JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: Guardian Editorial

114

Apr 20, 2008

Posted by KristinTLC
Uncategorized

Marina Hyde of the Guardian has an opinion piece in which she speaks unfavorably of J.K. Rowling and WB’s decision to pursue litigation, in part arguing that the potential publication of the Lexicon will have little impact on the series in the face of other, sanctioned projects:

“As for Ms Rowling’s argument that her work is being “debased”, that position may be very compromised by this time next year, because she has given her blessing to the construction of a Harry Potter theme park in bookish Orlando, Florida.”

She goes on to say:

“This, says the official blurb, “will provide fans with another way to experience the world beyond the books and films”. And so it will: as some injection-moulded theme park, punctuated by those endless Disney-esque stands selling supersized fast food, and attempts to chisel cash out of you – or “experiential shops”, as they have it. So when JK Rowling takes her first spin on the Cruciatus-a-Coaster, or whatever the big thrill ride will be called, here’s hoping she looks back on Mr Vander Ark, and realises his modest fan project was not quite as ghastly as she made out.”





66 Responses to JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: Guardian Editorial

Avatar Image says:

Well… We know that (from the Pottercast with Jo) that the theme park will have qquite alot of teh ‘Jo touch’ which means: Everything that the movies had to leave out will be fleshed back in…

Avatar Image says:

Yes, but the theme park is not copyrighting her is it? If it’s not going to have an impact then why publish it at all, just let JK publish the REAL encyclopedia.

Avatar Image says:

sweet… first!

Avatar Image says:

OMG-you can’t compare this case with theme park!LOL and yes-we’ll be “provided with another way to experience the world beyond the books and films” when Jo publishes hers encyclopedia. I’m so looking forward to it!

Avatar Image says:

“So when JK Rowling takes her first spin on the Cruciatus-a-Coaster, or whatever the big thrill ride will be called, here’s hoping she looks back on Mr Vander Ark, and realises his modest fan project was not quite as ghastly as she made out.” omg that almost made me cry, so true

Avatar Image says:

OMG I HATE THAT WOMEN! WHY IS EVERYONE BEING SO HORRIBLE ABOUT JO! THEY ARE JUST JEALOUS!

Avatar Image says:

I like that. It’s an interesting view, and I agree with her.

Avatar Image says:

Thi section hurts:

“This, says the official blurb, “will provide fans with another way to experience the world beyond the books and films”. And so it will: as some injection-moulded theme park, punctuated by those endless Disney-esque stands selling supersized fast food, and attempts to chisel cash out of you – or “experiential shops”, as they have it. So when JK Rowling takes her first spin on the Cruciatus-a-Coaster, or whatever the big thrill ride will be called, here’s hoping she looks back on Mr Vander Ark, and realises his modest fan project was not quite as ghastly as she made out.”

...because it’s so accurate. We all want to support JKR, but that was a well-written and logical attack on her.

The above posters are correct in thinking that none of the article’s points in the article pertain to legality. However, we can hardly claim that Jo has has restricted her testimony to legal issues: the tears about her children, the quality of the book, and so on are all irrelevant. If she’s going invoke emotive and ethical arguments, she has to be open to an attack on those basis.

That said, I’m very concerned that Jo maintains control of her creation. I just don’t think that she can claim a moral monopoly on protecting the series. Not when she’s just sold it to theme-park-land.

Avatar Image says:

Check Joan Smith in the UK Independent this morning: Joan Smith: J K Rowling and the quest for fair pay. www.independent.co.uk

Sorry, I’d post a link, but I’m not sure what the correct coding is for that in this box.

Avatar Image says:

wtf is Marina Hyde’s problem? How dare that editor judge Joe like that!

Avatar Image says:

I agree. I thought from day one that the theme park was a bad idea and a potentially destructive move. It really felt to me like she was giving too much of her creation away at that point. When she came on Pottercast and discussed it, I was surprised at how confident she seemed that it would work out OK. Oh well … maybe I am being too pessimistic on this one. Maybe it really won’t be one of those terrible commercial places … hopefully.

Avatar Image says:

OUCH!!!! So logically thought out it HURTS!!

Avatar Image says:

I hate theme-parks myself if they are like Disneyland. Yet we have to wait what this theme-park will look like before we use it as an argument against Jo.

I fear the themepark just shows that she has already lost control over her work to WB and money-making.

Or it is a clever move to revolutionize themepark-land. But I guess it will be another disapointment (as will be the Scottish book)

Avatar Image says:

OUCH!!!! So logically thought out it HURTS!!

Posted by fly AWAY on April 20, 2008 @ 11:28 AM

Not really logical! The themepark will add something new to the series and may be something Jo likes. You see, the trial is about her free reign over her work. I have not heard or read that she talks about something else. What moral arguments else has she brought in?

Avatar Image says:

The theme park has NOTHING to do with the lexicon! JK gave her permission to do the themepark and is being paid in all fairness for it, what sva is trying to do is earn money from something he didnt work to create !

So many years writing is so much more worth compared to the ’’2 weeks’’ they would assemble the lexicon and sell.

Besides i think sva likes the attention hes getting, which to me if pretty freaky. Or else he would have butted out long time ago if he had any respect for Ms Rowling.

Avatar Image says:

Other authors that have been allowed to publish HP-related books worked with the WB and Jo before being given the green light on their projects. Likewise the theme park was given Jo input and approval. RDR didn’t want to show the WB their book. They didn’t want to give the trademark and copyright holders a chance to protect their work. Thus the WB had to get the courts involved. The theme park is nothing like the RDR book. The theme park is much more like those that HAVE worked with the WB and Jo in a respectful manner.

Avatar Image says:

ho ho, good point.

Avatar Image says:

I really just don’t understand people. First of all, obviously, the theme park has nothing to do with the case at all. Secondly, I do not think Jo is in ANY of this for the money. She has SO MUCH MONEY. She can live the rest of her life without lifting a single finger, and so can her children. The theme park is cool, as are the movies. I seriously doubt it was something she looked at for pure monetary gain. It was something incredibly cool to see your book made into, seeing it coming out of your head, seeing it on screen and now seeing it on something you can actually walk through and ride! It’s beyond cool as a creator. The money is a plus, not a cause.

I see the case as being more about what could happen with all of the HP stuff online – fanfic, fanart, fan sites like the lexicon – in the future. If RDR wins, it could mean so many things would be allowed to be published for profit that shouldn’t be. Harry Potter is hers! YEARS of her life went into it. It’s like writing an essay in school and having someone copy. Would you not feel angry that they got a free ride after you did all that hard work? That’s what Steve did. He copied her work word for word and went to turn it into the teacher for a free A, in this case, some free cash. That’s what a lot of people would do if RDR wins, which means complete crap for our online fandom because so many things will disappear or be far more restricted. I’m pulling for Jo because she is completely in the right. Steve should never have gone through with this.

Avatar Image says:

Here’s the link to the independent editorial that davidenglish mentioned above

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/joan-smith/joan-smith-j-k-rowling-and-the-quest-for-fair-pay-812073.html

Avatar Image says:

I do not understand while the author of the article compares the Lexicon and the theme park. They are two entirely different things, in entirely different situation.

For the theme park, they have gotten approval from Jo and Jo is giving it “Jo touch”. By giving it that “Jo touch”, it’s becoming more than what was just in the books. Something new is added.

For the Lexicon, it’s simply Jo’s work reordered. In some cases, some of the description uses exact same words Jo used. Like Jo said, the Lexicon doesn’t seem to add too much of “new” stuff.

There have been other books published about Harry Potter, but they all analyze it. They add “new” things by giving different perspective or interpretation of material than what is simply started in the books.

And just to clarify, I have nothing against SVA. I don’t know him personally, nor do I know (I don’t think none of us do) the whole situation of exactly what did and what didn’t happen, and therefore I will not judge him for that.

I however, do hope that Jo/WB and RDR books decide to reach for a settlement rather than going through the trial like the judge suggested. I think continuing through the trial will hurt both sides, and I think both sides are hurt enough. I hate how some people (not necessarity HP fans) are portraying Jo to be money-greedy selfish woman, which we all know she’s not.(funny how those people never seem to know that every profit made through the Scottish Book is going to charity and not to Jo.) And I hate seeing people attack SVA. He may have made some bad decision, but we don’t know how much of it was him and how much of it was RDR books. And you can’t deny the fact that he DID put a lot of effort in Lexicon.

Just by 2 cents :)

Avatar Image says:

Ugh, mistypes, I apologize.

I meant to say “why the author of the article” instead of “while” and it should have said “I don’t think any of us do” rather than “I don’t think none of us do”

And it should have been “I however, do hope that Jo/WB and RDR books decide to reach for a settlement like the judge suggested rather than going through the trial .”

Something is wrong with my English today (I don’t think the caffeine has kicked in yet :P )

Avatar Image says:

That article is so right. She is scared of “floodgates” opening, but as soon as the 7 books were finished, the floodgates have opened. As soon as she agreed to the construction of that theme park, she herself opened the floodgates.

Even if she wins this case against RDR, as long as the HP franchise remains popular and profitable, as long as JKR has the support of the HP fans, she can expect more Vander Arks to try and test the limits of her copyright fortress.

And if she keeps this attitude of always going after them in court, then should should prepare for a lifetime of legal battles after legal battles. She will be spending the rest of her life in court rooms.

Goodluck to Ms. Rowling in her quest at keeping her entire empire within her grasp for as long as she lives. I think she will succeed at gaining more wealth and power over her creations, but she will never have peace of mind.

Avatar Image says:

Posters are correct that the theme park is irrelevant to the copyright case. I read somewhere that 80-plus percent of the RDR book is JKR’s writing, and much of it is unattributed. That seems like flat out plagiarism! Even if Vander Ark went through and meticulously put quotation marks around every word JKR wrote, the 80+ percent should get him into trouble. The alpha arrangement doesn’t really add value—you can get that on Wikipedia.

Avatar Image says:

thanks Neil and Davidenglish for pointing out the Independent newspaper comment by Joan Smith. Worth reading if you want to calm down. She makes a good point in that piece.

“Mark Le Fanu, general secretary of the Society of Authors, ... point[ed] out that Rowling was “taking a stand against a derivative book which appears to have been built entirely on her creativity”. Of course he’s right: the lexicon isn’t an encyclopedia in the normal sense, consisting of facts that are in the public domain, but something parasitic on years of hard work by Rowling. Her present bank balance is irrelevant to the case… [except that she can afford the court case… In that sense]... she is defending the rights of thousands of writers.”

Avatar Image says:

So, it would seem by this woman’s ideology, the movies are also a violation of copyright. I wish those in the media who write this sort of tripe had some, ANY vague grip on how the law functions. Maybe CoS was a violation of copyright since Jo was stealing characters wholesale from PS/SS. Or maybe not since she created those characters and can do what she wants with them including a theme park in Florida. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Either way, what RDR is trying to promote as a compendium of contributions to Harry Potter scholarship is simply plagiarism. If I wrote a paper for a literature class that did even a little of what any of the HPL’s entries (apparently) do, I would be swiftly ejected from the university for academic misconduct. Outside of the university the penalty for such misconduct is much steeper. Honestly, in this case, I believe RDR books is responsible for what is happening—at least according to the testimony I have read. Well, there are my two cents.

Avatar Image says:

Can I just add my two cents worth ?

I have always been worried that the publishers (through Jo) are using a sledgehammer to crack a fairly harmless nut. I admire her so, so much but this decision to litigate this case was very unnecessary and is really backfiring on her which is sad.

It is surely not too intrusive or speculative to suggest that, since the end of the publicity tour for Book 7, Jo has had sever difficulty in weaning herself away from the Potter world. I do not in nay way apportion any blame to her for this but it is just so obvious that going “cold turkey” on something that has been her life for 17 years has not been easy for a self- confessed “obsessive compulsive”. I really wonder if, this whole Steve thing had happened in a year’s time or so, she would have been quite so vigorous in her decision to fight this case.

As ever, the lawyers are the only winners here.

Avatar Image says:

I fully agree. The theme park is a great comparison. I’ve been on Steve’s side the whole time, and therefore the side of fair use.

And I’m shocked by how little most of you understand about copyright law. Read up on Fair Use, to start with. As for copyright, anything is you create is automatically protected by copyright law. But the Fair Use laws allow for the reasonable use by others without monetary or other compensation.

Avatar Image says:

redwall_hp: You are quite right that fair use “allows for the reasonable use by others” EXCEPT that SVA’s use is NOT reasonable. Have you read the statements give to the judge? Using 80% of Jo’s material is NOT reasonable. Usually these sort of derivative works have 10% of the author’s material and 90% original work. This is not the case with the Lexicon book. Clearly it is YOU that do not understand copyright law.

Plus, how is a theme-park, which Jo has ok’d and is involved in, the same as a book that someone else is trying to publish WITHOUT her permission?

Avatar Image says:

But the difference is, those of us that are arguing against the Lexicon book, is we don’t think this fits under the Fair Use laws. We’re saying that it clearly violates copyright, and adds little of no commentary, so therefor does not fit into a case of fair use.

Avatar Image says:

While I will forever be grateful to JKR for writing the Harry Potter series, I support Steve Vander Ark’s position on this matter. Once JKR turned HP loose on the world, what did she expect? To be able to control forever everything that is published about the series? In this case, similar to other cases (that on their face look like copyright violation), the greater public good overrides her rights as an author.

Avatar Image says:

Guys, at some point you have to realize that Jo has just become about the money and not the fans anymore.

Money corrupts. And she’s not that little poor woman writing children books anymore.

Avatar Image says:

@ I in the Skye Everytime I read one of your posts you constantly seem to imply that JKR is just greedy and overprotective. Since this is a HP fansite obviously there are going to be a lot of people who will get annoyed at comments like those, so I dont know why you keep saying them? (unless of course you like the attention). By all means be against JKR in this trial if you want but to me you come across as one of those people who simply dislikes anybody who is successful. Saying things like ‘Good luck to JKR in her attempt to keep her entire empire within her grasp’ smacks of jealousy. By wanting to control what products arise in the market from/ because of your creation sounds like good sense to me and shows pride in the work she has created. Which, considering what she has achieved, she has every right to feel.

Avatar Image says:

I find it strange how most people who support SVA argument is somewhere along the lines of ‘Jo has just become about the money’. How can that be when she is extremely giving to charities and in fact all the proceeds of ‘The Scottish Book’ will be going to charity? Hmmm….have I missed something???

Avatar Image says:

hits head against desk and worries about future of mankind

Avatar Image says:

I am so tempted to crucio that woman but i already am in hot water withthe minstry for that killing curse in another post so ill stay my wand lol . As for the theme park Jo and WB and given there blessing and i am sure a profit sharing plan has been worked out so everyone involved gets their fair share and the theme park has nothing at all to do with this case you ignorant woman.

Avatar Image says:

J.K. Rowling will (Probably) donate most of the money she makes from the theme park to charity…. Don’t you guy’s think? I hope J.K. Rowling will win the case, I think what S.V.A.’s doing is wrong in many ways…

Avatar Image says:

Sorry about double post. BTW, there should be asterisks around that but they didn’t show up.

Avatar Image says:

She can’t let a crap book come out, it would open the flood gates for other freaking crap books that just re-hash her work! AND, she’s keeping very close watch over the theme park; I’m sure it’s going to be done tastefully, very much unlike this freaking article. GAH.

Avatar Image says:

Ethan Taylor , You are perfect example of a type of person I mentioned in my previous post. “Guys, at some point you have to realize that Jo has just become about the money and not the fans anymore.”

How can you dare to even say that? If she was so money greedy, would she purposely spend years to write an encyclopedia, only to give all the profit made from it to charity? She has already written two books previously, where all the profit from their sales went to charity and not to her. And she has continuously donated money (and large sum at that) to charities.

Just because other writers/actors/etc has become money greedy after they become rich, don’t put Jo in same category as them. She’s different.

Avatar Image says:

what does the theme park have to do with anything? that’s a really dumb comparison because im sure J.K.Rowling gave permission to whoever is building the theme park, but SVA is just taking her work and putting it in another book without permission.

and anyways, would you rather want an encyclopedia written by the actual author, who can give us more information that is not in the HP books already, or some 50 year-old fan that can only put in info that most of us already know having read the series?

Avatar Image says:

I disagree with Reader 51. They said, “Once JKR turned HP loose on the world, what did she expect? To be able to control forever everything that is published about the series?”

Nothing has changed just because Book 7 is complete. She’s made her own derivate works in the past and given the proceeds to charity (Fantastical Beasts and the Quidditch book). She and the WB have worked with people writing their own derivate works to make sure they don’t infringe upon their rights. They’ve worked with companies so there could be movies, games, costumes, calendars, soundtracks, an upcoming theme park, etc.

Harry Potter has been “loose” on the world since Book One came out. Book Seven being released doesn’t change Jo’s rights to keep doing things with that world that she created…or to license out others to do so. RDR wants to use her world in a way that she has not agreed to. She and the WB have every right to ask that that trend not be one that the courts allow to be started.

Fair use DOES exist and of course RDR is welcome to test its limits in court, but I sincerely hope the judge rules that the Lexicon book does not fall within Fair Use. In my opinion RDR could change the book and make it fall into Fair Use, but in its current format I believe it is nowhere near where it needs to be for that to be true.

Avatar Image says:

This column is just another example of making flawed connections between the Lexicon’s outright copying and other ventures that create something new. It’s getting really monotonous to see columnist after columnist saying “The Lexicon is no different than “X””. No, the Lexicon is different than all these other things because it consists so wholly of copied material. JKR is one of the most generous people in the world about allowing use of her work with a bare minimum of original creativity; it took a massive amount of copying for her to finally draw the line.

It’s sad that I see much better arguments (both pro and con) on these comment boards than I do coming from paid journalists. I mean, I would expect Roger Rappaport or Falzone to make spurious comparisons because of what they stand to win and lose in the case, but to see paid media members making arguments that are just plain intellectually lazy gives me a new perspective on the blind faith I have heretofore put in the media.

Avatar Image says:

I agree Mimblewimble. I’ve been at times very surprised, yet pleased at how the Harry Potter books keep teaching me lessons about the real world, especially the power of the media. You have to dig hard and long and expend a lot of effort to inform yourself of the truth. Then you have to work doubly hard to get that truth out to others. I’m constantly reminded of how primary sources for information are a necessity and we must be active in our pursuit of information, not just reactive in jumping to conclusions.

Avatar Image says:

I read Martina Hyde’s column yesterday and think it’s interesting. It’s one person’s opinion, and she’s entitled to it. Equally interesting are the many, many comments in the Guardian responding to her article. The verdict hasn’t been reached yet, and it won’t be decided based on her column any more than it will be decided based on the the comments here. We’re all just voicing our opinions, and none of them hold the power that the judge’s decision will. It’s a good discussion!

Avatar Image says:

Thanks davidenglish and Neil for the article below:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/joan-smith/joan-smith-j-k-rowling-and-the-quest-for-fair-pay-812073.html

It is one of the few that properly and succinctly explains the real situation JKR is addressing and the seriously silly hoopla and distortion that surrounds RDR and SVA apologists’ arguments.

Avatar Image says:

I find it rather ironic that people that have been judging SVA to be some sort of monster, and the same ones calling for people to not judge JKR, and how dare they judge her, etc. etc etc. Hypocritical much? IMO, you lose the moral high ground, if you start that; not just the petty name calling, even if it is oblique, but then following it up with condemning people that judge JKR harshly. Just as JKR is a human being, SVA, believe it or not, is in fact human, and not a monster, and has feelings. So oblique references to what has (allegedly) been copied (since the 900 some-odd exhibits that Cendali et al produced were inadmissible, and even if true, their accuracy was not debated in court. Seeing as how it is only one POV, I cannot take it at face value, without a rebuttal), and how he is a terrible person for whatever the reason is now, is awful. Stick to the facts of the case, and stay out of personal lives, or personal attacks.

A lot of people profit from JKR’s work. Take the link to “The Leaky Song” at the bottom of this page – musicians are making money, the 40-some odd other authors that have produced books have profited, as well. JKR doesn’t have a monopoly on profiting from Harry Potter. Further, believe it or not, consumers can read and can tell the difference between the words “Steve Vander Ark” and “J.K. Rowling” to indicate that the book will irreparably harm sales of her book is…sort of ridiculous (also, part of the 4 factors pertaining to Fair Use)

The ramifications of the ruling are immaterial to the law regarding the book, just the same as any emotional pleas from JKR. As heartbreaking as it may be that she’s having difficulty writing, it has no bearing on copyright law, and Fair Use.

Now, I haven’t read the entire Lexicon manuscript (I began briefly skimming it today), and am not going to sit at the computer for hours on end seeing if the words are exactly from JKR’s books, what I notice is this: while the book is NOT a scholarly piece, and the way the references are done (e.g. GoF5, for Goblet of Fire, chapter 5) are not scholarly, he does acknowledge the source material. That type of citation where the original source is cited, and the sentence is a paraphrasing of the original work, is accepted in the academic world. Again, the Lexicon is not pretending to be an academic book, however it does cite its sources. Does it take more than is reasonable (which, IIRC, is part of the 4 factors of Fair Use)? I think it might be close, because where is the line between reasonable and too much?

Avatar Image says:

So, JKR/WB consenting, there will be a theme-park in Florida. Brings back memories of legal action taken against an Indian festival.

@ ascatal: Illuminating the dark side of the Potter-Fandom for ignorant muggles? Comments like yours make me understand why, supposedly, Morton Keysermann (sorry, I do not remember the exact spelling) stopped posting here.

If you are serious about torturing people just because they disagree with you you should seek professional advice.

Avatar Image says:

So logical in fact that overlooks the one thing they fail to see OVER AND OVER AGAIN! It’s ALL HERS…SHE OWNS IT ALL! She can deceide anything she wants to do with HER intellicutual property!! Yes…and….even a GASP A THEME PARK!!! If she wants Harry Potter bobbleheads she can do that also!

To all who blindly see the $$ behind Jo’s work and think that it’s ok to take from her forget that Harry Potter and all the content belongs to her and always will. Like it or not!

Avatar Image says:

Sarah-I understand your position and your arguments. I just respectfully disagree with you. I don’t believe that, just because Book 7 was released, that nothing has changed. Everything has changed. The Harry Potter story/saga is now complete. JKR can write as many companion books as she wants and donate the proceeds to charity-and I’ll keep attending midnight book parties along with the rest.

I have worked on several other (unrelated to HP) projects where copyright violation was arguable, and the issue of “fair use doctrine” came into play. The circumstances were extremely similar to this issue. I felt then-and I feel now-that the public’s right to know outweighs the author’s copyright.

Avatar Image says:

Quite frankly, I don’t care very much for either Rowling or Vander Ark.

I realize that it’s Rowling’s work and that she’s been going about it for the past 17 years… but she really does seem too attached to it all at some points. Understandable, but a little annoying.

On the other hand, I have no idea what would possess a person to actually want to publish an encyclopedia for a piece of work not owned by that person. Author’s notes and scraps and bits of paper are fun—copied text just seems wrong and in rather poor taste. An online version seems quite okay to me… because, really, the internet is for the ease of transmitting material and ideas (well, okay, the Lexicon perhaps isn’t about ideas at all). A published piece of work that someone’s spent money on really requires something more than a list. It’s sort of like deciding to publish a book with the lyrics of your favorite rock songs. It’s entirely wrong to make pure profit off of someone else’s words.

Avatar Image says:

America loves underdogs. We were a nation founded by and for the rest of the world’s underdogs, so there’s still something almost sacred today about ‘the little guy.’ So even when ‘the little guy’ does something wrong, the general (general, mind you) consensus is, ‘Oh come onnnnnn. He’s just a little squirt. Let him have what he wants!’ That’s my experience, at least.

Avatar Image says:

There is no readers’ right to know in this case. It’s just an issue of theft and whether the thief has the right in law to steal or not. If the law, in this case, says you can steal then RDR and SVA can get rich, money for old rope.

But, make no mistake, ALL authors. ALL creative people, ALL corporations, will start restricting opportunities for internet theft. China, Iran, Korea etc have shown how it can be done. Be patient, if this type of theft carries on the internet generation will soon learn how easy it is for the creators to just pull the plug. Rich or poor, people don’t like their stuff being stolen. JKR is not the Sheriff of Nottingham and RDR/SVA Robin Hood. JKR has a Rolls Royce that’s been stolen and now it’s being sold by a couple of second hand car salesmen that’s all.

By the way. What about the rights of all the fans who contributed to Lexicon for free? Why aren’t they being acknowledged or paid? They helped correct and amend the Lexicon, where’s their share? And, to follow SVA supporters logic SVA has no rights over Lexicon, it’s a free for all now, the Lexicon belongs to whoever has the nerve to cut and paste it.

Avatar Image says:

This too shall pass.

Meanwhile, those of us who have to visit that Hell on Earth called Orlando, Florida because her inlaws live there, now has something to look forward to!

Avatar Image says:

Apparently, I don’t get this case at all. How can you compare the rights of hundreds of authors with the building of a theme park? The HP theme park is not going to give money to a bunch of people who are plagiarizing Jo’s work.

And, for everyone who is saying that Jo is taking our money by doing this theme park, why on earth would she? what is your point? Wasn't everyone ecstatic about the theme park when it was announced? Isn't everyone still looking forward to it? Jo gave the go-ahead with the theme park for US. So that we, as fans, would have another way to explore the wonderful world she has created. It has nothing to do with making more money. If Jo wanted more money, she would have sold The Tales of Beedle the Bard for her own profit, not for 100% charity.
Avatar Image says:

this is ridiculous. How can you compare selling people rights to do the themepark with someone publishing a book, without having the right to do it? The themepark is in the same league as the movies. It’s her rights, she can share them and take money in return. That’s how trading works. You take something and you have to hand something else over in exchange. I guess, if Steve would pay Jo for using her work, that’d be legal…only Jo does not want to sell the rights to her book to Him!

The only way these two cases could be compared is, when Jo had planned to build the themepark by herself, directing a bunch of people in her back yard or something and the Orlando people – knowing she was planning to do so – would go ahead and rush to build a themepark themselves, without asking her if it’s ok to do so. Which is so not the case. They are working together, she has given her permission, that’s what makes it legal…

Avatar Image says:

I think Jo seems more protective of her written format than anything else. For instance, she’s unlikely to build a theme park, or even plan one out, without substantial help, and she’s not a film director or screen writer. This case is really a difference between one written thing and another. If I were Steve Van Ark, I would just alter it the way they want and everyone would be happy.

I agree with the article though that it’s impact on Jo’s writing or legacy would be minimal if anything. And if his writing is not original, I don’t see how he could “debase” her characters, since he isn’t making things up about them.

Avatar Image says:

Every day there are more and more people slagging off Jo Rowling. She must wonder what on earth she got herself into.

Avatar Image says:

quite right, ethan taylor, wealth corrupts, and absolute wealth corrupts absolutely.

anyway, leaky, thank you for covering the coverage! marina hyde’s commentary is cruel but accurate: cruciatus-a-coastering in the sunshine state.

most interesting are the readers’ comments. some of them are discussing various and rather specific similarities of rowlings ‘intellectual furniture’ to other works of fiction written before the hp-series, such as the earthsea-trilogy by ursula k. le guin, the ‘worst witch’ series by jill murphy and neil gaiman’s ‘books of magic’.

actually what you can say in favour of jkr that she secured a stronger grip on warner than ursula k. le guin was able to do. http://www.slate.com/id/2111107/

no one other than jkr herself had ‘opened the floodgates’ before court when recalling hard times and hard work in the first years of writing. that backfired. a commenter to marina hyde’s article called jkr a ‘benefit cheat’ because technically while writing she would have been working [and thus violated welfare legislation]; further on the commenter said she should go to prison. i am merely quoting.

this last point is not easily to be dismissed by someone riding as high on non-profit-morale as jkr is.

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i am quoting this now:

quote // minebyright

April 19, 2008 6:42 PM

As far as I’m concerned, it should be Rowling herself who is on trial. She wrote the Harry Potter books whilst she was claiming benefits. As she wrote the books with a view to making money from the, she was techically working, that makes her a filthy benefit cheat, & as the goverment informs us on the TV adverts, there are ‘no if’s or but’s’ Jail this woman, NOW! //unquote

personally i would tend to defend jkr on this because she was not anybody’s stipendiate and because writers are being discriminated against as far as their income is concerned (see the linked articles in the ‘pro jo’ post).

more quotes to consider:

quote //All writers borrow from each other.unquote //. Eva Ibbotson, author of The Secret of Platform 13.

quote //Property is theft.unquote //

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So much vitriol. What a shame.

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what eva ibbotson said ist most elegant – you can google the context easily, eg

quote // .... particularly with regard to The Secret of Platform 13, published three years before Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The similarities between the two are astounding: Ibbotson’s novel describes a door at Platform 13 of King’s Cross opening onto a magical world of wizards, ghosts and giants. The hero is a young boy who belongs to this world but who is ignorant of his true nature, and bullied by the grotesquely rich and nasty Trottle family, and made to sleep in the servants’ quarters until magic comes to rescue him. Ibbotson would seem to have at least as good a case for claiming plagiarism as the American author currently suing JK Rowling, but unlike her, Ibbotson says she would “like to shake her by the hand. I think we all borrow from each other as writers.” // unquote

http://www.amandacraig.com/pages/childrens/articles/harrys_heirs.htm

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Just as an extra: this story about Casablanca she refers to is not true, just an urban myth. Weakens her argument, just a little … better get back to proper research.

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Agreed, the theme park and the lexicon case have nothing to do to with each other.

But if JKR was truly concerned with protecting the integrity of the HP world, she would not have sold out in such a blatently commercial way.

No theme park in Orlando, Florida can claim to be respectful of anything they represent. Like Trek fans, in Las vegas, the HP fans in Florida will get suckered into paying their $60 admission fee to the park after paying $20 for parking. They will get inside and buy their $30 t-shirts, their $50 magic wands, and the $15 fast food items and think hey had a wonderful time riding the four rides they waited three hours each to get on. They will walk out not thinking they just spent enough cash inside the theme park to pay two utility bills, or buy a new set of HP books, or some other thing.

They will remember the experience but not the hideous amounts of cash they just plunked down to visit a world that can never live up to the world depicted in the books.

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From what I gather from the Anti-Jo lot comments in the article is that an author doesn’t own her creation. Instead the public does. Because after all they’ve bought the book, which means they have also bought the hp idea, the characters, the surroundings etc. They apparently haven’t bought a copy to read, in stead they’ve purchased the entire concept. (If only WB thought of that earlier, €25 vs. a couple million) HP is so popular, it’s not right it belongs to one individual. No, it belongs to all of us. We control what happens with HP and we will tell you what’s ok or not. Not some girl who can write a good story. And yet she’s trying to do so. Unbelievable. Once the story is published the author needs to stay out. Because really, what has she done besides creating this magical world? She doesn’t deserve any credit or respect for her effort. We’ve paid her haven’t we. And you know what’s unforgiving, she’s rich. Therefore not entitled to have any ‘property’ at all. She already has enough. And also she’s greedy. She is loaded and yet she won’t let us make money of her concept too? What’s the harm? she’s got money, now I’ve got money. Everybody’s got money. (who you calling greedy again?)

I guess some people have no objection using labour one didn’t do himself for their own agenda. This kind of thinking is exactly the reason why the concept of intellectual property is needed. To make sure that you can keep what is yours and not seeing others run away with it. What would’ve been the equivalent of theft if we were talking about a physical object. IP protects artists against greedy opportunistic persons. It puts a barrier between a original hardworking creator and opportunistic people who seem to think it worked for her now it can work for me (too). It being her hard work, not his own. Furthermore, I can’t believe how many people fail to understand what a creation means to an author. It hasn’t only got material meaning, like this house is mine, but immaterial meaning as well, like I love my child more than anything. Something you cannot grasp until you have a child of your own. I.c. if you’ve created something of your own. Even SVA seem to understand the concept of belongings, with all his copyrights warnings on his website. It’s not right to take away a creation from the creator as it is not right to steal a TV, or take away a child from a mother. To see someone just do exactly that and tainting, doing whatever the hell they want with it, is just wrong. It’s not right not to respect or acknowledge what an artist has established. But people do not seem to be interested. Instead they thank her by pushing her out of the way. They don’t need her anymore. She’s done. If this lack of respect for persons rights and persons feelings is the way we’re heading for than I for one can understand what JKR is so afraid of. There’s far more at stake her then just money. (although some people tend to believe there’s no reason but money. Without money, no motivation.) If SVA wins it’ll undermine the entire concept of intellectual property. A win for SVA means that although your work is copyrighted it can still be used and not for admirable goals like critique and scholarly use, but to make money of what’s now a high potential market. What does this tell us? That parasitic and greed driven behaviour is oke? Yet worse is that no creativity of your own is needed. You don’t have to bother. So not only parasitic behaviour is oke but ‘theft’ and laziness as well? What’s next? Will we tell our students that your entire paper can be quotes only? That it’s oke to plagiarise. That’s what SVA did and he got away with it? If SVA wins, the rights of artists are violated. Their rights and feelings are diminished or even discarded. But who cares? SO I hope JKR wins and won’t settle, so it’ll be clear to everyone that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.

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crookshanks and others who are so full of intellectual property and plagiarism and theft and the like blablabla, what will you have left to say in case of a settlement?

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IF SVA rewrote the lexicon AND included commentary, ACCURATE etymology, PROPER attribution AND research JKR would probably agree to settle. THEN it would be Fair Use. This would mean that the lexicon would take actual work and a great deal more time than the two weeks Rapaport had budgeted into his publication schedule (see his testimony). At least that’s what the librarians in the academic library I work for believe.

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