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.

Avatar Image says:

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… ^^

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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…

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.”

Avatar Image says:

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.”

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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”.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

It’s the right choice.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

“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.’

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

Leaky, never fear! You have our support!

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

correction:I’m completly with her. :D

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

“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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

“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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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

Could it be that RDR has imperioused Steve? Hmmmm…

OMT

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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

Could it be that RDR has imperioused Steve? Hmmmm…

OMT

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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”.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!”

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

bud

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

“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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

@ 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.

Avatar Image says:

Well Done Leaky! It’s about time! XD

Avatar Image says:

@ 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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

@ 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.

Avatar Image says:

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

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

Well done, Leaky. Cheers.

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

Avatar Image says:

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!!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

@ 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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

@ 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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

Well said CartoonJessie!

Avatar Image says:

“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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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’.)

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

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!!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

Cara well said!

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

Look at what Steve has done to this fandom.

So sad.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

When is the 1st of April?

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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…

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

Wearing my Leaky Cauldron shirt with pride.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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 :(

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

Avatar Image says:

@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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

@ 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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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!!!!!!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

“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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

@ 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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

@ 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.

Avatar Image says:

@ 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?

Avatar Image says:

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 =)

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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

Avatar Image says:

Epic Doom

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

Thanks Anonymoose for the http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i5fLBAXpgAKGz7Dxov0JK7f9GiLg link