JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: Opinions


Apr 26, 2008

Posted by KristinTLC

Several public figures have voiced their opinions on the JKR/WB vs. RDR Books court case:

Hugo and Nebula award-winning writer Orson Scott Card claims that J.K. Rowling’s “hypocrisy is so thick” that he “can hardly breathe”.

He goes on to say:

“Once you publish fiction, Ms. Rowling, anybody is free to write about it, to comment on it, and to quote liberally from it, as long as the source is cited.”

He predicts the outcome of the case:

“1. Publication of Lexicon will go on without any problem or prejudice, because it clearly falls within the copyright law’s provision for scholarly work, commentary and review.

2. Rowling will be forced to pay Steven Vander Ark’s legal fees, since her suit was utterly without merit from the start.

3. People who hear about this suit will have a sour taste in their mouth about Rowling from now on. Her Cinderella story once charmed us. Her greedy evil-witch behavior now disgusts us. And her next book will be perceived as the work of that evil witch.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: With regard to Mr. Card’s statement that a published work of fiction may be written about or quoted “as long as the source is cited”, note that plaintiffs JKR/WB’s claim that the Lexicon book fails to properly quote or cite Ms. Rowling’s works. Exact testimony regarding such is available here in the trial transcripts).

Game show Jeopardy! wiz Ken Jennings writes about the trial on his blog in an entry entitled “Harry Potter and the Glossary of Doom”. He says:

“Books like The Harry Potter Lexicon are nothing new. When I was a kid, I had a bunch of unlicensed glossaries like these on my shelves: Robert Foster’s Complete Guide to Middle-Earth, Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance, etc. (Both of these books may later have been approved by their respective marketing empires, I’m not sure, but they were strictly fan-pub back then.) Even today, you can walk up to the TV/Movies shelf in a Barnes & Noble and find cash-in essay collections and reference works analyzing Lost, Firefly, The West Wing, and other hits. All these books profit by putting the Big Media Brand Name front and center on their covers’without the pop-culture teat, they wouldn’t sell a single copy. Profiteers, right, “Jo”? Burn them all!”

Jennings also notes:

”…the plagiarism claims are silly. Direct quotes from the books are rare, and are used only in epigrammatic fashion. Rowling may be referring to the fact that the Lexicon does faithfully describe facts and events from her series, and at length, but that’s an inevitable feature of any reference book. The literary references all look legitimate to me, as if due care has been taken to rephrase them away from Rowling’s language.”

On the subject of companion books, he says:

“In a free society, it’s good that people can talk and write freely about art. Good things come out of a society being able to talk and write freely about art’whether the artist likes it or not. Fan-published “derivative works” are a tiny legal niche, but they’re not an entirely unimportant one. Maybe you’re a Gilmore Girls fan who’d love to see an index annotating and explaining the show’s dense web of cultural references, or a U2 fan working on a complete concordance to their lyrics, or a Spider-Man fan with an issue-by-issue chronology of his Marvel Comics-owned “life” on your website. This stuff is going to keep disappearing if the legal precedents keep following the Twin Peaks and Castle Rock path.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: With regard to Mr. Jennings’ statement that literary references are legitimate if “due care has been taken to rephrase them away from Rowling’s language”, note plaintiffs JKR/WB’s claim that the Lexicon book too frequently uses JKR‘s exact language. Exact testimony regarding such is available here in the trial transcripts).

Finally, author Neil Gaiman follows up on his post from the 19th regarding the trial and fair use with two additional entries:

On the 24th, Mr. Gaiman’s clarifies fair use for a reader of his blog with:

“As far as I can see it’s only about a couple of really grey areas of copyright law—I suspect, and I am SO not a lawyer, that it will come down to whether or not what Mr Vander Ark had done to Ms Rowling’s work in his Lexicon was sufficiently “transformative” as to render it a new work.”

He offers as an example:

“If someone did a website in which everything in Sandman is listed in alphabetical order, as a concordance or lexicon… whether or not I was going to do one doesn’t matter. Whether or not someone else is making money off my work and words and ideas doesn’t matter. Whether it’s a good lexicon or a bad lexicon doesn’t matter. Whether it quotes me extensively may or may not matter (how extensively I’m quoted is a matter of Fair Use, but paraphrase me and you are home and dry on that count). What matters is whether it sufficiently transforms what I’ve done into something else by taking those entries and putting them into alphabetical order. “

Today, Mr. Gaiman writes a follow up on copyright, in which he posts a letter sent to him by one of his readers, a lawyer who co-authored a paper on fair use for the Journal of the Copyright Society of the United States. Leaky readers may find the letter informative.

Thanks as always to our readers who have emailed or posted links to articles or editorials on the trial.

Complete Leaky trial coverage can be found here.

384 Responses to JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: Opinions

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Wow… that seemed unnecessarily harsh.

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I agree Justin the Mighty. Jo should win! She worked for SEVENTEEN YEARS on the HP series, when someone (SVA) just slammed her work altogether and decided ‘there’ and that he was ‘done’

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well, everybody has the right to have an opinion

i’m sorry to be rude to mr. card, but why do i sense, that he has been waiting for this time to come to jk rowling.. he sounds really bitter

my question: are these people experts on copyright laws etc?

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I agree with Justin the Mighty. Orson Scott Card has every right to express his opinion, but when he starts using terms like “evil witch”, even in his own blog, he sounds more like a grumpy old warlock (to use a phrase it seems Mr. Card would find appropriate) than an intelligent author of speculative fiction.

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Mr. Card’s comments were very harsh. I disagree with his predicted outcomes. JK Rowling has no problem with other books being written like the ones by John Granger so, obivously something is wrong with this book. She created this world so, it is her right to protect it.

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Any why do we care what these people think? I’m more interested in what the judge or a real copyright lawyer has to say. Not really interested in what some very bias people like this Card guy or that MSNBC people has to say.

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I have John Granger’s book. There were a couple mistakes I noticed. And ya, Hermione <3 there must be some stuff wrong with this one... I still think she should sue John Granger thought/

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OSC seems to be like the ANTI-JO.

The people who wrote his WIkipedia page either hate him, or he’s just evil and stupid (sorry, OSC. I gotta calls it like I sees it).

Love how the pic on his BLOG page is that of a handsome dashing young man (hot, even!) but he’s ACTUALLY much older and heavier. Why wouldn’t he be using an up-to-date pic? Talk about hypocracy.

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It seems to me that the real issue is if Steve plagiarizes Jo or if he is properly quoting her and “due care has been taken to rephrase them away from Rowling’s language.” We only have WB’s testimony to go by on this case so we don’t have a good idea what is going on. I think all the copyright talk confused me into thinking WB and Jo were claiming that the lexicon infringed on the copyright of the characters or something so I didn’t understand all the support they got but now that I know it’s a question of plagiarism vs fair use the issue is much clearer to me

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This is sad, because I quite like Orson Scott Card and would regard his opinion if he didn’t miss the point completely. I’d even respect his disagreement with Rowling if he exposed his thoughts coherently, but it was as if he was talking about something altogether different.

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The part that most of these people in the article seem to be missing is that there were little or no citations in the lexicon. It is one thing to create a book that gives a reference on the Harry Potter series, but you should cite your sources. We don’t get to get away with that in school, why would we get away with it in the real world. Using someone else’s words with out citation or permission is plagiarism pure and simple. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but they should make sure they have all the facts before they decide to malign someone’s character which is what I think Mr. Card has done. Unfortunately for him Harry Potter fans are dedicated enough to know every little bit that is said about Harry or Ms. Rowling.

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I like Orson Scott Card’s books, but frankly his opinion is ridiculous. I think most people who are speaking out against JKR have no concept of what the Lexicon actually is and how much of Rowling’s exact text it copies.

I was also deeply disappointed to see Newsweek brand JKR as a greedy elitist who made a poor, sad little librarian cry on the stand. Their facts were inaccurate and it’s shameful that a magazine I had some respect for would jump on the “let’s-all-bash-the-wealthy-person” bandwagon.

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Those authors don’t know what they are talking about. Have they ever had somebody take their work word-for-word and publish it for profit? Are they even fans of Harry Potter? Maybe they are down-playing HP so they can make more money for their books…

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Card is a mediocre writer with a suspicious obsession with homosexuality. Where he needs to go with his bitter little diatribes is not his blog, but a skilled physician.

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Um, Ken Jennings? Why exactly is anyone interested in hearing the opinion of an old Jeopardy contestant from like, what, 3 or 4 years ago? Is Mr. Jennings a lawyer as well? I’m not being sarcastic, I’m actually asking.

I rather hope he is a lawyer, because then it would help me understand why anyone is dying to know what he, of all people, thinks about this trial. Otherwise, I’m going to start thinking that we’ll be hearing from the latest contestant on The Price Is Right next (“Come oooooon down!!!”)

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Although I love Mr. Cards work i don’t agree with his opinions .

I would think he would be sympathetic towards Ms.Rowling,

But I will never judge an author by the books they write.

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It should come as no surprise that Orson is a homophobe. Indeed, I sense a sexist backlash to this whole case. It is disgusting how many negative comments directed toward JKR refer to her gender.

BTW, either Jennings is a collector of rare editions or he’s stretching the truth. He was born in 1974. That year The Guide to Middle-Earth was published in an official Ballantine edition. And the Star Trek Concordance was published by a mainstream press in 1976, copyright Paramount Pictures & Bjo Trimble.

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Where’s Card’s blog? I want to leave him a nasty comment so I can get banned. I consider being banned from such a man’s website a high honor.

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darn i love that jeopardy guy too bad

and whoever the hell YOU are mr. card, get your facts right

thats about half their case, the fact that it isn’t cited well.

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I responded in the comments to Card’s blog with the following. I’m posting it here and in the forum for posterity’s sake as it very well not be accepted by his staff:

“1. Publication of Lexicon will go on without any problem or prejudice, because it clearly falls within the copyright law’s provision for scholarly work, commentary and review.”

It does, does it? Have you read it? It’s available in court documents to do so (see SVA’s declaration, it’s an attachment). I haven’t read all of it (don’t have the patience or time), but I’ve read bits and pieces. As a person who knows the HP universe very well, I can tell you that it is not transformative at all. I can think of many ways to rephrase and elaborate further on things. An example of this would be the entry on Death (which JKR pointed out herself). In the Lexicon it is nothing more than mentioned as a character in the story of the three brothers who met death on a bridge and took three things belonging to him, called the deathly hallows in legend. This would be a prime opportunity to discuss the numerous ways that different characters approach death, from Voldemort who flees it, to Dumbledore who sees it as an adventure to Harry who meets it head on in sacrifice. But, nope, there’s none of that in the book.

As a reference guide, it also fails. Not even the defense’s own lawyer knew what was meant by the citation (HBP10), which means Half Blood Prince, Chapter 10. There’s no page numbers. Why? A more thorough approach would be to have a page number for each time, for example, acromantualas are mentioned in the books. Again, there’s none of that. Not even all terms that should have their origins explained, have that. There’s no sense to it at all. This is just barely touching the surface of the inadequacies of this book.

“2. Rowling will be forced to pay Steven Vander Ark’s legal fees, since her suit was utterly without merit from the start.”

I’m not sure I follow. You do know that SVA is not named in the suit and that he’s merely a witness, do you not? He was in no way forced to acquire legal counsel, he just thought it would be a good idea. Also, the defense’s lawyers are with the Fair Use Project from Stanford and are doing this pro-bono. So, RDR are paying nothing for this case.

“3. People who hear about this suit will have a sour taste in their mouth about Rowling from now on. Her Cinderella story once charmed us. Her greedy evil-witch behavior now disgusts us. And her next book will be perceived as the work of that evil witch.”

Really, is all this ad hominem necessary? It’s rather childish, don’t you think? If she was a poor author who was protecting her rights, you wouldn’t say a darn thing about it. If you did, you’d probably support her. Just because she has money, does not mean she cannot protect her copyright. You fail to realize that numerous companion books have been published under fair use and with her permission. She allows fan fiction, fan art, and wizard rock, with no problem whatsoever. The profits from her encyclopedia will go to charity. Eighty percent of her last charity books’ profits went to Comic Relief. I imagine it will be about the same percentage for the encyclopedia.

“Litterateurs sneer at her work as a kind of subliterature, not really worth discussing.”

Yes, that’s why Harry Potter conferences are considered work-enhancing seminars for teachers and more and more universities are offering literature courses that use HP as a basis.

Perhaps only bitter authors like you are doing the sneering because you’re envious. You’re so upset that a “children’s book series” gets more attention and acclaim than your books that you lash out at the author in a vain attempt to help you look down on her. How about you instead concentrate on writing your own stuff. I’m not saying something has to be successful to be good. I know very well that the opposite is often true when it comes to literature. But, then Shakespeare’s plays were incredibly popular and incredibly good and have stood the test of time.

She hasn’t done anything to you. All she has done is write her books, been good to her fans, and protected her right to her work in an effort to protect her fans and authors who can’t afford to protect their rights like she can.

Also, as for the material being on the website, the site also has essays, which considerably ups the ante of fair use. Why couldn’t they be published? They’d no doubt be considered fair use. Fans can access the website for free. That’s not so with the Lexicon book.

Anyway, all this information about the case is available to the public. I suggest you read it before you decide to give your opinion on it. Looks like you fell for the media’s propaganda. “Rowling sues fan”? No. One look at the lawsuit says that RDR is the defendant and not SVA.

And if you’re going to make fun of Jo for crying, play fair and do the same for SVA. Or don’t do it at all. It’s your choice of whether you want to seem like an ass or not.

I doubt this will be allowed through by your staff. I’ll be surprised if it is.

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Posted by mollwobbles23 on April 25, 2008 @ 11:40 PM

I am very proud to be the first to commend you, Mollywobbles.

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i’m suprised by all the negativity towards Jo about this. and the fact that people are being sexist makes no sense either. is it just because she’s a girl she can’t keep someone else from making money off of what she’s spent her life on for almost 20 years? i support Jo.

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mollywobbles23, I want to be you when I grow up.

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I’d just like to say that while I found Card’s uninformed opinions and his oafish means of expressing them dismaying, and the importance of Ken Jennings’ equally uninformed opinions inexplicable (who is this guy, and why should we care what he thinks?) it does my black little heart good to see that everyone who has posted in the comments here so far does, in fact, know what they are talking about, rather than taking OSC’s word for it. Thank you guys for restoring a little bit of my (admittedly meager) faith in fandom.

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A part of me died when I read Orson Scott Card’s insults to our beloved Jo. I read his Ender series in the weeks before DH. I bought The Great Snape Debate largely because of his contribution. I listened to SnapeCast interview him on the way to the release party. Basically, he has been linked with Potter, for me and especially with the Potter summer. To hear him so brutally and hatefully tear Jo down wounded me. More than that, his disloyalty-cruelty, even-”disgusts” me. I won’t be able to read his books again for a very long time, if ever.

This case sure seems to be revealing the best and worst in people. Unfortunately for Card, or rather, for me and fans like me, his grotesque side has been shown. I’ve lost all respect for him. No one calls Jo an “evil witch” and earns me as a fan. End of story.

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Orson, Orson, Orson – It’s more complicated than that. Get yo’ facts before you go around calling her a “greedy evil witch” based on the information you read one morning off of AOL.

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It’s kind of unreasonable to judge the Lexicon if we haven’t even read it yet.

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More than that, his disloyalty-cruelty, even-”disgusts” me.

Yes, that’s what I find so repugnant about his comments as well. I have no problem with people disagreeing with Jo’s actions and saying so (though I myself fully agree with and support her, make no mistake), but the way Orson Scott Card expressed himself was cruel, and very mean-spirited.

I haven’t read any of his Ender books, so I have no opinion of him as an author. But reading his little rant has left me with a very low opinion of him as a person. His remarks reveal him to be childish, petulant, petty, and yes, very very bitter. Oh, and “evil witch”? Really, Mr. Card, how old are you?

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@ Owen

Actually, a lot of people HAVE read it, or read most of it. The whole manuscript is online now, on Justia.com, I believe.

I haven’t read the whole thing myself, but I’ve read enough bits and pieces of it to make me strongly agree with JKR/WB’s assessment that it infringes on their copyright.

So no, we’re not being so unreasonable as you might think. ;)

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Ken Jennings holds the record for the most Jepardy wins (74) with winnings of more that $2 million. As Jepardy is a game show for brainiacs, he is sort of the quintessential brainiac. I’ve seen a few interviews with him and he seems to be a pretty nice guy.

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kelly Krels:

I don’t believe anyone is calling Orson Scott Card a Harry Potter hater. I believe they’re calling him a bitter, misinformed ass. Which he is. Just read his comments.

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Card contributed to The Great Snape Debate? Oh man! I wish I had remembered that before I wrote that comment!

“i’m suprised by all the negativity towards Jo about this. and the fact that people are being sexist makes no sense either. is it just because she’s a girl she can’t keep someone else from making money off of what she’s spent her life on for almost 20 years? i support Jo.”

Posted by maryhappyface on April 25, 2008 @ 11:44 PM

I think you’ve hit on a very relevant point. If she was a man, he wouldn’t be calling the man “evil.” When woman stands up for herself in the business world, she’s a word that rhymes with “witch.” When a man does it, he’s dynamic and strong.

I guess I’ll read Jenning’s blog now. I’ve read the other two. I had take a break from the crazy.

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Marlena—You’re telling me that Card used to be such a fan of Harry Potter that he contributed to SnapeCast and The Great Snape Debate (I don’t know what those are, but it says something that he, a famous author, contributed to them)? And now suddenly we have him denouncing JKR as a greedy witch (because founding charities and donating to them is so greedy, isn’t it?). I find this highly suspicious. I believe that he is either a) engaging in a desperate publicity stunt, b) sore that Dumbledore is gay (Mr. Card is outspokenly anti-gay, and has gone so far as to state that homosexuality should be punishable by law), or c) simply jealous of JKR’s superior talent (this would explain his attempt to compare his trivial little tales to Harry Potter). Whatever the case, I find it impossible to believe that a mere copyright lawsuit could by itself move Card to make such venomous, misrepresentative comments about someone whom, as little as a year ago, he apparently quite liked.

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Although I may not agree with everything Card or Kennings said, I have to say I’m a little disappointed in some of the comments I’m reading here on Leaky. The negativity is very off putting. If you feel Card was out of line by calling JKR names then go ahead, express your opinion. (By the way I do think he was a little overzealous with the comparisons but anyone who has read his articles in the past will realize that’s just the way he writes.) But when you start calling him names in return and making over-generalized comments based on a quick google of his name, it doesn’t exactly make you seem much better than him. I’ve always viewed this website as a positive place but lately it’s just been a lot of name calling and whining. I love to read everyone’s opinions but I’m starting to get sick of the bashing. Just remember those two men have access to the same information as everyone else and they came to their own conclusions. They made some of the same fallacies many of the people here have made. I personally think that in this case there is no right or wrong. Both sides have many good points and I honestly wish that a compromise could be made. The only thing I see for sure is a lot of overly eager fans (and, I suppose, non-fans) of the books expressing a lot of polarized opinions without backing them up. When did leaky become a breeding ground for wannabe lawyers and angry fans, who a year ago were impatiently waiting for the last book? I want that leaky back and until this case is over and “resolved” I think I’ll get my HP fix somewhere else.

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I have only one thing to say:

Orson Scott Card who?

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@ Cam: Nope, sorry, I’m not going to feel bad for expressing my opinion of Mr. Card’s remarks. He has a right to his opinion, but I also have a right to be disgusted at the childish and vicious way he has chosen to express himself.

And as for Mr. Jennings, I don’t think anyone has insulted him except to say, “Ken Jennings? Who? The Jeopardy guy? And why exactly is a former game show contestant publicly weighing in on this?” I don’t call that bashing. I call it a valid question.

Good luck finding another place for your HP fix, though.

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Mr. Card continues to prove that his arrogance again gets in the way of rational thinking. Sadly, he believes himself to be the most righteous entity in the writing universe. His opinion makes it clear that he knows little about this case. He probably formed it from reading a report on CNN.

This really pains me as Enders Game is one of the greatest novels of all time.

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isnt it amazing how people open their mouths spitting out ignorance? They say ‘shame on Jo’ and state that she’s greedy and wrong to own her work. They make statements such as ‘its free if you quote’, while as noted, the whole issue (and they would have known this had they done the research) is that the book apparently does NOT quote.

At the same time, even if they say it’s fair and can win (and I hope not), it begets a whole host of problems. What right can it be said that music, and movies, are wholly copyrighted, yet books cannot? All are forms of art, and all need to be protected. One cannot discriminate. And if this is deemed fair in relation to books, when can we now see it for movies? Can we look forward to seeing duplicate movies of a subject, using the same lines?

If the current law says its okay to for Steve and RDR to do as they have, and they win, then I hope WB/Jo DO appeal, and make the effort to get the law changed. The law is outdated and in this technological age needs to be updated.

It takes a LONG time to work on art (be it novel, movie, music, etc) and it should not be discounted.

I vote for Jo.

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Ah, I read some of the other comments. This seems to be another midlist writer who’s letting his bitterness about Rowling’s success cloud his judgment.

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Once again Orson opens mouth and inserts foot. The proposed Lexicon book is NOT about commentary or analysation. The book is nothing more then a dictionary format of Jo’s work. Jo should have the RIGHT to make her own Encyclopedia first and when she wants to. She shouldn’t have to be forced to compete for her own works revelavance.

OSC seems to have a very bad habit of making judgement calls on things he knows very little about.

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It is so tiring to continually read the “fandom” dismissing the intricate dissection of JKR’s world of Harry Potter and then its alphabetical reassortment as nothing but “cut and paste,” which is an uninformed and lazy assessment of the Lexicon book. “Fair Use” under the law allows for a transformative use to be directed toward children – the Harry Potter books are ostensibly marketed as children’s literature, after all – and in such a case, alphabetizing an entire magical world could, in fact, be very transformative, whether you choose to accept that or not.

The “91% plagarism” line is uninformed as well, and a bit of a red herring. Anyone that has actually looked into “fair use” case study knows that the acceptible percentage of materials used in the infriging book refers to the percentage of the original material that is being copied – NOT the percentage of material contained in the infringing book. In other words, the law looks at the amount of Rowling’s material that appears in the Lexicon as compared to the total amount of material Rowling has produced that the Lexicon draws from, not the total number of infriging pages that the Lexicon contains. I’d think that a 400 page book would, by neccessity, contain a limited amount of copyrighted material from the thousands of Potter pages Rowling has published. While the fandom is free to accept the WB argument of “taking too much and doing too little,” there is another valid argument made on RDR’s behalf in their pre-trial filings that says that even 100% of the Lexicon could be infringing and still fall under fair use, if the work is transformative.

Generally speaking, for the “fandom” to speak en masse as if they are so much more intelligent and insightful than the legal minds behind the defense (and the judge, for that matter) in this case is embarrassing.

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“Due care has been taken to rephrase them away from Rowling’s language.”

To bring this statement into the Harry Potter world, if I may, what we need is a Ministry for the Historical Preservation of the Boy Who Lived, and a Minister that has deep connections into the Wizengamut. The bar should be set higher, I’m afraid, than what some of those who have commented, as noted in this article, seem to maintain. There just may be some things in life that don’t need to be transformed; there needs to be a Harry Potter historical district. And, although the gentleman lawyer that submitted a letter to Mr. Gaiman suggests such a thing as a “weak” copyright, does that apply to the case at hand, where the defendants are re-presenting copyrighted material and has yet to establish that there is an “original work” somewhere of his own to hold onto? That same letter suggests that creativity might be stifled, but again, I suggest that J. K. Rowling has covered that one too, and you, sir, are looking right at it; you are looking out at all of us. Creativity abounds, and we fans have yet to lock up the Harry Potter series into a brick and barred book depository, to charge for the storage of books on shelves, only to require another token for admission. We save those kinds of capitalist ideas for theme parks like “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!”

Without sounding obtuse, I have yet to see anyone believeably argue that any published material, beyond what J. K. Rowling has done, including already published materials, fall into a protected “scholarly” category. Not being obtuse as it sounds, I know that those things are out there, or could be out there, however, it is hard to imagine something like that when one takes time to realize that the “academic” material is stemming from a work of fiction as colorful as “Dobby wearing knitted clothes.” One could go back in time, like I did this week, while watching a History Channel program about the Philosopher’s Stone (and Harry Potter), and find that Nicolas Flamel was a storied French alchemist. Yet, on the other hand, it is alphabetized in the Lexicon, under “F,” where one finds the Lexicon “said that” J. K. Rowling “said that” Nicolas Flamel lived in France and was supposed to have discovered something. Did Harry Potter culminate from literary works about Nicolas Flamel? Or are the character’s Harry, Ron, and Hermione trademarkable, as suggested within Neil Gaiman’s blog? Oh, the confusion, until one proposes something such as this: What if J. K. Rowling’s work on Harry Potter is actually her own scholarly work based upon an assortment of historical and literary “items,” the very purpose of which is to make all of those things digestible to all readers alike? In that case the actual documented history about Nicolas Flamel was very interesting to hear about, and J. K. Rowling’s perspective was “creative” and “transformative.” I wonder if Mr. Flamel, may he rest in peace, would Google through the Lexicon to find things that are written under “F.”

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I wish Jo and Steve could settle out of court and collaborate on a really great HP lexicon… that would really be something. This being said… poor Steve is just an enthusiastic HP fan like us… I’m sure RDR is actually the one on whom we should be placing any blame.

I’m sick of this. Why does something so good have to be the center of such nastiness? I’ll be back one day.

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And generally speaking, for the “SVA supporters” to speak en masse as if they are so much more intelligent and insightful than the legal minds behind the prosecution (and the judge, for that matter) in this case is embarrassing.

SVA may have put a lot of time and effort into alphabetizing Jo’s work, but it does not make his book transformative, whether you choose to accept that or not.

(It’s annoying when someone paraphrases you, isn’t it?)

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Ken Jennings says: “crummy $10,000 advance” and crosses it out. Um, what? That’s really, really good for an unknown with a manuscript that has a very small market (HP is huge, but companion books are not). Wasn’t Jo’s advance from Bloomsbury 3,000 pounds? That’s about $6,000 today. She had worked on it for seven years. SVA had worked on the manuscript for two weeks. I don’t include work on the website in this as even Steve says that the book is of lesser quality.

I think I may have to blog about this whole mess. My poor f-list who hasn’t been following this case at all or not as much as me…. If I do, I’ll link it here and refer people to the forums here and the documents and Leaky’s archive of articles on it.

I am getting so fed up with people constantly pointing out Jo crying, but not saying a word about SVA doing so. So, her crying is just an act and his is heartfelt? What? I thinnk they were both sincere. I’d cry too. I’m a crier anyway (I cry at Hallmark commercials for goodness’s sakes).

I need blood pressure medication just to read Jenning’s blahg (intentional).

As for us here at Leaky being angry at SVA, apparently he hasn’t read that deeply or he’d have realized how much we feel betrayed by him as well and how much he has lied. There’s not a comment place either. Maybe he’ll read this since his name is in the article:

Mr. Jennings,

For me, and I’m sure for others here, the reason we are so angry with Steve goes far beyond him trying to publish this book. He lied to us and talked about the fandom as if he knew what was best for us. We feel just as betrayed by him as Jo does. Most of us here who are on Jo’s side have read about all the events that lead up to the lawsuit and how RDR evaded. Why? Because he knew what he was doing was wrong and illegal, probably. He got lucky that the people at Stanford with the Fair Use Project stepped in to further their own agenda. We have read court documents. Some of us have already read the manuscript as well. We’ve read or are reading the court transcripts. We had three people present at the trial for all three days, while most media outlets got out of there as soon as Jo had finished her testimony.

I agree that people should be able to talk about art. SVA doesn’t talk about Harry Potter. He restates it. That’s all. There’s little to no commentary and no anaylsis. The citation system is very poor and confusing. In short, it’s not fair use.

Sincerely, Katie

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Posted by Cam: “Just remember those two men have access to the same information as everyone else and they came to their own conclusions. “

Yes, they have access to it, but by reading some of their comments, they obviously havent looked. You cant have read any part of the LexiBook and then call it a critical/analytical/critique book. There’s nothing critical or analytical in it.

Posted by Cam: “When did leaky become a breeding ground for wannabe lawyers and angry fans, who a year ago were impatiently waiting for the last book?”

Um… about the time that SVA tried to turn his online lexicon into a money generator by publishing. You’ve got to expect it in this case. JKR is LOVED by those of us who enjoy her world (especially those of us who enjoyed her world enough to spend time online on sites like Leaky). You’ve got to expect most fans to side with Jo on an argument like this.

Here’s part of my problem with the whole thing. SVA knew ahead of time that publishing the LexiBook would infringe copyright, as evidenced by emails shown in court. He changed his mind for some reason (perhaps RDR pushed him, who knows). BUT… he was still so worried about it that he had it written into his contract that RDR would take the heat if JKR/WB sued.

If he had that much forethought about the problems the book would encounter, and if he really were a true fan of the author and the books (God, I hate that phrase “true fan”, but it fits), shouldnt he have instead insisted on stating in that contract that if JKR/WB objected legally to the book (ie: C&D letters (which they sent many) or lawsuits) that the book itself should be shelved???? Seems he was more worried about his own neck then the fandom/community that he now cries over being less then welcome in.

My opinion: SVA became so caught up in his “place” in the fandom that it soon became not enough. I think he had a bit of a “rock star” mentality in the fandom, and it went to his head. Being part of the fandom wasnt enough, he thought he deserved to be part of the phenomenon. sorry, Steve, it doesnt work like that.

ps: I highly recommend that you follow that link above to the site of the person who blogged about transformative work. it’s very interesting. Go down to the part labeled “The concept of “transformative” works as applicable to the “Harry Potter” works. Very interesting.

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I’m glad to see some people swinging out in favor of the Lexicon. I like JKR as much as the next HP fan, but based on my experience dealing with other “fair use” issues (which closely parallel this case), JKR doesn’t have a case.

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I. Want. Some. HBP. Movie. Pics. :D

I know the trial is important, and I’ve been following it as obsessively as the next person. And I do have some substantive opinions on the topic, believe it or not.

But this fandom really needs something new to talk about. Something good and exciting. Something that we can be happy about.

We need some official HBP pics.

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Opinions are like noses, everybody has one. However none of the quoted people are lawyers (nor am I, nor I suppose most of the people commenting here) and none of them are the Judge, whose opinion is the only one that counts at this juncture.

I have read about 75% of the trial transcript (thank you so much for posting it Leaky!!) and I would have to add my lay-opinion on the side of Jo and WB. It seems to me that the RDR side has many small points that they are using for their case (pre-trial they even tried to make it a First Amendment issue, which it is NOT). While the JKR WB side has one big point: The Lexicon does not do enough transformative work to Jo’s canon (which is the correct spelling BTW) to make it Steve’s own work. I think that’s the base of the case and all the bloggers who want to see Jo and her success taken down a bit all sound like envy more than anything else.

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um… i love the Ender series, but Mr. Card is in the wrong here. He has obviously not taken the time to properly familiarize himself with the case and realize that ~90% was directly taken from Jo’s work, and mostly without quotations and proper references. This ticks me off, because its clear that the people who are commenting and making a lot of noise about the case have not read the transcripts, HP books, and the Lexicon. Jo is not saying people can’t analyze her work… look at just how many companion books are out there that she is not suing… she is saying that you cant lift what she spent 17 years to create.

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I’m with you all the way, English Ivy. I am desperate for happy news. I want Rupert to release pics like Emma and Dan did at least. Just think: hopefully we’ll have the trailer on May 16th.

I want Ron/Hermione/Lavender promo pics and one for Harry/Ginny/Dean. Two love triangles is a perfect marketing opportunity. I want a teaser poster too.

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Ok i think what these people are saying is wrong, i mean mr card insulting jk like he did, she spent 17 years with these charcthers and mentioend that she would have an encylopedia to tie up the ends.

as far What “The Great Snape Debate” it was a harry potter unauthorized guide to the books that merited the pros for snape being good and the pros for snape being bad, and it was informative and also though here is an importan part is that even though it was unauthorized when it brought up passages from the books it gave you the page.

I mean the people who want to take shots at jk, should realize that when she started this she was dirt broke, barely got an advance and had many publishing houses pass on the series because it was a children’s book series and the first run had of the first book had about what 500,000 first prints as they had no idea how the series would go

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The Great Snape Debate is one of the best companion books I have for any of my fandoms. I think the best companion books I have are the four Buffy books that contain stories about previous slayers.

It not only cites correctly, but it uses quotes to support analytical arguments and commentary. It’s very transformative.

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Who’s this Orson Scott Card when he’s at home?

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Mr. Card’s blog disgusts me, and I left him a not-very-subtle comment telling him so. What a complete moron. Some of the things he says about JKR just make me want to smack him in the face, hard. He makes such ridiculous assumptions, like “JKR just said Dumbledore was gay for attention, duh, and she has no heart, LYK lol!” What a #%#%#. Obviously if he had done any research, he would have noticed that she released this info while answering a fan’s question. Dumbledore’s sexuality had no place in the books, because no one sees Dumbledore as a sexual being at all, so he has no right to say that she was a coward for not putting it in there. I bet he hasn’t even read the HP books. Ignorant morons like this guy make me want to vomit.

I get the feeling these people haven’t researched the case at all. Anyone can argue a convincing point to people who have no information about the subject. You can’t convince us, you ignorant berks.

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While I understand the need to report on Harry Potter news, I am getting quite over coming to Leaky only finding story after story on the court case. It really seems to be consuming everything about this site over the past month or so. And while it is related to Harry Potter, it really, in my opinion, has been getting covered far more than it should be. I get frustrated seeing so many articles on this one story, and not enough on “general” Potter news.

I appreciate the time and effort that goes into Leaky, and commend the creators of this site, but could they perhaps just “drop” this issue, or at the very least tone it down to a weekly segment?

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“This really pains me as Enders Game is one of the greatest novels of all time.”

This is EXACTLY how I felt when reading that Orson Scott Card, of all people, has “gone negative” and denounced JKR in such a nasty, mean-spirited and woefully uninformed manner. This author’s not a slouch or a hack; he’s one of the greatly-recognized science fiction authors of the age, along with Isaac Asimov, Harlan Elison, Ursula K. Le Guin, and other notable greats. I imagine he’s earned a comfortable share of profit from his books, too, and would be just as vigilant in protecting his copyrights if his works were “stolen” as blatantly as Ms. Rowling has been.

I read his entry (more like scanned; reading his words felt like trying to see through a botched Lasik surgery procedure—endlessly painful!!) and just could not believe that these hateful words were coming from such a (formerly) respected author. It truly made me sick.

While I won’t deliberately run from his books in the future, my opinion of him as a person has just gone down about 75%. Needless to say, I totally disagree with his caustic assessment.

As for Mr. Ken Jennings, the highly-overrated Jeopardy champion, and HIS opinions on the case, I have this answer for him: “These four letters are used in ‘Netspeak’ to cloak an expletive along with a command toward the subject to be silent.” What is the question? If you know it, please do it!!

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I would like to echo an earlier sentiment of wanting to vomit.

I don’t care who’s side you are on. Steve’s, Jo’s, Santa Claus’s… the bottom line is, you don’t have to be a jerk about it when you are expressing your opinion. It doesn’t make people want to agree with you. Even if they DO agree with your over all argument, it strays people away from saying they are “with you” if only for the fact that you were so harsh towards the other side. Yelling rude comments at each other doesn’t win arguments. If it did Presidential debates would be a lot more interesting.

While from the moment I read the LexiBook’s pages I was on Jo’s side (I mean come on, I don’t even have my HP books with me in this State, in fact they are on the other side of the country than I am and yet I knew those were her words) I’ve never felt the need to be as harsh as the individuals who are being printed for all the world to see, and who are supposed to be respected.

I’m currently trudging through the transcripts of the trial (I’m about 1/2 way through day 2…)and its only become more clearer to me that if anything Steve has no defense while Jo is just damn lucky she’s with WB (would you want to be up against a WB lawyer? Cause they scare me). Every time RDR said he didn’t do something it seemed as though the WB lawyer could be like …ah ha! but look at this proof that I have with your signature on it! Do you not remember this?! To me… well that’s just being a killer lawyer. But it’s also a really good case.

It makes me sick to think that “respected” authors and individuals like Ken Jennings who many take as “one of the smartest men there are” (though I’m pretty darn good at Jeopardy! and I’m 21 so…) are still so cruel and ignorant about things.

If you’re going to write an opinion piece about a high profile case. That’s cool with me. But do the readers a favor and get all the facts before rushing to your computer and typing out words like “evil-witch”. Cause the internet is a powerful tool. And once it’s out there—- it will come back to bite you. Hard.

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...Did any of these people even read the details of the case? Cause this makes JK out as greedy AGAIN, and.. ugh. Forget it. rolls eyes

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Christopher Schiller (guy whose email is on Neil Gaiman’s blog) has interesting post discussing what makes a work “transformative”.


”... The question of transformative works is whether a truly derivative work—one that actually uses an original work as a basis for a new work—has transcended the influence of the original and established a presence and importance all its own, nearly independent of the original work. ,,, It becomes a truly independent work in the minds of the public.

”,,, Therefore it will be interesting to see how “transformative” the new book would be. My suspicion is that the buyers of such a book would be buying them with the intent to get a “Harry Potter” related tome which doesn’t bode well for the defendant.”

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oi temper temper Mr.card and im sorry your wromng Jo is in the right here and has already won the battle inthe court of public opinion. I love Ender’s game but i dun the suthor’s atitude. at this point SVA has so alienated the majority of HP fans he will sell very few copies if he does get to publish which he should not

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I just love how people who are well known think they are at liberty to give their views on things it’s likely they didn’t even research. All they said was that the Lexicon is ok as long as it does it’s cited properly and gives credit to Jo. Obviously, they couldn’t have researched this at all because the whole point of the case is that SVA/RDR didn’t do what they needed to in fairly publishing the Lexicon.

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I will NEVER ever read any of orson scott card’s books after he said that about Jo. He’s dead in my book. This trial makes me so angry sometimes. :[

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i just went in to my brother’s room to ask if i could rip up his orson scott card books. He said no lol.

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You never heard about his books? Well, that´s not too important, I assume.

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Go JO! how dare these stupid people be so horrible!!!! I have made a top which i wear non stop(i wash it over night don’t worry!) which says ’ SUPPORT J.K.ROWLING the real H.P. author’! I’m glad neil gaiman seeems to be on her side! xxx

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@ibelieveinnargles and FreyaStorm

There is being a supportive fan and then there is being a fanatic. Fanatics give the HP fandom a really bad name. Just saying.

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Mollywobbles23 I just wanted to say I really respected your reply to OSC (don’t even want to say his full name) and his nasty rant. You did a great job pointing out where he was wrong in facts or over the line without descending to his horrible level. Well done. I agreed with you 100%.

I am still with Jo on this. The book simply is not transformative enough to stand and it makes me really sad that people don’t seem to see that and go for the hateful comments instead. It is a sad day when a person cannot even protect their work and draws nasty condemnation from those who have not looked at the facts. Jo does not sue every book coming out, just this one. She is right. It does not stand.

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Leaky I know this is news (sort of), but it literally made me feel sick to skim just the little bit I did. In the future if you are going to post something like this, can you make sure non of the neg comments are “before the cut.” I’d rather have remained ignorant.

Although to be honest, as far as I’m concerned this is no more valid than any other random blogger’s opinion. And far stupider than most.

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Just sayin’-Card’s a militant homophobe (yes, Orson. You are) and his words about a woman who ‘outed’ the sexuality of a popular character are to be taken with a grain of salt. Just nod and smile and recognize it for what it is-like I do with the Chinese who try to talk about Tibet. :P

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Try again with no strikeouts. ....Just sayin’…Card’s a militant homophobe (yes, Orson. You are) and his words about a woman who ‘outed’ the sexuality of a popular character are to be taken with a grain of salt. Just nod and smile and recognize it for what it is…like I do with the Chinese who try to talk about Tibet. :P

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There’s a really excellent definition of ‘transformative’ work in a link at the bottom of the copyright lawyer’s letter in the Neil Gaiman blog.

Regarding the copyright lawyer’s letter, my first thought was, never mind how much Neil Gaiman quotes from other work such as Kipling, his work is imaginative and original in its own right, so it’s just not the same thing as doing an A-Z index. So I think the argument in the letter is irrelevant to JKs case. The link at the end of the letter includes a definition of ‘transformative’ (as distinct from ‘derivative’): something that takes on an identity independent of the original from which it was derived. The example given is the Andy Warhol ‘Marilyn’ image. I’m glad someone has defined it in this way because that’s how I understand it.

IMHO (I’m not a lawyer though, but I am an academic), academic work such as critical analysis is something completely different from Transformative work because it’s scholarship and not artistic creation. So for me the Transformative argument shouldn’t even apply. But I’m not a lawyer, maybe it counts as the same thing in American law. I just don’t see it as the same thing, so I just can’t see HPL as transformative/creative work at all. Not to mention that I don’t even see it as academic scholarship either! I think it’s purely derivative.

I agree with the thoughts on NG blog that he or someone else? wrote, to the effect that a purely derivative work like HPL should get the author’s permission.

I’m not sure that the copyright lawyer’s letter was talking about HP or another case but anyway the references in it I found irrelevant. Shakespeare and King James bible were written 16th century and early 17th centuries, long before copyright law was even a glint in the milkman’s eye (it was born in 1710). JK Rowling is a living and still writing author so I don’t see why people keep bringing up long dead writers in their arguments! The idea of copyright to protect publishers (with the knock on effect of protecting and profiting the writers) was born because the spread of the printing press had begun to result in the widespread plundering of texts by pirate printers, sometimes even in the same year as publication of the original, which undercut the original creators and discouraged further creative work. So copyright in itself (even ignoring Fair Use) is not about stifling creativity at all, but it is about preventing pirates from stifling further creativity.

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I’m a big fan of the HP books, but I must say I agree a bit with Card. I wouldn’t go as far as him to call Rowling an evil witch, but hypocritic, yes definitely! If I’m not mistaken, it was Vander Ark that made the HP-time line on his HP-lexicon and it was JK Rowling herself that thought it was a perfect timeline, however she never planned to put some dates in her books, he did a great job. That same timeline is used by WB on the DVD’s as an extra feature. So now is my question: who is the one that makes the mistakes?

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“If I’m not mistaken, it was Vander Ark that made the HP-time line on his HP-lexicon and it was JK Rowling herself that thought it was a perfect timeline, however she never planned to put some dates in her books, he did a great job.”

Yes but her books are fiction, you don’t put exact dates in fiction, that would be completely anal and spoil their flow! Unless your fiction was in the form of a diary like ‘Dracula’.

You would put it in an encyclopedia though. I’d think it’d be pretty important. The question is, as JK created the fiction on which the timeline was built, when she does her own encyclopedia, doesn’t she have the right to include a timeline of her own? I’m not sure that WB had the right to use SVAs timeline, but has it been proven that they did copy it as opposed to creating their own? I don’t know because I’ve never seen either of them. Obviously if SVAs timeline was pretty accurate from the start then another timeline will look similar but that doesn’t prove it’s a copy, unless it was identical wording. It’s be like creating a timeline of some period in history; the end results of different people’s efforts will be largely the same, but phrased slightly differently and some more detailed than others.

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Everyone has a right to voice their opinion. Damn democracy. This really should be restricted to only Jo supporters having this right…

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I’m puzzled, why does TLC even bother to give homophobic creeps like OSC space on their front page?

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Thanks again to the Leaky Team for covering those comments on the case in trial. I am glad you do so.

In terms of Jungian psychology, JKR and SVA could be seen as pretty well matched, an animus driven woman vs an anima fixated man (no wonder they’ve got themselves entangled in a legal procedure).

Aside from Jungian psychology, intellectual property is an issue big corporations are pursuing strategically. Otoh, authors and journos, well: writers, will be sensitive about anything related to free speech – they have to be. And fair use relies on free speech, as for instance the admiringly never tiring Elizabeth pointed out to the legally more experienced as well as to the legally less experienced here. To put in a cautious way, WB should have expected that, when giving JKR a prominent place in their procedural tactics (a place she took), at least some of their performance before court would backfire not on them but on JKR (no, I must not indulge in remarks about senior tutor Johnson and her expert opinion).

Although JKR said she had nothing with censorship in mind, well, some in the audience would or could not take her by those very words. What she said about “then we don’t own our work any more” (sorry, don’t remember the exact wording), sounded incredibly pompous and condescending; that sentence in the pluralis majestatis seemed more suitable to a speech before the House of Lords than in a Manhattan courthouse. Alas ‘t was a Manhattan courthouse, and so, her peer audience have been all the other famous and infamous (sic!) writers wanting to have their say as well. Simply because it is their job.

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I forgot to point out that with a timeline from history, noone owns the history itself so it’s a free for all, facts are in ‘public domain’. The HPL timeline is still based on a creative work that is owned by someone else and isn’t in the public domain. Although IMO the timeline is one of the more original bits of SVAs work and if it is true that WB took it then they were being cheeky. On the other hand, doesn’t SVA acknowledge WB as copyright owners on his website?? I can’t remember…

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Card’s vitriol has little to do with the court case or the legalities of copyright as he got practically all of those wrong. (He doesn’t even know who the defendant is, for goodness sake!) He has used this case deceitfully, to launch a vicious attack on JKR’s character. He has neither right nor reason to do this, and frankly, it makes him sound like a deranged mysoginist with a hang up about money.

For a man who claims to care about morality, he surely displays a complete lack of it in his shameful public vilification of JKR. Personally, I think he should withdraw his scandalous statements and issue a profound public apology to her, beg her forgiveness and offer 10% of all his worldy wealth to a charity of her choosing to show his contrition

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sorry, my post of 6.10 am should have followed immediately on from me previous one a few posts before. It doesn’t make sense otherwise!

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Steve Vander Ark must be very proud to be a devoted fan of Jo. Apart from lovingly publishing a book against her wishes, he now has great intellectuals speaking highly of Jo, honouring her with flowering descriptives such as Evil Witch and Thick with Hyprocracy. Wonderful. I salute you SVA, biggest fan of Jo. Can I have your autograph?

I think my dog has more intellect than this Orson whatshisname. Actually, I dont have a dog. In fact, I dont even have a goldfish. Mum, can I have a dog?

Boy, my sarcasm is on riot today, sorry folks. The 2nd paragraph had put me in a bad mood…

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Steve Vander Ark must be very proud to be a devoted fan of Jo. Apart from lovingly publishing a book against her wishes, he now has great intellectuals speaking highly of Jo, honouring her with flowering descriptives such as Evil Witch and Thick with Hyprocracy. Wonderful. I salute you SVA, biggest fan of Jo. Can I have your autograph?

I think my dog has more intellect than this Orson whatshisname. Actually, I dont have a dog. In fact, I dont even have a goldfish. Mum, can I have a dog?

Boy, my sarcasm is on riot today, sorry folks. The 2nd paragraph of the article had put me in a bad mood…

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OMG! How Mr. Orson can even say something like that about Jo!? He pissed me off! I agree that HP lexicon cant do any harm but if Jo doesn’t want it and she’s writing her own lexicon then people should support her. I’m with her!

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Mr. Card needs to get his nose out of her butt… sorry if that sounds a bit much, but honestly, he is so smug that he must like the smell of his own gas. this is A.S. bryantt, a author who has not come anywhere close to the sucess of even the first harry potter book on its own, nor has she won nearly as many awards as jo, attacking jo claiming her books are stupid and vapid and lack depth. oddly enough, thats one of the things leading critics state the harry potter books are filled with, but they rarely say the same about bryantt’s books.

there are so many writers who are so clearly jealous of writers who create phenomenom. it is a achivement to sell 1mil books, but it is a amazing achivement to sell 400mil books in ten years, and that those not happen unless the books are good enough to sell that many.

mr. card has no understanding of the case, and even worse, his attacks on jo contradict the court evidence.

his attacks were almost as bad as antony falzone’s attacks on jo stating she was demanding something of the court that no court has ever given, which is a lie, because mrs. cendelli and her team brought forward like 5+ cases to prove him wrong, cases which set precedence to support author rights, and are legally recored cases.

I respect neil gaiman, he states that he is not a lawyer, and he is commenting on what he feels. he isent pushing it downs readers throats saying he is right and they are wrong if they disagree. I would be curious to know what he says if he read through the lexicon, which is public due to being filed as a attachment to filing 52 on justia.

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His article intrigued me so I just spent a very long time reading the legal transcripts. I’m not a lawyer but I think that JKR and the other plantifs have a case.

At least if logic is used. (I know were are talking about US law here LOL).

I write fan fiction and I have written published orrigional works also. I am very aware of copyright. and I am just a very tiny minnow in a huge Universal sea.


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Well to Mr Scott Orson Card (who I have never heard of by the way. He should really learn to sut his mouth. He’s clearly jealous by the sucess of Mrs Rowling and the phenonemon that his Harry Potter. What annoys me the most is that the author of this Lexicon who is clerly a Harry Potter fanatic is trying to beak J.K. Any other fan would clearly step aside and let Ms Rowling publish her own book of termonology and would anticipate its arrival eagerly.

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That’s right, anyone who disagrees with Jo is just jealous! Jo is right! Jo is always right! Praise Jo! Anything Jo wants she should get, because she’s Jo. We should fall down on our knees every night and thank God we have been permitted to read Jo’s works. God should be thanking Jo himself for putting these perfect books on the earth for we low, unworthy people to read. If Jo asked me to shoot myself in the head, I would do it. Because everyone must always do what Jo wants.

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Mr. Card’s statement is simply too harsh. To condemn Rowling for the act of suing ‘RDR Books’ is one thing, but to call her an “evil witch” is an utterly different thing.

Rowling has said she has no problem, whatsoever, with books criticizing and giving commentary on the Harry Potter series. She has a particular problem, however, with this specific book.

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1 The world of Harry Potter it’s her world and she needs to protect it. It really took a whole lot of time and consuming effort to make it.

2 “Jo” had already mentioned some time ago that she would make one herself.

3 She should had been respected in this matter and left to at least do hers first.

She should just go ahead and let everyone know that she is still making hers and the faithfull fans will wait for hers with passion and love of Harry and respect for her.

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I just hate how all of these people don’t know what they’re talking about, at all.

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This is really sad, how much bad press Jo is getting, even from her fellow author’s like Card.

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As i have it drummed into me every day at uni “you MUST CITE your source properly! If this is NOT done it is plagiarism! If this is not done your work will not be counted and you maybe removed from the university altogether.” (various lecturers). Surely this applys here too? A question, for i have missed the answer else where, why if it is all on the web avalible to anyone and everyone, does SVA want to make a hard copy of it to sell? or am i missing what the content of the book is?

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To English Ivy:

Well, dear, no one knows who you are at all, so why is anyone interested in hearing YOUR opinion? It’s called free speech.

And unless your a hypocrite, if you support JKR then you had better avoid ever using Cliff’s Notes.

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“Nothing prevents her from doing exactly that – annotating and explaining her own novels”

The problem is, Mr. Card, is that the HP Lexicon is NOT Harry Potter Annotated, Analyzed, or anything of that variation. Its Harry Potter Rearranged. Why don’t people check the facts before speaking out against Jo? How many of these ani-Jo crusaders have actually seen the Lexicon site???

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Rock Golf—Cliff notes (as well as Spark Notes) have a little section after each summary called “Commentary”. That is the little crucial thing lacking in Steve’s book that makes it illegal..

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I have not read ALL the comments. I don’t think it’s really necessary. Yes, I’m sure that there are “fine points” for ether side…HOWEVER: than you, first of all, to Kristin, for setting the record straight, right off. And for shauna for reiterating the fact that #1, first and formost…there WERE “little or no citations” in SVA’s work…and THAT’S the crux of JKR/WB’s case. Also, I aplaud davidenglish, for pointing out facts concerning other works. I also followed Star Trek…if anyone cares to notice, the Start Trek Concordance was publish BY BiJo Trimble and Coprighted to Paramount. Unlike SVA, they went about it the RIGHT way. No, Nunki. You don’t want to “go to Mr Card’s Blog” and “leave him a nasty comment so I can get banned”. I, myself, would find it a waste of time, energy and effort. Yes. it would be a “high honour to be banned from such a website.” It’s not worth it to give creedance to his saddly uninformed opinions. JMHO, guys. [and girls] nothing more…

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Quote from ‘aloyalsheep’ above,

“God should be thanking Jo himself for putting these perfect books on the earth for we low, unworthy people to read.”

“Low and unworthy” that sums you up perfectly my friend. What’s the point of spilling your vitriol all over a Harry Potter site? Are you hoping that we will suddenly turn against her because of your venomous attack on her? Most of us are not the gullible idiots you take us for. Every one has the right to guard their property, whether it is their house, car or intellect. I happen to think that making money off someone’s hard work is morally wrong. A lot of other posters here also seem to agree – it doesn’t make us Jo’s minions.

I am willing to let the courts decide the legalities of the case. The judge may decide to rule in favour of RDR books but he cannot make people actually buy the book. I, for one, will not be buying it – so, even if they win the case, they have lost it in my case, because I’m not going to be giving them any of my money. I’m sure millions more will be doing the same.

As for this Card fellow, I really don’t know what he thought he would achieve by this personal attack on Ms Rowling. If this isn’t a case of ill-disguised jealousy, I don’t know what it can be. Does it sound like anything else? No, it doesn’t. Jo’s philanthropic works guard her from the ‘greedy witch’ label he tried to vilify her with.

I will wait patiently until the ‘Scottish Book’ is published. In the meantime, there are thousands of good books to read out there, although from now on a certain author (or two) will not be getting any of my money.

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I am not being wise after the event but I said all along that Jo would suffer because of this very ill advised attempt to restrain the publication of tis book. It was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and she should have been better advised.

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Editor’s note: Someone asked why we included Mr. Card’s comments in our trial coverage. In the past, he has expressed himself to be an enthusiastic fan of the series, and has written about Harry Potter in his blog on multiple occasions (Google for past Leaky posts). He is an influential, successful writer – his Ender’s Game series won both Hugo and Nebula awards, and are highly regarded by a many readers and critics.

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Guys, Mr. Card is completely braindead about literature if he thinks he created the hero’s quest, fantasy, and the idea of a orphan with a destiny. these themes predate his career as a writer, and his very existance. so pigheaded of him to claim owernship of genre conventions. honestly, the authruian retellings by T.H. White… woah… card should sue his corpse for having a orphaned boy if i remeber correctly who is abused and misused have a destiny to rise up above his upbringing and become someone important. how dare other writers premeptively useing the same genre conventions Mr. card eventually used in his books…. HOW DARE THEY!!!

its easy to make people like they look the fool, they do all the hard work when they go out and attack people by claiming that they are the god of literature and anyone who dose anything similer, even though hundreds of writers that predate them have used similer conventions and themes, is in the wrong.

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I guess I just really am being silly, but does anyone else remember from English and Journalism classes a couple little things called quotation marks? Isn’t “citing your source” what thi