very sad, but I think it’s the right thing to do. This must have been an extremely difficult decision to make. I’m just upset that there will never be another canon conundrums with Steve again :(

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Very well said. You continue to act with the upmost integrity I have come to expect from this site. Kudos to you all for making this decision.

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This is one of the sadest days for the Harry Potter fandom. I whole heartily agree with Mellisa and staff. I am one of Steve VanderArks biggest fans on Pottercast and the Lexicon, he’s so intelligent, a true Ravenclaw if there ever was one, but to battle it out with the author who gave us this amazing series…...personally, I think is a bit crazy. Why did he want to write an encyclopedia if he was well aware, as the rest of us were, that JKR was already in the process of doing? I dont know, it’s just sad. I’m fully behing Leaky and their decission!

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Good job, Leaky. It’s important to support Jo in this, and even if this wasn’t your primary reason for cutting ties, it is a show of good faith to her that you do not agree with his statements.

And for those calling you sycophants, I’m totally behind ya. I would much rather have Leaky in JKR’s good graces and open to being on more pottercasts than SVA.

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I have to dissent here.

One of the keys issues here is whether the author of original material controls who can create reference material based on the work in question. The traditional assumption is “no” since that would greatly limit scholarship. If Rowling wins her case it would lead to an increase in authorial control.

People may trust JK Rowling not to exploit such power if granted to her, but the same could not be said for other writers.

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“I am surprised how many fans have missed this point. Their freedom to create is on the line here.”

Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

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@Jeff

It’s so easy to say what Leaky “should have” done, when you’re not directly involved in the decision-making and don’t really know all of the details that went into it.

They had to do what was right for them – when it was right for them.

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It looks like the comment I was responding to is no longer up… ah, well.

There was a “Worst Witch” forum I would sometimes go read. I noticed it has been taken down due to “copyright” violations. It wasn’t even a big fansite like Leaky – it was just a small board to discuss WW and people would sometimes post photos from the show. That’s it. I wonder if the WB/JKR – RDR/SVA case has anything to do with the site getting shut down.

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@ Peter S.

Actually, that’s not at issue at all. WB/JKR have exclusive rights when it comes to the HP franchise. They get the last say on what can be published about Harry Potter and what cannot. RDR/SVA have failed to follow the fair use stipulations that hundreds of other authors of supplemental HP books have managed to follow. That is what is at issue here, not whether or not WB and Jo have the right to do what they have done. They already have that right. If that was in question, it would not have made it as far in the courts as it has.

@Jeff

No, Steve would be the one who has pulled a Percy by suggesting somehow that he is the only one who is right and Jo and the vast majority of the fandom are somehow wrong. Sorry, I’m not going to his pity party. He knew very well what he was getting himself into. Just look at statements he has made in the past about how to publish a Lexicon book would be illegal and bad form. Some time between then and now he got an enormous ego and thinks himself above the rest of the fandom. He does not speak for me.

Also, I think Leaky, who has been incredibly neutral up until now about this has every right to separate themselves from association with the Lexicon when they obviously don’t view the fandom or this case the same way. Also, with Steve’s contract stipulation that he would gain 50% of the profit gained from any sales of the book resulting from someone clicking on a link from anywhere on the Floo Network without consulting any other webmasters in the Floo Network about it first, Leaky has every right to cut ties. Leaky didn’t even find out about that stipulation until they read the court documents. Steve didn’t even tell them first. So, no, he is the one who has ousted himself from the fandom by thinking he can dictate not only its actions, but it’s thoughts as well. I wouldn’t even call Steve a Percy, because I for one would not welcome him back with open arms as easily as the Weasleys welcomed Percy back.

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As sad as this is, I’m a bit relieved, actually. I was expecting much worse. Thank God for Leaky. You guys are the best. It’s a good thing you didn’t allow yourselves to be dragged down with Steve. I like it when he said: “A victory for RDR Books will protect the rights of fans to create based on someone else’s work. If RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc. So a win for RDR Books is definitely in the best interest of fans…” ‘Scuse me? It’s exactly the opposite way around! If RDR WINS, copyright holders will demand and be given more control over fan activity to prevent another fiasco. Therefore I’m glad Leaky feels that ”...Steve’s thoughts on this matter and ours differ so greatly as to be polar opposites; we do not think a win for J.K. Rowling means tighter controls on fan creativity at all, and are concerned for the opposite…” Yes! Thank you! Good job guys. Good decision.

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Definitely a hard decision to reach, but I support you guys whole heartedly. It’s absolutely the right thing to do. Rock on Leakynews.com … and good luck to J.K. Rowling.

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To echo others, I applaud TLC on their behaviour throughout this whole ordeal =)

Also, I don’t think it’s fair that TLC should have pulled out from the Floo Network, the Lexicon should have been kicked out of it!

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I dont think Jo would want copyright holders to shut down sites and stop Wizard rock and stuff. I think she would want us to be creative and let us do all the things we do that make the fandom AH-MAZ-ING!!!!!!

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Wow! Thats saddening and intense. Im sure it took alot out of you guys to make that descision. I feel like everything will be back to normal in the coming weeks, though.

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While Leaky has probably made the right decision for its staff, I do believe that if RDR loses this case there will be a huge impact on intellectual property rights here in the US, possibly in other countries as well.

Ms. Rowling may not be the one to take advantage of the precedent, but there will be others who will. In that sense this isn’t just about HP and JKR, This could very well affect fanfic, fan websites, etc much further, and more radically, than is at first apparent. There are several authors, Ms. Rowling included, who once upon a time viewed fan websites and fanfic as trespasses upon their intellectural property rights. JKR did eventually relent and has for the most part had a reasonable relationship with her fans, but that does not mean that the pendulum could not swing back in the other direction again.

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Poor Leaky staff! It must have been very tough but you’ve made the right choice.

To anyone interested in purchasing this book if it does come out… I just wanted people to remember that this is a publishing company that sends PR lackies to fansites to bash its operators and participants in their trial. Geez RDR, you publish books yet you can’t get your hands on a thesaurus to change up your argument a little? I’m no detective and even I put it together.

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What happened here is obvious. JK gave an exclusive interview to the leaky cauldron (a site affilated to the lexicon) in a podcast which used to feature Steve in order to get support on the lawsuit. Leaky was the lexicon’s main ally in fandom and it’s very sad that at the first problem, you decide you can do without the floo network. And for the people thinking that Jk would be touched by this, she(or her managers/advisers/whoever) orchestred the whole thing. The exclusive interview was a bribe, not clearly stated .putting one of the most popular fansites against the book that is supposedly for fans is a clever move. She already made mugglenet afraid to make any kind of comment for fear of legal action against their book Steve’s man even though he is going through a bad time

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“You mention Cliff Notes. They, and Spark Notes too, use copyrighted materials. As I mentioned previously, a “trivial amount” of copyrighted works may be used for the purposes of commentary, review, critic, scholarship. That “trivial amount” must be supplemented with a large amount of “original” commentary/content. SparkNotes generally seek the copyright holder’s permission before they publish, include large disclaimers, and cautions against copying anything from the book which could be infringing.

To give you an idea, SparkNotes generally employ between 20-35% of copyrighted content and supplement that with 65-80% of original analysis.”

Just as a matter of record, the number used for Spark’s Notes (and the presumably similar number for Cole’s) may, in fact, be higher than reality (and therefore even further examp[les of the disparity between 84% and maybe even less that 15-20%). The reason I say the numbers may be high is because I don’t think account will have been taken of the great volume of original material commented on or precised by these two Notes publications that is, in fact, either already in the public domain, or already has copyright permission granted.

And yet, having said that, and while Anonymoose and I have said almost exactly the same thing regarding the possible effect on fansites and fandom in general, I still think we need to recognize that a lot of what may happen will depend on whether the judge thinks “Fair Use” is actually unfair restriction as it currently stands, or not.

If he does, we could see changes in the description and application of Fair Use, which could very well have the effect of damping fandom, fansites and fanfiction rather substantially.

If he is NOT convinced that it is unfair, then there will simply be the status quo – under the law as it now stands, ALL authors have the exclusive right to control their copyrighted material and it is their choice as to how to enforce it.

However, a word of caution. There is such a thing as precedent. If An author allows some activity that they could actually disallow under the law, the real question that the defendant might want to ask is, why now? What is it that makes you choose now to try and supress something that you didn’t before? In the absence of a statement by the author that he or she is allowing, at his/her discreton, some things but will not allow others, a judge may ask “why now” as well. And unless the judge is given a convincing answer, who knows how he may rule.

Now, to be sure, I suspect there may be many convincing answers, such as the financial one, or the “I explicitly said I was going to do this”, or many others. So, I still think the real issue is the Fair Use doctrine and whether the judge beieves it is, indeed fair. As always, I have my own opinion, but as always, I offer you this information to assist you in reaching YOUR own opinion.

And as always, I NEVER claim to be right- I am only providing you MY humble opinion!

M.

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i’ve been wondering about what was going to happen with the Floo Network for a while. it’s not like you can be partners and have polar opposite views. (at least in this case). i support you 100% leaky.

it was sad, but the right choice.

hugs to all.

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RDR Books is not a real publisher. they are a vanity press.

when it was revealed that steve was to get 50% from the sale of his book, it became clear this was not a true publishing house.

it should be noted that typically, in REAL publishing houses, the author only gets 2-4% form the sale of each book. sometimes, they get more. however, it may seem like small change, but often, it nets a writer 1-3 dollors a book. agents tend to take 10% of that for their royalties to offset the cost of representing the writer, and the most of what is left goes to paying for the cost of producing the book. the rest after that goes to the publisher as profit. this is international industry standerd.

RDR Books clearly exist outside the standerd. they likely dont print the books until they get a order, and given the massively poor quality of the books they do publish at the moment, clearly they arent quality books.

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Hey Kelpie, read the post. It wasn’t that they “decided suddenly they can do without” the floo network… He forced their hand by bringing them up time and time again. Leaky’s following what they believe in. And JK never used the podcast to gain favour… SVA used that same episode in his court documents so who’s orchestrating what? He also lied about who pays for what around here. He needs to keep the yap closed. And mugglenet’s book came before book 7, filled with guesses. Completely different thing. They are reporting on it too just not making personal comments so maybe you should read up a bit more.

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Bravi to all of you. I think you made the right decision. I’m appalled by that interview I just read.

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@ mollywobbles23

“Actually, that’s not at issue at all. WB/JKR have exclusive rights when it comes to the HP franchise. They get the last say on what can be published about Harry Potter and what cannot. RDR/SVA have failed to follow the fair use stipulations that hundreds of other authors of supplemental HP books have managed to follow. That is what is at issue here, not whether or not WB and Jo have the right to do what they have done. They already have that right. If that was in question, it would not have made it as far in the courts as it has.”

You are correct, to a point. The law as it currently stands is exactly as you say, and there can be no contradicting that – it is as written. However, the “Fair Use” doctrine allows the use of some copyrighted materials, in limited quantity and for specificalyy circumscribed purposes, without permission and therefore outside of the control of the author.

So we need to keep this in mind when looking at the law and how it might be applied. And this, then, speaks to what I have insisted on saying is the real question in this case – is Fair Use in fact fair? And again, if the judge thinks so, nothing changes with respect to fansites, the law or anything. Any fansite could ALWAYS be shut down if an author wished it – or at least those parts that were clearly infringements.

It may be, perhaps, that if the Lexicon part of Lexicon were diallowed online (as might have been proper under the law because it apparently does not qualify under “Fair Use”) but the rest of the site were left as is (the rest being similar to Leaky, Mugglenet and others where there is more commentary and reporting than a rehash) this whole case would never have happened.

Or, as I have also previously said, if there had been the simple expedient of asking for permission, which could have led to some negotiations, which in turn might have culminated in some mutually acceptable agreement, this whole case would not have happened.

Or maybe the case was destined to happen sometime to ellucidate and solidify “Fair Use”, and if it hadn’t been this one, it might have been some other author.

Well, the case happened, the issues are as we have discussed, the judge will decide and the world will move on, and so will all of us. Because contrary to a statement made in a much earlier post, we all have lives, and therefore this will not be the end of them, will it, whichever way it goes.

So, long live the discussion and long live the freedom to discuss, and we’ll all be fine, regardless!!

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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I wonder if another fan is going to come out and make another website exactly like the lexicon for the people who don’t want to go to Steve’s anymore. In any case, I agree with Leaky and not with Steve, but the Lexicon is way too cool to stop going.

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this case has been a quadmire. honestly, if jk rowling has to start shutting down fansites for infringing her rights to prevent this from happening, thats not really such a bad thing. i hate how steve is abusing fans, attacking their intelligence which clearly far outstrips his, and defaming the author who gave us everything he is claiming owernship of after spending years saying it would be illegal and against the law to publish the lexicon.

Steve… grow up. its lame when the 10 year olds in fansites understand the law better then you do.

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Apparently Rowling has been asked to appear as witness in the upcoming trial. From this report:

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i5fLBAXpgAKGz7Dxov0JK7f9GiLg

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my respect for Leaky never ceases. there are so many people here that say you should have jumped ship from the beginning but instead you’ve stood back and taken the appropriate amount of time to properly look over and get all viewpoints before making any sort of decision. i for one, do not take JKR’s word in any situation as gospel, so i’m glad you didn’t sever ties at the first sign of trouble… that would’ve sat more ill than anything going on, for many of us fans.

as someone who’s been involved in a few fandoms with varying degrees in author leniency. the very fact that this case exist, regardless of outcome, does not bode well for fandoms. the internest is still very much a rocky place for fandom culture, i think a lot of people don’t realise how carfully we have to tred in other fandoms, this whole ordeal isn’t going to make anyone less weary when it comes to fansite.

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Kim,

Here are urls for the HP wiki’s, which are much better than the (hopefully soon) lexi-gone:

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

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I think you’ve made the right decision, Leaky Staff. It’s been clear all along that JKR has only criticised the publication of The Lexicon, not any other work which adds value, like wizard rock or fan-ficks.

Even if the court decision goes in favour of The Lexicon, I for one won’t be buying it.

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I’ve decided to make the comment that has nothing to do with Politics, or who’s right and who’s wrong.

So, when is Jon (or some other Leaky Staffer) redesigning the page now that the Floo Network is going away?

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Good point Ian… I guess we can all take our sides when and if it gets published. Buy it and you’re on team Lexigone (good one MD). Don’t buy it- you’re supporting Jo and her right to control the destiny of her life’s work.

WE NEED T-SHIRTS!!!! lol. TEAM LEAKY!!!!

Sorry Leaky & Melissa, I don’t mean to make light of this decision, I know it was difficult.

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That must have been a very hard decision you’ve all made, and I sensed it gradually coming from the beginning of all this litigation. I want you all to know what a good job you’re doing here, and we appreciate your un-biased coverage of the issue.

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@ Morton

“You are correct, to a point. The law as it currently stands is exactly as you say, and there can be no contradicting that – it is as written. However, the “Fair Use” doctrine allows the use of some copyrighted materials, in limited quantity and for specificalyy circumscribed purposes, without permission and therefore outside of the control of the author.”

The operative word being “some.” The Lexicon book is made up of mostly copyrighted material and gives no real commentary on it. It violates fair use. That coupled with RDR’s refusal to cooperate with WB unless ordered to by a court, led to the lawsuit. It’s up to the judge now, who knows a heck of a lot more about law than any of us here.

Fair use is very fair. Intellectual property has every right to be protected just like tactile property. I’ve often thought about writing my own commentary/literary criticism of the HP series and I would fully expect to have to work within the boundaries of fair use. Steve did too, he just decided to set that aside for personal gain. He’s not doing this for the fandom. If he was, he’d listen to us and not try to tell us we’re wrong for thinking the way we do. He’s a grown man and should know he shouldn’t take things that don’t belong to him.

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@ mollywobbles23

exactly. jk rowling repeatedly has stated that she is fine with books that exist under the protect of the law, and fair use doctrine. she is not against companion books, but is against ones that are illegal according to copyright and fair use laws.

10% being the norm for fair use would require a extremely massive huge miscarraige of justice for fair use to be extended to include 84% copyrighted material.

jk rowlings people often work with companion book writers, but clearly, RDR refused to follow what the law implys you are suposed to do when you want to use more copyrighted material then fair usse allows. they treated jk rowling with abusive and sneering attacks, and refused to compily until a few court filings later when the judge forced them to follow the law by putting themselves in further legal cases between them and the court. RDR Books and Steve Vander Ark have shown their true colors, and they belive they are above the law.

guess what. RDR, you better prepare for bankruptchy, because you cant afford to lose, and you are about you.

also, morton, do you think jk rowling will have the right to block steve from publishing any more books like the ones he is claiming about harry potter? if she wins the case, can she block steve from further trying to publish new books on harry potter given his abuse directed at jk rowling, warnerbrothers, and the harry potter fandom at large?

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Wow. I can’t really believe this is happening, but I do think it’s the right choice. I will always be on the side of leaky wherever that may be – as I’m sure most, if not all, of the users will be. It must be hard for you not to comment when you obviously have such strong feelings about the issue, but thanks for staying so professional and reporting everything as it is.

I’m also very glad you are making sure that your readers are clear about how they will be affected – it’s very reassuring to know that Steve’s comments about how the fandom will be affected are untrue. It now seems to me as though he is determined to get as many people on his side as possible, however he needs to. When I first heard about the trial I was on Steve/RDR’s side but now I am wholeheartedly with JKR, and I am ashamed to have thought that she and WB were being power-hungry and greedy for money.

I really hope justice is brought to everyone. Thanks again to the leaky staff =)

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Just reading Steve’s comments about RDR, I felt, “Eh.. this whole thing doesn’t feel right. Just not right.” So I was pleasantly surprised at (your) TLC’s statement, as it’s so much after my own heart about the matter. Sad, but necessary.

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I cannot imagine how hard this decision must have been for you all to make. I will miss Steve and his wonderful contributions to the CC, but I totally understand the reasoning behind the decision. Hang in there Leaky!

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Whilst I am deeply saddened that this situation has come to this, I applaud Leaky for undertaking what was clearly a difficult descion with such grace. Moreover I further applaud leaky for the way in which they have anounced the news, leaving no room for any badwill merely for the sake of Leaky. It is an upsetting turn of events, yet I am just glad that it waas dealt with so respectfully, for which i greatly thank Leaky.

I do not fully undersatnd the legal matters on websites etc, however I do firmly believe that Jo supports them and they shall continue to remain open no matter the outcome of this case. As we have seen time and again in interviews she is a humble woman, who appreciates the fact that people love her work and I cannot imagine her doing anything jepordise that love. As for WB the fansites actually work to their advantage, creating greater amount of hype around the movies (and therefore more money). And even the big corporation of WB do genuinely care about hte movies, which I know many fans may disagree with, but the extent to which they keep to the books and the way in which those connected with creative desicions talk about the books to me shows that they care. Therefore WB also would not sut downt he fansites if they won

In short, well done leaky for their handling, and Steve may believ he is standing up for the fandom, but I feel that his losing will not harm the fandom in any way.

L x

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Epic Doom

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I just reread Melissa’s post and decided to click on “bench trial”. The new window that opened had a 71 at the end of the URL. I changed the 71 to 1 and am in the process of reading the first filing, refreshing my memory. Wow.

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Melissa [and team], you have conducted yourselves with the greatest of dignity. I believe that you have the overwhelming support of the Leaky readers; you most certainly have – and will continue to keep – my wholehearted support and respect!

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I understand the decision, but I am deeply saddened by this news. I have always respected the Lexicon’s tremendous work, and will continue to be an avid visitor of the site. No one wins in this situation.

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The right choice for sure Just when I was reading Steve’s answer, I felt like he was his mind was brainwashed by RDR books and some talking points information was implanted in its place.

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Those who seem to be supporting Steve suggest that Jo is just worried about lining her pockets but i dont believe money is the underlying issue. If you had spent your life creating something that was so special to you and then someone comes along and is effectively going to taint your work and future plans, would you not be annoyed? Jo knows the world of Harry Potter inside and out and for someone to come along and potentially offer incorrect information or things arent in line with what she knows it to be, must be extremely disheartening. Also if theres any chance that Steves work would stop Jo from writing the official encyclopedia then surely true Harry Potter fans cant support him?

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Thanks Anonymoose for the http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i5fLBAXpgAKGz7Dxov0JK7f9GiLg link This report of JKR’s appearance in court confirms my belief RDR/SVA wanted to force her into a court appearance to both help publicise Steve’s other “legal” books as well as turn this case into a cause célèbre. This way RDR/SVA win whatever the outcome of the court case by getting priceless publicity for RDR books and SVA’s forthcoming series of Potter books. By the time this case has gone to appeal SVA’s other non-infringing books will be on the sale and together with all the free publicity will make SVA’s name as an author as well as a small fortune for RDR/SVA. Nobody outside the Potterverse understands the intricacies of the case and will buy the SVA series of HP books regardless. Much as I despise their motivation I have to admire their guts and determination to make their fortunes whilst simultaneously pulling the wool over the public’s eyes, that’s some trick!!!

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@rotfang07

I agree with you. I also am beginning to think that this whole thing is just a publicity stunt. A rather stupid one, though, because how many people actually by supplemental HP books other than devoted fans, the majority of whom side with Jo? Not that many. RDR/SVA have alienated the vast majority of their target audience.

It’ sad, really, because before this fiasco, I would have loved to read an actual commentary/analysis book about HP by Steve. Now, I wouldn’t even use it to level out the legs of my coffeetable.

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To mollywobble and NotTheHBP

Again, I just wanted to point out that we have not disagreed at all on the facts. All I am doing is pointing out that there are possibilities that are beyond our ability to predict. Yes, some cases exist where the Fair Use doctrine applies… in fact MANY, and yes, the available evidence appears to point to the idea that the draft Lexicon book does not comply with the principles. All I’m saying is that we can comment, we can provide our personal opinions (and lord knows we do!) but at the end of it all, it really comes down to what the judge believes and how he rules.

Saying “its obvious, there can be no other decision” is actually a wish, perhaps an expectation. I just want to make sure that people are aware of the possibility that while WE may feel that Fair Use is, indeed, fair, the judge in this case may be convinced otherwise. I am not sying he will, only that it remains a possibility.

I guess my real point is that no matter how we might WANT the case to conclude, it “ain’t over til it is over”, and only then ( and maybe even not til after any appeals) will we be able to see how it REALLY went.

Someone suggested in an earlier post that all this “might, could, maybe, possibly” stuff is only specualtion, and when the reality of the decision is in, we’ll deal with then. I suppose that’s true and sort of what I’m saying, but I think the speculation and discussion is fun and interesting too, and anyway it is in our nature to do so.

So folks, no arguments from me on the facts of the law, only an attempt to ensure that eventualities some of us don’t expect are at least recognized as possible, with no statement as to their probability.

Now as to the question of “if JKR wins can she block further such books”? I would have to say that if she wins, and Fair Use remains as is, then it is within her rights to do so as long as the new books do not comply with Fair Use. So I guess it will depend on what they are, how much original material he lifts and for what purpose, and what disclaimers and so on are there. And, I suppose too, on whether there will be any discussion between SVA and JKR (there should not yet have been any because of the pending case and the need to not talk to each other until it is decided, but afterward, who knows).

But I WILL add this speculation … if JKR wins, and SVA tries to go ahead with another publication, I believe it would be in JKR’s interests to let it go as long as complies with Fair Use. She is a bigger person than trying to block a book for reasons of “getting back at someone because of things said”,in my view. I believe she will take the high road no matter what, being who she is.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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huggles to the Leaky Team It’s a very sad day and I’m sad about this too, as I have been ever since this started, seeing as I interviewed Steve Vander Ark back in 2004, but I do think it is the right decision if TLC believes they do not view a very important situation the same way and fear being misrepresented as such.

I have always found it very odd that Steve has decided to write these books and deal with the ensuing worldwide media attention, since when I interviewed him he was very particular that no one at the school where he worked at as a librarian or the community he lives in should know that he had anything to do with writing and maintaining one of the largest Harry Potter fansites around. I couldn’t put down the name of the school or the county in which he lived in. Goodness… look how much has changed.

I hope you know what you are doing Steve…

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Wow Leaky. I can see that this was a terribly hard decision to make. You guys have been so polite and respective this whole time. It’s too bad that this whole issue had to come up at all. Thank you for make this a great deal easier on everyone for severing ties quietly.

I also want to thank the people who have posted comments on this article. I was very apprehensive, thinking there was going to be alot of either Steve bashing, Leaky bashing, or Jo bashing. But the ones I have read were very respectful.

Let’s hope this thing will get finished soon, and we can all forget about it.

Jo, you rock, and I don ‘t find you at fault.

Sarah :)

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can somebody help me understand this?Like, what was he saying? I’m sorry, I dont understand the whole legal jargon=/

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Win or lose, Rowling’s grounds for preventing any further books written about Harry Potter, whether from SVA or another author, will have everything to do wtih the legal merits of those books, and nothing to do with being able to block future books because she’s won this case.

Each book stands, or falls, on its own legal merits.

Each book either falls within the fair use doctrine, or it does not.

As Rowling has never stopped a book about her or Harry Potter from publication UNLESS it’s an encyclopedia, fans have a lot of latitude in what they want to write, and what’s legally permisslble.

The unfortunate thing in all of this is that Rowling is now forced to come to NYC to defend herself, when she should be enjoying a well-deserved rest from the labors of working 17 years on giving us the wonderful Harry Potter novels. She, of course, would vastly prefer spending time writing more books, or working on the Scottish Book, but instead must spend invaluable time and put forth her best case as to why she thinks her copyrights have been violated in this particular case.

The fallout from this situation has, with each passing month, gotten more acrimonious. At this point, SVA should take a page from Rowling’s book and keep mum until the court date; he’s not helping his case by talking about two more books he’s going to write on Rowling and her work. Best for SVA to save it for the court date.

Frankly, I would not want to be on the stand as a witness (as he will be), with Rowling staring right at him. Given her stated position and direct comments about SVA, the word “friends” seems a very odd choice of words.

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@Morton

I too think that it is up to the judge. I have only briefly studied copyright law in a business law class I took years ago in college and the odd thing I hear from my best friend who will have a degree in criminal justice and legal assistant studies come this May. I certainly don’t think of myself as a legal expert, but I have followed this case fairly closely ever since the injunction and as an active member of the fandom have a keen investment in the trial’s outcome.

I feel that if the judge rules in favor of RDR that it will considerably stifle future fandoms and perhaps even the HP fandom. If WB/Jo win, then they have shown they still have control even if they allow websites and fanfiction and, basically, fandom to exist. Therefore, they will have no qualms in continuing to allw fandom to exist and flourish. Quite frankly, Steve gives me the impression that he will not be satisfied until he is declared king of the Potterdorks and adored and revered as the supreme fan to dictate all other fans actions. I’m exagerating, of course, but that’s just the feeling I get from every, exponentally more arrogant statement he gives.

RDR and Steve’s conduct in this case has been quite underhanded. Also, Stanford has a habit, I hear, of taking cause cases like this and utterly losing in court. I could be wrong, if someone knows otherwise, please say so.

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Anyone who disassociates themselves from the lexicon ought not quote from it. So start opening your own books and start looking up your own facts. That includes Ms. Rowling and WB.

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Hi Nina,

Steve Vander Ark was saying in the interview that he is fighting the lawsuit with his publishers RDR Books because he wants to win, what he calls, a victory for fans to be able to make their own content based on someone else’s work, which is copyrighted by law. Steve feels that if JKR wins the lawsuit, fans won’t be able to have fansites with content (i.e. stories, information, ideas) based on someone’s work, so that’s not just meaning Harry Potter, but any sort of copyrighted work, from a kids’ book to a famous movie to a tv show to whatever. (Altho to be honest, as my media law lecturer once explained to me – if you write something yourself, make a copy and post it to yourself, that’s counted as a copyright, basically meaning, everything you make belongs to you and it’s your right alone to decide what is done with it).

But Leaky disagrees with this, so it makes sense that they don’t want to be seen to be supporting him when they don’t agree with his reasons for doing this and have been associated with him enough already due to the Floo Network.

Hope this helps.

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Good Choice! I support this decision 100%.

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can somebody help me understand this?Like, what was he saying? I’m sorry, I dont understand the whole legal jargon=/

Posted by nina on March 24, 2008 @ 09:04 PM

What specifically do you not understand, nina?

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WOW….up to 16 screens of lively discussion. Thanks to the Leaky staff for the information and for explaining TLC’s position. You have inspired such an interesting topic today. While I hope JKR will prevail in protecting her “baby” I have been given so many points to consider. How much fun would this be face to face.

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I both agree and disagree with Jo and Steve. I can kinda see how they would not want him to be on Pottercast. I know TLC is worried about being associated with the Lexicon but I am surprised that are severing all ties and pretty much disbanding the Floo network. Though I really do love how the fans are acting like they are still in middle school with their comments. But I guess people are predictable like that.

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@ Miss Freewind: Are you referring to the comments here on Leaky, or are you referring to comments at another site? I’m not being sarcastic, I’m actually asking.

I think that the comments here have been, for the most part, mature and responsible. There have been a couple of rather juvenile remarks, which is bound to happen on a site with such a large readership, but I think most people have behaved well.

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This is truly a sad occasion. It is unfortunate that Steve Vander Ark and RDR books have created a situation where Jo Rowling (a talented woman whose works we as a fandom collectively love) is backed into a corner and her generosity towards fanfiction and the like is forced to be questioned. Therefore I applaud the Leaky staff for not only making this brave decision in an admirable and professional manner but also for giving the vast majority of the HP fandom public a voice against their actions and opinions. It is necessary to take a stand against becoming associated with Mr. Vander Ark’s, ’ ...fans who create websites, write fanfiction, make wands, compose wizard rock, and so on.’ and his disillusions of protecting our ‘best interests’ and ‘creative freedom’ when in reality all he has succeeded in accomplishing is putting those interestes and freedoms in jeopardy. In the past I have always approved and respected the way The Leaky Cauldron and its staff have handled themselves and this website and now is no exception. I am proud of the difficult decision you have made and I am grateful to you for making thousands of other voices heard. Congratulations and Thank-you.

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I agree with your decision, and cannot understand why the Lexicon couldn’t just publish a book of their original essays. Of course, then you would have authors wanting a cut of that too. The internet is so huge, someone has to take control of some portion of it when it affects them personally.

When you create a work that becomes so huge fans want to write about it, you have affected many lives deeply. Look at all the other shows that have fanzines and fan fiction. (Need I mention the huge Star Trek and Star Wars fandoms?) I hope this doesn’t affect all the fan sites and fiction, and just remains a book publishing issue.

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Hey guys, just wanted to give my support and cyber hug for making the decision you did. I know it must have been tough and I’m really proud of the way you guys have handled it. You make Harry Potter fans everywhere proud to be associated with you :)

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Leaky team, I know this must have been a terribly hard decision to make, but I agree with several others in saying that, sadly, it is one that had to be made. Thank you for acting with kindness and dignity in this whole messy situation. You have my, and many others, support. :) * hugs *

I can’t even imagine what kind of distress this is causing Jo. I KNOW she loves her fans, and it makes me sad when she has to deal with ridiculous situations such as this. I hope things get sorted out as quickly as possible, I will keep everyone in my prayers.

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@mary-ann, thank you very much! I didn’t have my contacts in, and all of the words got all jumbled, so thats why it didnt make any sense…..it was just my extremely poor eyesight. and leaky, your awesome, and I support you 100%

=]

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I’m going to go out on a limb here and support Steve. I know a decent amount about Intellectual Property law, are, really, this is completely absurd. Countless other have profited off of Jo’s work by publishing their own books; how many DH prediction books were out on the market? Should Jo sue Emerson Spartz (not me) for having an un-Godly amount of advertising on MuggleNet and making a six-figure income from it?

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Wow, I must say I saw this coming, but its still shocking nonetheless. I think you made the right decision and will continue to support it.

Keep up the good work guys!!

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@ Chiron:

You’ll find quite a few fans who have quite happily stopped using the HPL, including myself. Quite frankly it is not the be all, end all of HP fan sites. There are several sites that are much, much more detailed AND not anywhere near as dull to read. It was very easy to move on.

As for Rowling and WB, they’re free to frequent or use any website they so choose.

What I find interesting is the blatant RDR rhetoric that your comment repeats, which is continued confusion between the site and the proposed book. This is one of the very obvious complaints that Rowling and WB have alleged, that RDR and others would conflate the book/site, and you’ve just proven their point.

This suit is NOT about the fan site. It’s about Steve STEALING Rowling’s copyrighted works and writing a HIGHLY INFRINGING derivative book.

This is also NOT about TLC turning their back on Steve. It’s about how Steve continues to speak and act in a manner that is the complete antithesis of what TLC owner/staffers believe and are unable to continue ignoring.

It wasn’t an easy decision for Rowling and WB to initiate this lawsuit. They tried to work this out. Steve and his publishers didn’t want to talk.

It also wasn’t an easy decision for TLC to break ties and dissolve the Floo Network. They too have tried to talk this out with Steve.

You want to blame someone for this continued debacle, look to Steve Vander Ark.

You’ll find the majority of fans support Rowling/WB as opposed to Steve; you’ll also find fans who wholeheartedly, yet sadly, support TLC’s decision.

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“Should Jo sue Emerson Spartz (not me) for having an un-Godly amount of advertising on MuggleNet and making a six-figure income from it?”

I wish she would!!! All of that advertising is disgusting.

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@Chiron

I’ve actually found it a joy to stop using the Lexicon. I didn’t even do it consciously, I just now realized I haven’t used it months, even though I have been in need of quotes. I now just use other sites or go directly to my books.

You can’t even copy and paste from the Lexicon as the right click function does has been disabled there. It seems Steve didn’t want anyone stealing his “hard work.” Well, what do you think you’re doing to Jo, Steve? Heck, I don’t even think he had a right to disable the right click function, except maybe on the essays.

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@ Spartzy:

If you know so much about IP then you’d know that using someone else’s work {to the tune of 84% of copyrighted materials to just 16% of Steve’s ‘original content’ } is an absolutely horrifying amount of infringement.

You’d also know the difference between simply selling ad space on one’s site {as many fan sites do} and selling the contents from the site that are copyrighted to someone else {as the fictional facts of Harry Potter listed on the HPL belong to Rowling}.

Support Steve, heaven knows he needs some supporters. But don’t for a moment believe the bilge that RDR and the defense attorney’s are spewing. This is very much about stealing someone else’s work and trying to pass it off as their own.

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Oh, I forgot to add that as for the WB and Jo not using the online Lexicon anymore, they technically own everything on it. Particularly Jo as the Lexicon wouldn’t exist without her hard work and creative mind. Besides, she has something much better to turn to: her personal notebooks. And WB has Jo to turn to. I think I’ve even heard Yates say that Evanna (who plays Luna) is practically a walking HP encyclopedia. Come to think of it, so are half of us here. The only difference between us and Steve is he bothered to organize it all. Anyone of us could have done the same with a little html knowledge, a keyboard, and copies of the books. He’s nothing special. He’s just a fan…a fan who happens to have an enormous ego.

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Well, the days are coming, Amy S – that’s what this lawsuit is about. The internet is wild and is walking all over corporate rights. As we might remember just a few years ago – we were banned from using ANY graphics from the films on websites (remember how we used to be threatened with lawsuits in those days?) until Warner realized that they had a bonanza exploiting the “fan sites” for marketing their product. I feel sorry for these young people working at Leaky – in a few years they will figure out what’s happening – but they are rather enamored by the attention, you can tell listening to the podcasts.

These are the wild wild west days of the freedom on the internet but with lawsuits like this one by Time Warner against a fan – we should read the writing on the wall. To say anything less is to be naive. Leaky needs to separate themselves from the Lexicon because they could also at risk if the Warner lawsuit is successful – and even more at risk if the threats issued in the press by Jo Rowling are accurate. It’s a very very sad time.

I think we are beginning to understand why Jo Rowling wrote about horcruxes – much the same way she wrote about dementors. She is writing from personal experience. When you get famous and you sell your creative product to a corporation, you do sell a bit of your soul. That she would sue, or at least have her name on the suit against one of her most famous fans (as though he was really a threat – come on, give me a break) is a way of splitting your soul. I think I finally now feel sorry for her. She’s young too – and rather exploited in all this as well – and by an American corporation.

TimeWaner is facing some difficult financial challenges right now. The old methods aren’t working like they used to and the internet is one of the major problems they are having gaining control over the communication of their products. The whole legal field of intellectual property is exploding. The Lexicon is on the frontline – which is a major reason Stanford took the case.

Very very sad.

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Melissa and the entire Leaky staff: Thank you sincerely for taking such a clear and informed stance on this issue. Your actions are reflective of what the Harry Potter fan community revolves around: mature communication between everyone. I’m sad but not surprised to hear of this decision; Steve Vander Ark is a valuable member of the Harry Potter community who has put in a lot of work over the years, however, his take on the issue of copyright and an authors rights is, in my opinion, largely blinded and in some respects degrading to the fandom – without Jo (her story, her characters and her willingness to allow her fans to dissect her work) there would be no Lexicon.

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Melissa, kudos and props to you. This must be very hard to go through and it will be hard to swallow for many, but I think it is the best position to take. All my admiration to you.

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@Very Concerned: Oh, please. Jo “split her soul”? So she’s = to Voldemort now?

Come off it. She’s never made any threats about fan sites, including the Lexicon site, as long as they are available to fans for free. This isn’t about the internet, it’s about SVA actually trying to make print copies of the Lexicon and sell them.

SVA is trying to profit off her work, and Jo is saying no. Pure and simple.

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I have not yet read any of the comments, so I’m probably repeating a lot of the same opinions as well as disagreeing with a few.

I utterly agree with the decision TLC has made to disassociate itself with the Lexicon, when I read the article, I thought, “ABOUT TIME!”. But when I read the interview with SVA, I was outraged! Who is he kidding? Is he SERIOUSLY confused? He thinks that if JKR/WB wins, fanART (which includes stories, music, literature) will be more limited? I think that because of the existence of this such case, no matter who wins, authors will now have to worry of something like this happening to them. Argh! This is soo frustrating. What in the world. There’s so much I want to say about SVA, BUT…I know I must restrain myself. GAH!

Once again, Melissa, you are too wonderful for informing us of this and I’m very sorry for your trouble. You must indeed be feeling some serious distress for being dragged into this case (TLC that is, not you specifically) and we all hurt for Jo.

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I agree so much with all the people commenting who are commending Leaky on the handling of this situation. Out of necessity to fanfiction and as a details freak, I will probably continue to use the Lexicon but am behind Leaky 100%, as I think so many people are. Thank you for handling this in such a wonderful way, and although this was undoubtedly a tough decision to make, bravo Leaky for sticking with our fandom!

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I agree it’s sad that it’s come to this, but Melissa and the staff have conducted themselves so admirably throughout. It’s tragic, really, that Steve has chosen this path.

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Fanfiction, Wizard Rock, Fansites of anyones not just Including Harry Potter ones are allowed only if you say they are not the real thing and they are fan made.

Fanfiction and Wizard Rock are made based on the books, with a twist in the story, Lexicon book is taken from the site, which alone would be pointless because why would you buy a book which you could get for free, and you would still have to get the Scottish book so you are just waisting your money really. But that aside. J K Rowling does have the right to make Fanfiction not avalible, she hasn’t done so because she is a nice person.

Fanfiction I know you can’t sell it, not sure about Wizard Rock but there is tone of based on song out there based on different things so it should be allowed. Plus Wizard Rockers do do fun raising so it is not just all selfish.

Steve I can tell is trying to cover up the fact he is wasting everyones time with his Lexicon book. Win or Lose no one in their right mind would buy it anyone else they were getting it to fill in the collection of Harry Potter named books.

That is just my little bit.

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ARK NEEDS TO STOP MOOCHING OFF JO!!! So, all his books are Harry Potter related? Are you freaking kidding me?!? All this time he’s wasting trying to make a few bucks off someone else’s idea could’ve been used to create some multi-millionaire epic story or something!

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I just want to say to all of the Leaky staff that I admire the way you have dealt with this issue so far. You’ve been fair and unbiased, and I respect that you haven’t tried to sway anyone with commentary in regards to the case. At this point, no one knows what the conclusion will be, but I think you’ve made a good decision.

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“Anyone of us could have done the same with a little html knowledge, a keyboard, and copies of the books.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Mollywobbles23.

And I have to say that I respect how seriously the Leaky staff has taken this, and how honourably they’ve acted throughout… but I can’t bring myself to treat this like someone died or something. I just think a bit of perspective may be in order.

I wonder unedited Pottercast recordings will be subpoenaed… my recollection is that while SVA has a very good broadcasting voice, his contributions to “Canon Conundrums” were largely to the effect of “that’s true” to someone ELSES comments… he offered very little valuable insight, but when he DID say something moderately clever, acted a bit too much like… “SCORE!”... know what I mean?

So, just like re-reading PS/SS with the insights afforded by DH, let’s re-listen to those old Canon Conundrums to see exactly how much of a contribution SVA actually made.

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@ Very Concerned:

Twaddle. As Rita Skeeter said “I could manure my garden with that rubbish.” Being a Big Name Fan in no way entitle Steve to STEAL from the very person he supposedly admires.

Rowling has not sold her soul to a corporation, that’s just so much bunk. Copyright law grants the author “EXCLUSIVE” rights to create/license to be created derivative works, such as the one Steve has tried to publish.

84% of the content of the book, as viewed in the legal documents on justia.com, belong to Rowling. There is NO excuse for such blatant thievery. None. The fallacy of the argument you assert simply boggles the mind.

Don’t feel sorry for TLC or the majority of fans who are more than able to see beyond the smoke that some are trying to blow. Most fans have followed this case closely and know exactly what the issues are.

Do feel sorry for Steve, though, a 50 year old man with an extreme case of fan entitlement who’s attempted to cash in on a fandom that he claims to love, while stealing from the very person he claims to admire, and attempting to use links on the Floo Network in a profit making scheme without bothering to inform the other Floo webmasters.

Yes, let’s do please continue to villify Rowling, WB, evil corporate business practices, and TLC instead of addressing Steve’s nausea inducing and highly illegal behavior.

In the mean time, I’m happy to voice my support of TLC in their difficult choice regarding the Floo Network and give props to them for their continued neutrality on this issue.

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I can’t understand how Steve thinks he’s going to win.

A fansite with no profit is one thing.

To profit off of someone else’s idea is wrong, and that’s what he’d be doing.

I feel sorry that he thinks it’s okay, but he’ll learn the hard way.

Leaky, you did the right thing, and I’m proud that you’re being civil and upright about it. xo

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It’s likely I’m being overly suspicious and/or cynical here, but am I the only one who suspects that the vast majority of those defending Steve and RDR here in the comments are… well, people from RDR themselves, trying to sway fandom opinion?

I mean, I can’t imagine what good it would do them to come here and comment at Leaky, since it is, after all, the judge they’ll have to convince, not us. But still, a lot of the writing style in the posts of the SVA/RDR defenders is similar (or it seems that way to me), and they all kind of use the same Chicken Little-ish, “Gloom and doom, the writing is on the wall, all the fansites will be forcibly shut down and fandom will come to an end if Underdog Steve loses to the Big Bad Author and the Evil WB” tone.

Eh, I’m probably reading too much into it, and if so, apologies to those who have come here to defend Steve in good faith because they genuinely believe he’s right (however much I disagree with them). But still, I can’t help having my suspicions. Judging by RDR’s behavior up to this point, I wouldn’t put it past them to do something so lame.

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Any sane person or organization would distance themselves from this. No matter personal opinion on Steve, this Lexicon or anything else. Getting your rear dragged into a lawsuit just because some half wit thinks he can make money off someone else’s talent is ridiculous.

It’s called dealing with the real world and the legal system. And they tend to take this stuff seriously.

Authors take their property seriously as well. Doesn’t matter what you think it is, to the law HP is JKR’s property with WB having rights as well. They are the only ones who can make money off of it using more than Fair Use allows.

I’d think a near 50 year old librarian would know that.

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@ Very Concerned

Yes, WB probably enjoys the publicity they garner from fansites very much so, but it’s not like we don’t get joy out of it as well. Do you spit on your local grocer because they make a profit off you buying and enjoying the food they sell you? Probably not as it’s a free exchange and you’re very welcome to not shop there at all, just as you’re very welcome not to come here.

Oh dear, was that too rude? Alas, “accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often.” (Just to be clear, that was off the top of my head and I did not have to visit the Lexicon).

As for Jo selling her soul to corporations, give me a break. She is the copyright holder, which is why her name is on the suit. At first she even refused the idea of movies until they agreed to base them off the books and not do with the world what they willed. Honestly, if your only argument is to villify Jo by comparing her to Voldemort, then you have no argument. I’m fairly sure Voldemort wouldn’t give millions of pounds to charity. Nor create his own charity. Nor do anything for children other than have them do his bidding (Draco). How about you consult the law and then get back to us? Thank you.

So, wait, first Time Warner is a villianous corporation, salivating at the mouth ala Greyback for money and now they are desperate to make money? Sorry, I don’t think they expect to make a ton of money out of a tiny little vanity publisher like RDR. That would be like Bill Gates suing someone who works at a fast food restaurant for making and selling copies of his software. He’s not in it for the money, that’s for certain. He would do it to protect his property, just like WB and Jo are doing.

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as one who has used the lexicon, I really enjoyed it, but I too disagree with Steve’s opinion of the repercussions of this trial. Obviously the only thing he’s really worried about has nothing to do with US as fans at all, he just wants to make money from ideas he did not originate. I have read many articles and seen inteviews with Jo and what she says has never wavered, she is glad her books have fostered creativity. She has visited fansites herself, for crying out loud. She just wants to “own” Harry Potter in the sense that she gets to profit from it, and um… she should! Steve, write your own book from your own original ideas , and then you can make all the money you want, as if anyone would buy it after this sham you’ve pulled. Jo, I hope you win.

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I appreciate the explanation of the split but was hoping TLC would remain neutral because I’ve really enjoyed the collaboration between TLC and the Lexicon, particularly on Pottercast, and would wish for it to continue if at all possible. I was hoping TLC would be the force keeping “houses” united, even in the face of a Slytherin-like turn from another.

And, who knows, the judge may yet rule in RDR’s favor. I think we fans should try (yes, try!) to keep an open mind especially considering the murkiness of copyright law in the internet age. Thank you, Leaky, for keeping us up to date.

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Well done TLC. I think you made the right decision and I wish you all well. You’ll always be my favorite HP site.

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@Leda

That’s all very well and good and if Steve hadn’t opened his mouth, I would agree with you, but he has put his foot in his mouth by suggesting that he is the only fan whose opinion matters. Also, this has nothing to do with Steve’s right to have the website, so internet law comes into it in no way. He’s trying to publish it as a book and make money off of it. That’s the issue and that’s illegal as the manuscript doesn’t fall under fair use.

I haven’t used the Lexicon in a long time and I don’t think I ever will again. It hasn’t even been a conscious decision. It just happened. There’s too many bad feelings, so I’m not going to contribute to his click count.

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C’mon, anyone who’s been to a HP con knows that JKR doesn’t like what fans do with her books. Nimbus 2003 wasn’t allowed to have a costume contest, for example (and one of many). A costume contest! Because that would definitely infringe on her copyrights and WB’s massive profits. Obviously. Rowling herself said that this case would have implications for fans, for what she terms “legitimate” fan creations, and has said that she’s concerned this case will adversely affect them. Read between the lines, if she wins, there’ll be more of a crackdown. She’s as good as promised it.

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When I first heard of the lawsuit and saw the immediate fan reaction pro JKR and against SVA I was surprised that TLC didn’t sever connections then. It would have been a simple matter to say ”Leaky and the Lexicon have reached a friendly agreement to suspend the Floo Network while the legal issues are ongoing in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest for either side.”

Instead, perhaps taking its cue from JKR in her court declaration, the Leaky staff has chosen to pick their moment and smack down Steve as publicly as they possibly can.

The comments made by SVA in the quoted article are no different than the comments I’ve read many times on these boards whenever the subject of the lawsuit is reported on Leaky—sometimes arguing a pro SVA point of view and some arguing a pro JKR point of view. It’s like the line from “Casablanca and Leaky is “shocked, shocked” that such an opinion could be held.

As for the case itself, I think SVA got some bad advice and landed himself in a situation he would reverse if he could but he’s contractually bound and, like being on a runaway train, he has to stay with it to the end even though a big crash is the likely finish.

As ill-advised as SVA’s decision appears to me to have been, I think WB and JKR could have found a better way to deal with it so that this debacle might have been avoided. I suspect WB and JKR understand the value of smacking down an uber-fan like Steve to get out the message to the rest of the world that theirs is a take-no-prisoners, recognize-no-friends approach to guarding their property rights.

In the future, I hope Leaky limits their coverage of the legal proceedings to reporting the verdict because each news item only seems to serve as an opportunity for Leaky commenters to take their turns using SVA as a punching bag and trying to see who can earn the Collin Creevy Award for sucking up to JKR. I would have said gushing sycophantically over JKR but some here apparently resent the use of the “mot juste” as Flaubert would say so I dumbed it down.

I consider myself a “true fan” of the Harry Potter series because the story is a true marvel and the world and its people were brought to life by a genius storyteller. Yet, I do not believe the sun shines out of the author’s every orifice and don’t at all see how my status as a fan of the HP story can be questioned merely because of that. I had my own parting of the ways with JKR when she did an interview prior to the release of HBP and revealed that she had told no one of the ending of the series and, when asked by the interviewer, said that if she got hit by a bus before she could write the final book the series would die with her because Harry Potter was her baby and she couldn’t bear the thought of anyone else finishing it but her. In other words, I as a devoted fan and reader meant nothing and her need to have absolute control meant everything to her. Ah well, at least now I don’t have to stay awake nights worrying about how attentively she crosses streets.

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Jeanie, well said. SVA has to a certain extent presented himself as the voice of fandom, and her certainly isn’t. However, this issue, either way, will greatly affect all fandoms everywhere. If RDR wins, then authors are going to go into overdrive protecting their rights, and if Jo wins, then she will definitely try to protect her own rights, as well. Either way, it’s nasty business, one I wish was never brought up…

However Jeanie, I think I understand what Jo said about not wnting anyone to finish her baby. That’s rather normal, and I don’t begrudge her for saying that.

But most importantly…. I really want to say WELL DONE to the Leaky team for handling this issue so well in the public eyes. You did a Neville, and for that, 60 points to Leaky! (No house bias, you see….) Thank you guys, for being so awesome. =)

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Melissa (and all of Leaky), I just wanted to send you some love… it was a tough decision, but I’m sure you also must be relieved to resolve your position before the trial.

It’s upsetting that JKR will have to take the stand.

Steve & RDR have totally screwed up my natural inclination to cheer for “the little guy”. I hope they lose.

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Just a small detail I have picked up on and would like to comment:

As far as I can tell, no-one from Leaky would tell you not to use the Lexicon site as a reference. The actions taken by Leaky at this point merely indicate we disagree with SVA’s actions. The Lexicon site remains an excellent site.

Also just because Leaky has decided that they have to distance themselves from this does not mean that they condone personal attacks on SVA or anyone else for that matter, nor do their rules and ethics change in any way with regards to the case.

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Hey Kelpie, Jo being on Pottercast was no orchestrated move. She discussed the book and theories throughout that show and never once mentioned this case. She never talked about Steve or Lexicon or ANYTHING.

But then, during the court proceedings, RDR books tried to use the Pottercast interview to twist things in their favor. So who’s the one orchestrating stuff?

And kimberley and mollywobbles, I’m in with you guys! Can we have Frak on Pottercast as the fourth host and can he continue even after John returns? I;d love that!!

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PS - I want to clarify that, really, in this case I believe that the artist - JKR—is the true “little guy” here. Steve & RDR & their legal team are playing hardball and I’m glad she has the muscle of Warner Brothers on her side.

On whether it is okay to publish without JKR’s consent, imagine this alternate scenario:

Imagine if the HP series was a small cult phenomenon. Imagine if a large publisher rewrote the stories & repackaged the books under another author’s name. No right thinking person would be sympathetic to this publisher over the JKR.

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where that crossout came from I do not know.

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I understand Leaky’s decision, but I think this is all very sad.

I think Jo Rowling has entered many new waters for authors, among them trying to keep control of characters and story-lines beyond the scope of the books, directing reader interpretations and, now, trying to set precedent on the control of what is written about her books. I am not sure that I agree with the principles behind all her attempts, but it has been interesting watching the battles play out. I hope sanity, generosity and common sense prevail all-round, so that the ultimate winners can be the readers.

@desertwind: cross-outs happen to any words typed between two dashes.

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I liked the floo network. it’s a shame it had to end like this… but I guess it had to happen.

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As a qualified US lawyer who specializes in intellectual property, I must say that I do not think Steve’s statements in the interview are legally inaccurate. TLC has a right to chose with whom they want to affiliate, but if I were Steve’s lawyer I would advise him to answer in a similar manner.

In fact, I completely agree with his response to the first question about a win for the Lexicon being in the best interest of fans. I will preface my reasoning with the statement that it will matter WHY he wins or loses. If RDR wins, it will most likely be because the judge views the use of the copyrighted material as being within the realms of the fair use doctrine in US law. If RDR loses, it will be because the judge views what RDR has done as outside the scope of fair use.

A scenario where RDR wins will leave future lawyers with an opinion where fair use is interpreted broadly which can be used as legal precedent for future cases involving fans. A scenario where RDR loses will leave future lawyers with exactly the opposite.

I think folks who believe that RDR winning this case will result in owners of copyrighted material being more strict about fandom use are confusing the fair use defense with an implied license defense. If RDR won because they argued that JKR’s approval of the online Lexicon and other fandom activity gave them an implied license to publish a book version of the Lexicon, I can see why copyright owners might start sending more cease and desist letters, but this won’t happen. Case law about implied licenses in copyright is pretty non-existent and it would be hard to argue that any approval from JKR constituted an implied license from other parties who own the various rights she has assigned to them.

So the case will come down to fair use which traditionally is based on four factors…

1. the purpose and character of the use 2. the nature of the copyrighted work 3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken 4. the effect of the use upon the potential market

If RDR wins, these four factors will be interpreted broadly. If they lose, they will be interpreted narrowly. As a fan and a lawyer, I would not want that losing opinion sitting around to use as precedent in arguing a future case against a fan fic author or fan artist.

One more comment about this article is that I would like to see TLC start using a legal reporter or a lawyer to start reporting on this particular story. Only that kind of person is qualified to translate the court documents into layman’s terms as TLC states they will do in this article.

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“If RDR won because they argued that JKR’s approval of the online Lexicon and other fandom activity gave them an implied license to publish a book version of the Lexicon, I can see why copyright owners might start sending more cease and desist letters, but this won’t happen.”

They are arguing that. On top of the fair use. And I doubt they can win by the fair use defence route, since there’s much too much of JRK’s material in the Lexicon book. I could see someone doing it for the fandom if it was a fanfiction based on HP world or something, that would mean (hopefully) only little of JRK’s facts – maybe 10-20% and the rest original creativity. THAT would be a win for the fandom (if fandom wanted a win like that). This win would just be a loss for all original artists and most, if not all, have far less money than JKR.

It’s more likely that they’ll win (if they do) on technicalities like implied licence or abandonment of copyright.

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There is no way they can argue successfully on the issue of fair use. The book borrows heavy from Jo’s work. It’s pretty much a copy and paste job. If they do win, I agree that it will be on some sort of technicality. That by Jo giving it a site award, it means it was some sort of licence to use her work.

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What makes me so angry about Steve is that he is happy to drag the whole HP fandom down with him to his greedy level. None of us asked for this, yet he is acting as though he is the voice of the fandom! Unbelievable.

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I am really proud of Leaky for many things, and this decision is just another reason that I am. I respect Steve immensely as the basis for the Lexicon, but definitely agree that his statements were…. a little out there. What I find the most intriguing about it is that TECHNICALLY, the way copyright currently works, authors could already shut down fanrock and sites like the Lexicon (not just Jo, but ANY author) if they make ANY profit… Mr. Van Der Ark makes it sound as if this litigation would take away rights, when really it’s just that we have a very generous author who has created the fantasy world in which we participate.

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Nef, as I’m reading this, this was the last proverbial drop that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.

If I was in their place I would do that earlier, but I can understand their desire to remain neutral for the sake of fandom and past friendships.

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I’d like to know why these people ever thought they had the right to publish a book about someone elses work????Surely, if an encyclopaedia about Harry Potter is to be published it should be published by the person who created Harry Potter! I have to agree with Erika ” For Steven to make statements that he is essentially doing this for the fans is ultimately reprehensible. My goodness, Jo Rowling has been exemplary in how she has encouraged fans online, especially in the Leaky Cauldron, and others” This is appaling, JK Rowling has said that there is a difference between opening a fansite and expressing opinions online and publishing a book for personal profit. And I couldn’t agree more.

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Evalita,

I understand that this all was accumulative, but come on. There was nothing that could possible be misconstured in that statement. SVA (and I am not defending him…..I may agree on some level but not totally complacent on his plot) never the less Steve’s comments did not provoke the backlash that this site just now handed out. It was like I said before a generalized quote and nothing more. He did not say anything negative in his interview about Leaky or JKR for that matter just simply that they have not seen eye to eye. SO Leaky took it upon them selves to final take a stand….Where did they stand…not with a person that they have known but with the creator or the series? Why my opinion they did this to separate themselves so JKR knows that their loyalties laid with her …. oh to be in JKR’S Good graces when in fact they should have broken ties earlier…..what I am trying to say is that it is a sad fact that a person or a group of people you once called friend turns there back because you had a opinion on another. Or that they took sides against a friend because something bigger came along…... Leaky should have remained neutral.

As Always pleasurable, Nef

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Well, of course they stand with the creator of the series. I see no wrong here. None of us would be here (or ever heard of SVA) if there wasn’t JKR and if she didn’t write Harry Potter. I in no way worship JKR and I can see faults in both her actions and her writing (not in this case, though) but this should be a no-brainer. She’s not requesting something particularily unreasonable here – fandom has long lived without mentions of monetary gain: from fans – for fans, directly; maybe something to cover print costs for fanzines /ads for webspace hosting. Most authors are fine with that and don’t object until fans invade ‘their’ territory, which is selling books for profit.

Hey, that’s their job! If they are lucky enough it even earns them enough to live on. I think this is where SVA’s words (I won’t call him by the first name, as a casual fan I’ve never even heard of the guy or his Lexicon before this mess started) rub the fans wrong – most claim they in the fandom for the love of the book/film/anime/whatever and not for the money, and that’s their defense if/when they/we are attacked of being parasites/taking money from the authors that give us our fun stuff. SVA claims that if he can’t win a right to publish a book for profit, then the fandom loses. No, I don’t think it does.

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Evalita,

Lets call a spade a spade and not add things, SVA never said based on what is posted above that the Fandom itself will lose just simply that it could and to be honest it could…...frogs could eventually grows wings, who’s to say they wont EVENTUALLY. It was a generalization, it has to be because there is no evidence supporting the claim.

Yes it makes sense to stand on JKR’s side but once you have entered into a friendship and that is what Leaky’s calling the relationship between SVA and Leaky it is always best to either be up front and inform a friend that they are wrong in your opinion but did Leaky…..I have no idea and I am sure you may say the same. We the fans of HP may have voiced our choices but did Leaky ever informed Steve…or better yet, did Leaky just stay out of the situation or remain neutral….No they have not because they have just turned their backs on a good friend…...their words during a pottercast!!!! not mine.

Once more thanks as always, Nef

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Nef I don’t think it is a case of Leaky trying to “preserve itself” by siding with JKR and not with Steve. I think that there were some ideological issues afoot that prompted this response by Leaky and they felt they could no longer remain silent about it. As my Gran always said, if you’re friend is going to jump off a bridge are you going to do it too? Steve placed himself in this position and he alone should face the consequences of his actions.

On a side note, I don’t see what the problem is with siding with the author and creator of the books. Shouldn’t she have final authority over what happens to her work? I know I would personally be very angry if someone came along and co-opted my work and claimed it was theirs. I think we have all had that experience in some form. Someone at work says they did something really great (or exaggerated their involvement) and it was really you and you don’t get the credit and they get the promotion? That sort of idea. I think what is worse is that Steve was a fan (yes, I say was because a true fan would never deem to raise themselves more important or worthy than the creator of the thing they claim to admire) and this in itself has to hurt Jo more.

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@ Akemi, who said: A scenario where RDR wins will leave future lawyers with an opinion where fair use is interpreted broadly which can be used as legal precedent for future cases involving fans. A scenario where RDR loses will leave future lawyers with exactly the opposite.

You mean it leaves them in the same boat that they are in at this very minute.

Oh my, yes, what a HORRIBLE fate to maintain status quo rather than insert terrible instability into the law. You want, as Stanford appears to want, to alter copyright laws from their current status and using this case as precedent to do so, with absolutely no qualms to what it will do to this fandom and all of the other fandoms either. Free advice for you: find another fandom to grandstand off.

As an IP attorney, you’re telling us, that you wouldn’t defend your client to the wall? Especially considering that 84% of your client’s copyrighted text appears verbatim or in poor paraphrase that exceeds ‘substantial similarities’ and makes up the majority of this highly infringing book? Yeah, well, I have to say that I’d definitely NOT hire you to protect my rights. Huh, a cardboard cut out could do better.

As for ‘implied consent’, RDR will have an uphill climb to prove it. What one allows on a fansite is not directly applicable OFF of said fan site. When one considers that Steve has always cooperated with Rowling’s attorney’s and promptly responded to C & Ds from them, as others pointed out, shows his clear indication and acknowledgement of Rowling’s copyrights. Even independant musicians who backed up Napster and allowed their songs to be part of the file-sharing phenomena NEVER lost their copyrights via ‘implied consent’.

Fandoms currently have great latitude to ‘play’ in their ‘created fandoms’ so long as we don’t try to profit off of it through infringement. That WILL change, however, that great latitude we now enjoy will be no more should a pro-RDR ruling come through, because no one would possibly allow their copyrighted materials be used in such great, varied latitude, if by doing so means you give up your copyrights via ‘implied consent’.

As copyright statute currently stands, there is ZERO reason to allow this highly infringing work to be published. As adjudicated law currently stands, there is ZERO case law to base a pro-defense precedent on. You want to effect copyright change? Do it at the Legislature and leave Harry Potter out of it.

TLC, please keep up the good work! I really love this site. :)

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The writer(s) of this statement ought to be congratulated heartily, because it is exceptionally well-phrased and eloquent. Well done :-)

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I fully support Melissa and team simply because I love this site, I love the vibe here, the pottercast, and most of all, Melissa, Sue, and John come across to me as very very good natured people with no ill intentions towards anyone. If Leaky makes a mistake in any decision, I will still support them but maybe raise questions in the comments. Initially I thought, well done, it must have been a hard decision. I still think so I wonder if there was more to it then they have let on. I think Melissa and Co have been extremely disillusioned with Steve. He has after all made profit deals etc with RDR concerning Floo but behind The Floo Network’s backs. So I think there must be more to it for Leaky to make this decision (as admittedly this has broken their principal stand in being neutral which most of us admired) but they just dont want to stir up any anger or hate.

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Wizengamut,

I by no means said that standing behind JKR is a bad thing just simply why now? SVA’s statements were not harmful in nature so why now? Why couldn’t Leaky just kept to themselves instead of being involved, they stood behind this un-bias compromise all this time so why with a comment that was generalized would they make such a huge issue out of it. When in fact they have grounds and a logical meaning to do so many times before this. It just seems shady and almost childish. Like pointing the finger and sawing “ahhhhh you in trouble” .

MHO!

Thanks, Nef

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Nef:

TLC hasn’t turned their back on Steve. They’ve maintained contact with him, they’ve tried to reason with him, they’ve asked him not to drag TLC into this debacle. They continue to pay the hosting for his site as they have done for many years now.

Via court documents filed in January 2008, TLC learned that Steve had entered into a profit making scheme involving the Floo Network. A profit making scheme that Steve didn’t even have the decency to inform his fellow webmasters of, even though he’d known of it since he’d signed his contract with RDR on August 23, 2007. Don’t believe me? Have a look yourself at justia.com. All the documents are listed. It’s filing 37, attachment 10 {exhibit J}.

How about how Steve went the additional step to have RDR indemnify him, that is “insure him against law suits”? This is a rare occurence in the publishing industry. How about the fact that Steve had RDR indemnify him solely and specifically against infringement suits brought by JK Rowling or her attorneys/assigns? As they say, something’s rotten in Denmark.

How about the bad faith that RDR has displayed while hawking this supposed scholarly work, where RDR tells other publishers he’s trying to sell book rights to to NOT let JKs publishers know about this book? Don’t believe me? Have a look for yourself at justia.com. Those documents are listed under filing 37, attachment 11 {exhibit K}.

There is just so much wrong with what Steve has done and TLC has always tried to maintain neutrality no matter the provocation. Their reports of the proceedings aren’t slanted for or against him, they simply provide all of the facts for both sides, which most of us fans appreciate.

As someone said before, don’t kid yourself. This is all down to Steve.

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I’d like to remind everyone that the Lexicon is more than just Steve. To all the people who have volunteered their time to make the Lexicon what it is, I applaud you for a job well done.

The parting of the ways with the Lexicon is neither sad nor necessary—it was expected, and if I were Steve and the other staff and the Lexicon, I’d be breathing a huge sigh of relief. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Yesterday, Nef commented that this site is biased. I agree wholeheartedly. There is too much riding on this financially for Leaky to maintain ties with the Lexicon-it’s that simple. As usual, it comes down to money. Don’t forget that Melissa has a book deal riding on this, and it would behoove her to stay in JKR’s good graces, or she could find herself next on the chopping block and TLC right along with it. It is impossible to be fair and balanced in your reporting when there is so much riding on the outcome, so the Lexicon-not just Steve!—gets the axe.

Most other sites have taken a wait-and-see approach and are much more open to all the possibilities and ramifications of this suit. That is the prudent thing to do.

Steve said nothing to warrant this…this is just an excuse for Leaky to do something it’s probably wanted to do for a long time, and now they have it.

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I dont think I was clearcut in my last post. The reason for severing ties with Lexicon was imho justified but not strong enough. I just felt (and I speculate here) that there was more to it involving Steve backstabbing them somehow. One example was Steve making a significant profit deal with RDR to advertise on Floo without any consent from anyone else (this was reported by Melissa in a previous article).

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@ Kristin:

News flash. Melissa doesn’t need to stay in Rowling’s good graces to write her book. Why, you ask? Because unauthorized derivative works are permissible under copyright law, guaranteed via Fair Use. The difference between Melissa’s book and Steve’s book is that her’s IS Fair Use and his is NOT. The difference is her book will be a look at the Potter phenomona, the fandom, and the journey we fans took with Harry. His book is a simple indexing all things Harry Potter, where 84% of the material used is Rowling’s, again NOT Fair Use.

This last statement of Steve’s was simply the final blow, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the nail in the coffin. You want to blame someone, blame Steve.

I support TLCs decision. A great many fans do.

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This entire situation with SVA makes me shake my head with wonder. How in the world he thinks his Lexicon being printed and profiting from it, when its (vast) majority is non-original content, makes me concerned for his mental state.

At this point, receiving bad advice is not an excuse. He has maintained for years that he understood he could not profit from the existence of the Lexicon (nor would he do so). What changed? Not one thing, as far as I can see, except SVA’s grasp on reality.

It’s a pitiful commentary on his ethics that he would wish to co-opt the work of an author who he claims to hold in such high esteem.

Tell me, SVA, what message is this sordid affair sending to the children who visit your library?

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Good decision Leaky.

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Nef, OK, so let’s talk about friendship. Recently we learned (at almost the same time Leaky’s staff did and from legal documents, not from SVA or RDR directly) that The whole Floo Network (that included Leaky at that point) was to be used for selling of Lexicon book, without knowledge or consent and probably without any monetary compensation, either. Some supporters claimed that SVA had a legal right to do that (as well as not pay for hosting despite making money from ads – something that the site that hosted Web-Lexicon and specifically Mellisa A. didn’t know before she read it in legal documents); they brought forward all sorts of legal loopholes and ‘that might be a custom, but it wasn’t written anywhere’ ’s. And they were right. But I suppose you don’t expect that you need a detailed contract for something that should be a common curtesy when dealing with a friend. Purely speculation, but I wouldn’t be happy with a friend who would use something like that against me.

SVA got away with a lot because he was/is a friend to leaky staff and he got away with a lot because some consider him a BNF in HP fandom. But he can’t have just the priveliges of friendship, he has to also accept responsibilities. Come on, he’s not a kid, he’s older than most of the people here, older than JKR and he should have known what is right and what it’s wrong and how you treat your friends.

So, even if you take this as Leaky abandoning SVA, it’s not like he didn’t do anything to provoke it (actually, he wen’t out of his way to provoke it). No, the last interview wasn’t the most outrageous thing he did, but what exactly is there left for him to do? He already insulted JRK (copyright hog, anyone?) and tried to steal from her (her work and words); he tried to use his friends at leaky to make money without their knowledge (and that could also bring them into legal troubles if the book was found infringing after it was already sold). Not to mention he risked all of the benevolence of authors toward the fandoms (yes, not just the HP fandom) just so he could publish this specific book. Authors are paranoid as it is (Heard of Anne Rice?), this just supports their claims that people in fandom are trying to steal their work and profit out of it. What can he do more, besides phisically harming someone (and, no, I don’t think he’d do that).

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Cara,

Once again I understand that and please I have read all the statements made on both sides and yet I still will not choose or give my loyalties to either. Both have arguments that must be heard in order to deal with the issue that I am mainly concerned about…....Fandom and what it the out come would mean to fic writers and webmasters. To disillusion ourselves in believing that this my not have any reaction to sites and writers is absurd.

Leaky has been aware and was aware of all SVA’s deals up to date (With the Floo Network and RDR books) yet they still were associated with him up until Yesterday. But what happen yesterday that broke the camels back…..if it was the interview then in my honest opinion that was a pitiful excuse to cut ties. There was no justification based on what was posted.

I need a better excuse than oh we declared that Leaky and SVA just don’t see eye to eye. B*LLcrap I need a better excuse for the split, Leaky stayed with SVA this whole time trying to remain un-bias but I believe in hearts or hearts there was hurt and anger and even in post before hand you can read the tension building but why not cut the ties then why stay with a drowning ship until the very end??

My question remains unanswered, and please don’t give me this sad comment on how “Leaky wanted to remain friends and un-bias throught this whole ordeal.” Then do it, there was no reason to cut ties now unless they want to remain in the gace of JKR. Which is fine just be honest.

I hate people who sugar coat things or leave things out because they believe you don’t need or want to hear it. Lay everything down and let the fans and viewers of this site make up their minds. I personally enjoy Leaky and just would like to know why NOW!

WHY? Nef

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Why now? Because now is when they made the decision, that’s why now. Gnashing of teeth is not necessary. Just accept it and move on.

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Absolutely the right thing to do!!!

Difficult maybe but usually something worth being proud of IS difficult.

You should be proud of yourselves . You did right!

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evalita,

Once more I understand that but why now, like I stated before to CARA, why now? Leaky was aware of all that SVA has down to them since the filling of the court documents. That would have been a perfect time to cut ties, finding out that a friend did that would be a great conclusion to this relationship to that point I agree. But why now after this little interview that is what I do not understand. There was nothing to gain but lots of questions now raised as to the motives of Leaky. WHY NOW?

Always, Nef

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I should remind people again that authors already can (and many already do) shut down or restrict fan sites, fan fiction and other fan works. Jo, out of the goodness of her heart and certainly not out of any legal obligation, allows these works to proceed as long as they do not profit. Obviously commentary and trivia books are covered by fair use and Jo would not be able to block them even if she wanted to.

“Rowling herself said that this case would have implications for fans, for what she terms “legitimate” fan creations, and has said that she’s concerned this case will adversely affect them. Read between the lines, if she wins, there’ll be more of a crackdown. She’s as good as promised it. Posted by alias_iii on March 25, 2008 @ 03:13 AM “

You’ve got it the wrong way around. If RDR wins, Jo will have to consider protecting her copyright more fiercely, because until now she has selectively enforced it, allowing fan fiction and other assorted non-profit fan works to proceed and only targeting works that seek to make profit. Obviously there have been commentary and trivia books published, and these are covered by fair use, the Lexicon, not being a commentary but merely a repackaging of content from the books, is not covered by fair use.

If RDR wins this case, it will set a precedent implying that there is no more legal support for Jo if she wishes to target specific infringing works that generate an inordinate amount of profit, but must instead either ban everything, or allow everything. And I can tell you it will be a cold day in hell before she allows people to start publishing fan fiction for profit. I do not know of a single living author who does openly allow this.

Which leaves us, sadly, with the banning of all fan works. Some authors have already taken this line out of fear of a situation exactly like the one between Jo and Steve arising. I do not believe that Jo would make such a decision lightly, I do not believe she would even want to, certainly she does not want to see an end to fan fiction and personal commentary of her books, that has been made clear by her actions to date. However, if RDR wins because of her previous selective enforcement of copyright, she may have no choice but to proceed with this course of action.

If JKR wins, then she has no reason to start sending cease and desist orders to fan sites and fan fiction authors. In case I’ve missed something, in which case I beg you’ll explain. _

With regards to the severing of ties with the Lexicon. Those who insist that Leaky are trying to look innocent, or look like the “good guys” to win favour with JKR, are completely deluded. Leaky have been (admirably) neutral as this case has unfolded. However, unsuprisingly, like the vast majority of their readers, they have enormous distaste for what Steve has done, and now that all the information has come to light they have decided to make it clear that they are opposed to Steve’s actions. I salute them for that.

There are those who have tried to paint Steve as innocent, say that he has been misinformed, tricked or gotten in over his head, I would draw your attention back to Steve’s contract with RDR, which stated that the publisher (RDR) would be responsible for copyright infringement claims from JKR, not Steve himself, despite Steve being the author (which is a very unusual arrangement). Steve knew what he was getting into, he knew that what he was doing was illegal as the law currently stands, and he arranged things so that if he failed to redefine the law (as he is currently trying to do) that he could use RDR to shield himself from the fallout. I can only assume that RDR agreed to this because they had the misguided notion of certain victory.

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I have been extremely impressed with the way Leaky has been handling this. I’m sorry such a sad decision had to be made, but I fully support it. Keep your chins up LC staffers, I’m sure Dumbledore himself would be proud of your wisdom and diplomacy.

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PB&J Rules,

I’m sorry that I just don’t move on I want an answer, to say just move on show me that you would take any excuse and “Just Move On”. To me I want all the facts I am not satisfied with no answer, that is what is wrong with the world today too many people are ok with a simple answer and does not question the motives behind those actions if any. Also if you don’t like my question or can not answer it then no reply should be sufficient.

How rude, Nef

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@ Nef:

Your question is likely to continue to remain unanswered, too. Why should TLC have to give any excuse to you for their decision beyond what they’ve already stated? What they do is really their own business, what they decide business-wise is their decision and they don’t have to qualify anything to anyone, least of all me or you. To insist they do forces me to use the infamous word ‘delusional’.

Please spare the ‘their not unbiased’ argument. If TLC had truly been biased or doing “proper” investigative journalism then Steve would have been absolutely shredded and left in bloody tatters by now. Instead we have a very toned down explanation as to why the Floo is being dissolved without villifying anyone. In reporting the case we have a truly homogenous representation of all parties: RDR, SVA, JK, WB, opposing attorneys – all with a clarification if something has been mistated or left out. That’s it.

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I complete agree with what the Leaky Staff has decided to do.

So Steve’s planning on writing more Potter based books, hmm? Why doesn’t he stop being a parasite and go try to create his own works, instead of trying to get rich off of the hard work of other authors? It’s pathetic and I hope RDR loses the case.

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Nef:

Again, I’m saying this, Steve was no “friend” if this is the way he has been behaving for so long. Leaky has tried their best to maintain a neutral stand on this. Their name haas been dragged into court, the Pottercast recordings were used, and you read what Cara said above about the court documents. The reason Leaky held on for so long is because they have a certain proffessionalism and decency to try their best to sort things out instead of bringing these things into the open. But now, things as they say, have gone just too far. You cannot expect Leaky to hold on forever taking all this in.

Kristin:

Melissa’s book is related to the Harry Potter FANDOM, not the book itself. It is not an “encyclopedia”. Her work in no way goes against Fair Use, it IS Fair Use. Steve’s book on the other hand is a simple referencing of whatever is on the Lexicon site.It’s a profit-making venture of putting whatever is on the site into a printed book form, editing it a little and then selling it. Melissa has no reason as such to “stay in Jo’s good books”. The staff have just taken a stand which they, and majority of fandom believe is right.

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“Also if you don’t like my question or can not answer it then no reply should be sufficient.

How rude, Nef”

Might I suggest you take your own advice? That would go for my comment as well as the comments already by TLC regarding this issue.

I was not trying to be rude. You seemed to be very upset, since you were shouting your, “WHY!” I was merely trying to comfort you. TLC has made a decision, it is not to us to question why; it was their decision to make. I wasn’t aware they owed anyone an explanation.

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Thank you, Leaky Staff, for showing so much integrity and personal character in this matter. I know it’s hard to have to publicly disavow someone who has been an integral part of the group, but when that person is behaving in a way that is so obviously detrimental to the rest of the group, it must be done or the group will fall apart. Bravo! You made the right decision, and you made it in the best way possible: fully informed.

To the fans who’ve posted so far, I’m very pleased to be part of your group. I’ve not seen a single dissenting post so far. I’m glad that everyone is standing so firmly and visibly behind Leaky’s decision to part with the Lexicon.

And if you read this, Ms. Rowling, I hope you’ll be happy to know that your fans stand with you in this very difficult situation. What Steve Vander Ark has done in no way reflects the principals of the rest of the Harry Potter fandom. What he has done is reprehensible, and any thinking person(which most of your fans are) will think the same.

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Now that I’ve read a little further, I see some dissenting votes, but still, I’m proud of the rest who see the matter more clearly.

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I think there is something being forgotten in all this because there are several people here who are becoming involved in fingerpointing on both sides. Regardless of the legality of the suit and regardless of the victor of it I think it is being forgotten that this suit will have an impact on fandom even if it’s just in a minor way. While it is true that JKR has been remarkably supportive of fanworks and sites this issue with SVA and the Lexicon is going to have her questioning whether to continue to do so is in the best interest of her creative property. I think this is why several authors have refused to allow such things as fanart, sites or fanfiction or have made to sure that they have some control over it. This though will very likely be in the back of her mind.

SVA is in the wrong since he is desiring to publish work that is mainly not his own and since he is making nasty comments about JKR and fans so I appauld TLC for it’s decision even though I really hate that it had to be made and despite the fact that I’ve not been happy with the fandom of late. I sort of feel lately like things have been one stunt after another just to keep HP in the news now that the series is at an end.

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Nef. leaky gave a very good reason for severing ties.

if you arent going to read what they posted to say why they have decided sever ties, then stop commenting on them severing ties. why they did it was legitamate.

also… IT IS A PRIVATELY OWNED WEBSITE AND THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEVER TIES WITH WHOEVER THEY WANT. you dont however have the right to vilify them for making a choice only they have the right to make because you dont like that they are chooses to make it. are you going to be murdered in your bed because they choose to sever ties? is iran going to bomb isreal with nukes because they choose to sever ties? is the bubonic plague going to resurface and wipe out 2/3rds of the population because they severed ties? stop acting like them severing ties is going to have a adverse effect on the world and on the fandom.

they own the floo network, they made the decision to disband lexicon’s involvement. they had that right, and they did it with a great deal of deliberation.

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NotTheHBP- That is why I agree with TLC decision to sever ties with the Lexicon. It would have been foolish to do otherwise. On the other hand I think this case is more than just those involved in it. The case is bring fandom (in this case bad fandom) to the attention of everyone for better or worse and I think it may end up having far reaching consequences for fandom. JKR would be foolish not to consider that her giving fans free reign may not have been in her best interest.

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I’m still neutral. Either way, it’s gonna be a victory and a defeat so why praise one or the other when one will eventually get hurt either way.

But I think this case is a turning point in the Harry Potter fandom either way.

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I confess I ceased using the Lexicon soon after the original revelation of these legalities. For the most part, I have continued to avoid using the Lex, even when involved in the weekly trivia game I attend. This was never meant as punishment. I suppose it might have been a fear of being ‘tarred by the same brush’, particularly since I have ventured into both fan art and filking, however rarely. My gods (and goddesses), Harry Potter even got me back into learning guitar so I can put music to the lyrics I’ve been writing after a fifteen year absence. Anything which inspires so much creativity amongst such a vast community of fans should be protected from exploitation, which frankly *I cannot help but view the hardcopy version of the Lex to be. Note carefully I said this was how I view it, not that I am accusing the parties involved of such a motivation. Kudos to the entire Leaky staff for having the fortitude to move ahead with this painful decision. The quicker the cut, the sooner the healing.

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You can not be a fan of an artist and go against the wishes of the artist. You can’t be a true fan of someone you show disrespect, for that is what Steve is doing. These books don’t belong to the fan, they belong to JK, and as a fan, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Does this threaten anything regarding Leaky and others… Well, I think the only thing at risk is fan fiction, but I’ve always considered it a questionable enterprise (To be honest, I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the idea of someone trying to continue another’s story. I like to think that things stop and start with the artist). The second anyone tries to make money off of fanfic, they will probably hear from her as well.

I have high respect for Melissa and her staff. This was a good call and they handled it very professionally.

Also, for those that might get upset by some of the posters who are pro-Steve, remember, people from his publishing house have posted here before under fake names. They might still be doing it. They probably want to add to their defense that the fans are supporting Steve. So far I think leaky has given them very little to play with.

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I disagree with Steve’s assumption that a JKR win will mean more restriction to the fan community. Those arguing this point in the comments need to start reading between the lines themselves. WB/ JKR have embraced fansites after some minor tussles in the beginning, which were probably just to serve notice that blatant infringement would not be tolerated.

My fear is that if RDR wins Steve will begin a crackdown on copyright infringement. His copyrights for that matter. A win for RDR means no more timelines, character breakdowns, family trees, etc. Anything that has to do with the organization of the HP world will be claimed by Steve. IMHO Steve has already attempted to do this, in fact he has been doing it since the beginning. No other fansite has trademarks and copyrights plastered on it. I have always had a problem with comments made by Steve, I never liked Cannon Conundrums,it always implied mistakes in the storyline, also all of his comments regarding the timelines. The open letter to JKR by him and Emerson Spartz was appaling in some, not all, of its points. Yet he was still paid by WB to be on DVD extras.

This isn’t an attack on Steve personally. I don’t know Steve personally, but out of the supposed big three superfans, Emerson of Mugglenet, and Melissa of TLC I have always found him to be the most unlike me as a fan. I always felt if I met him he would be agreeable and likeable but he would correct me on little details in HP that I might have forgot in a egotistical way. I don’t like it when people do that.

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I have been posting here since the beginning of the post. Things have certainly changed since then.

@ Cara,

Thanks for responding to Very Concerned, Nef, Kristin, etc. You said everything necessary.

@ Ashley,

I agree I think it is RDR/SVA writing these posts. Notice how “Very Concerned” is the only one bringing up the name of the law firm handling the case. Please!!! Who else would bother naming them or saying how serious a case it is that they would handle it?

@ mollywobbles23

You made me spit out my tea. I love the Greyback, Draco reference and the fact that you were able to quote from your own mind and not have to go to HPL for a quote. You are simply amazing. :D

@ Anonymoose, NotTheHBP, Prenz, PB&J, and all the others who are relentlessly trying to clarify for those making unsubstantiated claims, I doubt your making any progress. They simply refuse to read, understand, or be moved from their chosen mindset. It’s not worth it.

I have a few comments of my own.

- There may be more to the case than TLC wrote about as to why they were disbanding. If that is the case, then it is commendable that they chose NOT to write about it. This is proof that they still care about Steve. Just because we think we know what’s going on, it doesn’t mean that this is EVERYTHING that’s happening. I am sure that conversations/telephone calls/e-mail/etc. were exchanged before this decision was made. TLC would not do this if something had not propelled them to do so. It is not our place to demand more information, but to be grateful that they did not turn this into a mudslinging campaign or tried to vilify SVA.

- Melissa’s Book – as others have posted, the book is not a regurgitation of information from the HP books. It is a compilation of experiences, hers and fans, relating to the fandom. This is in no way the same thing. She could leave TLC today, never have contact with Jo for the rest of her life, and the book will still be legal. So please stop saying she’s kissing up or trying to save her book. She has no need to do so.

- 84% why do the supporter of RDR/SVA fail to address this number???? You cannot ignore it and then continue to say that it is their right to publish. For that matter we can all take and HP book, take out a few chapters, add a few of our own, and voila we can call ourselves authors. It has been said before by myself and others, change the format of the book to essays and this will probably all go away.

- I think one of the saddest things I have read in these posts, and yes I have read them all, is that Jo’s appearance on Pottercast was a bribe to TLC to get them on her side. How can people say they are fans and not be conscious of all Jo has allowed in the name of fandom? No to mention, her own website so we can feel a connection to her? In this respect, I doubt anyone can be more generous with their work than she has. As for TLC, all the years they have spent operating this site, bringing us news, videos, etc. without saying, “Pay us for our work”, freely giving us their time and hard work, raising money for charity, and people still have the nerve to say something like that??? I’ve wanted Leaky merchandise for ages and I’m sure others do. Yet, they only push t-shirts when they are donating to charity. So where is the greed in that? If you are not greedy you can’t be bribed. Therefore, please stop saying that TLC are only trying to stay in good of Jo to sell their own books.

A decision was made. You have the right to have your own opinion and if that opinion is diametrically opposed to TLC’s, then it is your right to stop coming to the site. Therefore, if it is your right to cease your relationship with TLC, why can TLC not cease their relationship with SVA.

I’ve said, enough. I love you TLC. You too intelligent, well-mannered posters. By the way, where has Morton been?

I

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I am extremely happy about this decision. I have hear many people suggesting a complete boycot of the lexicon (as in, no one visits the site). I support keaky’s decision and I have made the persoal decision to no longer visit the lexicon.

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To Anonymoose:

“As copyright statute currently stands, there is ZERO reason to allow this highly infringing work to be published. As adjudicated law currently stands, there is ZERO case law to base a pro-defense precedent on.”

I suggest you read the following cases before you state there is no case law on which the defense could possibly build a fair use argument:

Ty, Inc.v. Publications Int’l Ltd ., 292 F.3d 512 (7th Cir. 2002)

Castle Rock Entertainment Inc. v. Carol Publishing Group, Inc. 150 F.3d 132 (1998)

Campbell v. Acuff-Rose, Inc. 510 U.S. 569 (1994)]

Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Moral Majority, Inc., 606 F. Supp. 1526 (C.D. Cal. 1985)

I just pulled these off the top of my head, but research would probably turn up other examples. Fair use is a complicated doctrine which has a lot of judicial precedent. No, there has never been a case EXACTLY like this before, but that is what law is about: applying past decisions to different fact patterns.

Additionally lawyers have a professional duty to zealously represent their clients. So if RDR has an argument (which they do) the attorneys at Standford should not be ashamed to argue the case. They are doing their job.

Journalists have a professional duty to avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp). Why aren’t you complaining that TLC is continuing to report on this story despite having an interest in the outcome and not being legally trained to report accurately?

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Akemi42 is a plant.

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Quote from SVA’s interview:

“I’m as excited to buy Rowling’s Scottish book as anyone! It will be very different from the Lexicon book, with a lot of new and exciting information which only Rowling can provide. I will continue to update the Lexicon website.”

I will bet SVA is excited for Rowling’s Scottish Book, he could renumber the pages, update the Lexicon and copyright all as his own.

Sorry, just a perverse funny thought.

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@ Akemi42

What part of TLC’s reporting applies to “not being legally trained to report accurately?”

Last time I checked TLC had not given a legal opinion. They have been posting links and summarizing. Even now they have not said anything pertaining to the legality of the case. Please clarify.

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Akemi42 is a plant.

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Nef: WHY NOW?

BECAUSE SVA CAN’T SEEM TO STOP DOING STUPID STUFF. It might be RDR’s name that is on the lawsuit, but let’s not pretend that it doesn’t concern SVA. He should just stop talking to press, for his own good. It doesn’t make him or his intentions look good.

I don’t mean to imply that SVA himself is stupid. I don’t think much of his writing or analyzing skills (from what I’ve seen in the manuscript), but I’m sure he’s very clever.

Yes, a lot of people (including me) are wondering where on earth did he Leaky staff find the patience not to ‘cut him off’ before but I can only praise them for their restraint (foolish from the point of view of running a successful site that has a full approval of JKR and WB – because IT DOESN’T DO STUPID STUFF, but praise-worthy because they stood by someone who obviously needs friends very badly right now, no matter how bad he treated them. Very christian in the ‘turn the other cheek’ way. Well, there are only so many cheeks a person has.

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@ Akemi42

One last thing. Is your site Akemi42.com?

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To Jackie…

“84% why do the supporter of RDR/SVA fail to address this number???? You cannot ignore it and then continue to say that it is their right to publish.”

I am considering this number, but it only pertains to one of the FOUR factors in the fair use analysis. I’ll post them again just to be clear…

1. the purpose and character of the use 2. the nature of the copyrighted work 3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken 4. the effect of the use upon the potential market

This 84% figure impacts factor #3, but I see arguments both for and against the Lexicon with the others three factors. I am not saying the case should come down one way or the other, but what I am saying is that it is NOT a clear cut issue.

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To Heidy:

I don’t think anyone reporting on this is a lawyer and this article states that “the coverage will continue to be simple linking-to and explaining-in-layman’s-terms legal documents, so you can easily read them yourself if there’s ever any doubt what we say is true.”

I think that only lawyers are qualified to translate legal documents into layman’s terms, but that is just my opinion. If the TLC staffer writing the article is consulting a lawyer then I would feel much better about it, but I don’t see any indication that is happening.

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@ChrisCHJ – I agree totally with your post.

@ Nef. I wish everyone attacking this commentator would stop. As a fandom we have to be mature enough to tolerate disagreements and different points of view. Nef makes some interesting points and instead of trying to shut/shout (?) him down, we should read, and consider, and each make up our own mind.

@anonymous (3/23 12:17) who said “You can not be a fan of an artist and go against the wishes of the artist” – er, yes, you can.

Jo Rowling herself is, in the books, very critical of authoritarian, top-down, “magic is might”, there is only one way right way to think type of approaches. Her heros and heroine are questioning and challenging of the given authority. And so, I hope, Jo would endorse the right of her readers to have dissenting views. (Along the lines of “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”)

We must get out of the mindset of there being one right way to respond to things, and grow to a place of tolerance of difference. This vilification of anyone who does not slavishly follow the fan party line is unnecessary and undesirable. We are not either “true fans” or evil “Lexicon plants”. The world is not divided into good people and death-eaters!

Peace out.

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Dear Melissa and all TLC staff

To tell you the truth, I wondered why you didn’t make this decision earlier – and I see greatness and fairness in your way. It shows that you really didn’t make this decision lightly, in a rush, or on the basis of hatred or any other bad feeling. In a world with so much hatred and so little love I feel you have truly acted in the spirit of Harry Potter: deliberately, clearly, unemotionally (but wholeheartedly) and bravely.

Thanks to all of you!

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Nef – I don’t understand why you keep asking why now? This situation has been brewing for quite some time. Leaky has maintained that they have been discussing this among their entire staff. It isn’t just one person. Decisions have been made with consideration to legal issues and personal opinions. I’m sure tears were shed during these meetings as it’s never easy to sever ties whether businesswise or personally. Leaky has shown respect and honor toward their colleagues.

This is totally the decision (and business) of “The Leaky Cauldron” to make their announcement when they choose. Why do you think you’re entitled to more?

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Melissa,

from one journalist to another: good job.

This whole thing is just too horrible. We are all fans and should honor that always. End of discussion.

Leaky was right to terminate the partnership. Sometimes it is terrible to do things like this, but the right isn’t always easy.

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I have been following and discussing this on the leakylounge since the beginning.

Akemi, There is a huge difference between the case of “Ty, Inc.v. Publications Int’l Ltd ., 292 F.3d 512” and the current case. Every single entry in the Beanie Baby book had some new content. Every entry had price and manufacture dates for each Beanie Baby. Only 16% of the entries in the Lexicon Book have any additional information beyond JK Rowlings copyrighted facts

The 84% number does not represent the amount of the book that belongs to JKR, it represents the percentage of entries that have NO analysis or commentary. Only 16% of the entries contain any analysis and commentary.

And of the ones analyzed so far, the percentage of analysis and commentary by word count is between 8 and 18%. So I think this book is easily over 90% JK Rowling and less than 10% Steve Vander Ark.

There is no getting around it, this book is way too much JKR and not nearly enough SVA.

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@ Heidy

Thanks for the kind words.. I’ve been writing the following VERY long posting. I apologize and if you all don’t want something like this, I will desist in future, but I thought this one was important enough.

I think there is a need to distinguish between WHAT is being said and HOW it is being interpreted, either inadvertently or willfully. The Law, as it is written, provides copyright holders exclusive rights over their material and all derivative works. The Law, however, provides for a variety of possibilities to allow use of such material in certain circumstances (essentially in THIS case the Doctrine of Fair Use). So yes, the Law is clear, in clear cut cases, and yes, one might think this case is indeed clear cut (and who knows, the Judge may agree that is clear cut). However, there is ALWAYS the possibility that existing precedents may be followed, or new ones created .. we simply cannot say. So both those who say “this is the law” and those who say “but there are exceptions” are correct.

However, we also have to be very careful not to provide partial information (whether we are attorney or layman) that is either intended, or appears, to be the “definitve” answer. Case in point…

As was pointed out, it is VERY difficult to understand and apply fair Use, in certain circumstances. And there is certainly case record and decision on the application of the Doctrine. However, I read the judgement in the Ty case (the famous Beanie Baby case) and was interested in what I discovered that was not made clear in the posting referring to it.

The decision overturning the initial ruling against the defendants is NOT final. What the appeal court did was reverse the original ruling against PIL Publishing because of errors, and remanded the case back to the courts to be retried. They also explicitly pointed out that it was possible that Ty (the Plaintiff) would be successful again in proving infringement. So this one is not a decision on Fair Use at all, but in fact talks about how it was handled, pointing out that Infringement is still possible to prove.

Further, the Cambpell vs. Acuff (the “Pretty Woman”) case and the Castle Rock (the Seinfeld Trivia Book ) case you quote were used in the Ty case to illustrate certain points, either by the Plaintiff, or indeed by the Court.

The first case was used to illustrate 3 things: one was that there is a difference between “complementary” and “substitutional” copying. That is, if one copies material that is complementary (i.e. adds to or enhances) the copyrighted material, there might be more leeway in determining how much material may be copied, but you have, first to prove that your copying was complemetary.

If, in fact, the copying is determined to be substitutional, that means your intent is to replace or otherwise make reference to the original material unnecessary. I believe It is this that WB/JKR are referring to when they say that this book would usurp the Scottish Book’s profits. It is NOT a matter of the actual amount (which most people agree is not realy a material amount) but rather they allege that using the copyrighted material without permission would render the Scottish book irrelevant. it would be Substitutional copying.

The second use of this case was to point out that if the material was used to create a parody, that was fair use. This case was an appeal of a previous ruling against 2 Live Crew and for Acuff Music who were the copyright holders of Pretty Woman. The case was overturned because of what the courts referred to as errors. I expect that the issue being brought forward here isn’t parody, but rather the issue of “transformation” which is what parody does, thus providiing something different than the original, but also in the case or parody, at least, some amount of criticism (in the Critics’ sense).

The third illustrative use of this case to to make it clear that the 4 factors for determining fair use were to be used as a checklist and not a formula for the decision.

The Castlerock Case was essentially used by the Plaintif to show that copying a large amount (vitually ALL) of the Seinfeld Scripts to use in the defendants’ trivia game violated Fair Use. It was pointed out that the Plaintiff’s won in that case, BECAUSE the derivative product, the Trivia Game, did not test knowledge of the reality behind the Seinfeld series (i.e. where the filming sets were, who played what role in any specific episode, etc.) but in fact relied on the CREATED part, the Scripts and Shows themselves, and this is what was wrong, because they essentially rendered getting the dvds of the show unnecessary, thus cutting into the profits. Presumably the Plaintiffs, Ty, in the Beanie Baby case were trying to illustrate that the same was happening here, that is that the defendant had used too much copyrighted material of a created nature as opposed to surrounding circumstances behind the creation to develop what was supposed to be a buyers’ guide. The defendants had, in fact used photographs (which everybody agreed were of copyrighted images) of the ENTIRE Beanie baby line. The fact that the case was reversed does not mean that this approach was wrong, because there were errors cited. But it may yet prove to be immaterial, when the final verdict is done.

I offer this web address if you wish to read it yourself: http://www.techlawjournal.com/courts2003/ty/20020530.asp And, BTW, there is a really neat paragraph in this decision that explains why fair use is actually to the benefit of the copyright holder, and it is obvious that they know this.

Having given you all this absolutely dry information and material, I hasten to point out that it is insufficient (although common practice) to provide only partial information. Saying that cases exist regarding Fair Use and Case law is fine, since they do. But to imply or allow people to infer that they provide support for one side or the other is not appropriate, except as an expression of what YOUR opinion is, niot that the support is definitive. And I hasten to add that all of the above is my interpretation of what I read in the TY judgement. It is, MY opinion, and I offer it for your consideration to allow you to have more to think about, or ignore, as you see fit. It is NOT the definitive answer, nor is it even an “answer”... it is merely additional fodder for discussion.

To make it very simple: Yes, there are cases out based on Fair Use; Yes, Fair Use is complex (I’ve been saying so for a long time here, and have even quoted the US Copyright Office itself as having pointed out the complexity of the Doctrine of Fair Use); Yes, it is impossible to determine exactly how the judge will rule, indeed, nobody can say they know the outcome based on this case or that.

The opponents in this action are doing what is their right and going about it in the best tradition, and as I said elsewhere, whatever else we may think, we should applaud the use of the existing and, probably imperfect system (for what IS perfect) is still better than no system at all.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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Sadly, I think you decision might be a bit hasty, though I admit I am not in a position to know all the details.

From the general press I’ve read, those representing JKR are asserting a new interpretation of copyright laws that goes against all previously set precedences. And, as such, if JKR wins, indeed copyright will be viewed in a whole new light with a whole new set of consequences.

Keep in mind that it is not just JKR vs Lexicon that is at stake here. Once this precedent is set, it become ingrained in the law, and becomes binding to all until it is over turned. It WILL affect all authors and all fans, and represents a new limit on fan and other author actions regarding existing works.

I think Steve is right to say that greater issues are at stake and once this precedent is set, it will have substantial impact on us all. This goes beyond what JKR personally intends or doesn’t intend to do, it becomes a bind part of law that affects everyone.

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Akemi42 posted “Journalists have a professional duty to avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp). Why aren’t you complaining that TLC is continuing to report on this story despite having an interest in the outcome and not being legally trained to report accurately?”

RU SERIOUS? “conflicts of interest, real or percieved” as percieved by whom and how many? What interest does TLC have in the outcome of this case? TLC stands to make no monetary gain from it. can take to be legally trained. Are you referring to a law? Or are you just saying that no one at TLC has a law degree, or is a paralegal or defense attorney lackey?

"legally trained to report accurately"  thats a stupid comment. Is there a course you

anon posted “Akemi42 is a plant” if thats true the defense attorneys need to fire him. He cited Hustler vs. Moral Majority Inc ;-D

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@Heidi

Thanks for including me in the “intelligent and well-mannered posters” category (I am assuming that the juxtaposition means inclusion!)

I’m here, and I am extremely frustrated. I just finished a lengthy (and I DO mean LENGTHY) post which disappeared into the ether. I may try and recreate it, although I suspect that it may have been too long for this forum.

Essentially it dealt with the cases that were quoted in an earlier post on Page 20 of the postings, and I tried to point out that while those cases certainly exist, they were actually not necessarily showing up in favour of either side. I was lamenting the fact that we, being human, tend to confuse WHAT is being said with HOW it is being said, and as such we tend to imply things we can’t really say, or things we say are inferred as meaning something else.

But also, I lamented the fact that partial statements don’t serve the purpose of ellucidating the issues and should, therefore, be stated as opinions based on information found or given as opposed to making them sound definitive. Stating that a case exists without describing it or pointing out how it was concluded and why is not necessarily helpful. Oh well.. perhaps I’ll write it all up again.

M.

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@Heidy

I’m here and thanks for including me in the “intelligent and well-mannered” group of posters. I am assuming, of course, that juxtaposition means inclusion!

I was in the midst of developing and posting a very long entry about the referenced cases (Ty and the others) but it disappeared into the ether. Mayhaps I’ll try again, but not right now.

M.

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Do you think that, if Lexicon wins the case, the Harry Potter fansites are going to be affected in any way(Lexicon Online included)?

“A victory for RDR Books will protect the rights of fans to create based on someone else’s work.”

I can’t believe he said this. If he wants to write a book for his own profit, why doesn’t he write one with his own characters and not one “based on someone else’s work”. This is quite clearly, and to put it mildly, stealing. I don’t understand why there is even a debate here. This is her book, her characters. He has no right to do this. That is why we have copyright laws.

Way to go Leaky, for remembering that sometimes doing what is right, is not always easy.

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I have been a lawyer for 15 years, and I think the reporting on the lawsuit prepared by Leaky has been impartial. Akemi42 has no basis to accuse the Leaky staff of biased reporting. By his own admission, fair use is a complicated doctrine, and that there are arguments to be made for both sides. However, it does appear that SVA’s book is comprised almost entirely of copyrighted materials. The nominal portions of the book that are not JKR’s copyrighted materials appear to be taken from several on-line resources without the appropriate credit being given to those sources. All in all, it appears that SVA is very talented at gathering materials created by others and putting them together. This type of behavior is not worthy and does not make SVA an author.

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@ secunda

I think you have missed the point. If WB/JKR wins, they will simply be exercising the rights they already have. RDR has not followed the fair use guidelines at all in this. If RDR/SVA wins, then WB/JKR and all other copyright holders with active fandoms currently and in the future will be forced to block websites, fanfiction, etc… in order to prevent having a ruling like this. It would set a precedent that just because an author/creator allows websites and fanfiction to be published online, that they lose the right to block any and all copyright infringements, even if they’re for profit. Fair use means no more than 10% of material used is copyrighted. However, 84% of the proposed book is copyrighted material. If Steve had decided to publish the numerous essays on the Lexicon as opposed to the entries, that would fall under fair use.

Please read my post again! I said I didn´t agree with Steve!!!!

Anyway, it is repeated again and again that Jo regarded fanfiction as copyright infringement? When has she made a comment that goes in that direction? I just can remember that she said it´s an “tricky area” for her and that she very seldom reads one.

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As everyone has said, this is has very sad, but unfortunantly inevitable. Ever since the beginning this case has been tearing my heart in two- it seriously just makes me want to break down in tears with frusturation. However, I do support Melissa, John, Sue, and the staffers at Leaky for collaborating over this very tough decision, and I wish the best to Lexicon, but I do agree with everything stated by Melissa.

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Good decision leaky. I agree with you

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alot of people are making these long comments, all i’m saying is that rdr is delusional …........... actually thats a bad word in harry potter land so they are stupid

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First off, I’d like to lend my support to TLC for making this break from the Floo. I know it wasn’t easy for you. Please keep up the good work in summarizing the case.

@ Akemi, who so kindly cited case law that I am more than a little familiar with:

Ty, Inc.v. Publications Int’l Ltd ., 292 F.3d 512 (7th Cir. 2002)

Castle Rock Entertainment Inc. v. Carol Publishing Group, Inc. 150 F.3d 132 (1998)

Campbell v. Acuff-Rose, Inc. 510 U.S. 569 (1994)]

Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Moral Majority, Inc., 606 F. Supp. 1526 (C.D. Cal. 1985)

In Ty, more commonly known as the Beanie Baby case, 7th District Judge, Posner, ruled that a buyer’s guide was transformative, HOWEVER< if asked he’d have ruled in summary judgement favoringde minimis for fair use.

In Castlerock, more commonly known as the Seinfeld case, 9th District Judge, Walker, ruled that ‘Any transformative purpose possessed by The SAT is slight to non-existent…even viewing The SAT in the light most favorable to defendants, we find scant reason to conclude that this trivia quiz book seeks to educate, criticize, parody, comment, report upon, or research Seinfeld , or otherwise serve a transformative purpose.

In Cambell, better known as the Pretty Woman case, the Supreme Court ruled that 2 Live Crew had very obviously met the criteria of parody. This means the work was substantively transformative, therefore fair use. *NOTE: The Lexicon book is not ‘parody’ and does not meet fair use.

In Hustler, better known as the Falwell case, the Supreme upheld Fair Use because was baudy and satirical parody which clearly noted a prominent disclaimer that said: “AD PARODYNOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY”. *NOTE: The Lexicon is still NOT a parody.

I noticed how you didn’t address the comment pointing out how a ruling for JK simply holds the status quo, rather than provides more rights than the author currently has {as Vander Ark implies}.

While it is true an attorney should zealously defend their client, trying to twist the law to suit the purposes of the bleeding heart ‘Fair Use Project’ so as to inject massive instability into copyright law makes me quite ill.

Misrepresenting case law is not going to win this case on RDRs behalf. Neither is claiming TLC is biased in its reporting. As others have clearly pointed out, this is not investigative journalism, it’s summarization of facts known on both sides to date. If you think it is, well, you need to take a closer look at true investigative journalism. If you want to see real bias there are more than a view blogs out there that show it on behalf of RDR.

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*

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“Obviously. Rowling herself said that this case would have implications for fans, for what she terms “legitimate” fan creations, and has said that she’s concerned this case will adversely affect them. Read between the lines, if she wins, there’ll be more of a crackdown. She’s as good as promised it.”

Posted by alias_iii on March 25, 2008 @ 03:13 AM

When she said that, I think she was talking about a win for RDR, not her. If she wins, she’s already exerted her control where she wants, but if RDR wins, she (and other creators whose work has active fandoms) may have to rethink her allowance of all that she allows now. Technically, she has the wrote to close down all fanfiction sites. Anne Rice has.

“As ill-advised as SVA’s decision appears to me to have been, I think WB and JKR could have found a better way to deal with it so that this debacle might have been avoided. I suspect WB and JKR understand the value of smacking down an uber-fan like Steve to get out the message to the rest of the world that theirs is a take-no-prisoners, recognize-no-friends approach to guarding their property rights.”

Posted by Jeanie on March 25, 2008 @ 03:44 AM

I don’t know if anyone has addressed this yet. Jeanie, WB/JKR sent numerous letters to RDR requesting to review the manuscript. RDR refused. They tried everything they could before filing suit. It’s RDR/SVA’s fault they’re in this mess. They should have just cooperated. If they had, we probably wouldn’t even know about this mess.

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Sorry if I’m posting this a second time. It seems to me, though, it disappeared. When I’m page 20, there’s 22 pages of comments. I go to page 21, and there are no comments there. Odd.

“Obviously. Rowling herself said that this case would have implications for fans, for what she terms “legitimate” fan creations, and has said that she’s concerned this case will adversely affect them. Read between the lines, if she wins, there’ll be more of a crackdown. She’s as good as promised it.”

Posted by alias_iii on March 25, 2008 @ 03:13 AM

When she said that, I think she was talking about a win for RDR, not her. If she wins, she’s already exerted her control where she wants, but if RDR wins, she (and other creators whose work has active fandoms) may have to rethink her allowance of all that she allows now. Technically, she has the wrote to close down all fanfiction sites. Anne Rice has.

“As ill-advised as SVA’s decision appears to me to have been, I think WB and JKR could have found a better way to deal with it so that this debacle might have been avoided. I suspect WB and JKR understand the value of smacking down an uber-fan like Steve to get out the message to the rest of the world that theirs is a take-no-prisoners, recognize-no-friends approach to guarding their property rights.”

Posted by Jeanie on March 25, 2008 @ 03:44 AM

I don’t know if anyone has addressed this yet. Jeanie, WB/JKR sent numerous letters to RDR requesting to review the manuscript. RDR refused. They tried everything they could before filing suit. It’s RDR/SVA’s fault they’re in this mess. They should have just cooperated. If they had, we probably wouldn’t even know about this mess.

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oops. Sorry. Feel free to delete one of those comments.

Someone said they thought Akemi42 is a plant. I do too. There are lawyers on the forums who think the exact opposite as Akemi42 about this case, so I truly believe they’re a plant. My apologies to them if they’re not.

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@ Akemi…

Beanie Babies, which ruled Fair Use, but was also a jumbled ruling based upon Posner’s comment of how he would not have ruled out summary judgment on behalf of Ty and against PIL based upon the non-transformative nature of one of the books under the court’s consideration: A split decision, Pro Fair Use, Against Fair Use. Seinfeld Case, which was not transformative:, ruled Against Fair Use. 2Live Crew, which was parody, ruled: Pro Fair Use. Falwell, which was parody, ruled: Pro Fair Use.

So far it comes up fail {non-transformative}, complete fail, fail {not a parody}, and fail {not a parody}. Yeah, I’m having an extremely difficult time seeing the similarities here to the case law you cited. All I see is that the Lexicon book as seen in court documents is Utter Fail, comparitively speaking.

You didn’t mention the 84% to 16% ration…wonder why? Would you, as an IP attorney, recommend your client to proceed with such a highly infringing work or would you counsel your client to add more substance to the work in order for it to pass Fair Use?

You also didn’t address the ‘implied consent’ issue. Or the difference in publishing on a non-profit fan site versus printed books. Instead, you want to claim TLC is bias in its reporting without substantiating the claim.

I’m sorry, but I’m rather underwhelmed by your alleged expert opinion.

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Hey guys; been away from the comp so some quick answers:

“Why now” is very much a fair question. The sentiment has been bubbling throughout the staff since the suit started, and I think we’ve known for awhile this is where it would end up, but to be honest, we were holding out hope something would happen that would mean we didn’t have to do it. We were trying to separate the case and the Web site, and were mostly avoiding the issue as you avoid things that are upsetting – but the interview presented thoughts that pushed us to have the discussion, and make the decision.

The idea that WB or Jo has done a thing to force our hand here is untrue and unsupported. This was a staff decision and the only factors we talked about were how we felt about the case and whether we thought we could act as partners anymore. We had a discussion in our staff area that went several days, and everyone that weighed in, despite repeated requests for voicing of minority opinion, felt the same. The senior staff was unanimous.

As for the PC interview a way to “buy” the site – LOL, no, and I can’t imagine any “deal” in which someone would say, “OK, publicly support me in exchange for this interview but wait more than three months to do it!” LOL.

As for bias – you know, all people are biased. All people have opinions. That’s true of everyone on this site, and that’s true of every reporter who writes every story about anything there ever was. It’s how we’re built; as you look at the facts you start to form opinons. Journalistic bias isn’t about stripping a person of opinions, it’s about keeping those opinions out of the coverage. This is the first public opinion we’ve shared on this case. (Outside of the time I sad Joe Nocera was sadly mistaken in calling Jo a “copyright hog,” but that was more me personally mouthing off.)

Additionally, it is in exceedingly poor taste to insinuate that the MANY people it took to make this decision are all incapable of looking at this case and independently coming to the same conclusion without having some dark ulterior motive. I, too, was personally very surprised that I couldn’t scrounge up a minority opinion, but perhaps there’s a staffer or two here or there that was on vacation and didn’t get a crack at the discussion. It’s certainly possible; we didn’t do a vote like you do in Congress or anything.

Most of you have been wonderful on these comments; thank you very much.

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well melie and staff, great job on the tough call. but my heart goes out to the lex in it’s time of need. why can’t we put this all behind us, and be a fandom again, a real fandom.

my 0.2$ Matt

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Also: “legal training” in reporting doesn’t exist. There is no license, there is no certificate, you must get before reporting on a court case. Perhaps there are some that get traned by legal professionals for the hell of it; that’s fine, but most reporters do not. The first time I had to cover a criminal trial was also the first time I’d ever been to one. It’s not terribly difficult; you write down what person A says, what person B says, try to distill to the real points, write a story, file. Most reporters don’t even get journalism degrees, and it’s a tossup if they even have English degrees.

This is a common and accepted way of covering legal proceedings and is specifically useful because you have someone who is NOT in the legal profession doing the reporting.

But, most of all… these are public records. Nothing at all has been anything but posting to public documents. I’ve asked, and others have asked, for public documents that identify either side’s misstatements, exaggerations or lies. In some cases we’ve found some, in some cases we have not. In all cases we have had hundreds of readers (here and on other fan outlets reporting) scouring these documents just as intently as anyone on staff here. Whatever has been found that is public, and provable, has been linked to. As I’ve said before, I say again..I welcome such contributions, of public lnks and documents that show misstatements or misconceptions, no matter what it says for either side. Not a single RDR supporter has provided anything yet; I suppose the day will come. I’ve also welcomed someone pointing out an error; whenever they have, it’s been promptly fixed.

If we wanted to really get into the hairy area of bias, I could assign a word length to the stories and have to really start squishing things in and condensing, or leave parts out, etc. Or I could start asking the many, many questions that linger about this case, not only when there’s a clear misconception that needs unraveling. I could start getting really investigative about it , or, simply, do anything more than link to and summarize public documents. But that’s where I would agree it’s not right, because of the site’s former affiliations. Linking to public documents, however, is an exercise in transparency and as such will continue.

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No, thank you Melissa and the rest of the staff, for creating and upholding such a fantastic site. I know the decision couldn’t have been easy for you and I can’t imagine having to deal with something like this on such a public level. You all have done a fantastic job of staying neutral when posting updates about the case. Your coverage has been better, to be quite frank, than most news sources, which like to paint Jo as the big evil author stomping on the little guy. It was only a matter of time before you would have to give up that unbiasness for a little bit to separate yourselves from SVA’s view on this case, especially his view on the effect a win for Jo would have on the fandom. As this site is a major part of the fandom, it would be unavoidable and I think you handled the announcement wonderfully. I for one didn’t need an explanation for “why now,” but I’m completely satisfied with the one you gave.

P.S. Melissa, I can’t wait to purchase your book on the fandom. I’m especially eager to read your interview with Laura Mallory; that sneak peek just wasn’t enough! : – )

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Sad indead that the staff of Leaky cannot as steve mentions just because you dont agree on a subject you cant still be friends. A POOR show by all on leaky shame on you!!!

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Well said Melissa and I am so sorry that there are those out there who just have this insatiable need to suspect the worst in people first and start spouting off about ulterior motives and the like. I particularly don’t care about why now, the point is it IS now and that is all there is to it. Thank you for addressing the conspiracy theorists.

As for you, I wish you nothing but the best and please take some time for yourself (and staff too) to shake off this ugly business and know that you placed all good faith in your dealings with Steve only to be heartily let down. And I think it is most generous of you to continue to pay for the website until ownership can be transferred. It takes someone with great ethics to do that since you are certainly not obliged to do it.

Blessings, W.

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@ vicki

You do realize that Steve put in a provision in his contract about the Floo Network and that Leaky didn’t know about it until the contract was made public? You do realize that they are still going to pay for the domain for the Lexicon until after the case is closed? They have been more kind than I would have been. Poor show by Leaky? No, poor show by Steve.

He does not speak for the fandom, yet he thinks he is doing this for us. Or at least that’s what he claims. No, he’s doing it for himself. I wouldn’t even know his name if it weren’t for Leaky and PotterCast.

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SVA has shown his true colors throughout this entire situation. From his original position of having no intention of ever publishing the Lexicon, to failing to cooperate with JKR and requests for a manuscript when he decided to publish, to manipulating his “partners” in the Floo Network.

The snake in the grass is SVA, and like Nagini, he will have his head handed to him.

Everyone makes mistakes. However, this effort by SVA is no mistake; he had time to take the right course. Instead, he chose to take the path of walking over his friends and associates; all for personal gain. The only glory he will achieve is his 15 minutes of wailing and chest pounding on the steps of the courthouse, when his bid to publish fails.

I would pity him, but he doesn’t deserve anything but contempt.

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Melissa, I just finally caught up with this story and the thread after the long Easter weekend, and my heart goes out to you and the PCers for what has to have been a truly traumatic decision-making process. I think you can tell that 99% of respondents on this thread trust you and your colleagues to have made the fairest decision possible here, even bending over backwards for months to give SVA the benefit of the doubt. Bravo and big comforting hugs to all at TLC.

That said, I think you need to go to your PotterCast Page and remove SVA’s name under “What is PC?”/”Canon Conundrums” and even do a global search of your site so that you remove references to TLC’s partnering with the Lexicon and SVA throughout. I know you probably haven’t gotten to that yet (like separating your belongings during a divorce settlement), but it would certainly make your severance of ties manifest.

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I apologize for the double posting—the site’s a little slow in responding and I hit the post button several times! Feel free to delete any multiples.

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Melissa, I just finally caught up with this story and the thread after the long Easter weekend, and my heart goes out to you and the PCers for what has to have been a truly traumatic decision-making process. I think you can tell that 99% of respondents on this thread trust you and your colleagues to have made the fairest decision possible here, even bending over backwards for months to give SVA the benefit of the doubt. Bravo and big comforting hugs to all at TLC.

That said, I think you need to go to your PotterCast Page and remove SVA’s name under “What is PC?”/”Canon Conundrums” and even do a global search of your site so that you remove references to TLC’s partnering with the Lexicon and SVA throughout. I know you probably haven’t gotten to that yet (like separating your belongings during a divorce settlement), but it would certainly make your severance of ties manifest.

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I’m sorry that you made this decision. I know it must have been hard—but ultimately, you’ve made the mistake so many fans make in being willing to give up hard-won rights and freedoms in exchange for access to your idols/heroes/favorite authors.

I would think that as a journalist, Melissa Annelli might have taken a broader view. Ah, well. Let’s just hope that a win for Warner & Ms. Rowling won’t embolden them to come after everybody else who’s written about Harry Potter. Melissa Annelli: Will YOUR book be out before this is decided, or is there still time for them to sue you?

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@QuidditchChase

First of all, Melissa’s book concerns the fandom. It is not a summation of what happens in the books. Secondly, if WB/JKR had any problem with her manuscript, I’m sure Melissa would cooperate and make any needed changes. Thirdly, Melissa’s book falls under fair use. SVA’s does not. End of story.

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Come off it, QuidditchChase. TLC has made the right decision and it had nothing to do with remaining in anyone’s good books.

Melissa has very much taken the ‘broader view’ that you claim.

In answer to your question about Melissa’s book…even when it does hit the market, JK/WB won’t have any earthly reason to sue. Why is that, you may ask? Simply put, her book isn’t illegal. It falls within the guidelines of Fair Use. Steve’s doesn’t.

Nice try in attempting to make TLC, JK, and WB the bad guys in all of this instead of placing blame where it should justly rest: Steve Vander Ark and RDR Books. So sad the attempt totally fails.

Thank you, Melissa, for your updated posts and thank you TLC for your continued dedication to allow everyone to freely voice their opinions.

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Since well before this case was brought, JKR&Co have shown that they know my book is not in any danger of violating any rights. You needn’t worry, but I thank you for your concern.

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I just want to clear up a misconception about the 84%. 84% is the percentage of entries in the Lexicon Book that have NO analysis or commentary.. Over in the leaky lounge, we have analyzed a number of the remaining 16% and the amount of analysis and commentary consistently comes in between 8 and 19%. In my opinion after reading most of the Lexicon Book, it is clear to me that the percentage of this book that is made up of JK Rowling’s copy righted facts is well over 90%.

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Eye opening report… I can tell your level frustration with the Lexicon purely from you no longer want any association with them at all even by giving them their sever and domain so they can pay it themselves and by making Steve no longer welcome on PotterCast. Hmmmmm. Tough times. Leaky is still the best Harry Potter site on the net and I support your decision.

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I would have to say, I expected this. I support the Leaky 110%. I really don’t understand how someone can take someone else work and claim it, I mean really the time line is awsome but speculative until J.K. said it was right, and without the work of J.K. Rowling, her Characters, and the movies they inspired, their wouldn’t be any of this including the Lexicon.

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Remember what the sorting hat said in OOTP? “The warning histroy shows For our Hogwarts is in danger From External, deadly foes And we must unite inside her Or we’ll crumble from within I have told you, I have warned you Let the Sorting now begin” Like it said in the song, we have to stand united or we’ll crumble from within.

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I cannot say that I did not expect this to happen, but major hugs to Leaky for announcing it like they did, instead of making it a little sidebar. I hope you guys can reconcile eventually. Good job Leaky you did your best.

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It is amazing how many people who are posting are coming off as employees of RDR Books, and I am not talking just about pro steve people. some pro steve people have been decent and peaceful, but the ones who are like “jk rowling has no right to claim copyright anymore” are just repeating what steve and RDR books have been claiming, that she forfitted her copyright and intellectual property rights to her creations.

who wants to be RDR has been sending the SOCKS out again?

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I know very little about copyright law, but JKR/WB’s position on this just sounds fundamentally flawed to me… I read comments that Steve should change the Lexicon book to essay format and then it would all be fine. Why are essays “fine” and the work he’s done, not? This reminds me of the condescending way society treats any job that’s vital to its functioning but is not done in an office and requires no university education (like being a housewife). The Lexicon might be 84% Jo Rowling’s material, but it actually bears no resemblance to a novel. Only the people who have read the books use it, and it can help them write online commentaries and essays and even publish so-called “secondary sources” in print.

So why should this very useful service (useful even to Warner Bros) be totally free if some fans are prepared to pay for it? That is not fair. Technically, the authors of essay and prediction books also profit “off JKR” because merely having “Harry Potter” on the cover is sure to attract people in the bookshop. One can publish a very superficial, poor quality “scholarly” work on Harry, with only a passing knowledge of these extraordinary books (e.g. by just doing a bit of Wikipedia-style research on the magical animals and plants that appear in HP), and make far more money than a person who publishes a very insightful reflection on the works of, say, Mr. Kuku “Obscure” Borms. Just because of the name: “Harry Potter.” I would argue that in the long term, SVA’s reference book might actually contribute more to readers’ understanding and enjoyment of JKR’s novels than some of the other “fair use” fanbooks on the market. And no, I do not believe that the Lexicon would detract from the success of the “Scottish book” either (that one’s going to be written by JK Rowling herself, contain new information, and come out about ten years from now, by the look of it).

So I hope that SVA/RDR win this case. It’s nice that SVA says he is still a huge fan of the books and respects JK Rowling (if he’s sincere, of course… the “friends” part sounded a bit over the top to me). She, on the other hand, didn’t think twice about calling him “not a true fan” because he wanted to make money – many people have made money out of the Harry Potter franchise, and some less deservedly than SVA would. JKR still cares enormously about Harry even though she made money out of him when she could publish her books on the Web for free… (Hey, and maybe SVA only wants to see his book in print like JKR did!:)

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The more I read the comments from the RDR/SVA defenders, the more I become convinced that most (most, not all) are, in fact, RDR employees themselves…

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shrek ears.

the issue is that the book isent commentary, and 84% of it is actually taken directly from her books, and rarely is it changed, and when the changes to her copyrighted texts are made, it is to add a word here to there.

Also, shrek ears, you are stating that steve respects and admires jo. that is impossible when you take into account the abuse he has flung at her since this case started after months of request pre court order for RDR to send a copy of the manuscript to JKR for review to make sure it was allowable by law. when they refused, it became clear that there was a extremely high chance this book was infringing and not allowable under fair use. what they didnt expect was for over 3/4ths of the manuscript to be copy pasted from her copyrighted works.

also, the lexicon is not steve vander ark’s book. if 84% of it was lifted from jk rowlings works as has been proven, then technically, it is jk rowlings book because she put in nearly 90% of the work into it. he simply copy pasted passages and put a entry title on them.

as for other companion books, all of them exist and were written by someone who understand the legal precedence set by the fair use docterine, meaning they only use copyrighted material as a jumping point for further explorations and commentary, and the percentage they use is kept withen a allowable level.

to give RDR and SVA a win in this case would require the court to take fair use, which general gives 10% allowance of copyrighted material in relation to the ammount of new commentary or paroody, to be extended to mean 10% of the book is only the ammount that has to be newly written, and 90% can be copyrighted to another person. given that not only did he lift lengthly copyrighted passages from jo books, he also took passages from other copyrighted encylopedias without proper citation as to where it came from. he was lazy because he didnt paraphrase his own information for entries that have very little to do with harry potter other then being a one time reference.

the issue of this case is about if fair use should be preserved in its current form, or if it should be expanded. the expansion of fair use to allow the lexicon book would require a severe miscarragie of justice, because it would require fair use docterine to be rewritten to not only double, triple, and quadruple the legally allowable amount of copyrighted material, but to times it by five, six, seven, and eight times the currently allowed legal ammount. this is the issue.

jk rowling is protecting the rights the law currently allows her. authors should not loose the rights to prevent people from hijacking their copyrighted works for personal profit without sticking to the laws as they currently stand. by the end of this, RDR can expect to be bankrupted.

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Well said NotTheHBP!

@shrek ears

As an essay will quote here and there, but mostly be a commentary and have a thesis, it falls under fair use. The Lexicon Book does not. It takes no skills other than organization and the ability to read and type what one has read to put together. Basically, nothing that can be copyrighted itself. An essay on the books can be copyrighted because it’s probably 90% original thought if well done. That’s why an essay would be better.

It has nothing to do with whether or not the lexiconbook resembles a novel. It has everything to do with infringing copyright, which is illegal.

Also, I have no idea where you’re getting a comparison to housewives and office workers here. In fact, by that statement, I could infer that you think housewives aren’t educated as you separate them from those who are educated in your statement. In short, it’s all untrue and not relevant at all to this case, which is all about the law.

If Jo wasn’t so rich, I bet people more people would be on her side. Some seem to think that just because she has a lot of money that her copyright can be infringed upon and she shouldn’t take any action against it.

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I had posted a response earlier to Akemi42 that should have been on the mysterious pg21. Melissa cleared that up “legally trained” that was funny to me! now @shrek ears who posted this little morsel of commentary “I know very little about copyright law, but JKR/WB’s position on this just sounds fundamentally flawed to me… I read comments that Steve should change the Lexicon book to essay format and then it would all be fine. Why are essays “fine” and the work he’s done, not? - Why is it such fine work, I have read many essays on Scribbulus that offers more insight than mere orginazation of facts. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to browse the lexicon, they did an awesome job. But it is plagarism unless JKR permitted them to do it for her reference. The fact that Steve wants to print it and make money from it, makes it not a reference for JKR but something for himself. DON’T KNOW IF THAT MADE ANY SENSE. But think of JKR’s publishing house releasing their organization files for profit and not compensating the author. That would be copyright infringement.

shrek ears posted "This reminds me of the condescending way society treats any job that’s vital to its functioning but is not done in an office and requires no university education (like being a housewife). The Lexicon might be 84% Jo Rowling’s material, but it actually bears no resemblance to a novel. Only the people who have read the books use it, and it can help them write online commentaries and essays and even publish so-called “secondary sources” in print."

-like being a housewife, Steve is hardly an underappreciated wretch, and JKR did not need him to clean her house(ie organize her facts) she had a whole cadre of people doing it for her and for her benefit only. 84% Jo Rowlings material is 84% Jo Rowlings material, whether it is in novel form or not, it is still plagarism and copyright infringement. If I went to your house and stole 84% of your garden shrubbery but used it for firewood and not in my garden, would it still be theft?

So called secondary sources, are you implying that the Lexicon is a primary source? See this is what makes me scared. Steve said a loss for RDR would mean a crackdown on other websites and fanfiction. IMHO, I believe that if RDR wins and the lexicon is published Steve will start a crackdown on copyright infringement. Got a timeline on your site, pay me. Harry Potter character breakdown, pay me. Crouch family tree, pay me. Weasley family tree pay me. Hermionie’s candy preferences, pay me. Get my point. Also, Steve is on DVD commentaries and gets top billing at conferences. I don’t feel sorry for him, he could have eked out a living as a HP fan for the rest of his life. He got in early, performed a great service for fans and was respecte by fans. Shouldn’t that have been enough?

I don’t mean to attack Steve, I just have always felt he is least like me as a fan. He is a stikler to facts, very organized, likes to point out any so called mistake,Why I always hated Cannon Connundrums, I always felt that he would correct me on points if we had a HP conversation. You know, say something like “Well, thats not entirely true in OOTP Rudolphus Lestrange attacked …..” I hate it when people do that.

I wouldn’t have purchased the published Lexicon anyway.I have never purchased an HP companion book. The mugglenet book was a joke, TLC had predictions for free plus I had alot of my own. Why buy theirs? Mellissa’s will probably be the first one I buy, because being an obsessed HP fan is what I have done for 8 yrs. I like knowing there a lots of people that have been one too, and that they are even bigger fans that devote time to writing a book. Jeez, there is more to life than Harry Potter people(as my wife would say),lol.

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Sorry if I end up posting right after myself, but I just thought of this analogy.

Let’s say I’m a doctorate student working on a book I must publish in order to get my PhD in English.

If instead of turning in an anylysis of an author’s work, I simply turned in a list of characters and setting and descriptions of these, would I get published? Would that be copyrightable? No. I would be laughed at and likely kicked out of the program.

A list of characters and settings and describing them with an occassional hark to mythology and the ability to put things in a timeline is something one did for a book report back in elementary school. It’s certainly not publishable.

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@ Ashley

If these people work for RDR, they should be fired. How they survive with people like this working for them is beyond me. I have never read so much unsubstatianted, polite, hidden troll, retoric in my life.

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@ dumbledweeb: (love your name, btw)

That’s exactly what rouses my suspicion. Judging by RDR’s behavior up to this point, and by some of the comments they’ve made regarding this case, I could actually see them coming here and making these posts.

If not, then once again, apologies to those who are here defending SVA because they genuinely believe he’s right. But I’m feeling very skeptical and cynical right now.

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@Ashley for proof just look at the comment page for this article or any other RDR vs JKR update, they’re 10 times longer than any other article. On RDR vs. JKR articles There is the normal posts”tough decision guys, good luck, i know how hard it is”, then the polite/ but saucy disagreement “RDR is right in this case…...”, then the defense by normal posts “RDR is infringing…..”, then MORE sudo-polite disagreement. Trolling at its best and most refined. At least the Pandar people have stopped.

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For no other reason but because I’m curious, I’ve a question.

Does anyone know anything about the second book (In Search of Harry Potter) and a third book that SVA mentions publishing in July?

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SVA has just posted the following comment: “What I did think was that the award indicated that Rowling was aware of the Lexicon site and of its content and didn’t have copyright issues with it.”

See Post 147 here: http://www.leakylounge.com/WB-JKR-vs-RDR-SVA-Part-V-t60496.html&st=140

SVA is referring to the site award Lexicon received from Rowling 28 June 2004, and yet he said this on 15 May 2005 nearly an entire year later:

“…fans asking me to publish the Lexicon in book form… Basically, it is illegal to sell a book like 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…. We wouldn’t get away with it, though, since Neil Blair, her solicitor, is very quick to defend his illustrious client in things like this.”

Isn’t this a little strange?

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It’s not strange at all, rotfang07. It just illustrates how SVA has lost touch with reality. Does he really think these prior comments he has made will not come out? Sure, if he’s delusional.

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it is still firmly my opinion that steve perused publishing when RDR requested the rights to publish the lexicon to spite and slap jk rowling metaphorically upside the head for refusing to give him a job that only ever existed in his head.

he knew it was illegal, thats why he demanded RDR idemify him. he wanted to RDR to take full legal responcibility when, not if, jk rowling and warner brothers tried to take action. no one would demand a publisher idemify them unless they knew it was a distinct possiblity that they would be sued. he clearly planned for this to happen. RDR, not being a legitmate publishing house allowed it to happen. who knows, they might have been in on what many people now consider to be a scam by steve vander ark to use a illegal book to promote his other books that he claims are within the law.

what really annoys me now is that he has stated his next books will be allowable by law, which implys he knows and has known for a very long time his lexicon book is not legal. it is not a stretch of the imagination to say that this is a carefully orchestrated publicity stunt.

my hope is that one, RDR loses, two, RDR is bankrupt for breaking the law after being required to pay jk’s and wb’s legal fees. three, RDR cant publish steve’s books, and four, no other publisher will publish his other books.

that would be a great victory for harry potter fans all over the world. we dont like being used and abused.

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I think the reason why Leaky had to take visible ‘public’ action was because of public statements made by SVA. If he hadn’t made what Leaky obviously took as ‘provocative’ statements in an interview, Leaky might not have had their hand forced.

Based on months and months of the way Leaky had basically stayed out of it, well, SVA went ahead and said something so provocative that Leaky was, well, provoked to action. And they acted.

Oh and to those who accuse TLC from stabbing a friend in the back, well, let’s just say that if your so-called ‘friend’ is doing something you think is wrong, do you just let them do it? No. Sometimes it means saying “I don’t want to be your friend any more”. Or it means severing your ties with a cooperative link network.

TLC staff have shown a lot more restraint than I would if I were in their situation.

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@ NotTheHBP

Well said…..exceptionally difficult to get this much free publicity from hard core Harry Potter fans. The Lexicon may never see the light of day but perhaps SVA is hoping his “legal” books will be of interest. RDR doesn’t list his upcoming book on their future release list, I am sure their name won’t appear on the new book…..doesn’t mean they aren’t publishing it.

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@NotTheHBP

We think a lot alike. It reeks of publicity. The fact that he’s even talking publicly raises an alarm in me. If he thinks the fandom is going to support his other books (if they’re even published) after this, he’s delusional. Why didn’t he just go forward with them and forget this silly Lexibook?

I think you make a good point that if he says he’s sure that his other books are legal, then that implies that he knows that the Lexibook is not legal. Add that to the fact he asked to be idemified and his whole stance falls to pieces.

Bad form, Steve. Bad form.

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mollywobbles23, that was my very point, from a previous post, about the publicity SVA seeks from the courthouse steps. In his 15 minutes of whining and chest beating (after having been beaten down by the big, bad machine), he will attempt to get the word out about his future “writing” endeavors.

Spare us all…what a poseur and a hypocrite.

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Good call!

I'd been quietly waiting for this shoe to drop.  Good luck to y'all!
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@ Heidy

I’m here, and thanks for including me in the “intelligent, well-mannered” group. Of course, I’m assuming that the juxtaposition of my name and that statement means inclusion! I could, of course, always be wrong!

I think I may need to apologize to everyone. I was trying to post a VERY long posting, to the elusive page 21, it seems, and it all disappeared, including the page. It was a comment on the cases that were referred to, and how they constituted precedent and case law. I am glad I don’t need to recraft that posting because several of you have already dealt with the issue, particularly the point about ensuring that the nature of the cases was told (indeed exactly what the cases actually were) and what the outcomes were. My concern is always that people should try and post as much as they can so as not to, inadvertently I am sure, mislead or leave too much unsaid. I think that tends to confuse issues even more. Of course if there is only limited information or research available, or done, then THAT should be mentioned as well. I say inadvertently in this case because the references were clear and anyone could have gone and looked at those case themselves. It just would have been nice, when citing them as reference to at least provide the URLs and to have provided sufficient information to understand enough without having to do the work. It would have been a welcome service. In any case, it has been admirably dealt with by others.

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Yay, Morton’s back!

Um, that’s all I had. Carry on…

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What SVA has lost to date, even before he’s published one word in book form, is considerable; what he stands to lose is far more: his credibility. He was once in the good graces of Jo Rowling. No longer. He was once very well regarded by a clear majority of HP fans. No longer. He may lose the court case next month, which would keep him from publishing the HP LEXICON. It took him years to build up a reputation that made him a fan favorite and a prominent, and popular, speaker at HP conferences. He also lost the goodwill of the folks at TLC and the other members of the Floo Network. In other words, he’s lost a lot.

In giving the interview to a Spanish HP fansite, he has done himself no favors. Whatever he has to say, he should have saved for the court date in April. No matter how the judge rules, the fact remains that JKR and her attorneys have basically stated that, with the exception of a fictional encyclopedia, they have no problems with works that fall well within fair use and are commentary and have original content.

So, not surprisingly, SVA is proceeding on books that clearly will fall within those parameters. A long, expensive lawsuit doesn’t put any money in his pocket.

I don’t think his mentioning his two new books is a transparent attempt on his part to generate free publicity. He has a well-trafficked website for that; he’s got a lot of media attention well outside of HP fandom; and he’s anxious to get to press with books on HP because there are many others who are writing or planning books, as well. (Now that Mugglenet’s book was dropped, what might they plan to write next?)

In SVA’s case, the new books won’t be formally announced until after the lawsuit. Then he can proceed full speed ahead. Knowing these books will not face a legal challenge, and knowing he’s lost all his goodwill with Rowling, SVA has nothing to lose financially; more to the point, he has everything to gain.

Let’s face it, the sale of 300,000 copies of the Mugglenet book is what caused other publishers to suddenly pay close attention to HP website-sponsored books. The presumption is that the “platform” (the word publishers use) of having a popular HP website is enough to justify book publication. But I don’t think we’ll ever see such extraordinary sales for any new HP book, for the following reasons:

1. The Mugglenet book was part of the excitement and speculation leading up to the release of HP book 7, which has been 17 years in the making.

2. The sales of the Mugglenet book soared when it got a favorable, prominent NY TIMES book review.

If you publish a HP-related book and it’s not on the NY TIMES bestseller list, it will sell, but nothing like the Mugglenet book—that was an exception.

So Melissa’s own book, cleared by JRK, will be helped by the platform of having TLC for promotion; and although HP fans will know of the book’s release, a lot of muggles who don’t go to TLC may not even be aware the book is out, unless they stumble across it in a bookstore or online.

Bottom line, then: Whether SVA publishes the LEXICON or not, he will publish two, or more, books on JKR, and those books will fall well within what JRK will allow. But if he or his publisher (whomever that will be) is expecting another Mugglenet-like book success, it won’t happen.

To lose the goodwill of JKR, Warner Bros., and (most importantly) fans in the HP community is to lose everything that’s truly valuable; whatever money SVA realizes with the publication of more books about HP will pale in comparison.

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its great that morton is back. he has been a very impartial but informative poster here and throughout the entire course of the case. he really has helped feel in the blanks of my understanding of the law as it currently stands, which really helps me to see the case more clearly.

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@ Ashley and dumbledweeb:

Apologies accepted. I do not work for RDR. I didn’t want to bother with this case because it made my head spin (and so had remained “neutral” for months), but an article in the Guardian recently made me think about the whole ordeal, and I realised I couldn’t sympathise with JK Rowling this time. I’m obsessed with the books and admire greatly JKR’s talent as well as her general integrity, ‘normality’, and her ability to inspire, but I do disagree with some of her actions and words. Hope that’s not a sin. Also, maybe I’m naïve, but why should this RDR firm employ secret agents to post on The Leaky Cauldron? :-) In the end, it’s the laws and principles that should determine the outcome of the trial, not just what a small faction of fandom believes. (Though it’s cool that anyone could think I was an undercover agent, hee-hee!! ;-)

@ NotTheHBP and others:

If there are lengthy passages lifted directly out of HP and encyclopedias without proper credit, I think I agree with you that the Lexicon shouldn’t fall under “fair use.” But that should be pretty easy to spot, and what case could the Stanford lawyers possibly have then?

I guess what I was trying to say was that the Lexicon provides a service that’s useful and unique in that JKR hasn’t provided us with an alternative (so far). No one would use it in place of JKR’s books. Quite on the contrary, people use it to enhance their reading experience of the actual novel – same as with a secondary source. Some might benefit from it financially, even (Warner Bros for the DVD? I guess that wasn’t proven, though?). For instance, let’s say I wanted to write a book on the use of real and fictional geographical names in Harry Potter. Without the Lexicon, it takes me two years to research and write the book. With the Lexicon, it takes me a year and a half. The Lexicon has saved me six months, in which I’ve been able to write ten more articles for important magazines and to collect a hefty sum of royalties. So why not pay for this Lexicon, especially if I want a handy print copy of it? If JKR wanted someone to draw that list of places for her, she would have to pay that person, wouldn’t she – even if “it is her world”… Of course, the person might bow and exclaim, “Of course I will do it without recompense! It’ll be an honour!” but they don’t have to. It’s still a lot of work, and a very different type of work from that of the original author, so it doesn’t seem wholly right that the original author should monopolise it.

Meaningful reorganisation is not a simple matter. I could take Deathly Hallows and rearrange all the words in it. Big deal! It would be rubbish and no one would buy it anyway, unless I could somehow convince them that it’s actually the new “Finnegan’s Wake.” ;-) If the Lexicon people believe their book might sell, maybe they’ve got something a bit better to offer… (I’m not saying they have necessarily got something “excellent” to offer – many companion books are very poorly written, yet make some profit just because of the “HP” in the title.)

@mollywobbles23:

Sorry if I misworded my statement. My mum is a chemical engineer by education and a housewife, so I’m far from making the claim that housewives are uneducated. :-) I just think that people who perform “chores” are not generally well appreciated, even though their work is as important as the more intellectual and creative work. Also, I don’t think that because JKR is rich, she doesn’t deserve to have her copyrights protected. We’re all equal before the law, and so it should be. (But I doubt that a poor and forgotten author would have complained about the Lexicon in the first place – unless he or she is very foolish, hehe).

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I wonder if RDR will sue SVA because if he made statements that allude to him knowing that publication of the Lexicon was illegal, yet ask for indemnification in his contract… it’s puzzling. What’s REALLY going on here?

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@ Dungmungus the Diligent

Your points are well taken and certainly well thought out. However, I do believe the traffic on TLC is far exceeding the Lexicon the last many months, therefore this is a better forum for controversy and subsequent attention. Throughout the unbelievable number of posts since yesterday what has been shown to me is SVA’s lack of integrity.

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shrek ears said: Also, maybe I’m naïve, but why should this RDR firm employ secret agents to post on The Leaky Cauldron? :-) In the end, it’s the laws and principles that should determine the outcome of the trial, not just what a small faction of fandom believes.

Well, when I first mentioned my suspicions (back on page 16 or 17, can’t remember), I did say that it would make no sense for RDR to do it, since it’s the judge they have to convince, not us. So yeah, I agree that there wouldn’t seem to be any point in it. But actually, it’s RDR’s behavior and general lack of professionalism up to this point that make me think they WOULD do such an illogical thing. After all, most of what they’ve said and done so far has made little sense to me (and little sense to almost everyone else), so… why not this? Frankly, I wouldn’t put it past them to post here, trying to create the illusion that SVA has more support in the fandom than he really does.

(Though it’s cool that anyone could think I was an undercover agent, hee-hee!! ;-)

Actually, that sounds exactly like the sort of thing an undercover agent would say if he was trying to convince everyone he isn't.  Just sayin'.  ;)
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OK, I’ve stayed out of this conversation for a while and really was apathetic to the whole thing. Partially due to my lack of interest in legal issues. So now I decided to read this due to the split with the Floo Network. However, after careful reading on these issues, I’ve come to the conclusion to choose Leaky’s side. It’s very sad to see a 5 year relationship go awry due to legal matters, but it is necessary. As for Steve Vander Ark, I’m rather surprised at his actions. As for PotterCast, I’m also going to miss him but it must happen. I am a big fan of him on PC. But I can’t support his actions. It was definitely a mistake but you know, we’re ALL human. We make mistakes. Some more costly than others.

But also from reading the comments here, the hatred on Steve make me sad. Guys, we don’t need to hate. I think we all agree it’s a mistake and a foolish one at that, but Steve is not the only bad guy. Remember, RDR. But you guys REALLY shouldn’t wish bad things upon Steve. I do believe he thinks he’s helping the fandom to gain more freedom. But I don’t/can’t agree with him but that doesn’t make me want to shun the man.

I’m sorry, but unnecessary legal battles always make me upset so I’m off.

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I would agree that the defection of fans from HP LEXICON in light of the ongoing controversy will definitely decrease its hits; likewise, I would agree that TLC is getting a lot of heavy traffic, and deservedly so. Given the current publishing environment where everybody seems to be rushing to press with quickie books about JKR and HP, I personally welcome Melissa’s book, and have already placed an order on Amazon.com, because i think it will be a substantial work.

There will be many more books written at JKR and HP, and in the end we are readers will decide what to support—and what NOT to support.

It doesn’t seem to me that SVA will prevail in court next month, but even if he did, it will be a Pyrrhic victory: If he publishes the LEXICON, he’ll see some profits on it, but he’ll have lost so much to get it.

In retrospect, his wiser choice of action would have been to drop it when JRK voiced her concerns, and then apologized and moved on to the next book project. But he didn’t do that, and as I said, he’s lost a lot of credibility and goodwill in HP fandom.

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“But also from reading the comments here, the hatred on Steve make me sad. Guys, we don’t need to hate. I think we all agree it’s a mistake and a foolish one at that, but Steve is not the only bad guy. Remember, RDR. But you guys REALLY shouldn’t wish bad things upon Steve. I do believe he thinks he’s helping the fandom to gain more freedom. But I don’t/can’t agree with him but that doesn’t make me want to shun the man.

I’m sorry, but unnecessary legal battles always make me upset so I’m off.”

Posted by Anita on March 25, 2008 @ 11:54 PM

I’ve been harsh on Steve. I don’t hate him. I don’t know him well enough to hate him. I hate his actions in this instance, though. He’s 50 years old! That’s twice my age and I think I have more common sense about what is legal and not legal when it comes to publishing than he does. I also think I have a better perspective than he does about what effect this case could have on the fandom should RDR win.

At first, when Steve was staying quiet, I felt sorry for him. I thought he had made a mistake and was simply trapped in a contract and had no say in what was happening. I actually imagined him pleading with RDR just to drop it and agree to any modifications WB/JKR suggested. However, after learning that he asked to be idemified and his statements in interviews and on his own site, it is obvious to me that he is not deserving of my sympathy. He knew very well what he was getting himself into. In fact, it seems he is enjoying this mess. He’s starved for fame and this is his fifteen minutes. Quite frankly, I would prefer if my own fifteen minutes of fame were from rescuing a baby from a burning building or something and not breaking a law. But, what do I know. Steve is the one with all the answers to all things Potter and all things life.

I can’t really shun him, but I can shun his site. And so I do.

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@ mollywobbles23

I too felt as if SVA had naively gotten himself into an embarrassing situation with RDR’s publishing contract…in light of all that has been presented here that apparently isn’t the case. I am not familiar with all the legal issues presented but figure all parties will have their day (years) in court and all will move forward, the fans (consumers) will have the final say.

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Dungmungus I have to give you a big thanks…I had no idea the book was ON amazon yet. I’ve just found it and I keep staring at the page like a goofy child. So, sorry for going off topic here but wow, you were on that before I was. Thanks.

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@ shrek ears:

You ask if there were prominent quotes taken from the book then it would not be fair use and reason that Stanford wouldn’t be involved if it weren’t. Stanford is involved to hopefully ‘change’ copyright law. This is a point that is often missed. As the law stands, copyright does not allow the type of book Steve’s trying to sell to be published without the consent of the copyright holder. It’s illegally infringing their work. Were the law to change, this would change. The Fair Use Project clearly states its intent to ‘broaden’ copyright law. They think this case will help their cause. That’s why they’re involved.

The Lexicon book can be read in the court filings. Of the 2437 entries only 403 do not lift text directly or paraphrase in glaring similar style of the books. That’s 84% of the books contents, 84% of creative expression which belongs to Rowling.

This book grossly infringes on Rowling’s copyrights. Don’t take my word for it. Go read it yourself in the court filings at justia.com.

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Long time reader, first time poster. Corniness out of the way, I finally took some time to really read what this whole case was about, only knowing snippets. I’m still a little undecided.

Firstly, I wish to heartily thank TLC for it’s excellent journalism regarding this matter. All articles have been devoid of commentary, except when noted. Also, relevant info was squished down very well. There’s now way I could have slogged through everything!

I read the article about JKR/WB’s statements, and was saddened. I have always admired and respected Steve, and mourn the absence of Canon Conundrum/clusion, but he stated how he wished to make it easy for JKR to publish her Scottish Book, and basically contradicted himself.

However, I would like to encourage anyone who happens to read this to not look upon either party in hostility. General fan sentiment seems to be towards Jo right now, but I do not believe Steve has truly done anything wrong. It seems to me that Steve is a little in over his head, and just won’t back down. I don’t think he went into this planning to steal money from Jo, but he seems to have gotten to defensive as of late, to the point of stating factual inaccuracies.

Again, I am supporting Jo, but hope we can all get through this with our fandom intact. I do wonder what will happen to the Lexicon without Leaky’s support. And lastly, why has the date of the trial changed? I thought it was supposed to be now – What did I miss?

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Please can we have the mysterious page 21’s comments?

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@ Anita

Though I’m quite dismayed by Steve’s recent behavior, and not inclined to say a single thing in his defense when it comes to this specific issue, I will say that I’ve been saddened to read the dismissive and disparaging comments about the quality of the Lexicon website, and his contribution to fandom up to this point.

Some may have been unimpressed by the Lexicon (and for the record, I myself rather prefer the HP Wiki), but that doesn’t change the fact that it was considered an invaluable site for many years by a large percentage of the fandom, most especially by fanfic writers. Steve and his staff put an enormous amount of time into putting it together, and JKR and David Heyman have both recognized its merit in the past. And Steve himself was a much-sought-after speaker for HP conventions, as well as a contributor to CC on PotterCast. Some have said that they never found his essays or comments to be particularly insightful or informative, and they’re certainly entitled to their opinion, but the fact remains that a lot of people did find them so.

This whole episode has greatly decreased my respect for Steve, and I doubt I’ll ever bother going to the Lexicon again. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to just sweep his previous contribution to fandom aside, and act as if it was nothing. Because he was a valued member of the HP community for a very long time.

Which is a large part of what makes this whole situation so sad.

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@Ashley

It really is a sad thing. Steve has contributed a lot to the fandom, but now it’s like he’s throwing all that away. It’s like he’s saying it wasn’t enough.

OT: I didn’t know Melissa’s book was already on Amazon! Woo-hoo!

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It was the right decision plain and simple. I know it wasn’t an easy one, but you have my support. I hope this is over very soon.

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@NotTheHBP:

I was wondering about exactly the same thing when I cane to know that Steve had asked RDR to indemify him. And his comments on his other two books. It obviousely means he has done his research on copyright laws knowing what can and cannot be published. Which actually makes me amused why he went to all the trouble of writing the book in the first place? I mean, is he so publicity-hungry? It’s pathetic, if I may say that…or else it’s more proof that he didn’t actually WRITE anything and just picked up nearly everything from the Lexicon and just did some clever editing.

As for your second sentiment, couldn’t agree more! ;-) I seriousely hope his other two books aren’t published either, though considering what most fans are now feeling towards Steve, I doubt many people will actually BUY the other two books.

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But also from reading the comments here, the hatred on Steve make me sad. Guys, we don’t need to hate. I think we all agree it’s a mistake and a foolish one at that, but Steve is not the only bad guy. Remember, RDR. But you guys REALLY shouldn’t wish bad things upon Steve. I do believe he thinks he’s helping the fandom to gain more freedom. But I don’t/can’t agree with him but that doesn’t make me want to shun the man. Posted by Anita on March 25, 2008 @ 11:54 PM

If you still believe Steve to be innocent, confused or a puppet of RDR, you have not been following this case closely enough. Steve has been pulling RDR’s strings here. He knew the book was illegal as the law stands, he knew that JKR and/or WB would try to stop it, he is trying to change copyright law to suit his own twisted purposes and if he fails, no biggie, because RDR takes full legal responsibility according to his contract with them. How RDR let Steve manipulate them into doing this I will probably never guess. That is what makes it so irrefutably obvious that Steve is entirely responsible for this situation. If RDR were pulling the strings, they would be having Steve take the fall, not the other way around.

He is not trying to gain more freedom for the fandom. He is trying to get more freedom for himself. What he is in fact doing is putting the vast freedoms that JKR has already given the fan community (freedom to write fanfiction for starters, which many authors do not allow at all) in jeopardy. And I certain that he knows that. He doesn’t care about the fans any more, he wants to get his book published and hopefully redefine copyright law in the process to make it easier for him to infringe upon an author’s copyright again in the future.

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SVA reminds me of the Simpsons episode Kamp Krusty:

Bart asks why Krusty gave his support to the Kamp.

Bart: How could you Krusty?  [smugly] I'd never lend my name to an inferior
      product.

Krusty breaks down..

Krusty: They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house!  I'm not made
        of stone!
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To Anonymoose, dff, and others who commented on the case law cited:

I think a paragraph summary of these cases is an oversimplification. There is language in all of them that could support a fair use defense. I don’t have the time or the interest to make long posts about it. My only comment is that this is not a clear cut issue and that both sides have an argument.

To Melissa who said:

“This is a common and accepted way of covering legal proceedings and is specifically useful because you have someone who is NOT in the legal profession doing the reporting.

But, most of all… these are public records. Nothing at all has been anything but posting to public documents.”

The article above claims that TLC will be translating legal documents into layman’s terms yet your comment appears to say that all you are doing is linking to public documents. I believe that translating legal documents into layman’s terms requires the services of a lawyer.

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““Why now” is very much a fair question. The sentiment has been bubbling throughout the staff since the suit started, and I think we’ve known for awhile this is where it would end up, but to be honest, we were holding out hope something would happen that would mean we didn’t have to do it. We were trying to separate the case and the Web site, and were mostly avoiding the issue as you avoid things that are upsetting – but the interview presented thoughts that pushed us to have the discussion, and make the decision.” – Melissa

I am happy you would be so willing to take time to answer my question given that you must be so busy. I have always tried to keep an open mind and like I said before both side have good points and a court case must happen in order to see where or if Fandom continue (My main concern is) .

And my opinion has changed the more and more I research this case I am sure if you take a look back on page three you would see a very strong opinionated reply but if you read more of my comments you could see a change.

There are some wonderful posters here and some so very kind that they took time to help someone that doesn’t speak much English understand all information that is given to and so I thank you very much.

With out an answer from anyone I would have stopped writing and drawing anything HP and would have stopped visiting this and other HP fan site. But I “get it now” and I am able to “Move On”. I was not trying to be rude in any of my post just was getting frustrated and the more people seem to reply the more it seemed I had to repeat myself. LOL you really don’t know how long it take for me to reply in English but I am happy now.

Thank you all for helping some one out and a big Thanks goes to you Melissa. I hope you know that I did not mean to call you bias, just trying to state that even reporter or news casters have an opinion and that it is hard to try and not let that get the better. Nor was I trying to say that Leaky or you have ulterior Motives, it just that so many things could happen in the background and as a fan site I believe all honesty should be to the fans.

Love you all at Leaky and truly meant no harm.

As Always, Nef

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@Alemi42 You appear to have misinterpreted the comments you refer to. Melissa was referring to reporting a court case not to interpreting case law or legal documents. Also, the links to the actual legal documents, which Melissa supplies, allow anybody to read them themselves and come to their own view. Actually, having read most of them, the law is clear, RDR/SVA are infringing on Jo’s copyright, and Steve himself has said what he is doing is “illegal” (15 May 2005). The only real issue is can they get away with it under any interpretation of Fair Use as it stands. The answer is no, unless the judge decides he wants to set a precedent that requires Fair Use be reviewed as it stands now. This seems improbable. But, if he does so order, the case will be appealed in any event.

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Hahaha Melissa, that’s quite alright. I bet I’d stare at my name, if it were on Amazon too :P

Quibbler – I love the Simpsons refrence. It totally fits with this current subject lol.

I agree with others who have voiced the opinion, that Steve has used this legal battle to promote his other works. The fact he said in the past that he be unable to publish Lexicon as a book, just shows he’s allowed greed to get the better of him.

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I’m so proud of you Leaky and I support you and Jo all the way!

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WOW, I’ve missed a lot. It took me almost an hour to get up to date. I should stop sleeping :D

@ Melissa – thanks for the honesty. We appreciate you taking the time to read/respond to us. It shows how much you care about the fandom.

@ Morton – yes you were included. I meant every word :D

@ Nef – glad you stuck around and kept reading. Hope you stay = ]

@ Dungmungus – I think you have a point as to the sales of any new HP books. Unless it is something entirely different and very well written. BTW thanks for letting us know about the book on Amazon, I’ve just pre-ordered three copies (one for me & two for holiday presents).

@NotTheHBP and Prenz – my sentiments exactly.

@Shrek ears – RDR/SVA are still hoping to publish a book so it would be a smart move to change the current public sentiment towards SVA. They would not post because they believe we can influence the trial. It would be because after all is said and done, RDR/SVA still want to sell books. If the fandom “dislikes” SVA even if he wins, what makes you think any of us would buy his books? However, by posting here and defending him, it improves their chances that some people may be swayed or at least they can gain sympathy towards SVA. In other words, why NOT post here when you can only gain support.

@Ashley – agree, sounds like something an agent would say.

@ Anita – I do not negate SVA’s past contribution to the fandom, but I agree with the others that his credibility is tainted. I don’t think anyone “hates” him. It’s more of a disappointment and incredulity that he would let this go this far. Is he a victim? Maybe, maybe not. I personally cannot look at him the same again because of the comments he has made and because I think a Lexibook is wrong. I will not buy any of his books, but that is only my personal sentiment. Others can support him after this is over by buying his other books. If it makes them feel better or they think is the right thing to do.

@Alemi42 – Did you change your name from yesterday, because you sound just like the Akemi42?

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@ shrek ears

“If there are lengthy passages lifted directly out of HP and encyclopedias without proper credit, I think I agree with you that the Lexicon shouldn’t fall under “fair use.” But that should be pretty easy to spot, and what case could the Stanford lawyers possibly have then?”

To try and answer your question, the Stanford group has clearly stated that they disagree with the interpretation/application of the Doctrine of Fair Use. So their reasoning is that, if it is, in reality, unfair restriction, they would want to be directly involved in this case, as a showcase of the Fair Use issues and as a means of furthering their goal to have Fair Use changed or eliminated. It is certainly their right to espouse such a position. And they are not the only ones who think Fair Use is misapplied, if not actually wrong. There are, for example, Authors who agree for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is exactly what we are seeing in this case. That is, the opportunity to use in any way shape or form already copyrighted material, without permission, in their own products. The Copyright Laws currently do not allow this EXCEPT for situations that can be demonstrated to be within the Fair Use Doctrine.

So if one is on the side of “get rid of Fair Use”, one can see the motivation of the Stanford Group.

It should be noted that the Appeals Court pointed out that in the cases that were cited, particularly the Pretty Woman case, THOSE courts made it very clear that the 4 principles of Fair Use were not to be considered “a formula for measuring the degree of compliance”, but were, rather, to be viewed as higher level considerations to guide a judge’s thinking. They also, to be fair, pointed out that the problem with NOT having a “formula” is that it forced judges to not only consider the quantity of copying, but the quality, for which they are not qualified.

And by the way, I want to reiterate that what the lawyers on both sides are doing, and HOW they are doing it, is absolutely proper within the law and within the principles and practice of litigation. If I were involved in a lawsuit, I would want my representation to use and do whatever is available within the law to represent me. My goal would be to win, just as both sides’ immediate goal in this case is to win.

Are there other goals? I’ve heard and read about the publicity aspect, the control aspect, and so many more. They may exist. They may not. It is not for me to say, because I do not KNOW what the motivation is. I can certainly speculate, as can we all, and that speculation has led to some fascinating posts and subsequent discussion. And after all, isn’t that why most of us, at least, are here?

At least in my humble opinion.

ps. to ashley and NotTheHBP, and any others who have said such nice things about me …. thank YOU

(and the cheque is in the mail! .... Just joking, but one has to be SO careful!)

M.

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I’m with you Heidy, I had to read a lot to catch up! LOL

Nef, just want to say that I respect your opinion and although I did not know that English was your second language I now understand the nature of your typing. My husband also has English as a second language and he often says things starkly and it can rub some people the wrong way. I apologize for not knowing your circumstances and I can see your query of “why now” was more than just a desire for snooping out a conspiracy, it was a case of simple understanding! My husband would have said it as baldly as that and I giggle when he does stuff like that because of everyone else’s look on their face! I usually step in to interpret with the English niceties and smooth it all over for everyone. My husband is usually happy when I do because he knows that I can get his point across in a more effective way. i think you have done admirably well in getting your point across and unfortunately we don’t have the benefit of facial expression to see what someone is thinking. I am pretty sure yours was ‘I just want to understand someone tell me!’ I hope you accept my apology and please continue with the discussion!

Anita, I akin what Steve has done to pulling the wool over people’s eyes for 5 years and only now we are seeing who he really is. He is a 50 year old man who should have known better but apparently is going through a mid life crisis. Do I hate him? No. Do I pity him? No. Do I feel sorry for him? No. But I do believe he will find himself very much alone after all of this. And I don’t feel bad for him. He was the master of his own destiny and he chose a path that has burned so many bridges that in a couple of years time people will be asking Steve who?

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Here we go again, no page 26 showing up.

Let’s hope it fixes itself.

@ Morton

I agree, it is up to the lawyers to do whatever necessary, within the law, to win the case for their client. My only gripe is that outside of the law, there should be a moral compass directing SVA to stop and really analyze the situation before allowing his lawyers to do/say/write everything and anything to win his case. Like you said the rest is just speculation. Unfortunately, my speculation leads me down a very depressing, treacherous path where at the end there is no light, just SVA loosing everything. The worst part is, that right now I have no sympathy for him.

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@ Heidy

“I agree, it is up to the lawyers to do whatever necessary, within the law, to win the case for their client. My only gripe is that outside of the law, there should be a moral compass directing SVA to stop and really analyze the situation before allowing his lawyers to do/say/write everything and anything to win his case. Like you said the rest is just speculation. Unfortunately, my speculation leads me down a very depressing, treacherous path where at the end there is no light, just SVA loosing everything. The worst part is, that right now I have no sympathy for him.”

I fully understand your position, and respect it. I have long had a concern (really, NOT begining with this debacle) about the fact that people, being human, sometimes say and do things that perhaps a little thought beforehand would temper. On the other hand, I’ve known many people who DO think first and, either because they truly believe that it is the only way to get their points across, or because they are emotionally so invested in the issue, go ahead and say seemingly hurtful or apparently thoughtless things.

I’ve decided that, at least for me, I have three choices.

1. I can respond in kind… you see how that tends to simply cntinue the diatribe and often escalates it;

2. I can ignore it completely … which in many ways is simply not satisfactory to me or to those who respond to the response emotionally as well; or

3. I can try and respond the POINTS, the ISSUES, without referring to the diatribe associated.

I choose to follow the 3rd choice, in an effort to enlighten others, both regarding the issues, and as an example of how it is best to deal with these things (in MY opinion, anyway).

I make no mistake, the emotional will continue, and so be it. I trust that those who have responded that way, when they find they were mistaken, like you and many others did, recognize the mistake, and offer apologies as appropriate… I’m thinking of NEF, in this case. Well done to you and the others who realized after the explanation that perhaps the characterization of NEF was a little overboard and offered apologies. And well done to NEF, for accepting the apologies in good spirit and moving on. THAT’S the way to do it!

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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Unfortunately I dont have the time or patience to sit through 26 pages of comments so I just went through the first few. I have to say that I completely agree with Leaky and their decision. I think its very brave to do now a days. When were the days when we could all agree with HP, JK, and everything in between? I agree with some of the readers that no matter who wins, it will be a sad day when JK stops answering our questions and requests for more in depth information about her future characters. We “as a fandom” have abused our relationship with JK. As soon as people let jealousy and envy take over their love for HP they lashed out and now when the day comes. When JK writes her next series, we will be sorry that we were not more understanding of her kindness. Thats all I have to say. To be honest I HATE commenting anymore on here because some can be very hateful.

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@akemi

“I think a paragraph summary of these cases is an oversimplification. There is language in all of them that could support a fair use defense. I don’t have the time or the interest to make long posts about it. My only comment is that this is not a clear cut issue and that both sides have an argument.”

Yes, I would agree that a paragraph simply outlining the cases and their outcomes might not be sufficient, and, in fact, there are some very interesting aspects of these cases. I also agree, as I’ve said all along, that the whole issue is more complex than might be imagined. So though it might have been better to have simply posted the URLS and let those interested takea look for themselves, once the references were made with NO further information, it begged some respnse as to what the cases actually were and what the issues in them were.

I don’t doubt that there are arguments to be made on both sides of the Fair Use issue, but I think the real points were lost in your original reference which after all really responded to the statement that there was no case law, and made it clear that case law, indeed, DOES exist (thank you for clarifying that), and in some of the responses that dealt with the outcomes only.

And those points are that: 1.Copyright Law is VERY clear, according to all the Courts and judges in all those case…. copyright holders have EXCLUSIVE control.

2. However, that control is not always beneficial, even to the copyright holders,

3. So it is tempered with the concept that there may be SOME situations where permission may not be needed;

4. Further, those situations where permission may not be needed need to be carefully documented so as to provide the guidance necessary to both the Courrts and the litigants on how to interpret each case as it arises; and finally

5. The recognition that BECAUSE each case has its own circumstances and merits, the principles used to measure whether permission was needed or not are to be considered Guides, and NOT a formula.

What this means to THIS case, then, is that the Judge will look at the precedents and Case Law you referred to (and MANY others that also exist) and then look at the 4 principles of Fair Use, and using them as guides, he will decide.

Nobody can foretell what his decision will be and that is really what is interesting to me. So much depends on his interpretation of the precedents relative to what other courts decided, and how he interprets the evidence and arguments of the litigants themselves, and what his general sense is regarding the nature of Copyright Law and Fair Use. Once he done ALL of that, and renders his decision, will we know what the first decision in this case will be. And then the appeals begin, and we shall see, again.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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I don’t post much around here, although, I have read everything I could regarding this case. I know that I’m not “known” around Leaky, but I feel like I’ve gotten to know many of you. I am also 110% behind Leaky and Jo, and hope this resolves soon. For those who think that Leaky has been a bad friend or immature or unprofessional, I would like to say what I would have been very tempted to do in this situation: “delete”, hope you have back-ups! But, then, I am unprofessional and very hot tempered.

If other negative SVA quotes mentioned previously are true about Jo, SVA showed his “true colors” quite some time ago. Unfortunately, I have seen good people get a taste or temptation for money or success or fame or power, and go off the proverbial deep end. Partners in business at first, and then a “I have been so generous with MY money” type of attitude. Sometimes people wake up one morning and think there is little time left to make a big splash. I might be way off that some of this may apply to SVA, but it has been my own observations from my life.

To all of you at Leaky, you will always be friends to me. Karen_W

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@dff

Thanks for the additional information, particularly regarding the cases and how, historically, they have gone. I’m sure you know that notwithstanding the history, there are always exceptions. I’m not suggesting this case will be one, I just point out that they exist.

That’s why, in my previous post, to Akemi, I try to elicidate the real take-aways from the cases he referenced and many others I looked at and that you note exist. I think I summarized them correctly, but would certainly appreciate your, or anyone’s, for that matter, comment on them.

Morton

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@Wizengamot

Okay enough with the 50 year old comments, ( I am thinking that I am the world’s oldest HP fan). And now I am going to somewhat defend SVA, I do believe he is a rabid fan of the series who put his abilities into the Lexicon website as a labour of love. It seems that at some point he has been enticed into the idea of financial reward for the many years of work. It is unfortunate that his methods for doing so have been so unpopular and yet to be determined – illegal.

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There are plenty of reasons for believing that SVA will not come out badly at all from this case: 1. Few outside fandom even know this is going on, certainly nobody I know does.

2. Few understand the intricacies of the case and those that have heard of it just see it as a fan and small publishing house taking on the corporate might of WB and “billionairess” Rowling.

3. SVA’s non-infringing books will be on sale during any appeal process.

4. The publicity from the case will help those sales.

5. It is a Harry Potter book written by an “expert” that, in itself, will sell.

6. There are many publishers in the UK for example who missed out on Harry Potter, want their cut, and will do whatever is necessary to get a share of the cake they missed out on.

7. Steve is still seen as an expert and taking on JKR/WB will be seen as kudos to Steve rather than any kind of liability.

Win or lose this particular case, life goes on, and I’m sure Steve will manage just fine whether here in the UK or back in the USofA. The fact that many who have a solid knowledge of the case and SVA’s previous statements might question Steve’s judgement doesn’t change any of the above.

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So unfortunate that this has to happen, but I understand the circumstances. I can see how hard of a decision this must have been, and I must applaud you for being able to come to a conclusion. I can understand both sides of the argument in different senses, and I would have never been able to decide.

You’ve all done an amazing job with this and with the fandom—I have been a Leaky girl since Day 1, and so I admire and stand behind your decisions. I wish you the best of luck, and will continue to watch for your news updates!

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@Cathy

People keep bringing up his age because it indicates he should know better, but apparently he doesn’t or if they think he may be having some sort of mid-life crisis. I don’t think anyone has implied that he’s too old to be fan. That would be silly because I don’t think any of us think there’s such an age that is too old to be a HP fan. No one here is denying (at least I don’t think) that he put time and effort into the website as a fan. People are simply questioning his current thinking about his rights as a fan. He seems to have forgotten that his rights as a fan are determined by the copyright holder and not his own ego.

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the thing is, fair use is important. it allows for legitamate scholerly work. fair use grants the permission to use copyrighted material as a jumping off point for commentary, paroody, and exploration. this breeds new thoughts and insights. it is important both to authors, and commentators.

it protects both. often, if a writer is writing a companion book, they will contact the author and work with them to either ensure that the manuscript is legally allowable, or else, if they belive it might overstep fair use in the ammount of copyrighted material used, seek permission or input from the owner of the copyright. it is also not uncommon for authors to tell a person writing a companion book that they have permission to use the extra percentages, because they feel it is useful in the commentary and are happy to give permission to stretch fair use for this manuscript.

jk rowling isent against companion books, and she and her people frequently do work with companion book writers to ensure the books can be published within the law. RDR Books refused to give jk rowling her right as the copyright holder. she has every legal right, even if RDR claims she doesnt, to challange any book she belives infringes her rights. the law gives her that right, and she is excersising it. I still belive jkr/wb didnt expect the book to be 84% material copyrighted to her. this creates a major problem for RDR Books because there is no way within the law to claim 84% copyrighted material is legal.

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It has always been my opinion, that the only “expert” on Harry Potter is J.K. Rowling. I am also of the opinion that if J.K. Rowling hadn’t written about Harry Potter, many of these fans would have absolutely nothing to write about. Oi, a little respect would not be too much to ask! Is anyone else starting to hear “I’m your number 1 fan!!!!” – LOL!

Karen_W

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@mollywobbles

Not to worry molly…..only goes to show that one is never too old to make mistakes. I certainly am not defending his actions…as I think some of them have been quite slippery. And yes I agree that ego is a huge factor, hope his is in good shape because it may take quite a beating.

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@ Cathy, Mollywobbles (I LOVE that name!) and any others that I’ve left out

I am SUBSTANTIALLY older than 50, am a rabid fan (who has a life!! :) ) and was beginning to take the 50 plus comments a little personally myself.

And then I realized that if I did THAT, it would be so out of character for me, especially after my last few posts which talked about tolerance and rising above the diatribe (yes, that WAS the underlying message)!!

I mean I realize that as a grandfather several times over, not to mention OLD (as my kids and grandkids keep telling me) I AM a curmudgeon.. but I LOVE it, and it allows me to get away with SO many things, like not listening to people and blaming it on my failing hearing (because I’m OLD, you see)... or giving my opinion whether anybody wants it or not (because OLD folks MUST be respected and listened to, you see!!).

So let me say, in loving it, I am going to take as much advantage of it as possible.. now… ummm … Cathy, mollywobbles, I’m sorry…. did either of you say something? Hard of hearing you know, being so OLD!

Ahh, friends.. its so nice to have a little tongue_in_cheekiness instead of writing about that stuffy OLD case!!

At least in my humble opinion!

M.

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@ Morton

LOL. It’s all good. My dad was 60 and was cremated with a HP poster. My mom is 60 and has read the books and seen the movies. She even went to the release party for DH (as did my whole family..lol)! I don’t plan on reaching an age where I’ve lost my sense of wonder, so it’s good to know it’s possible. : – ) I got into the books at age 18; I’m 25 now. My obsession grows every year. I’m sure it will level out at some point, but won’t go away completely.

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@ Morton

Thank you for your kind and funny words. I was beginning to feel like a curmudgeoness. Was considering going home and burning my “Weird Sisters” and “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good” tee shirts. Thanks for the support (God knows I need it) and I’m going to call the doctor for my overdue rabies vaccination. Love your posts.

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I’m going to have to take break from all this. I’ve been reading comments and the filings at Justia.com and I think I’ve made myself sick. It’s beginning to get to me.

What is clear to me by reading the filings, especially #52, is that SVA really believes his work is not an infringement. His deposition states various other encyclopedia-type books that were allowed to be published without complaint from Jo. I’ve never heard of these books and would like to know what the differences are between them and the Lexibook. Does anyone know why these books were allowed? The names of the books are:

“Facts, Fiction and Folklore in Harry Potter’s World” by George Beahm

“The Unofficial Harry Potter Encyclopedia” by Kristina Benson

“TheField Guide to Harry Potter” by Colin Duriez
“An Unofficial Muggle’s Guide to the Wizarding World” by Fionna Boyle

SVA says these books are similar to the Lexibook. It’s on page 15 of filing #52 if anyone is interested. Here is the link: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2007cv09667/315790/52/

Is it because these books contain less material lifted directly from the books in contrast to the 84% in the Lexibook?

Did these authors get authorization/releases from WB/JKR prior to publishing?

Additionally, on page #4 SVA declares that 40% of the book is written by his staff with the remaining 60% penned by him. Will his staff receive royalties from the sale of the book?

Then on Filing #56, Cheryl Klein (Hot Cheryl) on page #2 quotes and attaches part of an e-mail she received from SVA from August of 2006. Here is the quote:

“PS It might interest you to know that George Beahm [a third party author] commented that he had originally intended to write an encyclopedia of Harry Potter (which Jo has specifically reserved for herself, I understand) but seeing the Lexicon convinced him not to bother. I want you to know that one of the express purposes of the Lexicon is to dissuade people from that sort of thing, so I was particularly happy to hear him say that.”

Isn’t this a bit hypocritical. What changed from 2006 to 2007 that he would go back on this statement?

I’m still reading the docs. . . .

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@ mollywobbles23

I think I love your family. I agree the best thing about the Harry Potter series that is does inspire a sense of wonder….

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Hey Morton, thanks a lot for explaining all this more clearly ,and keeping a balanced view on this whole thing, especially since a lot of us were losing our tempers badly! I’ve been going through your posts over the pages and it seems more clear now.

And Melissa, I’m sure everyone’s going to be staring if they see their book out on Amazon! Congratulations!! I’m off to order my copy now! :-)

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To anyone I offended with the 50 year old comment:

It is exactly how mollywobbles has described, only that at SVA’s age he should know better. I, myself, am a lady in the middle of her life :) No harm intended since I would be insulting myself as well wouldn’t I? LOL

And besides, age is but a number since in my mind I’m 18 :)

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@ Morton & Cathy, and anyone else feeling old

Your age allows you to bring experience and wisdom to these discussions, which is always invaluable. There is no such things as being too old to enjoy something, especially HP.

Just repeating Morton, in case your eyes are going bad as well as your hearing =D

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@Heidy

I’m sure Morton and/or others will also answer, but I believe those two examples of encyclopedia’s were retracted in a later filing as they were stopped as infringing after only a very small distribution. I wish I had more time to go back to Justia right now….

Karen_W

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@Karen_W

Thanks for that. I’ll keep reading.

You see Morton, I need you =(

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Leaky it would appear our relationship has come to an end. I am not an expert on legal matters so I can not say for sure which side I would be with concerning JKR vs. RDR books. But I do know that you all will continue to do what ever it is you can do to ride on JKR’s coattails so it is so surprise to me that you are breaking you were looking for any excuse to break ties with Lexicon. As you seem to feel your site does not go with theirs then I hope no one here can ever use Lexicon any time they are looking for a Potterverse fact or some bit of canon to use in an argument in the leaky lounge. Sue while I appreciate your kind heart and great reporting I have lost respect for Melissa and her want for fame and recognition found through JKR. JKR is a creative genius I love her works. Lexicon is wonderfully detailed and useful. I can my Harry Potter news many MANY other places.

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Heidy, here’s the description on Amazon for “Facts, Fiction and Folklore in Harry Potter’s World” by George Beahm:

“For fans who want to know about the myths, folklores, legends, and Muggle history embedded in the Harry Potter novels, Beahm’s new book is a treasure trove of fun facts and tantalizing trivia covering the fabulous beasts and creatures, the wizards, magical artifacts, and magical places in the Harry Potter world. Covering Harry Potter novels 1 – 5, this unofficial guide includes sidebars, internet references, and enchangting art by five-time Hugo award-winning artist Tim Kirk and newcomer Britton McDaniel. This fascinating and educational book belongs on the shelf of every Muggle who wants to know Rowling’s inspiration for the creatures, people, places, creatures, and things in the wizarding world. “

It seems that this book focuses on the folklore and inspiration for things in HP and not their definition within the world. The Lexicon touches on these things (on the site anyway), but does not focus on them.

Here’s the description for “The Unofficial Harry Potter Encyclopedia” by Kristina Benson (bolding mine):

“The Ultimate Reference for the Harry Potter Enthusiast! In depth and current overview of the characters in Harry’s World! Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels by English author J. K. Rowling about a teenage boy named Harry Potter. Since the release of her first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997, the books have gained enormous popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide, spawning films, video games and assorted merchandise. The Unofficial Harry Potter Encyclopedia: Harry Potter A – Z studies each character in Harry’s World from his two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger to Lord Voldemort to Professor Dumbledore. No Wizard, Witch or Muggle is to be missed in this encyclopedia of characters. Note: This book is an independent and unauthorized publication. It is not endorsed by J.K Rowling, her publishers, copyright or trademark holders.”

It seems this one focuses on the characters and goes quite into depth about them. I’d imagine there’s a great deal of original work there.

Here’s the description for “An Unofficial Muggle’s Guide to the Wizarding World” by Fionna Boyle (bolding mine):

“THE ESSENTIAL REVIEW TOOL FOR DEDICATED HARRY POTTER FANS This essential guide to the Harry Potter universe explains the complexity created in the series, covering everything from Azkaban to Zombies. This indispensable resource contains An alphabetised index A comprehensive glossary of characters, locations, and objects, Comparisons between the books and the films Information about the symbolism and mythology in the series, How to conduct your own wizarding tour of Britain, A map of the British wizarding world, Tips for hosting a theme party, Quirky facts, and must-see websites.”

Must I explain this one too and the difference between it and the Lexibook?

Here’s the description of “TheField Guide to Harry Potter” by Colin Duriez (bolding mine):

“From plot summaries to refresh your memory (Do you remember which book introduces the character of Luna Lovegood?) to a delightful glossary of characters, places, spells and special objects (Do you know what the spell aparecium does?), this book by Colin Duriez is an excellent companion to the Harry Potter books.

With loads of quotes from interviews, you’ll learn all about J. K. Rowling’s life and her literary influences. Chapters on the spirituality of Potter explore the question of how Rowling’s faith is reflected in the stories, what she believes about witchcraft and how the stories fit with Christian tradition.”

And here’s an editorial review for this one; the only one listed to have an editoral review:

From Publishers Weekly “Whether or not the Potter frenzy exhausted itself during the months leading up to book seven will certainly determine the fate of Duriez’s Field Guide among fans. One thing Potter devotees can bank on, however, is that Duriez (A Field Guide to Narnia) knows his material inside out and has amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of the great classics of children’s literature and the Western intellectual cannon—which he employs judiciously to situate everything from the wizarding world in the romantic tradition to the relationship between Hogwarts and the classic school story. While this work is admirable, the guide, unfortunately, reads like a textbook or a kind of Harry Potter diagnostic manual. As a rule, Duriez’s prose falls flat (though it occasionally dips into the realm of playful color commentary), its topics lack introduction, and much of the book is taken up by a series summary and an exhaustive glossary of terms. Also disappointing is the chapter on J.K. Rowling’s Spiritual Worldview, half of which is dedicated to listing and summarizing the spate of books that link Harry Potter to Christianity and spirituality, rather than offering new insights about the series and its Christian themes. But if Potter fans are looking for a basic reference manual and a few interesting talking points, Duriez’s book will surely satisfy. (Dec.) ” Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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@prenz

“Hey Morton, thanks a lot for explaining all this more clearly ,and keeping a balanced view on this whole thing, especially since a lot of us were losing our tempers badly! I’ve been going through your posts over the pages and it seems more clear now.”

You are very welcome. This is exactly what I try and do… glad it works!

@Wizengamut

No offence was taken, certainly not by me. And I doubt, really, by anyone else when they stopped to think about it the way I and mollywobbles did, if I may speak for the others (see? being OLD allows me to speak for you, whether you agree or not! Isn’t it WONDERFUL?).

Interesting point though. I am of two minds regarding “being old enough to know better”. On the one hand, it speaks well of the wisdom that is expected to come with age and/or experience (you are very right, age is a number, but I’ll tell you, sometimes that number seems to have 3 digits in it!!).

On the other hand, I am with mollywobbles and cathy and others who say I don’t plan to reach ANY age where the sense of wonder (and may I add, the thirst to learn and experience new things) is ever lost, and to me that includes, sometimes, doing things that you want to, even THOUGH you are old enough to know better.

I think it really all comes down to the individual, as a person, remembering that even when you do something “though you know better” you need to consider how it will affect others and, more importantly, how it will affect YOU. Remember, things have a way of coming back to haunt or bless us, and we need to consider that before we proceed. Heidy said it earlier when she said she wished that “outside of the law, there should be a moral compass …”

Oh, and by the way (tongue_in_cheek, a little bit, anyway) I have used the “you’re old enough to know better” gambit on all of my kids, from the time they were about 5 until this very day!! It doesn’t work on them either!!

M.

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@ Heidy:

You can view info on the other books you asked about at justia.com, filing #63. Be sure to read the attachment file as well, as it gives you an idea of what a non-infringing derivative work is. I actually own this book and it’s a great read.

Note of interest, Steve actually quotes from this book, both on the site and in his book.

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“Leaky it would appear our relationship has come to an end. I am not an expert on legal matters so I can not say for sure which side I would be with concerning JKR vs. RDR books. But I do know that you all will continue to do what ever it is you can do to ride on JKR’s coattails so it is so surprise to me that you are breaking you were looking for any excuse to break ties with Lexicon. As you seem to feel your site does not go with theirs then I hope no one here can ever use Lexicon any time they are looking for a Potterverse fact or some bit of canon to use in an argument in the leaky lounge. Sue while I appreciate your kind heart and great reporting I have lost respect for Melissa and her want for fame and recognition found through JKR. JKR is a creative genius I love her works. Lexicon is wonderfully detailed and useful. I can my Harry Potter news many MANY other places.”

Posted by J on March 26, 2008 @ 01:18 PM

It needs to be said: The HP Lexicon is not the be-all end all reference for the books. In fact, I much prefer going straight to the books or using other sites. It’s not impossible and I, for one, do so gladly. As a fan, I’d much rather side with the author, than a fame and money hungry fan who does NOT represent me nor anyone else in the fandom. I certainly didn’t give the go ahead to speak for me. As the vast majority of Leaky’s vocal readers have been voicing their opposition to Steve and the fact that Steve was so underhanded about the Floo Network and profits in his contract…Leaky did the right thing. I have no idea if you’re actually reading this. There are plenty of great HP news sites out there. But, none, are as thorough as Leaky, in my opinion. I wish you luck.

“I am ASHAMED I’ve been a member of Leaky as long as I have. I didn’t realize I had to swear allegiance to JKR to be a fan of Harry Potter.

Pathetic, that’s what Leaky is nowadays. Just pathetic.”

Posted by PAM2002 on March 26, 2008 @ 01:22 PM

Nowadays? Yes, because just last year Leaky was bashing Jo…Erm…what? Since when was it a bad thing to support the creator of the thing you’re a fan of? No one here is beyond criticising Jo for certain things. Besides, no one here has said you can’t visit the Lexicon and be a member on Leaky. They just feel they can no longer have a working relationship with the site. Leaky staff is not so arrogant as to think they have any control over what other sites we visit. In fact, they’re still paying for the Lexicon’s domain until the case is over.

“I think I love your family. I agree the best thing about the Harry Potter series that is does inspire a sense of wonder….”

Posted by Cathy on March 26, 2008 @ 12:56 PM

My friend who went to the release party with us, said the same thing! She was rather enamored with my family that night as well. Hehe.

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@ Morton

Your comment about being OLD had me laughing myself silly. So funny.

It makes me think of my grandmother, a wonderful lady. When she was in her late eighties, her mind began to slip a bit, and sometimes she would say things that were a bit off. When she would do this, we often looked at her oddly, and seeing our expressions, she would realize she’d said something that didn’t quite make sense. She’d then slap her hand down on the table and spiritedly retort: “Oh, wipe those looks off your faces! You HAVE to be nice to me, because I’m OLD!” To which we would all burst out in sheepish laughter, and she would sit back with a satisfied, ha-I-certainly-put-them-in-their-place sort of expression. I miss her.

Sorry for the OT-ness of this comment, but it’s kind of nice to talk about something besides RDR/SVA for a bit. Carry on, everyone…

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Mollywobbles, don’t get too worked up. :) We’re not really concerned about people who are bashing us for this choice. We know we came to it in the right spirit, as a staff; we know we had discussions that were honest and respectful; we know that in none of them was even the implication that a break from the Lexicon meant anything in terms of bumping us up in JKR’s eyes. If that were true she wouldn’t have come on PotterCast, when we were still clearly very associated wth the Lexicon and just a matter of weeks earlier had been happily chatting with Steve on Canon Conundrums.

I really, truly, appreciate the way everyone has jumped to our defense, but I assure you it’s not necessary. The last thing we’re going to start doing is taking to heart the words of those who seem to have misunderstood the situation. We wish them well, and hope they find a place on the net where they can enjoy Harry Potter without being burdened by visiting Leaky. :)

Melissa

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@mollywobbles23

Thanks for all the legwork! I understand the difference now.

@ Cara

Thanks for the filing number. I’m only on #59, Jo’s declaration. I may skip ahead, to check this out though. Really appreciate it. BTW does SVA give credit to to the author for the quote in the website?

@ J and PAM2002

Right. . . . are you kidding? Where did you two come from? If you felt so strongly about the direction Leaky had taken, why not just send them an e-mail where they are sure to read it instead of posting in this horrible site? You can sever your ties with Leaky freely, without reproach. This is not a cult. There is no allegiance swearing to Jo or anyone. We don’t have a dark mark and we are not LV. If you leave we won’t hunt you down.

That being said, I have a question. If the Lexibook is allowed publishing, what will happen to the site? Will SVA/RDR now demand payment to visit the site or shut it down because they want to make sure people buy the book? Just food for thought.

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@ J and PAM2002:

Your are entitled to your opinion, and if you want to leave, well I’m sorry you feel that way.

It’s seems it’s so much easier for some to blame TLC, WB, or Rowling herself than to hold Steve accountable for this fiasco.

The ironic thing, though, is that you’ve convicted TLC, WB, and Rowling on a hell of a lot less than what Steve has done.

I shake my head sadly at such reasoning.

@ Morton:

I did not say there was no case law for a Fair Use defense. What I said was:

“As adjudicated law currently stands, there is ZERO case law to base a pro-defense precedent on.”

That is the truth. Any judge will struggle to find this book Fair Use.

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Well done. I am glad you chose to disassociate yourselves with SVA’s statements, particularly his dramatic prophecies regarding what will befall fandom and other online sites if (when) JKR wins. So many people in the comments and elsewhere just do not understand that this legal battle has nothing to do with free fan websites, nor does a win mean JKR would suddenly have more rights than she has now to close, ban, dismantle, or otherwise affect a non-profit fan site. This court battle is about a for-profit book based completely or almost completely on JKR’s copyrighted material. The copyright issues at stake wouldn’t change even if the Lexicon had not been online first.

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Melissa, you are a class act!

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Being a HP fan who is about as old as dirt, thank you for the age humor.

That is all…carry on.

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@ Heidy: BTW does SVA give credit to to the author for the quote in the website?

On the site, yes. In the book, I’m not sure. The reason I say this is that there are an enormous amount of times that reference materials, though used, aren’t cited. Most of the HP books are referenced but not always, and generally not in a manner that would pass as scholarly.

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Thanks for the above book info! I knew that a couple of books RDR referenced were fair use and a couple were stopped. Just couldn’t remember which ones.

There is something really bugging me today that I want to comment on, and then I will probably sign off for now. Does anyone else notice that Steve Vander Ark consistently calls J.K. Rowling just Rowling? On some Lexicon comments just this morning (I know, I want to read what everyone is saying, though), Neil Blair is Neil Blair and David Heyman is David Heyman, but Jo is always “Rowling”. It just makes me think of all of Dumbledore’s corrections to Harry of, “PROFESSOR Snape, Harry.” Anyway, just bothering me.

Karen_W

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we know RDR Books has lied about the lexicon book. who wants to start taking bets they get slapped with a court fine for bad faith and perjurous practices. if you say two contradictory things to the court, only one can be true.

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Sorry if this is a repeat, but it should have been on page 21…..

Question: “Do you think that, if Lexicon wins the case, the Harry Potter fansites are going to be affected in any way(Lexicon Online included)?

Anwer: “A victory for RDR Books will protect the rights of fans to create based on someone else’s work.”

I can’t believe he actually said that!!! How can he possibly think that it is ok to “create based on someone else’s work”?? Why doesn’t he try to be original and create a book based on his own work? Seems like he created a website because he was a fan of Harry Potters. Granted, it is a TON of work (and for the record, THANK YOU LEAKY FOR MANY WONDERFUL HOURS OF FUN!!) however, it was done voluntarily. Nobody forced him to do it and he could have stopped at any time. Now he wants to profit, once again, “based on someone else’s work”.

Leaky, I support you 110% and thank you for showing that, to quote one of our favorite people, “sometimes you have to do what is right, not what is easy”!

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@Nancy: It’s amazing to me that SVA truly doesn’t seem to get that the right to “create based on someone else’s work” is not what JKR/WB are objecting to. They’re not objecting to CREATING something based on JKR’s world, they’re objecting to someone trying to exploit and MAKE MONEY off that creation.

It’s mind-boggling that SVA, who heretofore has seemed like a highly intelligent, perceptive person, doesn’t seem to understand that distinction.

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@Melissa

And that’s why you make such a great webmistress. You keep a cool head (at least as far as we can see). I agree you don’t really have to defend your stance, but it’s fun for me to do so (though I in no way speak for Leaky as a whole, just to be clear). If readers want to leave, that’s their right, but I hate for them to leave on any misunderstanding of the facts. A lot of people haven’t been following the case or Steve’s words like half of us here.

I think I need to look more closely at the court documents. Maybe I’ll catch something I hadn’t from the summaries and my quick glance at the manuscript exerpts.

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Thanks Monica for saying that! In my rush to get the post out, I didn’t point out that I was talking about him PROFITTING by “creating based on someone else’s work”. I know that Jo doesn’t mind the creating part, in fact, she has stated many many times that she loves that. What boggles my mind, and obviously many other minds as well, how he thought that it would be ok to make money based on someone elses work. If he wants to be a writer, than write, but please, write your own stuff!

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I completely disagree with this decision. The type of control that Ms Rowling is attempting to exert would deminish any type of commentary over her or any other authors work. What steve is doing with his book is something that has been done for decades with all other authors.

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@ steve:

Rubbish!

Copyright law currently allows authors “exclusive rights” to the derivative market of their copyrighted works. If someone wants to create an unauthorized derivative then it must be Fair Use.

If others, as you commented on, manage to meet Fair Use – then why can’t Steve do the same? He could have. He chose not to.

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@ Karen_W

Thank you for pointing out SVA now calling JKR just “Rowling”.....that bugged me each time I saw it. Not a show of respect…...considering without her what would SVA be doing besides being sued.

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@ Karen_W and Cathy

While I can see how referring to JKR as merely “Rowling” could be a mark of disrespect,, I frankly prefer it to him continuing to call her Jo.

After all, JKR has been very forthright in her disappointment regarding SVA’s behavior, saying that she feels “betrayed” by him, and that he only “considered himself a true fan” rather than actually being a true fan. So for SVA to continue calling her Jo, or even JKR (which has long been the name her fans have used for her), would be more than a tad disingenous, not to mention absurd.

But yes, it would be much more respectful for him to at least put a “Ms.” in front of “Rowling”.

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@Anonymoose

”@ Morton:

I did not say there was no case law for a Fair Use defense. What I said was:

“As adjudicated law currently stands, there is ZERO case law to base a pro-defense precedent on.”

That is the truth. Any judge will struggle to find this book Fair Use.”

In response, I might say that even though there APPEARS to be no case law upon which to base a pro-defence precedent, stranger things have happed. I certainly agree that the preponderance of evidence supports your position, and that it is difficult, certainly for me at least, to see how it might be done.

Having said that, though, I must apologize to you. I was incomplete in my own statement, and thank you for pointing it out. I should have said the “apparent statement regarding no case law”. As you are aware, I know there IS, INDEED, case law, and I’ve read a lot of it. And that was why I tried, in the post you are commenting on, to extract the real meaning of the cases cited, and I hope I got THAT right at least.

So, please accept my apologies for my inadvertent implication … it was not intended.

M.

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I don’t know that anyone cares, but just to clarify my previous post:

I don’t mean to imply that SVA doesn’t truly love the HP books. I believe he does. I only meant that, now JKR has made clear her disappointment in him, it would be disingenuous for him to continue calling her Jo and so forth, as though they’re very good friends who are still on relatively good terms despite all this unfortunate legal business, yada yada. And quite frankly, if he did do that, I’d be even more dismayed with him than I already am. That’s all I meant.

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Hello! Some people have responded to my previous comments on supposedly defending Steve. Yes, I do defend him due to some immature comments made towards him and shunning him completely. However, I do agree with the majority saying his actions has lost him respect from this fandom. I completely understand and my own respect for him has lessen.

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@Cathy & Ashley

I appreciate reading your views. Ashley, yes, you did make sense to me. I’m just concerned because I think it’s been going on for a while, and yes, Ms. Rowling or even her full pen name of J.K. Rowling would seem more respectful to me.

I’ve been glad to read everyone’s posts and the age discussions were good :)

Karen_W

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@Karen_W

It’s nice to know I’m in such good company here at Leaky where you can agree to disagree without bloodshed.

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Steve has apparently just posted this (posting site not given so needs to be treated with caution). He says:

“They approved the website, witch is free and doesn’t generate money. The book however, is something totally different”

Well, no, it isn’t. The Lexicon website generates money, although not nearly as much as Mugglenet or Leaky (which makes HUGE profits). And there is no difference in copyright law between publishing online or in print. So no, I wouldn’t have seen it as different.

They have now made it clear that they are LOOKING at them as different, whether they’re legally entitled to or not. But I wouldn’t have had any reason to think so then, especially since other websites were making a LOT of money, other similar books had been published, the website material was not a copyright infringement, and legally there is no difference between publising a book and a website.

Steve

— March 26, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

(see Post 186: http://www.leakylounge.com/WB-JKR-vs-RDR-SVA-Part-V-t60496.html&st=180)

If I’ve understood this correctly Steve is saying web and book copyright are the same. They are not see: http://www.ivanhoffman.com/derivative.html.

I think (if this post is not a joke) he is also arguing that Mugglenet and Leaky are cash cows (“HUGE profits”), so, the argument goes, why can’t he make money (morally or legally) from his site?

If this post is accurate it appears that even after a more than four-month opportunity to research copyright law, and after he himself said it was “illegal” (15 May 2005) Steve still doesn’t get it. His book is infringing, even RDR’s lawyers admit it is, but they are arguing it meets Fair Use. It does not. At least not as Fair Use is currently defined. So maybe his argument is: the law is bad because I have worked so hard and not seen a penny, so the law should be changed so I can profit from my hard work. The only problem is copyright law is also explicit about that too. You could sweat yourself to death and you would still be infringing JKR’s copyright as the law stands.

Now I’m really confused. How can anyone so involved in this case delude themselves to such an extent? The only rational answer I can come up with is that this is not about the law and JKR’s copyright. It’s about something else. And, another interesting conundrum, why (if this post is for real) did he choose to mention Leaky in the terms he did?

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He posted that in the comments section of ‘What’s New’, just as he answered a question on it yesterday.

: )

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to the person posting under the name “steve” here on the page 28 of the comments, you are dead wrong.

jk rowling has already stated that she is not against legitamate and legal books of commentary… that requires that they contain actual commentary, and they are allowable by the law.

there is no true commentary in the lexicon book, nor those it qualify according to fair use laws, which means it severely infringes the copyrights owned by jk rowling.

SVA is in the wrong here. they and trying to punish jk rowling because she would not give him a job when he demanded her to give him a job working with her. he even had the nerve to say he would help her write her future books. he didnt create anything that has to do with harry potter, he simply reorganized everthing jk rowling created, and took credit for the work of others at the lexicon. he started the website, but he had a huge group of volunteers that get nothing should the book go through and be sold. and yet there work is in there without citation or thanks.

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It seems that SVA supporters in this thread are keen on propagating half-truths or outright misrepresentations of facts AS fact.

Stop it.

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And most of them (the SVA supporters) also seem to be using the same theme of “Leaky is only doing this so they can further kiss up to their goddess, JKR!” This is yet another reason why I can’t quite suppress the suspicion that most of them are, in fact, from the same place. ::cough::RDR::cough::

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Cara’s right, I just checked the comments there. He said it. Broke my non-clicking rule just to check a curiosity. sigh Commented there as well. I have the biggest mouth in the world. Call me Ms. Opinion.

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Thanks Cara. Found it and checked it.

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in a perfect world, a author who has to take legal action against a hijacker and fan abuser like SVA should be able to legally halt any publication by said hijacker that has anything to do with the authors works.

sadly, gone are the days where you can tie someone up to a ice flow and send him out adrift in the ocean till it melts and/or he dies.

if I am sounding quite hatefilled, it is hatefilled at steve’s horrible actions and statements which are abusive towards true fans, and towards jk rowling who gave us this wonderful series he now is trying to claim ownership of.

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My goodness go away for a few hours and the fur flies!

Morton et al. thanks for the giggle. Glad to know I’m not the only middle lifer going on teenager around here! LOL And you are all right, HP keeps me very young and happy :)

J and other trolls: please leave, really. You aren’t adding anything to the discussion except blathering on about how Leaky is wrong. What an odd place to voice your discontent with Leaky but on Leaky’s website with Leaky fans? Surely there are other HP fan sites you can go to? People who tend to go to websites and participate in them actually like them. If you don’t and feel the need to complain you could do so with an email without upsetting everyone else. What a waste of time and energy.

mollywobbles, I gotta say you certainly have found some intriguing links I know I am hopeless to understand the minutia of legalese but I do have a firm grasp of what is right and wrong.

And before I go wade into the age thing again (tee-hee) I guess I was supposing that someone of SVA’s age would not make rash decisions and clearly think out all possible outcomes before acting which unfortunately can happen to younger people who tend to react quickly and find themselves in pitfalls they hadn’t foreseen. Yes, I know it is a terrible generalization since I know some very astute, bright, and careful young people and I know some terribly unstable and reactionary older people. But I think most would agree that SVA’s recent and obvious contempt for JKR shows how much he “isn’t acting his age” (and yes, I do use it on my daughter! LOL)

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@Wizengamut

Are you talking to me or the other mollywobbles? I haven’t provided any links. I provided those descriptions of unofficial encyclopedias and commented on them, though. I’m not that good at legalese either. : – )

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Phew!! Just finished reading. I must say I’m seriously confused as to SVA’s reasoning. He has clearly stated in the past that he knew that an encyclopedic work was verbotten. So how does he get from there to his current position? I’m also a librarian, so I really don’t understand this. Copyright is something librarians must deal with a lot, so I’m lost as too how he could misinterpret it so badly. As a librarian, we post signs near photocopiers about copyright & fair use, constantly remind users that they can’t create downloaded databases of fulltext articles and other issues.

I’m a health sciences librarian and deal with research publishing issues. Now some granting agencies require that grant recipients publish in open source publication, as well as in scholarly journals. Getting that permission from the scholarly journal is a major pain due to copyright. Also,with digital rights management and loaning music and book associated CDs, you run into other problems with getting permissions from copyright owners. It’s enough to drive anyone batty.

All of that drivel is to say that as a librarian, copyright is in your face, can’t miss it, so I’m really wog boggled as to how he came to where he is. Perhaps he thinks he will play a role in the changing of copyright law and that’s part of his motivation. Publishing is in flux right now and copyright is a hot button issue for many librarians. Maybe he sees himself as an “information to the people” crusader. I don’t know.

Are we sure that the confundus charm isn’t real?

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“my hope is that one, RDR loses, two, RDR is bankrupt for breaking the law after being required to pay jk’s and wb’s legal fees. three, RDR cant publish steve’s books, and four, no other publisher will publish his other books.

that would be a great victory for harry potter fans all over the world. we dont like being used and abused.”

Excellently put NotTheHBP! It expresses my fervent hope perfectly.

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Apologies for yet another OT comment from me, but I just have to say, in regard to Pam Richards’s post, that “wog boggled” is now my new favorite phrase.

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@Morton

Completely off topic as well Morton, just wanted to let you know that Grumpy Old Men is on tv tonight at 8:00.

@mollywobbles

Read conversation with Steve on Lexicon…very interesting.

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@Cathy

Interesting indeed. He just needed a little advice from a fan. I hope he keeps his word about keeping quiet until the case is closed.

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When I say “fan” I mean of the books, not Steve, just to be clear.

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mollywobbles23 – “Cara’s right, I just checked the comments there. He said it. Broke my non-clicking rule just to check a curiosity. sigh Commented there as well. I have the biggest mouth in the world. Call me Ms. Opinion.”

Don’t worry about it. It’s hard to keep quiet, on such an issue as this. We all feel pretty much involved in this whole debate. ; )

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I think the Leaky staff have, as always, handled this situation extremely well. Thank you yet again for the great job you do.

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@ Ashley

I stole wog boggled from Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings. Sorry off topic but fun!

I just have to say that I admire Melissa & Co. for their mature handling of this trying situation. It’s why I keep coming back! It’s a sad situation for all concerned.

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I’m curious, does anyone know why SVA in the UK? I thought he was a librarian in Michigan. In “What’s New” he mentions finishing up Quidditch Through the Ages in the Portkey during the earthquake and that was Feb. 27.

The swings in the comments have been huge in the last week, they went from talking walnuts to court cases or from frivolity to very serious.

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Ahhh, sorry mollywobbles23, I was looking at something else and thought it was you. :)

And I second the vote on “wog boggled” being a favourite phrase! :)

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“Wog Boggled” I just said that aloud and my boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy. Love it! Thanks Richard!!

@ Loader Lady

In his declaration, Filing 52 Paragraph 26, SVA says he went to the UK to start his writing career. Here is the quote:

“In the spring of 2007, I began to make preparations to move to London. I was hoping to obtain a work visa, which meant that, under British law, I would have to find a company to sponsor me. Toward that end, I tried byphone and email to contact the Christopher Little Agency. I also wanted to ask about my ideas for using the material on the website for a book, possibly a reader’s guide of some kind. Before visiting London in July of 2007, I requested a fifteen-minute meeting with the Agency to discuss both the work visa and the possibility of using material from the Lexicon for a book and was toldthey didn’t have time. I made no further plans for a book until Roger Rapoport of RDR Books contacted me. “

BTW Mollywobbles23 rocks!!!

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Thanks! lol How’d you know I played guitar? lol :-P : – )

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Ok, I just read 29 pages of comments…

Concerning Leaky’s decision, I feel kind of like Sam said about the Elves in LotR: “it is above my likes or dislikes.” They work hard to maintain a website, and are free to make a decision, in particular when it is unanimous among their members. It does seem that this secret money making scheme off the Floo Network would be reason enough to sever ties. I don’t quite understand why people say they feel for Leaky right now, when it’s SVA who looks bad. Perhaps the sadness of disbanding the Floo Network, and, like someone said, the difficulty of standing up to one’s friends (the Neville courage). I have been going to all the websites independently of each other, and haven’t ever used the Floo homepage until now, to understand what was happening. Does this mean the Floo page will disappear?

Some people asked why now, and some asked why not earlier. I don’t really like the spirit of let’s throw the first stone, but I kind of see why now. The interview is a bit irksome, because Steve acts as if he’s completely, blissfully, “unaware,” and to me this separation feels like a bit of a slap, a call to wake up and admit reality. I don’t know if Rowling has said anything in interviews about her feelings about the case, but it seemed to me that she hasn’t tried to sway public opinion just yet (I may have missed something). She made a deposition for the court, but her expression of disappointment did not come from an interview. I wonder if SVA’s decision to talk about his book in this interview doesn’t add a certain amount of unfair tactics, of which TLC disapproved. It was annoying to read that he considers Jo a friend, because we know she considers him a traitor at this point. His answer to that question should have acknowledged in some way her feelings towards this “friendship.” But he acts bigger than Rowling, as if it is really up to him which way the friendship goes. He is trying to pull the wool over the readers’ eyes, when we all know how Rowling feels. There is no question of a friendship here, without a huge apology maybe, and more. And then of course there is his perhaps dishonest comment about fan activity. Anyway, seeing that interview, I could see “why now.”

I didn’t follow SVA before, but I don’t like the way he sounds on the OotP DVD extras, and if I were the judge, my decision might be swayed by RDR’s bad tactics in dealing with WB. I don’t know if that is how things happen in court, and if that is called justice. If I were to judge the case by how much I like SVA’s apparent character, or how professional and polite I find RDR, it would be a no brainer rule for JK Rowling.

People asked me, would I do it if I were Steve? No! I don’t like trouble, and I would not want to upset Jo. But that only tells me that not doing it would be a good decision for myself. They asked me, would I like it if I were the author and someone did it to my work? All I can say is, I wish I had that problem. But, if I were not planning an encyclopedia of my own, I don’t think I would mind. Rowling is planning her own book, though.

And until now, I kept thinking that SVA should be rewarded for his hard work on the Lexicon, all the lists he put together, that perhaps he had the “original idea” of making the lists. I won’t stop visiting the Lexicon site, or belittle his and his team’s work. But if SVA beat many fans to the idea of making lists, I don’t think he beat Rowling. She has an encyclopedic imagination, and her work lends itself to the kind of creation that the Lexicon is because there is already an encyclopedia at the heart of Harry Potter. I would not want the author herself to be “beat to the punch” in the making of an encyclopedia, or to have her original work look like a “me too” imitation. And it does seem as if SVA was seriously irked and offended that Rowling didn’t want him to participate in the writing of her encyclopedia. I think he felt he had earned the right, and that Jo showed her true colors in looking down on her fan and not valuing the contribution he could have brought. So his publishing the Lexicon almost seems like a revenge mission. Or perhaps he justified it to himself thus: if she won’t accept my help, it means she finds the Lexicon useless for what she plans to do; well, in that case it can’t hurt her that I will publish it, since it is so different from what her book will be. But I wonder what Rowling thought when Steve offered his services. Did she think, as a proverb says in my country of origin, something like “I said hello to you, and now I can’t get rid of you”? Or perhaps, justifiably, she became a tad annoyed with this fan who suddenly became interested in participating in her work so that he could take credit for it. I know how that works. You are happy someone likes what you are doing, but then they get a bit too close for comfort, and start trying to make you feel that you are taking ideas from them, when it is the other way around.

Anyway, if all this, JK’s intention to write a book, RDR’s tactics, and SVA’s character (in this situation), were not to be taken into consideration, if this were a different case, I am not sure that I would be 100% against a book such as the Lexicon being published. Such a reference work might by the nature of the genre include more than 10% of the source material. What I wonder though is why didn’t SVR just put a bunch of advertising on the Lexicon website like Mugglenet? He would have made more money, and would have upset no one, it seems to me. I would have been fine with seeing more advertising on it; I would have understood. And the book Lexicon seems such a poor ripoff compared to the website.

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I know I am going to be unpopular for saying this but I love Steve. I believe that he was not trying to publish a book that would make us all not buy the real book. Jo herself admitted to using the Lexicon so she did not have to look up information in her own notes. This whole thing is ruining Harry Potter for me. When I gave my son his first Harry Potter book for Christmas this year I wrote in the book that this is a story about magic and evil but most important love. I am not feeling the love right now. I am feeling sad that two people I have respect for are at war. I understand both sides but would any of really buy Steve’s book and not buy Jo’s?

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Jessica,

Folks aren’t upset with Steve because he’s treading on Jo’s territory. We’re upset because he’s breaking the law and has some pretty crazy things about Jo and the fandom concerning the case. I for one simply disagree with him. Also, he seems to have tried to absolve himself of all culpability through his public statements when, without him, there’d be no case.

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FWIW, I believe Jo only remarked that she’d used the Lexicon when she was on a book tour and didn’t have her notes or copies of all the books at hand. We’ve all seen the documentaries/interviews where she references her lists and notes and, although she’s made it clear through the years that she appreciated the Lexicon, it seems a little silly for some people to imagine that she depended on it to write her books. Or, that once she made it clear she didn’t want it to be published that she should be, in some way, flattered.

The relationship between an artist and his/her fans is so interesting to me.

I had a little experience of this myself when I was a working musician with quite a strong cult and critical following. There was one instance where a fan had made a series of drawings & stories based on a couple of my songs. I was flattered, but that turned to dismay when I learned he’d contracted to publish it as a book. Unfortunately, I didn’t think his work was very good! What a mess.

So, that’s one reason why I can relate to Jo’s situation here.

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I really admire Leaky for always maintaining high standards. They are always careful about what they report, and are always careful to stick to the facts. I appreciate how early on in the trial, they were careful to just present facts and at that point, not take any sides. I notice this also when they podcast, keeping politics and other controversies out, so that Potter fans can unite and just enjoy the fandom. I also however, admire them for, in this case, doing what they felt was right in this situation. Leaky always shows such professionalism, and such respect for JKR herself, and I am pleased to see that, because of their strong difference of opinion, they are severing ties with the Lexicon. Thanks again Leaky for all your hard work, your professionalism, and all you do to keep Leaky a place where fans can get accurate information, yet also have a lot of fun too. Keep up the great work!! I appreciate you!!

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Daniela: “But I wonder what Rowling thought when Steve offered his services.”

I’ve wondered the same. Just think if she had said yes—the fandom would have applauded in unison. That would have been a happily-ever-after solution right out of a fairytale.

But give the lady a break. Here she is, after seven books and, what, 17 year of writing, finished with an effort the strain of which we can barely begin guessing, looking forward to some well-earned slack and time with her family. And now someone wants her to put her nose to the grindstone again. Because that’s what entering a partnership is: demanding in itself.

No matter how great your contribution potential is, it is not something that you can force upon somebody. Definitely no somebody whose work is as personal as an author’s.

Anyway, in the unlikely case that they had for any moment seriously considered hiring the Lexicon librarian for the job, subsequent events must have them thanking their lucky stars for having said no.

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PS—just to clarify about my own experience. My manager told the fan he had to remove all direct references to me, my band and the songs (the stories were named with my song and album titles; characters were named after me and other band members, etc) and explain that I was flattered, but he’d have more success the further he could move beyond my work and into his own.

That’s what people need to understand who make work inspired by someone else’s art: Love and the desire to share with others who love… Respect for the original creator… And then, the courage to jump off the creation cliff all on one’s own.

Steve seems to have lost this love, respect & courage. With his experience as a librarian and developer of the Lexicon, I’ll bet he could write an interesting, instructive and useful book for researchers/librarians/fans who want to set up the same kind of site on their own favorite subjects. It would be interesting to read about how the site developed.

But, no—he can’t let the Lexicon Book go and move on. And now he’s in a mess.

Who knows? Perhaps he wants to write an original and definitive reference book for Harry Potter, but doesn’t have the chops.

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@ Wizengamut

Thanks I plan on staying around :)

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@ desertwind:

“That’s what people need to understand who make work inspired by someone else’s art: Love and the desire to share with others who love… Respect for the original creator… And then, the courage to jump off the creation cliff all on one’s own.”

Just posting to say how much I like that sentiment. I can tell you’re a lyricist. (Can I put that on a coffee mug?) lol

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@Daniela & desertwind

I’ve been thinking about “But I wonder what Rowling thought when Steve offered his services.”

That must have been an awkward moment. I know that fans and critics have been offered the chance to work on Lord of the Rings publications. They were professionals in their own right and already had credentials long before the movies were possibilities. So I guess working with your favorite author on a publication isn’t unheard of, but its a bit delicate. Hmm. I guess we might never know how that all went over. Thanks mollywobbles for digging that up. Very interesting.

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I don’t disagree that Steve put alot of time and effort into the Lexicon, and Jo recognised him for it. I feel him demanding a job was rather rude. I mean why don’t you just take the author recognising you, and complementing you on your work. For me that whould be the greatest reward of all. You would be admired with the full respect of all the fans for it.

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This interview SVA has given confirms he’s either indeed lost his compass on what it means to be a fan and love and respect JK’s work, or that he’s merely repeating what his counselor’s told him to say -in which case he’d be better off saying “sorry-cannot-speak-legal-thingy”.

People at Leaky: I applaud your decision, as tough as I imagine it must have been. I take it, not as a siding with JKR/WB, but as a siding with common sense. A conforting snorgle for you guys.

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thank you for providing informations about the trial up to now and for keeping on doing so.

so there is going to be a parting of the ways, there will be sadness and there will be new beginnings, maybe for better than for worse. the leaky cauldron will be about the films and the books, and the lexicon will be about the books mostly. leaky and its fans will be the good girls and boys, jo’s army (complying to warner bros.), whereas steve will be the eternal bad guy.

i detested and detest the way warner tried to intimidate a small publisher, i could and cannot help it – i do hope they will lose the case.

whatever the legal outcome will be i wish leaky’s team the best.

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did leaky only post comments that were in agreement with them ?

i dont know, i kinda feel like david and goliath here. i wonder if jo would have made the same decision without warner bros et all egging her on.

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@ Carol

If you go back through the pages of comments, you will see that there a few who disagree with Leaky. Perhaps you are only seeing the agreeing ones because you haven’t read them all and probably because we are in the majority.

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@Pam, Daniela, desertwind, mollywobbles23, et al.

”@Daniela & desertwind

I’ve been thinking about “But I wonder what Rowling thought when Steve offered his services.”

That must have been an awkward moment. I know that fans and critics have been offered the chance to work on Lord of the Rings publications. They were professionals in their own right and already had credentials long before the movies were possibilities. So I guess working with your favorite author on a publication isn’t unheard of, but its a bit delicate. Hmm. I guess we might never know how that all went over. Thanks mollywobbles for digging that up. Very interesting.”

I think it must be remembered that part of the problem as it developed is that there is little definitive information (as is noted above) and I would say little likelihood of every getting that information, on a lot of issues in this case.

This one issue, however, based at least on the depositions and other statements available, appears to have been an absolutely unsolicited proposal/request to be hired on for a job that didn’t (and still doesn’t, to my knowledge) exist. There was no advertisement regarding the availability of this position, there was no “job posting”, as it were, anywhere. And I think that is because, as somebody pointed out, JKR has her own staff to organize and catalogue the various pieces of information that she will want to review/include in the Scottish book. Not to mention her own, obviously intimate knowledge of her own work.

A question that keeps popping up for me is the “she used the Lexicon” argument, the look that Ms. Rowling is said to have had, to refresh her memory. It has been intimated that this constitutes recognition of the value of the Lexicon, and should help to exonerate RDR in this case. And so what really is the value of the Lexicon, by which I mean the book, not the website.

There have been many answers provided (she only took a quick look to confirm something while on tour, she never really looked at all, she ALWAYS looks because it is the best there is, even better than her own knowledge). Obviously, some of these appear to be nothing more than attempts to sway opinion in one direction or another (at least in my opinion) but really, none of the answers given deal with question which is “if, in fact, Ms. Rowling INDEED looked at the Lexicon (and really it is immaterial which of the various compilations of existing fact she might have consulted), is there some reason that would happen. I guess, the thing for me is that if I know the story backward and forward, having conceived, created, nurtured and launched it myself, surely I know it better than anyone else.

After thinking about that and relating it to some of the (admittedly inconsequential) things I have written … reports, essays, that sort of thing, which are MUCH shorter and MUCH less complex than the HP series … I may have an answer, both to why she might have used such a source, and what the true value of such a source is. Certainly it works for me, and I suspect it has a modicum of truth to it.

I don’t always remember a specific nit-picky detail of something I wrote just last week (yes, I know, I AM OLD after all), and I think how it would be nice if somebody had organized or otherwise recorded what I had said in a quick reference format. How much more might this be a useful thing for an author who has SO MUCH to remember, and further, is EXPECTED, in interviews, articles and so on, to remember and comment on those details at the drop of a hat. Add to this the fact that JKR has admitted (and why not, ALL great authors do it) to making a mistake occasionally and needing to correct it. So the POTENTIAL for her using some compendium, such as the Lexicon, is there.

But then, I began to think of a SIGNIFICANT difference between what the Lexicon provides and what ONLY the author can provide. That is the motivation, the thought, the reasoning behind an item or event.. And that is what really provided me with my own insight regarding the value of a Lexicon, a Wikipedia or other agglomeration of FACTS, as opposed to the “creative mind” (to quote wording used by RDR’s lawyers) itsef.

The former are, in fact, really nothing but entries in a list. The Lexicon part of the website (and the source for the book) is nothing more than that, and should, even then, have attached to it substantial commentary, subtantial analysis and threading of events, or some other NEW and ORIGINAL content before it can be considered Fair Use (and please, I am not saying it does or doesn’t … I’m trying to remain as open minded as possible, since a great part of the court decision will be based on perception and interpretation). The Scottish book, when eventually published, is going, we understand, to provide much original work in new information and additional information on existing materials.

So what IS the value of a lexicon or other compilation of data and entries, and the answer is, unless it motivates you to think for yourself, to ask, analyze, consider and reconsider, it has NO creative value. The websites, including Lexicon, that provide commentary and interpretation to the facts they carry ADD value. The Scottish book will ADD value. A listing of facts COULD add value if it serves to stimulate new ideas or analysis. But to do that, it has to be more than simply a resource to remind you where or when something happened. It has to motivate you to think about why, or what might have happened if, and so on.

So don’t get me wrong, there is obviously value in having the simple compendium or list too. But the issue here, to me is ADDING value (Fair Use talks about transformative works, Different works, NEW works, or, simply put, ADDED value). I think, since JKR KNOWS what she created, her only use, in my opinion, of a lexicon would be as a reminder of what was, not as a stimulator of what could or might be, that is … not a true value ADDER, because she could find that information without consulting anything but her memory.

So, we might have here at least a plausible reason for JKR to have consulted the Lexicon. But such use would essentially constitute verification of existing facts, and that use, I think, is difficult to translate into an endorsement of the idea to publish the existing list of facts for profit.

Indeed that is how I view the concept of the “information Age”, and how I see the value of much of the internet and reference sections in libraries.. the information that you need to HELP YOU MOVE ON is found there, but it isn’t the new idea that you will create, or the thought that you will use to analyze or comment.. It is ONLY the existing fact, not the new creation.

At least in my humble opinion.

Sorry for the (as usual) long and rambling post. Be NICE to me… I’m OLD!

M.

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....and it’s the fans that get the shaft. Like, I’ve been saying – no matter who wins, we lose.

The Floo Network is the first casualty. The longstanding relationship with the Lexicon is severed. SVA can’t come on PotterCast because his views differ from Leaky’s.

Legal issues are involved and Leaky makes the hard call. Not that they had much of choice – legally they probably had to.

But this is what happens when fandom starts crossing over into the business world. It’s a new whole ballgame with big boy rules.

Settle in and buckle up Potterfans, it will only continue!

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laughing Man I don’t believe “it will only continue”, I am afraid it will all end. These websites take a lot of effort to create, who is to say people will carry on after the last movie, or that interest will continue. There is always a spike in activity around a new book or movie. There is only one movie left and the scottish book, is that enough to sustain massive websites like Leaky and Mugglenet, who maintain constant updates. On another fear The lexicon is a wonderful resource, I don’t mean to belittle it in any way. However I disagree with the notion that the work on the lexicon should be compensated. The lexicon for me has always had those dark trademarks and copyrights on their pages, if this about fair use why does the lexicon so vehemently protect thier pages and images. I can right click on all of the great images in the leaky fan art gallery and use them for background pictures. I can’t do that on the lexicon. That has always been a problem for me. I am not selling images or using things for profit, I am merely using them for my own enjoyment, because I think they are wonderful and cannot produce them myself. IMHO the lexicon(or steve) protected their lists, images, character summaries, family trees etc. because he always felt compensation was deserved. I always had a problem with the lexicon and their assumption that anything dealing with organization of HP world is theirs. I don’t see the information anywhere else on the web, unless Steve was a contributer, even though I am sure there are many people out there who could do the same thing. Steve is publishing the lexicon to make it legit, if it is allowed to be published and deemed legal with out expanding fair use as it stands now, Steve owns HP lists. That means a future official WB/JKR website or encyclopedia has to contend with the lexicon. But if Steve wins on an expanded fair use argument, then I can take everything on the lexicon and sell it as my own book too( I would have to change some things but you get the idea) Since day one of this case I found it ironic that Steve protects everything on his site, But he believes that JKR/WB can’t protect theirs.

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@dumbleweeb

Not being able to right click on the Lexicon has always annoyed me as well, for all the reasons you listed.

As for the websites continuing, they will. Will they be as active ten years from now? Probably not. But, there are three movies left (HBP and the two DH) and there’s the theme park. There’s plenty of stuff for the next few years to keep these sites going. I think some of the smaller ones will shut down in five years, but the big ones like Leaky aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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@ Morton

Just when I thought this topic had been exhausted after all analysis possible you have thought out a completely different point of view. Well said…....and you may find yourself being call as an expert fandom witness along with ms. mollywobbles.

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Cathy,

You flatterer! (check is in the mail!)

What?? lol

For RDR’s sake, they shouldn’t call me in as a witness.

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I’m sorry Cathy, did you say something? Hard of hearing you know.. OLD!! lol

I’m hardly and expert on fandom, I’m just a dabbler, but if you’re asking for nominations… hmmm .. Mollywobbles? NotTheHbp? ummm … CATHY???

Now, excuse me, while I dodder along for my afternoon nap… ummm … where did I put my teeth?

M.

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Seriously, I’m hardly an expert on fandom. I didn’t even really join the online fandom until around the time HBP was released. If anyone’s close to being an expert, it would be Melissa. She wrote a book about it! I bet she learned stuff she didn’t know before. That reminds me, I need to pre-order it.

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I’ve too have always wondered about the copyright statements on the Lexicon, but I don’t have a problem being able to copy anything from the Lexicon. I just drag pictures or text over to the desktop or word processing or draw document and the info comes over fine. I’m on a Mac, so that may be the difference.

Now if only I could get iTunes to import PotterCast #128 or #126. It doesn’t matter if I’m on my old Mac or my new one. All the other episodes import just fine. I’m at the point now where I’m asking a couple of friends if they can import those episodes and email them to me. Since I’m a retired computer teacher, I’ve tried everything before taking that step.

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@Loader Lady

You could do a direct download and then just copy and paste the mp3 into a playlist in iTunes. I’ve done it before when I was having problems.

Avatar Image says: A direct download on both episodes gives the following: AccessDenied Access Denied 93C220E1D07B1B26 − imt6MZV3XDg7+ISOp35Oido3Mi4XTR8M4fvqs35s3p5DeL6cB/iuxDBtHraGeehv

I’m hoping “Alt Plan B” works and one of my friends comes through.

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From everything I’ve read, I don’t think SVA has the slightest expectation to win this case, nor does he really care. He’s indemnified himself, after all. No, I think his real motive here is to expand his celebrity status within the Harry Potter fandom, with a view to creating an even larger market for his non-infringing books down the road. How despicable.

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@Loader Lady

Hmmm…no idea how to fix that. Hope you figure it out!

@Danny

That’s certainly the way it seems.

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Ok, I just lost my whole message somehow… let’s see

@ Mrs W, Pam, destertwind, Morton,

Thank you for your thoughts. I agree that JK probably did not want or need a partner, and the situation was delicate, and it was rude of Steve to try to force himself on her on the merits of his Lexicon. JK made it sound like the Lexicon was very useful, but it was probably not as unique to her as it may have seemed to us fans who didn’t have access to her editors’ lists. It’s just that she had access to it on the internet, which probably made it convenient several times. Otherwise, to write the Scottish book, she does have her editors to help with organizing. To me, the timing of SVA’s publication does seem to fit too well with his being blown off (as he makes it sound) by the Christopher Little Agency (and implicitly by Jo). But to every reaction there is an action (going backwards). Who knows how he approached them. Or maybe just the fact of what he wanted was bothersome. In fact, it really is for the author to approach him, if she wants, not for him to approach the author, if you stop and think about it, about such a collaboration. This is no small request! And maybe Jo wanted to give that job to her editor. And from that exchange of emails between Steve and Jo’s editor, if Jo saw it, we can see that Steve doesn’t come off looking too well. I could see why Jo would decide to keep her editor alone for the encyclopedia, especially if she had found something of the story from the editor herself, before it became public. Oh, my imagination is really getting twisted. But I can just see it… So in the end, things become clearer if we ignore all these side issues and just look at the law… maybe. Somehow I get the feeling, although SVA insists RDR approached him, i.e. that he was passive, i.e. that he did not actively seek revenge, that he changed his stance on copyright and accepted the invitation when he realized he wasn’t going to get anywhere sticking by Jo’s side (anywhere profitable). I hope I’m not overdoing it.

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@ Danny

SVA made a comment when questioned by mollywobbles23, The High Inquisitor :), on the Lexicon that he was not named in the lawsuit. Only RDR is named with SVA as one of their witnesses. He made quite a lengthy deposition with the earlier filings. He certainly didn’t come across as terribly worried at the outcome.

@ Morton, MORTON…..MORTONNNNNNNN

You up??? I’m not qualified as a fandom expert….but am contacting JKR’s people to see if they would like to hire me as a light-hearted courtroom commentator…..what do you think???? Looking for a volunteer to do the sketches…..anybody?

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lol “High Inquisitor.” Well, my mom used to say I should be a lawyer. I told her I’m a horrible liar.

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@Cathy, mollywobbles23

Exactly. He’s not worried, why should he be? He has everything to win, no matter which way the judge rules, and nothing to lose. Even if RDR/SVA lose their battle in court, they will have won the proverbial war. Look at all the publicity this case has generated already! And just think of all the media coverage to come when JK Rowling arrives in New York City for the trial. It’s going to be a circus, with SVA the ringmaster. Quoting from Mugglenet: ”’We asked for her and they said they would provide her,’ said lawyer David Hammer. ‘I would say it would be very unlikely that she would not appear,’ he added.” Poor Jo! She deserves to be with her family, taking a well-deserved break after 17 years of hard work. Instead, she’s going to be trotted out like SVA’s dancing bear, all to aggrandize his ill-gotten celebrity! It makes me so mad.

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You know Morton, I was thinking about that aspect ever since Daniela posted that comment about what Jo must have thought when Steve offered his services to write the Scottish Book. I guess what you said makes perfect sense (as usual!). The thing is, at the end of the day, there is SO MUCH MORE about the books and the characters and the world in itself that we don’t know about, even after seven books. And there is other stuff we just know partly about, in bits and pieces. And that’s where the author comes in because she knows exactly what there is in that world, the background of the characters, the past and the present. We, as fans can only speculate, but even the biggest fan cannot really guess, like, say, Florean Fortscue’s role in the books – I’m referring to the sub-plot that Jo said she later discarded in the books, the she mentioned in her Pottercast interview.

And the Lexicon, as a site, just gives a listing of…well…Jo’s creations. And it isn’t like she doesn’t know at all what’s there in the site, because she wrote that stuff. It’s just that it’s slipped out of her mind now. It can happen to anyone, especially writers. And no, LOL, it has nothing to with being old Morton! Since I write stuff myself, I forget stuff that even I wrote a wekk or so back if a lot of mega-hectic stuff comes my way through the week, and I’m in high school! And considering Jo who has a lot going on, it’s natural that she can’t remember each and every little detail she wrote. She could’ve got a book, or gone home and checked up regarding that litle detail no matter where she was. It’s just that it’s more CONVINIENT for her to check it up on the Lexicon. But just because Steve listed her works in an ordered manner, doesn’t mean he has the right to demand a partnership with Jo involving work on the Scottish Book. He can offer, and Jo can refuse. She has herself said she likes working alone, and most authors do. It isn’t a big deal. Most probably that rejection that Jo gave to this partnership drove Steve to write the Lexicon book, which subsequently lead to this whole legal mess. Gosh, complicated! I can’t believe these high egos sometimes, it’s just so self-destructive isn’t it?

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@ Danny

Exactly! I feel terrible for Jo right now. She needs some peace and quiet with her family and instead, she’s running to courtrooms just because a so-called “fan” though he could go against her wishes. it’s despicable what Steve is doing! No matter which way this case turns, he’s lost so much respect withing the fandom now. He has nothing to gain from this, but he’s a lost so much, and I don’t think he can ever get back what he’s lost. Sorry if I’m sounding sounding a little hyper here, but it just makes me really sad for Jo. It’s not like she ever asked for any publicity! Why can’t people just leave her alone in peace!

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@ Daniela: With due respect, but who is JK Rowling – the Queen Mum, or an angel flying high above the clouds? Why should another author who is writing about her NOT simply ask her to join in the project, esp if it is a lexicon? It seems the most normal thing to do.

Though: I started worrying when all the canon-thing began. How horrible for any authoress / author, wanting to move forward with their creativity, to be reduced to the role of interpreting their own work constantly – and authoritatively. Speaking ex cathedra, like the pope in matters of dogma and doubt. Or like a Supreme Court. I imagine hell like that.

@ Danny: The outcome is not as certain as you may think. When studying law you learn that you should listen to both parties of a conflict – audietur et altera pars. Van der Ark found specialists to represent him before court, and here are some of their arguments (and comprehensive comments about the trial, I hope the link will not be censored):

http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/case/rowling-v-rdr-books

As others commented, this case is about Fair Use; it will have repercussions on almost everybody writing or publishing, not just only in the Internet, though publishing in the internet is the main issue (in theory you can infringe copyright when posting into an open forum).

P.S. And – well, Hi to everybody, I am afraid I am just another one of the oldies > 55 here.

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p.f. why would anyone censor your link? The case law has been discussed endlessly here and on the Forum. The law will only change if SVA/RDR win, which is why Stanford supports it. They want to change the law and limit copyright further, or, some would argue, extend the boundaries of copyright theft further. RDR’s lawyers have admitted they are infringing JKR’s copyright, which is why they are basing their case on Fair Use. Unfortunately for them their book does not meet any of the parameters set for Fair Use. Only if the trial judge decides to set a precedent and extend Fair Use to areas it has not covered before can RDR/SVA hope to win. It is possible but highly unlikely. The main reason it is unlikely is that it will turn copyright law on its head, which is why Stanford are interested. That is one of their acknowledged aims. Also, the book, see Justia.com, is nothing like the Lexicon site despite the initial testimony/descriptions given by Rapaport to potential distributors. Yet another hurdle for RDR and Stanford to overcome.

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@ p.f

I don’t think any one meant to portray JKR as the “Queen Mum” or anything like it. I took the comments to mean that just because SVA was the webmaster of the Lexicon this in no way automatically entitled him to ask/demand a job.

It would be as if I sat down and watched all of Steven Spielberg’s movies, learned everything about his works, started my own website with all this information, and then contacted the man himself asking to help direct his next movie. I think everyone would think I was crazy. Just because I organized/compiled information, it does not qualify me or entitle me to be a part of the process of creation. SVA may have done a lot work, no one denies it, but to go from “I’m a huge HP fan” to wanting JKR to hire him is a big leap.

I have never seen JKR as someone who should be relegated to higher status other than a great author and charismatic, philanthropic person. Therefore, it is not that he asked for a job or that he had no right to ask for a job, it is that he thought he deserved the job.


Moving on. . . . .

@Cathy, Mollywobbles23, Danny

I completely agree about his declaration. He is just a witness to elaborate on the book and nothing more. He really isn’t a part of the case. It’s not his responsibility any of this is happening. Well, at least that’s how his declaration sounded to me. His reply to Mollywobbles23 clearly comes across as someone who has bigger and better plans ahead and this case is a thing of the past.

@ Morton, Prenz

Thank you for that perspective. It’s nice to hear from the writers/artists in the fandom.

Indulge me in a bit of speculation into the future. I would like to know if your views have changed as to what you would allow fans to do with your works, even if the law is not changed?

I’ve seen so much talent in the fandom. I have my desktop background, telephone and mp3 wallpapers set as compilations of pictures I copied from the Leaky galleries. Every time anyone sees this they remark and I brag about how it was HP fans who did such marvelous works. I’m extremely proud that we have such great artists among us.

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this has no effect on wand makers i’ve been making wands for years and have them in several stores in my state but i dont call them harry potter wands thats thievery of her copy rights then.I somehow doubt j.k. wants to shut down wizard rock as she dosnt hold any rights to the words wizard or rock or wands for that matter(lol) the statement that it effects us all is misleading,it only effects you if your taking her words and using them in a way she has’nt authorized and that is why we have copyrights

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@ p.f.

Now that a number of us “oldies” have been outed.(and while not divulging my age I will mention that I am a grandparent)....I am so incredibily impressed that JKR’s work has touched such a huge demographic of people. Remember with the first two books adults being caught reading the books hidden in a bigger book.. or buying the adult cover books, .how things have changed. Wonderful to see such intelligent people of all ages having this emotional discussion regardless of their point of view with such respect and admiration. Harry Potter fans rock!

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P.F.

so you know, the stanford law fair use project is not about upholding the law. the fair use project according to the fair use project’s mission statement is to dismantle fair use laws to take the rights away from authors to prevent people from unfairly profiting from their hard work. they want to take away copyright from creative people like jk rowling to make it so anyone can simply rework a person’s copyrighted works for profit without adding anything new to it. which is what SVA is trying to do. nearly 90% of his book is material lifted directly or poorly paraphrased as paraphrasing dosent include lifting text, and adding one or two words to it.

stanford law fair use project is not to protect fair use. its not to protect copyright rights of people who create. it is according to them to destroy fair use because what they are trying to do is remove fair use because they belive its wrong to expect that copyright holders have the right to protect themselves from people claiming the right to just lift 84% of a book and then add 15% themselves. what more, SVA all of a sudden is claiming there are 4 authors of the lexicon book. wow, 4 people writing 15% of the book, with jk rowling have written 84% of it. that should mean jk rowling should get all the money since she did most all of the work, and the work the other four did adds nothing of value.

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@ pf

I agree and think the Stanford is using this case and others to change the laws surrounding the internet where ever possible. This one may fail…the next one won’t. Arguably, the internet and law is a pretty gray area and the Stanford group is pushing the envelope. Also doesn’t hurt to take on a high profile case when most are dry and unheard of.

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One thing I’m unclear on- did Leaky disapprove of Steve’s book previous to the lawsuit against the Lexicon, or is their disapproval and distancing from Steve purely a response against Rowling’s ensuing lawsuit to the fan published material and Steve’s following actions?

There is an important different here- if Leaky made a statement previous to the lawsuit saying that they didn’t think the original material was appropriate (because of there being no original information, etc.), then that means that they genuinely disapprove of the book itself.

The thought that Leaky is only distancing themselves from the Lexicon because of the lawsuit is a frightening thought- I am perfectly aware that Rowling likes the fan sites and wizard rock, but if hypothetically she changed her mind- then Leaky is saying that they would support ANY action that Rowling took against the fans.

On another note, if a wizard rock song only used reworded phrases from the HP books, would the writer be sued as well? I am unclear on the difference.

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Doesn’t Draco and the Malfoys already sell CDs?

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Better late than never in severing ties with this parasite, well done. I genuinely hope his entire publishing future crashes and burns. Serious appeal to everyone, boycott this jerk

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Leaky’s reasons for distancing themselves from the Lexicon are probably a lot more complex than Melissa and her staff wold probably like to get into publicly. In any event, they tabled their decision as long as they felt comfortable (and perhaps a bit beyond – just to be fair). I personally have only gotten up to exhibit 39a so far and I have not liked the way RDR and SVA come out looking. Stanford may have to bend the law in half and look at in cross-eyed to make this work fall under Fair Use.

As to Wizard Rock – not familar with all the copyright issues in and out – but depending on several factors it may be considered transformative or parody (depending on the way it is written and/or performed) which would fall under the auspices of Fair Use (but I’m not an expert).

(By the by – am under 50 but am a grandparent SEVERAL times over.)

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@ Diana If I’ve understood it correctly Leaky were never sure to what extent Steve agreed with RDR’s anti Rowling statements (‘Voldemort’ ‘copyrighthog’ etc). Steve was in the UK and nothing was clarified. It was only AFTER Steve made it clear in an interview that he supported RDR’s stance i.e. that JKR’s position was selfish and harmful to fandom as a whole (and was even a threat to fandom: he cited fanfic, wizardrock etc) that they reluctantly made their decision to separate themselves from Lexicon. If Steve had simply said nothing then the split would not have happened. But then if Steve had not decided to pursue publishing the copyright infringing parts of the Lexicon in the first place none of us would be having this discussion either.

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Question to anyone who might be able to answer – Since the suit is against RDR and Does 1-10 could this mean that SVA could be named as one of the Does later?

Just asking cuz I’m no expert.

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Not only would I boycott SVA, I would actually pay money to help his book not be published. He has taken JKR’s goodwill and leniency and stabbed her in the back with it. And by association, he has stabbed all fans in the back because what artist is going to be as lenient as JKR after seeing how it can be used against them? I hope he is smacked down hard by the courts so that other artists will see that they can encourage and embrace fan creativity without giving up their rights.

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Shelli: As to Wizard Rock – not familar with all the copyright issues in and out – but depending on several factors it may be considered transformative or parody (depending on the way it is written and/or performed) which would fall under the auspices of Fair Use (but I’m not an expert).

Wizard rock falls under a type of creative musical expression known as filking, which is a form of parody. Filk actually came about as a typo of folk {as in folk music} and has been a visible part of sci-fi and fantasy fandoms and conventions dating from the ‘50’s.

Though considered mainstream, Weird Al Yankovic is a ‘filker’. Two of his sci-fi based parodies:

*Yoda [a parody of “Lola” by the Kinks] *The Saga Begins [a parody of “American Pie” by Don McLean]

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Thanks Cara! As a devotee of Weird Al I should have put that together! That’s how it falls under Fair Use.

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Sorry for the double post – I am used to double clicking on the other ‘puter.

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So, in a fit of sheer boredom and morbid curiosity, and being stuck at work on a Friday night, I was looking through the page on RDR’s website (I know, I know, couldn’t help myself) about the Lexibook, and I found this gem of a quote:

“The suit, filed on Halloween, was also designed to frighten the publishers and the authors. “

Who… buh… WHAT? Are they… are they… are they serious? “Look, look! JKR and the WB are bullies, they tried to ZOMG SCARE US by filing on HALLOWEEN!!! Boooooo!!!”

I can’t believe that these people are supposed to be professionals. No, scratch that, I can’t believe that these people are supposed to be adults. No, scratch that, I can’t believe that these people are supposed to be people.

I… I just… I’m speechless.

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@ Ashley

I was reading some of the information provided on the Stanford Group website and that argument was used in their last copyright lawsuit as well. Their client lost the suit but was able to get awarded her legal fees..perhaps for harrassment, distress, financial hardship etc. Must be the standard statement in this type of suit…and these are the lawyers. RDR’s statements are quite tacky, in my opinion.

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@ Cathy

They’ve used that argument before?! Unbelievable. Un-freaking-believable.

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@ Ashley

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@ Ashley

I will try again..must be past my bedtime. I just read through a bunch of the Justia documents..no life I guess. When you read JKR/Warner Bros statements and RDR’s it looks as if RDR just flat out lies in their documents. And it is interesting SVA seems to be out of the legal loop and appears to be quite smug about all activity – he may perhaps make some money should the book be sold and is using the media and fan attention to promote future writings. And I would be interested to see if anyone had an answer to Shelli’s question asking if SVA could be named in the lawsuit as one of the “Does”. RDR of course wants to print and make money, and I think the Stanford Group has jumped in for their own agenda to make changes to existing laws regarding copyright and is volunteering and using RDR to achieve this. The defending group each seem to have their own very individual agendas. Interesting situation.

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About Steve possibly being named as one of the “does”: This was asked in the leakylounge as well. I think the conclusion was that for that type of thing there is usually a time limit in which to name someone as a “doe” and chances are that in this case the time is up. But it could very well not be. So, no one knows for sure. No one could really agree and some of them are people who actually have some sort of degree to do with law.

“I can’t believe that these people are supposed to be professionals. No, scratch that, I can’t believe that these people are supposed to be adults. No, scratch that, I can’t believe that these people are supposed to be people.

I… I just… I’m speechless.”

Posted by Ashley on March 28, 2008 @ 11:03 PM

You make me laugh. lol. They’re lawyers! Not people! (no offense to any sane lawyers).

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its not that they are lawyers that makes them bad people, its that they are not public lawyers. a public lawyer has no choice who they represent. public lawyers have the legal responciblity to ensure that their client, wether guilty or innocent (though in a criminal case, the law states innocent until proven guilty) they have to ensure their client gets a fair trial, and that the opposing side gives their client a fair trial. having lawyers is as much to defend a client against unfair tactics as it is to defend their clients interest. thats what objections are for, and trust me, having served on a criminal trial jury in the last few days, you get alot of objections from both sides.

however, private lawyers are a whole nother breed. my uncle is a public defender, because his moral compass says a fair trial is whats important. private lawyers can choose to represent a client or not. this is why we have so many morally bankrupted hollywood lawyers. they do it for promiences and recognition. look at gloria allred, i dont know her personally, so i cant say if she is a bad person, but she is a spotlight seeker. her celebrity comes by taking on high profile clients that get national attention. those types of lawyers are the lawyers who give lawyers a bad name. the stanford law fair use project only are thinking about themselves. they latch onto clients who can get them the spotlight, and given that RDR is being sued by jk rowling, they get a huge spotlight.

however, fundemntally, the fair use project is in the wrong. they want to destory copyright laws and take the rights away from people who actually work and create, to give to people who copy and paste and claim it as their own work.

as to steve, steve is likely not one of the doe’s, because he has been indemified by his vanity press (RDR Books is not a publisher in the sense of legitamatte publishing practices)

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@ mollywobbles23

LOL. Nice one! However, while I’m not normally inclined to defend lawyers ;), I found the quote on RDR’s website, so I’m assuming it was made by publishers rather than lawyers. Still, the lack of professionalism is astounding.

What really had me feeling gobsmacked about that comment by RDR wasn’t so much the “they’re just being mean and trying to scare us” sentiment (though I certainly found that tacky), but the absurd implication that the WB chose to file on Halloween, the ZOMG SCARIEST DAY OF THE YEAR, in a deliberate attempt to spook them. You know, Halloween, MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Granted, RDR didn’t come right out and say it in those words (even they must have realized how spectacularly stupid it would have sounded), but the message they were trying to send comes through loud and clear, nonetheless. On that one page (here’s the link, btw, in case anyone cares: http://www.rdrbooks.com/lexicon_info.html), they mentioned three different times that the suit was filed on Halloween (as opposed to just saying October 31, like, you know, a grown-up would do). Their meaning is impossible to miss.

Really, how old are these people?

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If Rowling wins the lawsuit it will give her COMPANY exclusive power to do whatever they wish concerning copyrights. That means wizard rock concerts, fan-based sites, even podcasts could all come under their control or eliminated based on copyright issue.

There are hundreds of fan-based reference guides for other genres (Star Wars, LOTR, etc.) and they are allowed to make their money, why? Because the real makers realize that they are going to make money any how. No matter what book JK puts out, it will make money hands down. She has become an image to many now. ‘OMG JK has a new book… I must buy it.”

I think the person who is not understanding things is JK and I support Steve 100%.

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:waves at Anthony:

Welcome! Do tell us, in what capacity do you work for RDR? How many aliases do you have here at Leaky?

And also, do please pull up a chair and tell us why you lot aren’t creative enough to come up with different writing patterns and styles for these comments other than: (A) overly-verbose attorney (but always COMPLETELY unconnected with this case, of course!), spouting unsound legal rhetoric, which others immediately call you out on, (B) righteously indignant fandomer who insists that the sky is falling and the fandom’s gonna die and it’s David vs. Voldemort and why are they picking on the little guy and won’t someone PLEASE think of the children!, or© angry and grammatically-challenged young fan who types in incomplete sentences and entirely in lower case, who thinks the staff at Leaky is just a bunch of big mean JKR suckups who stabbed their friend in the back?

I mean, really. You’re just not even trying.

:waves at other lurking RDR people:

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Well, just in case Anthony isn’t part of the vast RDR conspiracy:

Anthony, Jo already has that power. RDR has admitted the book is infringing. The Stanford lawyers want to change the fair use law and that’s why they took this case. Not because they think the Lexibook falls within fair use and should be published, but because it violates it completely and they want to make a court precedent for it.

Wizard rock falls under fair use, as some have already mentioned. It adds something completely new to the information from the books.

Jo has always allowed fan fiction, with a few hurdles at the beginning to establish her power (which, I reiterate, she already has).

So, if RDR, wins she loses that power. Why? Because she was kind and allowed the fansites, fanfiction, and music. So, what will she do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Tell those sites to close shop. What will other authors and creators do? Probably the same so it doesn’t happen to them. If RDR wins, it will hurt the fandom, not help it. Steve doesn’t even seem to care anymore. I know, I asked him (see the comments in the Feb. 27th “What’s New” entry). He’s messed up fandom and he doesn’t even care! He’s “moving on.” Is that really a side you want to be on?

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@Anthony. Interesting post because it is wrong on 4 counts. Usually 1 or 2 suffice, so well done for exceeding all previous posts: 1. JKR is not WB and no JKR is not a COMPANY. 2. No, winning the case will not give JKR exclusive rights over anything but her own copyright. 3. No, wizardrock, fansites, podcasts will not be controlled or eliminated should JKR win. The opposite might be true if SVA/RDR win as JKR/WB and all other copyright owners will be less tolerant of copyright infringement than they are at present. 4. No, reference guides, however many hundreds there are, are not allowed to infringe copyright, and, when they do so, do not go unchallenged. And, as an after-thought, no, Steve, astonishingly, does not understand. Or, perhaps more accurately, Steve, for the moment, chooses not to understand the consequences of his attempt at scattergun copyright infringement. But, it is probable that his understanding will be more fully revealed during the upcoming court case. That, in itself, will be worth the blanket press coverage, which, who knows, is possibly what SVA/RDR intended in the first place?

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@ Monica,

You made me laugh so hard I spit my juice at the monitor. Thanks for that!

@ Mollywobbles23 and Rotfan07,

You both have the patience of a saint!


I’m becoming extremely tired of reading the comments left by people who are only repeating what SVA says. I think his comments are making people, the ones who do not know or bother to read what is being posted about the law, panic. They are on his side because they think the fandom will end or become more restricted if JKR/WB win. As everyone else has said:

- JKR ALREADY has the right/power to shut the sites down

- JKR will not gain any new power if she wins

Please go back through the 33 pages already posted and read what’s been said about copyright laws by those who know. If that’s too much, do your own research. It doesn’t help anyone to be misinformed. I understand there is loyalty to SVA and that’s fine, but don’t let loyalty cloud your judgment.

Thank you!

Sorry, I had to vent. It’s Monday morning and I still wish it was Sunday.

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@ Anthony

“If Rowling wins the lawsuit it will give her COMPANY exclusive power to do whatever they wish concerning copyrights. That means wizard rock concerts, fan-based sites, even podcasts could all come under their control or eliminated based on copyright issue.”

As has been pointed out many times, JKR ALREADY as the right under Copyright Law to do anything she wants regarding her copyrighted material. If WB/JKR wins the case, that will NOT change.

As far as the other reference guides you mention, you must understand that there are essentially 3 kinds.

The first is the reference guide that uses the original material as a basis for discussion and analysis of that material. Because that type of guide adds new ideas and analyses, it is allowed under the Doctrine of Fair Use, even without getting permission from the original Copyright holder.

The second type is the reference guide that is a list of the original material, ordered in some way, either chronologically (i.e. by time) or alphabetically, or some combination, or in some cases by the original material … for example a guide that deals with a series of books in order of the appearance of the books. In the case of the Harry Potter series, ordering the list by book appearance is essentially chronological anyway, since the books deal with a year at Hogwarts each, in chronological order. For something like this, permission is needed, unless it can be shown to meet Fair Use (THIS case is of this type of guide, and the lawsuit SHOULD have to do with whether the Lexicon meets Fair Use principles or not .. if it does, RDR wins, if it doesn’t WB/JKR wins). This is the type of guide where lawsuits arise most often, I would say, because there is some question as to the compliance with Fair Use.

The 3rd type is where the book in question is authorized or otherwise is permitted by the original Copyright holder. This is, essentially, therefore, where there is permission (which is the Copytright holder’s right to grant, or not).

You should note that in some of the cases like this, the material is already considered to be in the Public Domain and permission, therefore, is not required. You should also be aware that some of these kinds of guides (of all 3 types above) have been pulled from the shelves or otherwise banned BECAUSE there was no permission and because they also did not meet the Fair Use guides.

NONE of these types of case is simple, and one cannot predict the outcome. If statistics are consulted, the majority of cases of the second type are won by the original Copyright holder. I know of no cases that arise where there is permission , i.e. the third type of case described above (hard pressed to think of how the case could be launched, except that something MORE or OTHER than what was permitted actually appeared). However, my not knowing of such a case doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and if anyone knows, I would be interested in hearing about it here.

As always, all of the above is my humble opinion.

M.

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Hi Heidy.. seems we were both responding at the same time, but, as usual, mine was so long that you got yours in first! Good one!

M.

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@ Heidy

“Thank you for that perspective. It’s nice to hear from the writers/artists in the fandom.

Indulge me in a bit of speculation into the future. I would like to know if your views have changed as to what you would allow fans to do with your works, even if the law is not changed?”

Sorry for the delay in responding to this, but I didn’t want to let it go unanswered.

First, thanks for including me amongst the “writers” It is true that I’ve a few published articles, but they are all of the academic/research variety (what! you mean you couldn’t tell from my didactic, sometimes arrogant and ALWAYS lengthy prose???), so they don’t qualify amongst the “popular” type of writer I think you meant.

Notwithstanding that, I would like to respond. I KNOW none of you are suprised by THAT! Just remember, I’m OLD, and you are required to respect the old and listen to what they have to say. However, being a kind-hearted old curmudgeon, I waive the requirement for you all to sit with appropriate reverence, slack-jawed, hanging on my every word as if it was a golden nugget, without which your existence would be diminished!!! No need for that at all! A simple “Yes, Your Omnipotence” will do!)

Now, extracting my tongue from my cheek and letting it flap back on its rollers, let me carry on with the actual response!

I have to say that I would not be any different in my view of fandom regardless of the outcome of this case. I have always believed in the value that fans bring to a creation .. heck, without fans (even critical ones) the creation has little point, although there is much to be said for creating for oneself. But in my experience, creators do so in the hope that OTHERS will see, and like, the creation.

Having said that I have also always believed in the law, and upholding it. Therefore, I would be careful that people are not illegally profiting from my work by using it without permission. Using my work without permission would always be a concern to me, even if not for profit, though I would be inclined to learn for myself the allowable circumstances (i.e. Fair Use).

And still, I would not hesitate to participate to the extent possible in the endeavours of fans, because I would want to encourage their creativity. Who can say whether from the ranks of the many talented and dedicated Potter fans another JKR will come, creating works that delight and engage and entertain. Who can say whether BECAUSE of JKR’s encouragement such a fan has the drive to go on, and because of her example that fan has the will to persevere despite hardships and difficult times. Who am I to inhibit that. And please note, I use JKR as an example but there are others who do the very same thing, and I applaud them all.

To be sure, the difficulty I have with some of the posters here is that they assume that JKR is NOT such an example, and that, at least by extrapolation, other creators also are selfish. You know, maybe I am naive, but I believe that most people are kind-hearted and willing to share and help and encourage where and when they can. But I think (I certainly HOPE) I’m not wrong about this.

Now, what would I do if somebody DID try to steal my work, or otherwise use it without permission? I would do exactly what WB/JKR are doing, because there is a principle involved as well as the law itself. And win or lose I would still want to encourage the fans. The only difference would be how I do it. If it became clear that I would have to aggressively protect my work, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. And yet I would still encourage the fans. I would make my position known, I would explain how I would want to help, and I would explain what I would set as my limits of tolerance (which would be based on the law, of course). And you know, that is how I would want to do it regardless of whether this case existed or not.

And, just so, I believe, is the way JKR has looked at it as well. Else she wouldn’t have allowed some of the things the fans have done in the first place. I believe she has approached the fan base as I have described, and has been more than generous with her time and encouragement, while maintaining a clear point beyond which neither she nor the fans should be going.

As a last point, from my part, all this could be very different if I were as famous and successful as JKR, because time becomes something that others expect you to give, advice likewise, and to be honest, it takes a special person not to be swayed in either direction by that attention and fame. JKR could as easily have said no from the beginning or could as easily have allowed too much. It is a difficult thing, but I believe she (and others in the same “boat”) have managed to keep their balance and their sanity along with it.

At least, in my humble opinion.

Please Note: Tongue unhinged from rollers and stuffed back in cheek.

Heidy, Mollywobbles, Cara, Cathy, NotTheHBP, and so many others… you know who you are… what say we send a letter to Melissa, offering our assistance in her further work, noting that, of course, we ONLY want to help, and when she turns us down (politely, of course) we… no .. never mind.. we aren’t going down that road.

Tongue back on rollers. :)

M.

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To those who don’t feel SVA truly understands the ramifi-ramafi—consequences of this suit===

He has said numerous times that he is a librarian. As a properly trained librarian he would be well versed in the issues of Copyright vs Fair Use. In fact he told others who were interested in a similar project that it would be illegal to do so. I’m just a lowly staff member and I know this is a big time no-go. Heck! I knew that my first year of college.

It seems to me (and I’m no expert) that it wasn’t until he was turned down for a position he solicited with JKR’s literary agent that publishing the Lexibook came to be. At least that’s what I can piece together from the timing so far.(I’m stuck at 39 Exhibit A ). Any thoughts?

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@ Morton

Beautifully said. As JKR has been inspired and encouraged by other artists so has she tried to pass on the same inspiration and encouragement.

Perfect!

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@ Shelli; SVA has said he was committed to leaving his job, family, and community as early as Spring/Summer 2007 to come to the UK and write his HP series of books and establish himself as a writer. He was refused the self-proposed job with JKR in the early summer. He did not approach RDR in August 2007, they approached him. It looks as though Rapaport told him the book was not infringing or if it was it shouldn’t be and suggested his company publish a part of the Lexicon that was (by law) most infringing, namely the A-Z list that is essentially 85-90% copied directly from HP.

What is interesting about SVA’s position is that: 1. He is a librarian and knows or should know copyright law. 2. He is a fan who knows Rowling’s wishes. 3. He is a fan who knows what a certain section of the fandom would feel about infringing JKR’s copyright and going against her express wishes re an encyclopedia. 4. He has publicly stated what he is doing is: a) illegal (May 2005); b) he would never go against JKR’s wishes; c) he has and would continue to discourage anyone from publishing an encyclopedia. 5. He has accused JKR of threatening what his actions are most likely to result in should he/RDR succeed namely: divide fandom, limit fandom’s creative outlets, limit fandom creativity, and close down fan sites. 6. He has put the following people in an invidious position: staff at Scholastic; Lexicon staff; Leaky staff; JKR, and, her staff; Floo Network Staff; large sections of fandom; RDR itself (because SVA probably does not own the copyright to the Lexicon), and that’s just for starters. 7. He has alienated very many of the people he has worked with in the United States, and according to one report I read many of the community he left behind, including family. 8. He has left his country, his job, his family, and his community in search of becoming a published author, which, he assures us will occur this July.

Can we surmise anything from this? His testimony in court will be highly revealing should he be called in court. But let’s say SVA wanted a change, and not only of scenery. I am older than SVA and can understand the itch, I’m just not so sure I could scratch it as ferociously as he has appeared to.

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Apologies for my ignorance (and nosiness), but has anyone on the Lexicon staff publicly taken a stand one way or the other regarding SVA’s actions? I haven’t heard anything, but then, I might just be out of the loop in that regard.

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SVA appears to have fallen in the trap of believing his own publicity. My son and I have read JKR’s series more than a dozen times. The meticulous attention detail never ceases to fascinate me. To merely catalogue her extensive efforts without the benefit of her other unique insights seems to be a pale imitation (but I’m no expert).

I too, would love to move to those greener climes.  I am currently working on my BA (okay, so I'm a REALLY LATE BLOOMER) and would love to study in Ireland during my graduate years (did I mention I was a late bloomer).  If you're really meant to be a writer you can do it ANYWHERE. JKR did it in coffee shops, trains, etc.  I bet she even did it in the presence of her family.
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That’s so true: you can do it anywhere, any time. I remember one New Year’s Eve (at home) I got up and left my family and our guests to go jot down a short little story. (A story about a story being told, which shows how green and insecure in my writing I was and still am, but still). The kind of writing Steve seems interested in isn’t even very creative (ignoring the Lexibook). It’s all to do with someone else’s creativity, which is a lot less daunting. It’s mostly research, if he does it write next go ‘round. Sorry, but I wrote the short version of that kind of stuff, half-awake at 3AM my freshman year of college.

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@ mollywobbles23 and Shelli I think I agree with davidenglish on the Forum that SVA is researching and writing about the locations and geography of the series for one book of several in his own book series on HP. He would need to come to the UK to get the feel of them and for descriptions’ sake. His writing style is engaging (see davidenglish’s links to his other works on the forum) and fun, and an easy read. I may disagree with his judgement calls on almost every aspect of this case but I have no problem identifying a keen mind, an easygoing style, and a sense of fun in his work; plus, of course, an obsessive attention to detail. My serious doubts concern depth and maturity. God knows there is a dearth of it around; it’s just that SVA, in this case, seems to have accumulated more than his fair share. It is difficult to be honest, mature, sensitive, considerate, and intelligent, at the best of times but SVA lost it when it came to his encyclopaedia. That’s my guess. Can I understand his frustration and impatience? Yes. Do I blame him for the damage and hurt he has caused. Absolutely – for one reason and one reason alone: he is responsible for his actions. He is intelligent and knows copyright law, fandom, the series and its meaning as well, if not better, than anyone else.

There may be one big problem though and I have a feeling this is why we have heard nothing but a deafening silence from Lexicon staff. He might not own Lexicon copyright. He may have gambled that the myriad contributors would not challenge either him or his team but he may be in for a nasty shock if the book goes ahead and WB/JKR lose. The gloves will be off and every single contributor will be tracked down and asked by WB lawyers whether they gave their consent to SVA/Lexicon team owning their copyright. If any of them say no, that will be just the beginning of the trouble for SVA/Lexicon staff. And, of course, if RDR have a change of mind at any time, realising that neither SVA or the Lexicon staff actually own the copyright, RDR may pull out or worse, sue SVA and the Lexicon staff. But, I am assuming a lot and in any case this will only happen months or even years down the line. Nevertheless, it is an unpleasant prospect for all concerned.

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@ Morton,

Thank you for responding. I really appreciate you taking the time and I enjoyed reading it.

@ Rotfang07

”. . . .can understand the itch, I’m just not so sure I could scratch it as ferociously as he has appeared to.”

LOL! My favorite statement thus far.

Rotfang07 made a good point about possible challenging from the contributors. Well, they know what’s going on so would they say anything now or would they wait until after the trial?

Has anyone had contact with any member of the HPL? I know mollywobbles23 got a response directly from SVA a few days ago, but what about the rest of the staff. I would like to know if they support SVA or if there is dissension amongst them. I wonder if they were privy to SVA’s plan?

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@Heidy (and by implication, Rotfang)

“Rotfang07 made a good point about possible challenging from the contributors. Well, they know what’s going on so would they say anything now or would they wait until after the trial?”

I think a good point was made regarding potential follow-up legal action. But I think that at this point, as is the case with much else on this issue, it is not possible to say for certain. I believe one of two things has happened.

Either RDR lawyers have counseled HPL staff to say nothing (possibly under threat of suit, though this is PURE speculation) until after the case is decided (and yes, Rotfang, I, too, think this could take years of appeals and counter-appeals and so on).

Or, and I think this is more likely, HPL staff are not fools (nor do I think SVA is, though his advice might have been wanting), and realize that if they get involved now, either for or against the case, they could be dragged into it, possibly to their detriment, despite their not wanting to be.

I’d bet that after the decision, there will be a number of stories and comments arising from a lot of people, HPL staff amongst them, supporting the decision, or not, depending on what they hoped would happen.

There is another, possibly even likelier … maybe they have ALREADY spoken. Depositions might have been requested by lawyers from both sides (yes, Discovery would have revealed this, IF the depositions were requested prior to Discovery, otherwise, they may appear in Court proceedings as after_the_fact additions to the documentation).

And further, it is possible that some of the posters, here and on other sites as well, have been HPL staff , expressing their opinions, both for and against SVA or, conversely, WB/JKR (I wouldn’t begin to speculate who, or if, indeed this is even true).

To quote Lewis Carroll’s Alice (in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)... “curiouser and curiouser”!

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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@ Rotfang: You said:

“There may be one big problem though and I have a feeling this is why we have heard nothing but a deafening silence from Lexicon staff. He might not own Lexicon copyright. “

While this is pure speculation on my part, I believe you may be partially correct. I don’t think that SVA owns the copyright on the essay portion of the Lexicon, and it’s my opinion (for whatever that’s worth) that that is why none of the essays were included in the book. However, I do believe that SVA owns the copyright on the lexicon part of the lexicon, which is what is being included in the book. I hope that makes sense. :)

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@ Rotfang

“There may be one big problem though and I have a feeling this is why we have heard nothing but a deafening silence from Lexicon staff. He might not own Lexicon copyright. He may have gambled that the myriad contributors would not challenge either him or his team but he may be in for a nasty shock if the book goes ahead and WB/JKR lose.”

I have been thinking about this idea and there is some merit to it, though, as is the case with ALL this stuff, it may be VERY complicated. Here’s my take on it…

I think that as far as the website is concerned SVA, or some group including SVA owns copyright. From a copyright Law perspective, this includes potentially EVERYTHING on that site (including the lexicon part itself) but ONLY as it appears on the sight. You may be aware that a copyright holder can, in fact, copyright somebody else’s copyrighted material as his or her own, in his or her OWN format … copyright has to do with both content and presentation.

However, this can ONLY happen if the originally copyrighted material is available under Fair Use, or is used with permission. So the case is still open regarding that aspect. And, under ANY circumstances, the original material remains the property of the copyright holder unless she or he legally assigns ownership to some other person or organization. All in all, the issue of Fair Use/Permission is still at the heart of this.

But now, enter Rotfang’s conjecture and the thought it planted.. the fact is that for the website EXCLUDING the lexicon part, there are OTHER contributors. The principle in law is that the author holds copyright, whether registered or not. So unless a copyright holder of a conglomeration of material can show he or she owns copyright on ALL that material, or has permission to use it, he or she is infringing copyright, except under Fair Use. The REALLY fascinating aspect here is that the JKR material used for the NON_lexicon stuff could very readily be used under Fair Use. However, once it appeared in the commentary format on the website, the original contributor has to give permission for it to be used, or you have infringement. The only possible mitigating factor in this latter eventuality is that the analysis is used as the basis for further, NEW analysis, which would be hard to envision.

So, the lexicon part may be infringing on JKR copyright, unless Fair Use can be proved, and the REST of the site may be infringing on other people’s copyright (the contributors) unless agreements of joint copyright or other permission can be proved.

This would, if taken to its possible ultimate conclusion, mean that SVA could be sued by every contributor to the non_lexicon part of the total material, and then also by RDR if they lose the case. Why RDR? Because RDR indemnified SVA from suit by WB/JKR, but NOT from themselves. If RDR loses, can one not envision them turning on SVA and claiming he should have known, as the author, what he had done? And further (I can hear RDR saying), while they, the publisher, have a responsibility to check things out, they relied on SVA’s good intent, knowledge of authorshp, librarianship and sense of fair play, and whatever else they can think of, and were, therefore misled by him.

This could become a VERY sticky wicket indeed!

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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@ Laurie:

Steve can only copyright his “contribution” not any of Rowling’s re-organized works. The re-organized material is still copyrighted to Rowling and her permission still must be sought for its usage OR the book must meet Fair Use.

Remove all of Rowling’s copyrighted materials and what exactly is there for Steve to copyright on his site or in the book? Not much.

The essays, editorials, and fan art are copyrighted to others, not Steve.

As for the site and the book, as has been pointed out on the LeakyLounge, the site and the book are very much “collective works”. What does that mean, one might ask? The Supreme Court ruled:

According to Section 201©, the copyright in an author’s contribution to a collective work belongs to the author unless the author transfers copyright ownership to the publisher. Copyright ownership of the collective work belongs to the publisher. A copyright owner of a collective work who does not have copyright ownership of the individual contributions to the collective work is only permitted to reproduce and distribute (1) the contribution as part of the collective work, (2) any revision of the collective work, and (3) any later collective work in the same series.

Unless everyone who has contributed to the Lexicon site/book have signed away the rights to what they’ve contributed, then Steve does not own copyrights to the work he’s trying to publish.

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@Cara

“Unless everyone who has contributed to the Lexicon site/book have signed away the rights to what they’ve contributed, then Steve does not own copyrights to the work he’s trying to publish.”

True, but alo if the contributors received any (and I mean ANY) compensation for the work, or were considered employees of HPL, then the work is the copyright of the employer.

I know it may be unlikely, but if there was an employer/employee relationship, or ther was any consideration “paid” to the contributors, they do NOT maintain copyright.

M.

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And I had another long posting with some details about the differences between Fair Use (U.S.) and Fair Dealing (Canada, where I reside) that disappeared into the ether again. Another mysteriously empty page!

Perhaps Sybil can divine (using, of course, her Inner Eye, or the Crystal Orb, or perhaps the tea leaves) where the posting went!!

M.

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@ Morton

Well completely off topic…I knew we had something in common – I am Canadian as well.

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@ Cara, I agree with davidenglish and your line of argument that SVA probably does not own copyright to even the A-Z Lexicon for 2 reasons: 1. as davidenglish and you point out it is a collective work. 2. again as davidenglish pointed out the old site has no claimer/disclaimer saying that all fan/non-Lexicon staff contributions become the property of the site, or are copyrighted exclusively to the site.

This presents several possibilities, that almost certainly early contributors, and very probably recent ones, could claim copyright or insist their permission was not given for their contributions to be published. Secondly, as a collective work each contributor has to have been consulted re the book and there is no evidence that this was/is the case.

We are then faced with the prospect of RDR claiming that he was sold a car with stolen parts in it. This then gets very complicated because the ‘police’ could demand the removal of the parts, the original owners could ask they be returned to them, the purchaser of the car could be told it was his fault “buyer beware”, the purchaser could also claim he was deliberately duped therefore he is not at fault (then as M says he could sue in turn), the purchaser could claim he was sold the car under false pretences that it was not a car at all etc.

But, weirdest and most wonderfully ironic of all, SVA could end up having his alleged copyright to the Lexicon challenged. His “baby” may not end up belonging to him at all; any Tom Dick and Harry could use it or claim ownership and copyright. Sound familiar?

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I just wanted to add that I see SVA’s book as something like a car upon which SVA has lavished and invested an enormous amount of time and energy but whose core components were all stolen or donated. As long as the car remained in the garage or back yard and he worked on it as a hobby no one was too bothered but as soon as he attempted to sell it all sorts of issues then arise.

Such as: Is it even really his car to sell?

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@ Cathy

“Well completely off topic…I knew we had something in common – I am Canadian as well.”

Hmmm… does this mean that all the OLD people are Canadian?

Nahhh!

Just the best?

Nahhh! (although I’d love to be able to say so! ... please friends.. tongue firmly in cheek!)

So, I guess its … just us!

But boy, do we know what we’re talking about … eh?

M.

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I’m in the minority here, but I re-read Steve’s comments a few times and don’t understand what the big deal is. It didn’t seem to me that he was trying to say that JKR personally intends to squash anything as far as fan creativity. I think he was just trying to point out that every court decision sets a precedent and can be used as such in future cases. I think he was just saying that a ruling against him and RDR COULD be used in the future to block fan creativity, not that JKR WILL use it that way.

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@ Bnickel -

Go to Justia and read some of the exhibits that WB has provided as support for their suit.

1. As a trained librarian he knows very well (and has said so and in fact has discouraged others from attempting such a publication) that this book infringes on JKR’s copyright.

2. He implies that should RDR LOSE it would be bad for fandom. As stated many times by many others, JKR is simply exercising rights SHE ALREADY HAS. She could have made it miserable for fandom from the start if she had chosen. She has instead encouraged fan works that follow the standards of Fair Use and abide by Copyright law.

3. This suit would have died long ago (IMHO) if Stanford hadn’t decided to use it as a test case to stretch beyond recognition the current standard of Fair Use. Intellectual Property rights and open access are hot button topics on campuses everywhere.

This case might serve their purposes nicely (and other members of academia as well). I am not so sure it would be such a kewl thing for fandom. But I’m no expert.

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@Bnickel

“I’m in the minority here, but I re-read Steve’s comments a few times and don’t understand what the big deal is. It didn’t seem to me that he was trying to say that JKR personally intends to squash anything as far as fan creativity. I think he was just trying to point out that every court decision sets a precedent and can be used as such in future cases. I think he was just saying that a ruling against him and RDR COULD be used in the future to block fan creativity, not that JKR WILL use it that way.”

Aside from what Shelli pointed out above, one very important issue, that has actually been repeated numerous times, is that a win by WB/JKR actually changes nothing. Under current copyright law (even INCLUDING Fair Use), the owner of the copyright already has EXCLUSIVE control over the use of the material, except if permission is given or it falls under the Doctrine of Fair Use. And a simple way of thinking about the Doctrine of Fair Use is to imagine it as a circumstance that recognizes that material has been infringed, but allows such infringement under certain conditions (this is in line with several explanations from lawyers and the copyright law itself).

So a loss by RDR, which can only be because the material is considered NOT to comply with the Fair Use principles, and is therefore a disallowed infringement, means that THAT book (The Lexicon book) cannot be published. However such a ruling does not speak to any of the fandom works and so on that are already out there, nor to future ones. Nothing changes.

Now, having said that, if WB/JKR wins, I could envision not a shutdown of fandom, but a clarification/specification by authors on what they agree they can live with without giving up their control of their copyrighted material. This would be done to prevent this sort of case from arising again. Please understand that it will probably NOT stop it from happening. For any organization wishing to actually test the limits of the law, this sort of case will continue to crop up. The issue for the defendants is really not whether the material ingringes, since they’ve admitted it does. Rather they want a change in the law to ALLOW even MORE infringement on a broader basis, essentially.

However, if RDR wins this case, THEN you will see something signifanct. It won’t be a shut down of fandom per se, but more a very rapid withering of the concept because NO author will consent to their material being used in any way. Why? Beause the effect of a win by RDR is to say that infringemet IS allowed on a broader scale than ever before, and an author’s protection of his or her material is impossible if it is allowed to be used in fan websites, articles, etc.

At least in my humble opinion.

M.

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I have read all of the interviews since this began, as this whole thing seemed to have started from a disagreement between SVA and WB over his timeline. WB used his timeline as Bonus Footage on several Harry Potter DVD’s (don’t remember exactly which ones at the moment) taken straight from the Lexicon website. The timeline was updated, but had an error in it, yet each update appeared on the next DVD with the error. Now to put that into perspective…imagine posting a drawing of the trio on your My Space page, then when you buy your next Harry Potter DVD…your drawing is there…without warning. Then you post more drawings, and they end up on the Deathly Hallows DVD. You’re first reaction is flattery…but then it wears off after a while as you realize you’re not credited for the drawings on the DVD because its about Harry Potter.

The whole thing I believe is based on a complete misunderstanding and fear from J.K. Rowling. From what I understand from interviews from SVA and RDR, the book covers commentary on the books, not really touching base on the encyclopedia that he could have done. I think the only reason SVA was singled out was because of that fear. Still despite this, Steve shows no hard feelings towards Jo, and I strongly believe this mess was more on the Warner Brothers side than Jo’s.

As far as Leaky’s decision, I realize it was hard, but it is sad to think that when the chips are down your friends abandon you, even if you don’t agree, because they are afraid to get involved. When he was talking about ownership, he was referring to what was on the site, what he has worked years to compile for us the fans, and yes, even J.K. Rowling herself. Is Steve right or wrong? Does it really matter? This case has already destroyed friendships, dissolved the Floo Network, and now Leaky is going to wait until “litigation ends” to turn over ownership of his domain and website hosting? Sad….really sad situation.

I can see things from both sides. As far a rights go, you are “technically” published on a webpage, as you would be in a book. You can make money from both however, with a book you can reach a different audience and many times make more money, although you can reach a larger audience with a webpage.

I think Leaky should have stuck to their original plan and waited until after the trial was over. Despite what has been said here about hime, I still think Steve Van Ark is biggest Harry Potter fan of us all, and has been for years. There has been no disrespect in any interviews that I have seen for this community or J.K. Rowling, yet all I just heard on Pottercast was about his lack of disrespect for us as fans and Jo. That’s the whole reason he started the book in the first place. For those who didn’t have access to the internet…so I don’t know. It’s Leaky’s decison, I guess.

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Thank you Shelli and Morton for your responses. I think I can see the other side better now. I guess that’s what’s dangerous about SVA’s comments—someone like me, who doesn’t now the details of the case or copyright law, takes what he says at face value, even if it’s not exactly true. Thanks for setting me straight.

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@ Morton

Are all OLD people Canadians…hmmm. Well I have noticed that in my area there are an exceptional number of very old people driving around in huge, massive cars. Reminds me of the people in Florida. Oh, wait a minute all the old people in Florida are Canadian. Making a note to myself – get rid of huge, massive car and buy sportier, younger model.

@ Trevorsmom

Regarding your comments about the Leaky making their decision to distance themselves from the Lexicon. Under the circumstances I think they needed to do this and I believe that they are the group that felt that they had been betrayed and their friendship and cooperation with the Lexicon was not valued. From their postings and comments on Pottercast it would seem that this was not a hasty decision – just a necessary one.

I don’t think anyone fears JKR. She and WB are trying to protect their property. SVA wants to be a published author, RDR wants to publish their book and should they win this case, open the floodgates to this type of book and future business and the Stanford Group of want to change the rules as they are lawyers that represent “Cyber-World” clients that would benefit from the change.

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I’ll admit, I never saw saw this coming, but after listening to the latest PotterCast, I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with Melissa and the Leaky staffers. Best of luck to you all. <<3

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@Trevorsmom

I have to say that I must have been reading and listening to different reports and broadcasts than you have, because I have seen, heard and read a great deal of disrespect on RDR’s side and certainly from purported “fans”, thoug who they really are is, of course, anyone’s guess.

However, you need to get your facts straight. SVA’s book is not the “only one singled out”.. there have been others, and for exactly the same reasons, that is copyright infringement. If you read RDR’s statement to the courts, they admit that what they have done is infringe on JKR’s copyright. What they, and particularly their Stanford lawyers, are saying is, they don’t agree with the law as it stands and want it changed (by winning this case) to allow the infringement that they have admitted to doing to become legally acceptable.

So there has been no “singling out”, it is clearly admitted that what SVA/RDR have done is illegal under the law as it stands, and they are taking their chances.

As to the point about fear… I am assuming, as it was not entirely clear to me from reading, that you mean JKR was afraid. I think all the evidence points to the idea that there is NO fear on either side. This is a case being handled according to the law, and we shall see what happens.

At least in my humble opinion.

ps, typed this faster than I am really able, so apologies for typos!

M.

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@Trevorsmom I think you have fallen into a rather interesting trap, one that RDR was possibly counting on. You say you have read the interviews but do not mention the court documents. The court documents are often at odds with the interviews. This partly explains TLC’s statement: “as well as the attempt to misportray the issues of the case as stated in sworn affidavits.”

The SVA Timeline is a red herring and your example of the drawing is an exquisite example of copyright infringement. If the drawing is based upon any image created by WB how on earth could it be considered the artist’s? It’s just a copy of WB’s work. The Timeline is based upon information from JKR’s books, any child could have drawn it, but remember ALL the information contained in it belongs to JKR and NOBODY else. It ALL came from her imagination and by law it is all her copyright. The proof that SVA/RDR have NO case whatsoever over the Timeline is that they dropped the issue like a hot potato in their subsequent arguments to the court precisely because they realised that they didn’t have a leg to stand on in law. But, it does make for a really good red herring.

You say you saw no evidence of disrespect by Steve towards JKR. Here’s his take on JKR’s motivation and attitude to fandom (as well as his own):

“Part of the problem all along has been the automatic assumption on the part of many that Rowling has the right to completely control anything written about the Harry Potter world. That’s quite a huge power grab on her part and from everything I can tell, not legal. You and I are part of a subculture that lives off the creative work of others. We always try to do that in a legal and respectful way. However, if Rowling manages to extend her reach that far into our subculture, she will choke us off very quickly. And if she doesn’t, what’s to stop the next person from taking this legal precedent to even more dangerous places?”’ [21 Jan] Source: http://news.ansible.co.uk/a247.html

It is important to understand that SVA is either ignoring his own stated belief that to copy her work through an encyclopaedia is “illegal” (his words on Lexicon May 2005), or he is deliberately misleading the reader. To put it crudely he has either made a total U turn, or, he is dissembling.

You say there is commentary in the Lexicon book. Please visit Justia.com, the book is there for all to see. There is barely any commentary and what there is can only be described as feeble at best (assuming he is not treating his potential children’s or reader’s intelligence with contempt).

The other explanation for TLC’s comment “as well as the attempt to misportray the issues of the case as stated in sworn affidavits” is this little gem from SVA:

“A victory for RDR Books will protect the rights of fans to create based on someone else’s work. If RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc. So a win for RDR Books is definitely in the best interest of fans who create websites, write fanfiction, make wands, compose wizard rock, and so on. I am surprised how many fans have missed this point. Their freedom to create is on the line here.”

This is total bunkum for reasons that have been endlessly stated on the Forum and Comment pages:

1. The law will only be changed if JKR loses NOT if she wins. JKR HAS to protect her copyright by law, and Fair Use will continue as normal should JKR win.

2. If RDR win Fair Use will have had its meaning and purpose fundamentally altered, and author’s copyright will be substantially eroded.

3. It is precisely as a result of this change that authors will have no choice but to be far more stringent with the fandom. Not the other way around. As a result fandom’s so-called “rights” will be eroded NOT protected.

4. A win for JKR/WB will in no way restrict fan activity. Precisely the opposite. It will ensure that author’s copyright is protected and therefore allow JKR to continue to be generous with her copyright to the fans and thus perpetuate the fans’ “freedom to create”. What it will not do is allow the fans to steal.

5. Fair Use and Copyright parameters are clear and SVA/RDR have almost certainly broken almost all of them, or do not meet any of them.

If the court decides otherwise this will be one of the most revolutionary changes in the law assuming a higher court confirms the decision. This is not impossible but highly unlikely because it will drive a horse and cart through copyright law, bring the law itself into disrepute, and the courts will be besieged and paralysed by copyright cases.

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Greetings to all.

I have to apologize. I was not as objective as ZI hoped I was in my last response .. to Trevorsmom. My only excuse is I was rushed and having a less than perfect day. I think my statements were right, I noted that it was my opinion, but I think the tone was less tolerant than I would have liked.

Now, this could be construed as perhaps the Canadian penchant for apologizing, even when nobody else sees the need (Cathy can back me up on this very Canadian trait, no doubt), but believe me when I say it is not.

I try very hard to be polite, because I never know if what I am saying is going to affect someone else in any deletorious way, and I would not want to seem like I am either belittling anyone, or do not take their opinion seriously…. else how could I hope to have others take MY opinion seriously.

In the afore-mentioned response (see above), I made a statement that might be interpreted as saying that the writer did not know what they were talking about. Rotfang responded better by saying perhaps not ALL the available material was being used to formulate an opinion, whereas I may have implied that perhaps there was some intent not to state all the facts as they existed. Everybody has an opinion, and they all should be respected. We don’t always have to agree, but we should listen with respect and respond with respect, I believe..

In any case, I apologize to Trevorsmom .. no slight was intended.

M

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I’m prretty sure davidenglish is Canadian too. His posts are the best researched (fantastic links), knowledgeable (I believe he’s in the publishing business), funny (when he’s relaxed and had a good day at the office), and astute. You guys are certainlyt holding your own!! For more fun with davidenglish check this out, post 347:

http://www.leakylounge.com/WB-JKR-vs-RDR-SVA-Part-V-t60496.html&st=340

And currently here, although I have to say almost all his posts excell:

http://www.leakylounge.com/WB-JKR-vs-RDR-SVA-Part-V-t60496.html&st=400

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for a minute i thought TLC was going to be shut down – im sooo glad this is not the case and i think they made the right choice :D

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@ Morton

I am so sorry, Morton but as I was reading your humble apology to Trevorsmom I was busy trying to reword my response to comments as well as I didn’t feel I was polite enough, sorry again:) And would like to take the opportunity to say sorry to anyone that may have taken offence to my sorry comments:) My goodness we are a sorry bunch having say sorry all the time. Ummm, Morton was that polite enough? If not, I am so sorry (I do believe we Canadians have mastered the use of the word!:) By the way if it’s not taken would like to change my name to The Weird Sister. If it’s in use, sorry!

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@ rotfango7

“You guys are certainlyt holding your own!! “

Thanks for saying so. It is appreciated.

@Cathy

I’m sorry if you felt the need to say you’re sorry becasuse of the fact that I was sorry for posting a sorry excuse for a comment regarding a sorry situation indeed.

As for the name “The Weird Sister”, I have taken the liberty of usurping all rights to Shakespeare’s work (partially by claiming that, in fact, he did NOT write the plays, and since there is no proof either way, I clearly own the rights).

So, you will have to pay a rather hefty royalty to me, else I shall haul my sorry bottom into a courtroom (a venue, of course where the sorry excuse for a justice system operates), and although it makes me very sorry indeed, I shall sue you!

And if THAT works, the wizard rock band using that name (clearly a derivative work), is next on my list.. clearly I’m a sorry excuse for a human being. Sorry!

Ahhh, it is refreshing isn’t it, to post such sorry entries on this Friday in Canada, fully 2 weeks after the official start of spring, while watching the snow fall outside my office window … what a sorry excuse for a season!!

Note: In case you hadn’t figured it out (for which, clearly I am terribly sorry!) my tongue was, once again, firmly ensconced in my cheek except for my thanks to rotfang which were sincere). I would have thought the incoherent mumbling would have given it away!!

And now back to our regularly scheduled forum!

M.

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@ Morton

Thank you for your sorry apology. Brilliant!!!!!!

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Here’s what’s going to happen in this case:

The judge will dismiss the argument from RDR Books that because Jo allowed the HP Lexicon website, there’s a presumption of right to publish a book based on the website. RDR Books will claim that publishing is publishing, no matter whether it’s on the web or in print, since a claim of “fair use” in this case does not apply, since the book isn’t substantially commentary or original work, but principally repurposed work from Jo’s existing novels.

Jo, as copyright holder, is well within her legal rights to allow fans to publish fan art, construct websites, write fan fiction, hold conventions and conferences, allow tours, write books about her and Harry Potter’s world, etc. The key word in this is “ALLOW.” Jo could just have easily shut down the Lexicon years ago, but did not. That she did not does NOT mean that she’s surrendered her rights in this matter.

The judge will decide this on a legal basis, and that basis will be that of derivative use. That’s the argument that won in court in the Seinfeld quiz book, which set the legal precedent that third parties cannot cobble together derivative works but, instead, must license them to prevent competing with an authorized edition.

Bottom line: The judge will be conservative and seek not to break new ground but to reinforce the existing legal precedent set by the Seinfeld case, and he’ll rule in favor of Jo Rowling. And you can take that to the bank.

Case closed.

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Considering the amount of interest in this case and the number of posts, it almost merits the Leaky starting up their countdown clock on the home page till April 14th. Imagine the activity when the court case begins.

Avatar Image says: Do you think that Obama is going to win because the Republicans have such a bad candidate? Why did John McCain make his final argument against Obama... coal? That's his closing argument? William Ayers, Rev. Wright, spreading the wealth, Born Alive, meeting dictators without preconditions, etc. all have to take a back seat so that McCain can go to Colorado and New Mexico to talk about coal? Does this more or less explain why he's going to get his clock cleaned Tuesday?

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