JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: Opinions

113

Apr 26, 2008

Posted by KristinTLC
Uncategorized

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

Avatar Image says:

Wow… that seemed unnecessarily harsh.

Avatar Image says:

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’

Avatar Image says:

interesting.

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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!!!”)

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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?

Avatar Image says:

@ 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. ;)

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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.

Avatar Image says:

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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Rick:

“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”.

http://wise-old-sage.blog-city.com/gaiman_joint_authorship_and_transformative_works.htm

”... 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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@ibelieveinnargles

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.

Grandma

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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 this whole thing is really about—and the fact that the SVA book doesn’t do that properly? And how many times has Jo said that if they would rework that aspect of the publication she would give it her blessing? And I’m getting very, very tired of people standing on their soapboxes screaming about how evil Jo is because she happens to be successful and wealthy. Besides defending her own hard work and that of other authors, she’s defending the charity for whom she intends to send the proceeds from her “Scottish Book.” The charitable aspect of her goals seems to have been lost here. I guess that’s what happens when you spout off without doing your research.

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Oh yeah, I know someone brought this up before, but another thing that is very obnoxious of him is his, “evil witch,” comments, because not only are they the stuff of five year olds, but they are very, very, sexist. He wouldn’t have called Jo an evil witch if she was a guy, and he probably wouldn’t have made a stink about the case at all. The way he puts it, the moment a female author tries to stand up for herself and her work, she’s a nasty evil person. If, hypothetically, a well known guy author did the same thing, he would be protecting his rights. But lets say tomarrow, Mr. Card, that someone takes your Ender books, rearragges some names, publishes it as an encyclopedia, and makes money off of your work, then we will see who’s talking.

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Orson Scott Card is a bitter bitter man. It’s pretty sad but you can see right through his comments and tell he’s extremely jealous of the money Jo’s made. I read Ender’s game and while the story had substance his writing style was so damn dry! When someone copies 91% of your book WORD FOR WORD and publishes it then come talk to us!

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I appreciate that Leaky posted this story as part of their comprehensive coverage of the trial, but why did the editors of the Rhino Times (reallly???) feel Mr Card was a good person to write his article? His opinion doesn’t matter. Let’s hear from the lawyers, judges, etc.

And it is all very well for Mr Card and Mr Gaiman to say “tribute books exist; deal with it”, but as we know the argument here is that Mr Vander Ark DID NOT cite his sources or add new material. This makes me wonder: How would Mr Card and Mr Gaiman react to someone saying: “We are re-printing all of your books under another title, and oh, we’re giving all the money to someone else.”

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Most of these people just sound a teensy-weensy bit bitter about Jo and her success. Just wait till one of their books is embroiled in a case like this,then let’s see what they have to say…

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Orson Scott , You are a moron for supporting that poorly sited book of Lexicon’s. You are ALSO some things I can’t write here!

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Mr. Gaimen and Mr. Card really need to get a better understanding of the case before saying such things. It makes them look stupid and foolish otherwise. I’ve never read Mr. Card’s words, however I am quiet a fan of Mr. Gaimen’s works. I find it amusing and surprising that he is siding with SVA. Then again, he did have issues with WB awhile back. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe he had to sue them for using characters he created without his permission. I haven’t payed much attention to that case in awhile so I could be wrong. However there might be some, bitterness there.

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It does seem like they are slightly jealous of Jo which may be a misinterpretation on my side but calling someone an ’’evil witch’’ seems rather childish.

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What I don’t get is the amount of misinformation that is out there about the trial. It is amazing to me how many people think that Steve is the one on trial, when that isn’t the case. He was a witness. . . This and other facts are skewed and then people like Mr Card take these misinformed facts as truth. Gotta love the mainstream media sometimes.

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How about if he changed the title? Something like “HP Lexicon-My Opinion”?He can even state the old word “UNAUTHORIZED” .Joe is a gazillionare and I am sure she could come to some agreement. I didn’t see her attack all the many web sites( L.C. included) that gave her publicity through the years. I guess when you have tons of $$ you can battle with whomever you want. I find it hard to believe that Steve’s intention from the first words of HP were ” I am going to make a fortune off of this!” Just my two “sickles” worth. I read that in HP….I hope I don’t sued.LOL

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I guess I was also taken in by the media…

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I just wanted to add some praise for all those truly considerate people here who actually took the effort to read the broad coverage, to deal with the details, even read the court documents before offering an opinion. You, folks, are much more responsible writers than several of the self-acclaimed authors who felt they had to stab JKR in the back for trying to protect every (!) individual’s rights to her or his intellectual property.

Personally, I also felt extremely uncomfortable when I came across the sexist insults some of JKR’s fellow writers used to denounce her appeal. After all, even if they feel that they wouldn’t mind when somebody else were scanning their books in order to re-publish their contents to make a quick buck, why not concede her the right not to embrace plagiarism (as they claim they would?)? Wait, this is probably what this is all about: Has somebody ever tried to publish an unofficial “reference book” to Scott’s works, or is he not popular enough?

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I agree. How is all this stuff OK on the web and then it gets in print and JKR has a problem with it? Anyone read the article on msnbc about it? It referred to the websites as being ‘invisible horse thingys’ like in her books. You cant see them til they’re in print? It was pretty funny.

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Wow. And the thing is, I love Ender’s Game, Card’s signature novel.

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You know, I actually faced this kind of situation in real life a couple of years ago. I sat on a board of directors for an organization and according to outside individuals we weren’t doing enough for the organization and it’s direction. Our choices were called into question and were increasingly under the gun by employees. A newcomer to our board on his very first sitting started bashing us all for our inaction etc. Everyone else was shocked at such a diatribe from this person but I wasn’t about to let sleeping dogs lie. I told this man what had really gone on, that the very people who he thought he was defending were actually the root cause of the problem. After some heated argument and some swift explanations, this man quickly saw the error of his ways and became a true supporter of the board. It is the same as these people with their opinions. They have been sold a bill of goods in the media etc., have only a rudimentary understanding of the issues, and are coming out swinging. It is up to us, the fans, who have been sitting in this crap and know every nuance of the case from start to finish to set this people right. I do encourage everyone to hang in there, and know that it will all come out in the wash in the end.

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Sorry, I haven’t read all the comments yet, so I’m sure this has already been brought up.

Mr. Card, why would JKR have to pay Steve’s fees if he isn’t the one being sued? Oh, maybe it’s because Card hasn’t paid any attention whatsoever to the facts of this case, and there doesn’t even know who is on trial here. Whoops!

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NO ONE call’s Jo an evil witch or harry potter a cinderella story

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Wow my respect for Mr. Card just vanished, reading his comments. I bet if anyone cared to republish his work as an “Enderverse Lexicon” and sell it would be in for a fight—good thing for him no one DOES care that much, so he doesn’t have to bother.

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Would seem that Mr. Card is grossly uninformed about this law suit and is perhaps suffering from “writer’s envy”. However, he like a number of uninformed journalists is having his 15 minutes of fame. Too bad that he doesn’t know what he’s writing about.

@Mollywobbles23…...you go girl.

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This Orson whathisname is rather foolish to blog such a childish attack on Jo. If his Ender series is highly recommended, I would like to read them but I feel I wont enjoy them as much knowing in the back of my mind, the author’s lack of eloquence and sensibilities in his everyday speech. As for fans of both Ender and Potter, I feel for their frustration at Orson Whathisname’ unprovoked attack on JO.

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What some of those people said, like Mr.Card or w/e his name is~thats complete crap.

I bet some people are just too jealous that JKR has sold better and higher known books than them!!

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As much as I’m totally annoyed about how unnessisarly harsh some of this was, I loved the line, “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” by Ken Jennings, because I’m So one of those fans. Except, he’s kinda wrong, or has just never looked at a Gilmore girls DVD case before, becasue, excempting seasons 6 and7 when the orginal director/the show creater was gone, they all had little “Gilmoreism” booklets explaining all the pop culture references put out by the show creater (Amy Sherman-Palendino) and, well, Warner Brothers.

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I love HP, and I always will, but this is the one thing I do not agree with Jo on.

My father is a librarian, and he has published many times. He knows Orson Scott Card. Both know all about copyright laws. HP-Lexicon did nothing that violated Rowling’s copyright, no more than any other web site or author who wrote a book about Rowling’s work.

Even if it did, this is ridiculous that she’d try to sue the Lexicon for trying to publish an encyclopedia just because she was going to write an encyclopedia. I would think that hers would be far more detailed and far more accurate to the books, because she knows far more about the Harry Potter world than the Lexicon does.

So I see Card’s point of view here. Perhaps he was a little harsh, but he does have a good point about copyright.

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As much as I’m totally annoyed about how unnessisarly harsh some of this was, I loved the line, “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” by Ken Jennings, because I’m So one of those fans. Except, he’s kinda wrong, or has just never looked at a Gilmore girls DVD case before, becasue, excempting seasons 6 and7 when the orginal director/the show creater was gone, they all had little “Gilmoreism” booklets explaining all the pop culture references put out by the show creater (Amy Sherman-Palendino) and, well, Warner Brothers.

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I wonder what Stephen King has to say. I respect his thoughts and opinions as very honest and unbiased. He wrote a beautiful tribute to Jo’s Harry Potter series but not without honest criticisms either. For instance he thought Jo’s attempt to stifle story leaks went a bit too far by also suppressing pre-release book reviews. It was a fair comment but overall admires Jo’s work. So I would like to hear his thoughts as opposed to the shallow jealous ridden opinions of Terry Pratchett and Orson Whathisname. i was very very disappointed with Pratchett, as i enjoy his books.

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ginnymalfoy and Rich S, I like your comments very much! That’s why this opinion piece refers to her as a hypocrite and ethically and morally, I can see that point of view.I don’t think he’s jealous of her success, I think he’s genuinely appalled by her behavior. And if he’s a Harry Potter book fan, as Kristin’s post indicates, then I give him credit for being able to separate JKR the person from the wonderful books which he has enjoyed. All the opinions and comments in the world will not determine the outcome of the legal case, the judge will. But as WB and JKR continue to milk this mass marketed “cash cow ” called Harry Potter for all it’s worth with splitting one book into two movies, theme parks and traveling exhibitions…..I feel like the magic of it all is taken away. It’s been a great thing, but it’s ridiculous to me now. Just my opinion.

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It’s nice to see some sense be made about the trial on this website…God knows it isn’t coming from the crazed fanbase.

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Even if the book does eventually get published, who is going to buy it? Not the majority of HP fans who fiercely align themselves with Jo, not people who aren’t HP fans; possibly the newcomers to the fandom who want to know what’s what, but if the book is essentially what’s on the website, I can’t see why they’d bother buying it when they can get it for free online.

It seems to me that, regardless of whether Jo wins the trial, she has already won because this book will, as my book publishing professor says, “die a quiet little death” once it’s released.

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nunki- that OSC article is from a local paper/magazine type thing that he writes a regular column for.

you can comment, but either no one has or the comments are being deleted because the only thing up there now says “ouch!”

classy…

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Does anyone else get the sense that an awful lot of mediocre writers are hitching their cart to this anti-Jo bandwagon. Gee, i wonder if they could be trying to increase the market for their own books… Clearly, they haven’t done even a modicum of research into the case, and yet they are coming out against Jo in the strongest terms possible, as if they really care, as if they have some sort of personal stake in all this. What they care about is cozying up to us, a potentially huge market for them. But they have underestimated the Harry Potter fandom. Most of us support Jo based on the facts at hand—we’re readers, after all, and have acquainted ourselves with the court documents. I get that there is something archetypal about SVA’s “heroic struggle against the evil WB empire,” and as consumers of speculative fiction, this should naturally appeal to us. But most of the fans do not blindly and ignorantly support SVA simply because he is one of us, despite the surfeit of biased media coverage telling us otherwise.

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That’s just rude. Very rude. Jo Rowling might be in tears, and that damn guy doesn’t have a right to call her an evil witch, we all love Jo and no matter who wins the trial, we are still with Jo and we won’t go against her.

I feel that all that Steve Vander Ark is doing is taking her work and creating it into a unneeded encyclopedia, it’s unneeded because Jo Rowling is already making a encyclopedia and also because the book would only be for lazy readers, people who don’t want to read the whole adventure of Harry Potter.

I’d love to protest in front of the trial, because Steve Vander Ark doesn’t even know how fans feel right now, I think we should all form and protest, perhaps we can send in a letter, signed by the fans, that shows how we feel about Steve Vander Ark’s book. Clearly, the fans of Jo Rowling and Harry Potter don’t want this encyclopedia, so why publish it if people can read the damn encyclopedia through online? It doesn’t need to be a book, it’s already online, it’s already easier to find information through the online website, so why the Hell would someone waste their money to flip through the pages for information? The information is online, we don’t need to flip through a unneeded book for information. Also, what is the information for? We readers already know as much information as others.

It’s totally unneeded!

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Funny, I don’t have a sour taste in my mouth regarding Jo, but I now do with OSC. Shame since I love his books.

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Aside from the ‘evil witch’ comment, which is just in poor taste, I do completely agree with these authors and the others. If the only legal problem with the lexicon book is that there isn’t sufficient acknowledgement, then that is a problem easily rectified. The book is not a word-by-word copy of the Potter books because that would simply be…. the Potter books.

I love this series, almost obsessively so. (okay, completely obsessively so), and I’m very thankful to Rowling for creating it, but I have never heard of a popular author who in this day and age, did not have a reference book about their work. It just doesn’t happen. In fact, I’d think that an author would be insulted if people didn’t want a reference book of their works. Kind of like saying, here are the books, read them, but there’s nothing else to look for – they’re not important enough.

These three authors are not the only ones who are siding with the lexicon. I’ve only read one article that was on JK’s side on this – and yes, many of those on the lexicon’s side are fans of hers. It’s possible to be a fan and still disagree with her. It’s possible to disagree with her and not have an ulterior motive – like to make themselves look more important. I love my mom – she’s one of my best friends – doesn’t mean I don’t disagree with her or think she’s flat out wrong about things. To dismiss opposing arguments and opinions with such glib statements are rather childish.

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I think it’s completely unfair for someone like Mr. Card (who obviously doesn’t know very much about Jo Rowling) to make such ridiculous comments. I don’t know Jo Rowling personally, but I’d like to think that, for a fan, I know as much as possible about her and I have never understood her to be someone with a selfish or greedy attitude. Ms. Rowling is a hero of mine and I support her stand in this case completely.

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Sorry, guys. Fandom is probably going to hate me for this, but I think this guy has a point. Steve is not going to steal any money from Jo or her charity – what sort of fan dedicated enough to buy a fan-made Harry Potter encyclopedia isn’t going to buy Jo’s version, which will go into much more detail and have hundreds of extra facts?

Steve is just trying to help the fandom… sorry, but I think all the abuse he’s getting is totally unwarranted.

M’kay. Feel free to bash me now. =P

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“Does anyone else get the sense that an awful lot of mediocre writers are hitching their cart to this anti-Jo bandwagon.”

Oh yes! EVERY writer who DARES to disagree with JKR is mediocre.Think of Ursula Le Guin – an awful writer, really!

Until they praise her, it’s O.K., but in this case there’s great no, no, no! How could they not see us, so greatly enlightened, our best reasoning!

I hope SVA will win.

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@ daughter of librarians

The lexicon is an infringement of JKR work. Steve hardly puts in any new information. He is merely repeating stuff already written in the HP books, but in a different order and paraphrased. How can it not be an infringement. And that’s the reason why JKR is suing the lexicon. Not because she wants to write her own encyclopaedia (that would indeed be ridiculous since you can’t copyright an idea) but because somebody has the audacity to put his name on JKR work. When you read the lexicon, you will read JKR and not SVA. The difference with other reference guides is, that when you take away all the JKR stuff, they still have some contents left. The lexicon however will be nothing more than some incoherent phrases. How much fun and useful the lexicon is, it does not intend to sell own work, (also different from other guides) it intends to sell Jo’s work. SVA did not came up with Harry potter, sectumsempra, Dexter Fortescue or any of the entries mentioned in the lexicon but JKR did. Yet he’s trying to sell those specific contents of HP. And that’s what Jo, quit understandable, is objecting to. Whether SVA meant to or not, in a way he’s stealing JKR’s work.

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Jo should win. ther is no question. she worked for 17 years on these books and deserves all the credit for them. Steve is way out of line with this and shouldnt get away with it.

And ya, this does seem a little harsh.

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From the way Mr. Card speaks of this issue, he seems to believe that the law is absolute. Ok, as much as 99% of us wishes it will never happen (include me in that 99% too), RDR might be able to wriggle through the loopholes of fair use and publish the encyclopedia _.

BUT!!! The law isn’t absolute-especially with copyright, fair use and so forth! This court case is another reason why there needs to be additional tweaking to the current copyright laws, and there can’t be change without standing up and doing something about it. For doing just that, Mrs. Rowling is a winner no matter what-in my eyes at least.

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The fact that Jo is just now having a problem with the Lexicon now that it will be published and sold for profit is what makes her seem greedy and selfish. Granted it makes Steve seem that way too. But how can Jo praise it on the web and now condemn it? Doesnt make sense to me.

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100% agree with Card.

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OK, Mister Card, “people who hear about this…will have a sour taste in their mouth about you from now on”, because everybody will see what a selfish small person you are, full of prejudice, who completely missing the whole point wants to show himself better and cleverer than another person, stupidly putting his ego above common sense. Good luck.

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“Sorry, guys. Fandom is probably going to hate me for this, but I think this guy has a point. Steve is not going to steal any money from Jo or her charity – what sort of fan dedicated enough to buy a fan-made Harry Potter encyclopedia isn’t going to buy Jo’s version, which will go into much more detail and have hundreds of extra facts?

Steve is just trying to help the fandom… sorry, but I think all the abuse he’s getting is totally unwarranted.

M’kay. Feel free to bash me now. =P”

Posted by CrystalP734 on April 26, 2008 @ 12:22 PM

I’m not going to bash you, but I will disagree and here’s why: Jo has the right to protect her copyright and she feels that the Lexibook is incredibly infringing. When she gave that fansite award to it, it was much different than it is now. But, even the website has essays, where the Lexibook does not. Also, Jo has said, under oath, that she basically gave the fansite award to the Lexicon as an “A for effort.” It was not an invitation or permission to publish it and profit from it.

Also, I don’t think the Lexibook will do much harm NOW, with this whole mess. But, at the time of the lawsuit (which was done to prevent it being published in November before they had a chance to see the manuscript, which they had requested a couple of times and never received). It was a necessary thing to ensure the protection of her copyright. With RDR’s evasive tactics, they became suspicious that maybe it’s really infringing and that’s why they sued. It could have all been handled outside of the courtroom had RDR just cooperated. If it had gone ahead with publishing, they could still stop more printing; it’s beend done before. Anyway, it was about it’s POTENTIAL market harm and it does have that potential.

As for the “abuse” that Steve is getting: I see mostly people showing anger and disappointment in him. We thought he was better than saying Jo was making a “power grab” and claiming he knows what’s the best for the fandom, even though a good majority of the fandom is on Jo’s side in this. Some people have gone overboard. I don’t think SVA acted maliciously, but he does act arrogantly about this whole thing. It’s a mid-life crisis combined with a powertrip.

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Here, here mollywobbles23! I second the motion!

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Okay… If you go get your ‘Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire’ copy, And turn to page 360, Then, about have-way down the page, Find where Karkaroff gives harry a four, then find where Ron is yelling at Karkaroff….That’s what I’d say to Mr. Card!

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Oh, and LOL @ the fact that Card’s blog still only has one comment, though I know at least three people from Leaky have commented and one of them (DaisyRenee’s) has no reason not to go through.

Who’s the coward? Not Jo, certainly.

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Whatever people’s opinions of the case, it is very unprofessional and childish to make personal attacks on JK, as Card did. They may disagree with her take on the case, but to think that a legal opinion reflects on her character is ridiculous. She is doing this because she legitimately feels that the book violates fair use, not because she is selfish, wants to make more money or wants to prevent all companion books from being made.

Perhaps some of these commentators should look more closely at the facts of the case before flinging around personal insults.

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Finally, someone comes out with the truth. JK Rowling is nothing more than a greedy, megalomaniac and overly sensitive fop. I used to follow everything about Harry Potter and I used to revel in it. Now, it has been ruined by Ms. Rowling and she will lose her “case”.

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@ crookshanks

“The lexicon is an infringement of JKR work. Steve hardly puts in any new information. He is merely repeating stuff already written in the HP books, but in a different order and paraphrased. How can it not be an infringement. And that’s the reason why JKR is suing the lexicon.”

Dear Crookshanks

The lexicons and encyclopedias are NOT books into you “put any new informations” (created by your own mind, that is). That’s not their nature and sense. They should EXACTLY “paraphrase, ensure different order and repeat stuff, that was already written”. By adding something creative, new into them you’re falsificating and deforming the reality, they’re discrebing (in our case: the world of HP). The Lexicon/encyklopedia should be drily, in matter-of-fact way and ABSOLUTELY FAITHFUL to the primare source.

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What a jerk Jo did an AMAZING job on her books why the hell should some so-called fan be allowed to profit from copying her idea JO YOU DESERVE TO WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Those articles are completely ignorant. It seemed like the authors had no idea what the case was about- all they saw was “powerhouse” Jo going after a small website. The whole point of this case is that the book IS NOT a commentary or review. It’s ridiculous how they are making Jo seem like a fool and a gold digger to the public.

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Some of the people who are in support of RDR need to please stop whipping out the “you all agree with Jo because you think she’s God” argument. Yeah, some of the people siding with Jo are only doing so because they “worship” her, I won’t disagree with that. But from what I’ve been reading in the comments, a majority of Jo supporters have plenty of valid points to back up their support, just as the other side does as well.

Besides, saying that you hope RDR wins just to stick it to all the Jo worshipers out there? Great way to fight fire with fire. Instead of using that as an excuse to send a little shout-out to RDR/SVA, post valid reasons for your support like many of the other people here are doing.

Anyway, regardless of what side you agree with, Card’s article is incredibly bitter and totally devoid of any class. His childish insults are compeltely uncalled for, and he should be ashamed. Also, there was absolutely no need for him to throw in the bit about homosexuality at the end of the article. The “Dumbledore is gay” controversy (which in my opinion should have never been a controversy in the first place) has been done with for what, half a year now? Get over it, Mr. Card, it’s been beaten to death and doesn’t relate to this court case at all. And using gay characters for the sake of saying that you use them does nothing to cover up your homophobia, anyway. Also, you call Jo a hypocrite, but I find it incredibly hypocritical that you post a mean-spirited article on a famous figure and then keep a filter on all of your comments. Nice.

And Ken Jennings? Yes, everyone has a right to express their opinion, and granted Jennings’s post is more professional than Card, but where does he fit into this at all? At least Card has some kind of connection to Harry Potter through the Great Snape Debate commentary. Please, Mr. Jennings, your fifteen minutes of fame was over a long time ago. Place your hands above your head and step away from the limelight.

His statement that he hasn’t read the book version of the lexicon explains it all—yet another random and misinformed person who feels the need to throw out jabs about overzealous fans and Jo crying on the stand. Yes, we should all be cheering on RDR because the Jeopardy guy saw some comments posted here on Leaky by obsessive fans and read those silly mainstream articles that focused on Jo crying. SIGH. Why does it feel like all these blog opinions are totally missing the point of the case? It has nothing to do with what you think of Jo or Steve as people, how big a fan you are, who cried on the stand, or whatever other stupid little detail the mainstream media can pull out of it.

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Don’t worry about it people. Just more jealous authors who don’t understand Jo or her fandom, or have any idea just how amazingly supportive Jo has been towards the fandom and fanworks in the past. One book takes too much for monetary gain, and suddenly she is painted as an evil witch for trying to stop it.

I’d like to see what Anne Rice thinks of Orson Scott Card’s idea that anyone is free to write about your work. Ms. Rice is vehemently against fanfiction, and she’s far from the only author that has completely (and successfully) disallowed fanfiction. Mr. Card is, forgive me, an idiot.

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You have completely missed the point of this case. Vander Ark’s book is neither a commentary nor a review, but quoting paragraphs and sentences from the books and not labeling them as JK Rowling’s words, and instead as his own brainchild. Your article reeked of ignorance- and perhaps, jealousy of her success- as you quoted her so called “cinderella story” with mockery. Shame on you! Everything in your article- from your mentions of Dumbledore’s homosexuality, Rowling’s wealth, etc.- was poorly thought out and, in my opinion, plain stupid.

‘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.’

The above quote proves my point. The Lexicon encyclopedia DOES NOT cite Jo, and it DOES NOT review or comment on Harry Potter. It has no personal “flavor” to it- when Jo writes her own encyclopedia, it will include new “tibits” of information about the characters, of which we have never read before.

In short, I find you to be an idiot. As you yourself said, a pretentious, puffed up jerk.

^ thats what I wrote to Card. His article was ridiculous- although, I admit, the last sentence of my post was immature, but as ‘i can has sanity?’ said perfectly, every blog and article written seems to be missing the point of this case, and instead manage to make a mockery of Jo.

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Have these people even followed the trial thoroughly? If they did, they would know that the whole point is that RDR/SVA didn’t cite Jo or provide commentary. Don’t make such harsh statements like that unless you have all the facts. These comments seemed unnecessary and down right mean.

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I can’t begin to pretend that by reading a transcript of the trial, and the media articles/opinion pieces/comments about it, I now have the background, expertise and knowledge of copyright law needed to judge the case like many of you seem to have aquired. This guy wrote a great opinion piece, and I , a Harry Potter fan, see a lot of truth in it.

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I am so neutral on this case but Card’s comments were just over the top. It’s his right to express them but he clearly doesn’t know anything about the case because his arguments are what the case is all about lol.

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@ Fatfriar “The lexicons and encyclopedias are NOT books into you “put any new informations” (created by your own mind, that is). That’s not their nature and sense. They should EXACTLY “paraphrase, ensure different order and repeat stuff, that was already written”. By adding something creative, new into them you’re falsificating and deforming the reality, they’re discrebing (in our case: the world of HP). The Lexicon/encyklopedia should be drily, in matter-of-fact way and ABSOLUTELY FAITHFUL to the primare source.”

Whether the lexicon tries to be absolutely faithful to the primary source or not, it won’t conceal the fact that it’s a copyright infringement. If anything I would like to think when one is trying to stay as close to the books as possible, it only indicates you’ll be infringing on JKR copyright more and more.

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“Whether the lexicon tries to be absolutely faithful to the primary source or not, it won’t conceal the fact that it’s a copyright infringement. If anything I would like to think when one is trying to stay as close to the books as possible, it only indicates you’ll be infringing on JKR copyright more and more.”

That will be judged by Mr. Patterson.

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It seems like Neil Gaiman is the only one who has any sort of handle on this.

Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but, really, that’s only true if they’re properly informed. If you’re going to express opinions as strongly as, for instance, Mr. Card does, you should really make sure that you have all your facts straight first.

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I read the full of Orson Scott Cards article and he says that JK Rowling took ideas from his book just because in his book theres a bit of flying and that theres an old legend who helps ender out (i have read Enders Game) and that he grew up with parents who treated him differently or something like that but you could compare that to other strories like Annie who is an orphan so that must mean that JK Rowling took that idea from annie as well!! UGGG he also goes on in his full article that JK Rowling took names from other people like muggle but she might have read that book along time ago and that word just happened to be in her mind does that mean that shes a fraud because she took some names out of greek mythology!!! NOO!

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people who are dising Jk Rowling on a HArry Potter website that claim to be a Harry Potter fan.. how does that even go together?

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Until a major news organization covers ALL the aspects of this case, people - for whatever reason: fair or foul. informed or uninformed. - will have misconceptions about what this case is all about.

Judge Patterson is right that “with imagination” this case could be settled and should be settled. IMHO, the longer this drags out, the more harm will come to Jo and SVA. (I don’t give a damn about RDR, Stanford or WB)

So many of the arguments that have to be made in a court case sound ridiculous out of context.

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stupid crossout thing.

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Orson Scott Cards seems to think he holds the patent on the Monomyth style, i guess he must be a few thousand years older than he actually looks. Jo took names from many things, adapted many others from Mythology.

I too studied Classics at Exeter (though not French) and often find myself taking names from Greek and Roman mythology (plus plenty of other areas) for my writing. Lets not forget that she also spends many days walking round old graveyards, looking at memorials for different names. Perhaps SVA could actually put some original thought into writing his own book, probably not.

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Is Orson Scott Card a Harmonian? I’ve seen just the same sort of bitter nonsense on Harmony forums – right down to the “she’s a meanie who’s going to alienate all of her fans and no one will buy any more of her books.” I swear, I’ve seen H/Hr shippers say the EXACT same thing. Maybe he’s plagiarizing them?

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finishing my thought -

So many of the arguments that have to be made in a court case sound ridiculous out of context.

Making ready-ammunition for someone who seems to have an agenda, whether it’s: I’m jealous; I didn’t like the ending of the series; I don’t like Jo because she’s successful; I’m not a fan of the books anyway; Etc.

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My favorite post so far in these comments was the one where the poster first criticized others for namecalling (ok, valid criticism), then also goes on to accuse others of being “wannabe lawyers.”

OK, so if I suspend my emotions about the case and refrain from namecalling and try to make an intelligent argument based on the legal facts of the case, I am a “wannabe lawyer”? (hmmm, isn’t that namecalling?mmmm, that’s yummy hypocrisy…)

So, pray tell, is there any comment we CAN make that you wouldn’t find reason to criticize?

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Sorry to be such a comment hog here, but I get so angry thinking of what Jo has gone through through recently. By all rights, this should have been a time for her to enjoy her triumph and decompress and start processing the whole experience.

Although I believe Jo/WB have a stronger case than RDR, I also agree with someone upthread that this never should have gone to trial and that Jo was ill-advised. As difficult as it was/is to deal with an ass like RDR, Jo’s lawyers should have found a way.

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As for OSC’s and Ken Jennings’ arguments on the case, I think TLC does an excellent job of pointing out where their legal arguments have been contested by JKR/WB in court, so I’m not going to bother. I just wish TLC could actually have quoted relevant excerpts from the transcripts instead of linking to the transcripts as a whole.

Maybe I will go through the transcripts and extract relevant quotes myself and post them in the comment to OSC’s opinion piece, although it sounds like the comments are being supressed so perhaps I won’t bother. Anyway, why are the comments being supressed on an article that is arguing in favor of the right to comment? Ironic.

Gaiman seems to have at least a partially open mind about the issues, and after reading OSC and Jennings, I appreciate Gaiman. OSC and Jennings basically re-state the defense’s arguments while omitting JKR/WB’s arguments (then in the case of OSC go on to make prolific personal attacks that are totally unrelated to the legal issues).

It just worries me that the general public is only seeing RDR’s arguments in the press, which of course is going to lead to bias. I mean, I am biased for JKR, but I can at least eloquently state the opposition’s case and do so whenever I make an argument for JKR/WB.

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Is it just me or is every other teen fantasy/ sci-fi writer taking credit for Harry Potter. Maybe Card was being sarcastic when he said Harry Potter mirrored Ender’s Game, but he still said it. I hope he was being sarcastic, because Harry Potter is nothing like Ender’s Game.

I don’t understand why alot of fantasy writers continue to claim that HP is unoriginal. It is a shame that Card feels it is nessecary to compare his compelling Ender’s Game with the equally compelling Harry Potter. His book is fascinating and he needs to be above petty comparisons and accusations. I wonder when we will hear from Jane Yolen. She surely hates HP enough to put out a public opinion. But she might be to busy recycling folk tales to up her book count. I don’t think these authors understand what HP is, or what JKR is going through. She is the first author to reach a billion dollars off of a book. Even Steven King is not on Forbes Richest list.

Card, did make a good point about authors taking things and borrowing from other authors. The fact is there is maybe only 36 storylines when you think about it. If I wrote a book about a young boy who has an elderly guide that gives him advice that influences to adult hood. Card’s Ender’s Game would not be the only story about that. Card even admits taking a word from Ursula K. la Guin. Thats fine for him, it would not be worthwhile for la Guin to pursue that. But in JKR’s case it would be extremly profitable for the authors that claim she borrowed form them to pursue. That is why she is covering all bases. Look at the Nancy Stouffer lawsuit, she could never prove JKR had access to those books and she even fabricated evidence. Also the lawsuit by the Wyrd Sisters an obscure band that borrowed their name from Shakespeare but suddenly has it copyrighted and wants compensation from WB. WB even offered them money to avoid those stupid claims, but they did not take it because a billion dollar industry like HP should offer them more.

I have said since the beginning of this trail, that the threat the lexicon poses is in the future and not now. When the Scottish book comes out RDR would be suing claiming plagarism and copyright infringement. JKR expressed these concerns in the trail and Steve’s continued claims to the Hogwarts timeline makes the threat a reality.

IMHO, this all really boils down to jealosy and regret. Card’s Ender’s Game has had a movie in the works for years, but it has never materialized. Maybe he feels it would be just as succesful as HP but has never got the chance. I am just tired of people bashing HP and claiming all kinds of things about its writer not being original, its cultural snobbery. A cultural snob claims everything popular is trash because it steals this and that, and this book is so much better. But its not, I like Ender’s Game but not enough to read the other books in the saga, because unlike Ender’s Game they suck.

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I have to say that I think the point is being missed. SVA was obviously worried because he had a clause added to his contract stating that the publisher would pay any legal fees. Anyone so worried about things that he needs to add a clause like that to his contract ought to just trust his instincts and NOT write the book.

Even if (heaven forbid) that JKR and WB lose this suit, I would never buy the book after all of this bs that has occurred. I have no more respect for SVA, which is sad since I used to think he was really cool. I won’t even visit the Lexicon website any longer, which is a shame since I did think it was a great website.

JKR has a right to sue for copyright infringement. It is up to the judge to decide the merits of the case, I just hope the judge supports JKR/WB.

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I hope they comment on this on PotterCast.

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lolo wrote: “The fact that Jo is just now having a problem with the Lexicon now that it will be published and sold for profit is what makes her seem greedy and selfish. Granted it makes Steve seem that way too. But how can Jo praise it on the web and now condemn it? Doesnt make sense to me.”

Jo has said that she is trying to protect the interests of other writers, and I can see that. By allowing this book (which is 91% material directly lifted from Jo’s books—not paraphrased or commenting on, but word for word) she is fighting the fight for less wealthy authors who may have the same thing done to their work down the line.

The difference between the website and a printed book is that NO ONE was making money out of the website and the deterrent to wholesale plagiarism is that very few people are obsessed enough of have the time to copy out books they will receive no financial gain for.

By Mr Vander Ark and RDR seeking to re-publish Jo’s books without her permission, they will be setting a precedent that could financially ruin other authors.

Authors make money from their ideas, talent and hard work. To take the product of that hard work and claim it as your own is stealing.

Jo is not greedy to seek to prevent these people from stealing what is rightfully hers. I have seen some comments here that were to the effect that she has enough money, let her share some of it. As far as I know, the US (where this lawsuit is taking place) is NOT a communist state and therefore that kind of argument does not apply.

Jo does give a lot of maoney to charity, which is certainly to her credit, but even if she didn’t, she lives and works in a capitalistic society and she is not obliged to let other people steal her work in order to “share the wealth”.

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‘Card has written that an increase in crime in USA of the 1970s and 1980s “might well have been the result” of what he calls “the New Morality and the Pill” because they may have increased the number of babies born to “the people with poor impulse control” who are “most likely to be irresponsible parents.”’

Taken from a CITED reference on Orson Scott Card’s Wikipedia page… anybody who justifies these kind of opinions, doesn’t amount to much in my book

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Ouch, I have to admit that Mr. Card sounds really nasty in what was posted here in leaky, but have you guys read the entire comment? so yeah he’s kinda harsh there too, but he does have a point, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE JK, and Harry Potter, but Mr. Card has a very balid point, and JK is being really harsh with lexicon, the book was probably goin to go on sell, and do good, not great but good, and when JK published her own book, it would be a bestseller, and now it’s going to be very different, you’ll see. Now don’t hate me, I’m just saying what’s on my mind

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Have any of these detractors ever spawned a franchise? Hmmm… I don’t think any “unofficial” lexicon will ever come close to one written by JKR herself. I was patient enough to wait for all seven books in the series – I can wait for whatever JKR writes next. Writing – and I mean real writing and not just the “cut and paste” method – takes time. Any real writer knows that.

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Bleh. :-(

I don’t like all this conflict and negativity. What can I say, I’m a wuss.

Do you suppose Warner Brothers are waiting for the suit to be settled before they give us Half-Blood Prince info?

::longs for pictures and trailer news::

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Boy am I glad that Scott Card’s screed went up around the same time mine did! I’ve gotten off comparatively lightly here as a result.

Since the only substantive comments here about my piece have been along the lines of “That Jeopardy! guy? Uh, who cares what he thinks?”, I’ll take a shot at answering that.

I’ve been interested in the RDR case from the beginning—as a big HP fan (and occasional leaky-cauldron reader, by the way) but also since I’ve long been interested in transformative copyright and related issues. One of the first posts on my blog in 2004 was a (WAY too long!) analysis of Castle Rock v. Carol, which precedent will likely figure into the judge’s RDR decision.

I’m also a (best-selling, he said modestly) writer now, and felt informed enough about the RDR case that I thought it was worth a quick blog post. I mean, all of you saw fit to publish your opinions on the Internet, right? You’re all intellectual-property lawyers, then? When I do the same, I’d expect arguments a little more substantive than “Who asked you, game show boy?”

By the way, I’ve read the entire transcripts and I’m still strongly inclined to go with RDR here. That has nothing to do with whether Vander Ark or Rowling are better writers (no contest there), nicer people to puppies (who cares?), etc. It’s strictly a copyright issue. The Lexicon seems like a textbook example of a kind of book that’s been common and accepted for decades, especially in academia, and I’d like legal precedent not to keep chipping away at it.

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Just posting here on Leaky what I just submitted to be posted to Mr. Card’s comment section. Considering that, despite numerous posters here saying they have sent in comments as well, the only comment currently showing merely says “ouch”, I’m guessing that my own post won’t make the cut, either. I just had to say something, though, I was too incensed. Just so that it wasn’t an entire waste of energy, though, I’d like to post it on a site that isn’t afraid of letting viewers express their opinions:

“It is my opinion that you are being rather hypocritical about Ms. Rowling being a coward, when you and your staff don’t post responses that refute what you’ve posted here. It is also my opinion that you come across as either uninformed or misinformed in regards to this case. I’ve been following this case rather closely (my husband says obsessively), and, while I am very much a fan of Ms. Rowling, I think that I have maintained an open mind to both sides so that I could form an unbiased view. After reading the transcripts of the trial, reviewing the manuscript of the Lexicon book, and reading every other document I have come across in regards to the case, it is my opinion that JKR and WB are in the right here. It would take far too long to refute what you say point-by-point, as I disagree with pretty much everything, so I will instead focus on one part that particularly rankled. You called JKR greedy in your article, but I fail to see how you come to that conclusion, unless it is your opinion that all supremely wealthy individuals are greedy? For she has repeatedly stated during this trial that she is not suing RDR for monetary gain, as she’s well aware that she has plenty of money- in fact the only monetary damage she is concerned about is that if this Lexicon book is published, it will give consumers virtually no reason to purchase her own companion books (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them & Quidditch Through the Ages), whose proceeds are given to the Comic Relief charity. Likewise, she has expressed concern that this Lexicon would cause consumers to not purchase her own encyclopedia, when she intends to again donate all royal ties to a charity. She has also stated that, should she and WB win this lawsuit, she will donate all financial damages paid by RDR to charity. While I agree that she has no legal legs to stand on in regards to the possible-future-encyclopedia bit, I certainly think it is admirable that she intends to spend the time and energy writing such an exhaustive book in order to raise money for charity. So, forgive me, I fail to see how anything related to this case makes her greedy. Also, as a side, you erroneously state that Mr. Vander Ark has made no money from working on the Lexicon website. He in fact told the court that he has made some profits from advertisers, particularly Google. While it may not be a substantial amount, I believe it was said to be about $7,000. I’m just pointing this example out, as you make quite a few mistatements in this article that caused me to file it as “uninformed or misinformed”. I hope you make a visit to the Great and Powerful Oz yourself, for the courage to not censor disagreeing viewpoints on your personal webpage.”

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@Ken Jennings

Mr. Jennings with all due respect this site also includes all the court documents and a good amount of the proposed Lexicon. Yes, there are a lot of “we love Jo” comments however, for the most part a great many of the comments made here have been intelligent and well researched, far more informed that what has appeared in the media.

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Orson Scott Card is just jelous. He is jelous of the fact that J.K. Rowling writes one series and it becomes the most famous of all time. After such unjust and harsh comments I will have a very hard time reading Orson Scott Card’s books with out distain. I do agree with Mr. Jennings when he states that there were hundreds of companion books to series like The Lord of the Ring and Star Trek, but if you look at those books they do not usually use the exact language exactly. Using A Tolkien’s Beasary for an example, one can find no lenghty exact quotes to describe something. Instead it is all a compendium of facts (usually dates and habits of the thing in question) taken from the book but not copied. I also think that these should be seperated because there is no encyclopedia by the author in either Star Trek, Star Wars, or The Lord of the Rings, that fact that J.K. Rowling is planning to write an enclycopiedia herself should be reason enough to side with her. LONG LIVE JO

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@Ken Jennings

I do agree with you that this is “strictly a copyright issue.” I don’t mind the idea that SVA is publishing a Lexicon book. The problem is that he uses JKR’s exact words throughout nearly the entire book and hardly adds anything original. He doesn’t just mention something and then explain it. He takes it straight from JKR’s books. Everything in his book can be found in the Harry Potter books. Even worse, he doesn’t properly cite when he does directly quote JKR’s work. You would think that a librarian would know better. Apparently he did, because in his contract with RDR there was a stipulation about how he wouldn’t be involved in any lawsuits. He suspected this would happen even he knew that what he was doing was wrong. JKR has allowed many other Harry Potter reference books to be published. The difference is that those books actually added some original commentary to her work.

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“The Lexicon seems like a textbook example of a kind of book that’s been common and accepted for decades, especially in academia, and I’d like legal precedent not to keep chipping away at it.”

Posted by Ken Jennings on April 26, 2008 @ 04:10 PM

I appreciate that you have read the transcripts, but part of the transcripts that stood out the most to me was that the defense could not produce a single example of a book that took as much as or more than the Lexicon, so in my opinion the trial showed that the Lexicon is not a textbook example.

As such, I believe that this case doesn’t chip away at accepted fair use precedent, it chips away at accepted copyright protections.

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A reason why the lexicon does NOT violate JKR’s copyright on her encyclopedia:

If Rowling had written, published, and released her encyclopedia, then the lexicon would infringe her rights, and she would have every right and reason to file a law suit.

But no such encyclopedia is in print yet. All the lexicon did was write a book documenting J.K. Rowling’s books, which is perfectly legal, and which many other people have done. Did she sue them as well? No.

The issue isn’t the HP series. The issue is Rowling’s encyclopedia. That is where the copyright comes into question, but since Rowling’s encyclopedia isn’t even finished, has not been edited, certainly hasn’t been published and surely tells us a lot more about the HP world than Vander Ark’s encyclopedia will, then there has been no violation.

Think about this before you take sides, people.

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This is a good one.

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“I appreciate that you have read the transcripts, but part of the transcripts that stood out the most to me was that the defense could not produce a single example of a book that took as much as or more than the Lexicon, so in my opinion the trial showed that the Lexicon is not a textbook example.”

Then the defense is an ass. :) I haven’t owned a copy in decades but I believe Robert Foster’s Complete Guide to Middle Earth takes a comparable amount. I believe Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance does as well.

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Mr. Scott Card does make some valid points, although I think his personal attacks on Jo’s character are totally out of line. Its a shame that everyone seems to “pick a side” in this case, and therefore lose respect toward the other party. I see it on both sides. Lexicon supporters bash Jo, while JKR supporter bash Steve Vander Ark. Its so sad to see this happening to such a wonderful fandom!

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I have to agree with Athena….I would buy JKR’s book way before anyone elses.Afterall she can create any sub-story (plot-twist) she wants now. I hope she comes up with some good ones.

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@ Athena

I think directly copying from, not adding anything original to, and then failing to properly cite from JKR’s books makes it an issue about the Harry Potter books. All of the other books that she previously allowed actually added some original commentary.

Also, if this is only about the encyclopedia, then what will happen if RDR/SVA win? Does that mean that they will be able to sue JKR when she writes her own encyclopedia for infringing on their rights?

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By the way, comments here about the overwhelming amount of Rowling verbiage in the Lexicon don’t strike me as plausible-or backed up by the transcripts. The “91%” number in one WB exhibit refers to any information derived from Rowling’s books, no matter how distantly-not just verbatim cut-and-paste.

I’m guessing that the amount of Rowling text in the published lexicon is roughly equivalent to the Web one—that is, vastly outnumbered by legitimately summarized and paraphrased copy. On the stand, Rowling seems just as exercised about the latter as the former, which doesn’t inspire confidence.

Didn’t mean to get sucked into this, so I think I’ll leave it at that. It cracks me up that the comment above about how “a great many of the comments made here have been intelligent and well researched” is followed immediately by one that starts “Orson Scott Card is just jelous” and ends “LONG LIVE JO!” I know, you guys are trying.

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“Didn’t mean to get sucked into this, so I think I’ll leave it at that. It cracks me up that the comment above about how “a great many of the comments made here have been intelligent and well researched” is followed immediately by one that starts “Orson Scott Card is just jelous” and ends “LONG LIVE JO!” I know, you guys are trying.”—Posted by Ken Jennings on April 26, 2008 @ 05:06 PM

I’m sure we all appreciate your condescension, Mr. Jennings.

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Athena: If you had read the transcript of the case, you’d see that they went through several of those previously published books and explained WHY Ms. Rowling did not find them to be infringing. Jo went as far as to say that she really liked one of them. They added substantial commentary or background alongside the information taken from the books. The Lexicon adds next to nothing. What this case is about, as Jo has said a few times now, is that the Lexicon takes too much and adds too little. That is the reason why she never tried to block publication of those other books. She has been talking about doing an encyclopedia for the last five years or so.

Interesting that there is only one comment below Mr. Card’s rant. None of us are stupid enough to think he would not have recieved a load of comments by now. Censorship anyone? Yeah, makes you look really good, Mr. Card.

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“By the way, comments here about the overwhelming amount of Rowling verbiage in the Lexicon don’t strike me as plausible-or backed up by the transcripts.”

Posted by Ken Jennings on April 26, 2008 @ 05:06 PM

That’s the thing. In the transcripts, the defense never rebuts the line-by-line analysis provided by the plaintiffs from which the 91% figure was derived. So maybe we will just have to go on your conjecture that the defense is an ass.

“I haven’t owned a copy in decades but I believe Robert Foster’s Complete Guide to Middle Earth takes a comparable amount. I believe Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance does as well.”

Posted by Ken Jennings on April 26, 2008 @ 04:58 PM

Again, maybe the defense is an ass, but everything they produced could either be shown to have been produced with permission or after the copyright had expired. Were the two books you mentioned produced without permission and before copyright expired?

Anyway, I’m not bringing these points up just to be argumentative, these are points that actually inform my opinion on the case. If they were shown to be inaccurate (in spite of the defense’s inability to do so), I might change my opinion.

And finally, all hail LEAKY! Where else could I debate with a guy who could kick my butt at Jeopardy!?

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@Tyler

Excellent last line…..and please remember all answers must be in the form of a question.

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Okay, wasn’t going to post again, but this looks like a legitimate chance to maybe change some hearts and minds. So, one last post:

1. Yes, Star Trek and Lord of the Rings were (and still are) under copyright when those books were fan-press-published, with no license. I’m sure there are other, analogous examples from the (still copyrighted) works of Faulkner, Pynchon, etc.

2. Everyone here should be more credulous about the ridiculous 91% number. As we’ve been discussing over on the message boards at my site, the 91% number identifies 164,461 words of the Lexicon. That’s a book roughly the size of Deathly Hallows. Do you really think it’s possible that all that text could be quoted verbatim? Plaintiff’s exhibit very cagily refers to this number as “Rowling material,” hoping that people will misinterpret that to mean “verbatim text” when all it probably means is “material based in any way on facts from her books.”

Avatar Image says:

Usually, when I come on here I defend Jo or copyright law or whatev. But with all that this case has brought out in us (and its not pretty) I’ve got to defend the other “Rowling-o-philes”.

Choosing to support JK Rowling in this case does not, in any case, make you a fanatic, a freak, a lemming, a sheep or any of the other ideas being thrown around. It means you believe in her SIDE.

I’ve read the court transcripts. They are hell to get through but worth it in the end. JKR sat at her kitchen table (Or perhaps it was dining room, I don’t remember exactly) with her young daughter and made charts of the several different areas where her work was stripped verbatim. There are extremely specific guidelines when it comes to referencing a work. If you are going to strip a sentence or paraphrase an idea, you still have to cite it. If you strip the whole sentence, there better be quotation marks. And in both cases, you need to have page numbers as well as chapter numbers.

In SVA’s testimony he talked about not using the page numbers due to the amount of different versions out there. That’s what a bibliography is for. SVA also spoke about his knowledge of the copyright laws and the fact that, as a teacher, he taught children how to cite.

So…why exactly didn’t you practice what you teach?

I don’t respect individuals like Orson Scott Card who feel the need to vilify another individual simply because they are taking a stand against an injustice against them. Individuals like JKR stand up for what they believe in. If she didn’t she would be vilified for letting RDR and the Harry Potter Lexicon walk all over her.

JKR is a wealthy woman. And therefore she’s facing a double edged sword. If she fights, she’s an “evil witch”, if she doesn’t, she has no spine.

I respect her for the hard choice she made to stand up for herself and fight for something she believed strongly in. I respect her for the fact that she had to face a man she knew idolized her and is probably troubling to her that she has to be attacking his work. And I respect her for not backing down, not letting the negativity of people like Orson Scott Card make her want to throw in the towel.

I love HP. But I love literature in general as well. And for the sake of literature, to protect all writers, creators and copyrighted material, I’m on the side of JKR.

Avatar Image says:

@Athena: That may be a convincing argument, but the defense have not taken that stance. They admit it’s infringing. The question is as to whether it’s fair use.

@Ken Jennings: I addressed you directly in an earlier comment and it had nothing to do with you being a game show contestant. I’ll copy and paste it here for ease:

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

Tyler, I also find it incredibly amusing that I’m debating with someone who could kick my butt at Jeopardy. Only on Leaky. It’s also the only place where a fan who meets Jo would play with her bracelet and ask if she would bail him out of jail if he ran through the courtroom yelling “Troll in the Dungeon!” Oh, John. You amuse me. :-)

Oh, one more thing Jennings, I don’t know if you’ve visited it, but here in the forums we’re on our eleventh thread discussing the case. It can be found here: http://www.leakylounge.com/WB-JKR-vs-RDR-SVA-Part-X-t61366.html&st=150&gopid=1595412#entry1595412

The arguments given there are more thoughtful than some of the ones here (for either side). We even have a few on RDR’s side and some lawyers and librarians giving their views.

I’m going to pimp my video one more time because it’s amusing and relevant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq0bZ7cAHlg

Avatar Image says:

@ Ken Jennings -

JKR isn’t even claiming that the entire 91% is verbatim. What she is claiming is that its either verbatim or paraphrase. And the majority of that 91% isn’t properly cited.

That would be the basis of her argument. If in that 91% it was cited properly, and more commentary from the writers of the HPL had added to each entry – then we would have nothing to debate upon. JKR would just consider it another companion book that she was fine with. Like the several she spoke about on the witness stand.

Again…these are facts of the case. That I got from reading the actual text of the case. I know I’m not the only one begging you and everyone else to do this. Read the facts before you attack the individuals involved.

Avatar Image says:

Re: Star Trek Concordance

Mine is over in the states in my office, however I’m an very sure that it is copyright Paramount, so that would have been produced with their permission i believe.

Correct me if i am wrong

I have never owned the other so can not comment. Plus there is a lot of difference between Concordance and the Lexicon Book

Avatar Image says:

skimming through the comments, I see nothing but negative (and often unfair) comments towards those who disagree with Jo. Remember that this trial is really a matter of perspective. If anything, these quotes have made me think more closely about the situation. Is Jo really right to do this? Possibly your (and my) admiration for Jo is blinding you from the right thing. It’s good to have an open mind. It seems to me Leaky is being pretty biased in this issue, which is kind of surprising. This isn’t to say I want Van der Ark to win, I’m just not sure anymore. I suppose I’m neautral.

One mans terroist is another mans freedom fighter.

Avatar Image says:

If you read Card’s whole article, it is so obvious he has been waiting to criticize JKR.

Quoting Card’s Article:

“Rowling “feels like her words were stolen,” said lawyer Dan Shallman.

Well, heck, I feel like the plot of my novel Ender’s Game was stolen by J.K. Rowling.”

Sounds like sour grapes to me.

If this stupid Lexicon book is ever published I will NEVER buy a copy. (But I cant wait for the “evil witch” to write her book and will be there the first day it comes out). I am getting so tired of people bad-mouthing JKR when it is so apparent that they have NO clue what they are talking about.

Avatar Image says:

“As we’ve been discussing over on the message boards at my site, the 91% number identifies 164,461 words of the Lexicon.”

Posted by Ken Jennings on April 26, 2008 @ 05:32 PM

Oh, so THAT’s where I could debate with someone who could kick my butt at Jeopardy!. Oh well, but given the rest of the content on the two respective sites, Leaky still wins.

Ken Jennings provides some of the better arguments I have seen for SVA’s case, in that he sticks with the issues, comes up with better examples than the defense themselves did in the transcripts, and refrains from personal attacks (the fact that he rightly identifies OSC’s piece as “screed” is another point in the favor of his objectivity).

I still am on the fence as PJB just came up with possible proof and arguments to the contrary of KJ’s claims regarding comparable reference books, but I can at least identify KJ as someone who can objectively discuss these issues from the other side.

“skimming through the comments, I see nothing but negative (and often unfair) comments towards those who disagree with Jo.”

Posted by noodles on April 26, 2008 @ 05:56 PM

Hey, there are lots of us who aren’t being negative, unless you consider reasoned arguments to be inherently negative. Again, you say Leaky is being biased, but all they do is provide access to contrary opinions for every argument, which is the opposite of bias. I have seen equal negativity on both sides (OSC’s article being a prime example of the pro-RDR negativity). We could just as logically argue that pro-RDR people’s inherent dislike for JKR or rich people is blinding them from the right thing.

Avatar Image says:

@noodles : Compared to most mainstream media outlets, Leaky is Switzerland. Do not confuse the comments with the reporting, which has been incredibly neutral.

@Jennings : For the Lexicon book to be considered a true concordance (the way I understand it), it would have to give a Book and page number for every time one of the creatures or characters or places appears in the series.

It does not even come close to doing that. I think it was Mr. “Hammah” (giggle) who had no idea what (HBP10) meant as a citation. Maybe the defense is just an ass. But, I doubt it. Many of the lawyers are associated with Stanford and its Fair Use Project. Not too shabby. I think they know a lot more than us, yet they still have yet to present a previous case that reflects the Lexicon case. They all give off an air of a used car salesman, though. Maybe that’s just RDR rubbing off on them. I imagine him to have really greasy, petroleum-jellied hair.

As for those who are saying that if the Lexicon would give commentary and such outside of what is said in the books, it wouldn’t be a lexicon anymore, I disagree. I have a Buffy companion book called The Monster Book. Not only does it list every monster ever in the series (as current as it could be as the series was still going on), it says which episodes they appeared in, even multiple ones. It also gave quite an extensive history of monsters in cultural history, particarly film and tv history. It still functions as a lexicon and gives original commentary.

I don’t see why the HP-Lexicon couldn’t do the same. Other than laziness.

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@ noodles

I do agree with you that sometimes we do get carried with our “Pro Jo” sentiments. I stand by my other comment that a great many here have done a lot of reading and research regarding this issue. I am certainly not any kind of legal or copyright expert but I personally find this fascinating from both points of view and have learned a lot. I am mostly interested in how this will eventually impact publishing rights and internet fandom, I am sure there will be fall out of some kind regardless of the outcome.

@ Ken Jennings

Answer: A heated, passionate discussion about all things “Harry Potter”.

Question: What is The Leaky Cauldron? (and welcome)

We may not agree but the conversation is exciting, educating, infuriating and sometimes hilarious.

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There’s still only