JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: “Fan Feud”, from The New Yorker

115

May 06, 2008

Posted by KristinTLC
Uncategorized

Tim Wu in an article for The New Yorker looks at the events leading up to the trial, speaks to Steve Vander Ark, and compares J.K. Rowling to the mythical Athena:

“Once upon a time, a talented weaver named Arachne declared herself superior in skill to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, who also invented weaving. Whether Arachne was actually better we’ll never know, for Athena, in a jealous rage, destroyed her rival’s tapestry and turned her into a spider. Last summer, at a “Harry Potter” convention in Toronto, a fan named Steve Vander Ark made a similar mistake when he dared to compare himself to Joanne (J. K.) Rowling.”

Wu describes what led Vander Ark to create the Lexicon website, and notes that Vander Ark has suffered “cruel fates” as a result of the lawsuit:

“In the late nineties, while working as a children’s librarian in Byron Center, Michigan (pop. 3,777), he discovered the “Potter” series. He began to take notes and, by his own estimate, has read each of the books forty or fifty times. “Something about these detailed imaginative worlds just captivated me’ he said during a court recess.

In 2000, Vander Ark, who considers himself a Ravenclaw, turned his obsessive notes into a Web site, The Harry Potter Lexicon. Soon, he was a celebrity in the “Potter” community. But when he decided to turn his Web site into a book Rowling sued his publisher, effectively exiling him from the wizard community.”

Wu also notes Leaky webmistress Melissa Anelli’s presence in the court room:

Anelli is writing her own “Potter” book, with Rowling’s blessing, and during a break in the trial Rowling sought her out and gave her a warm embrace, a moment that might have been as difficult for Vander Ark as any part of the legal proceedings.

“Melissa has done more to hurt me than Rowling’ Vander Ark said during a recess. “I can’t blame her for liking her status.” After all, he said, Rowling “is God and Melissa is her prophet.” He went on, “I am an outcast now. But I still consider myself a ˜Harry Potter’ fan.”

*

Editor’s Note: In the above-mentioned article, Mr. Wu attributed several statements made during a recent PotterCast (number 148) to Melissa Anelli (“He is vilified now”, “He has ruined his good standing.”). These remarks were instead made by Leaky Editor Sue Upton, who was commenting on the impact the decision to publish the book has made upon Vander Ark’s reputation.





323 Responses to JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: “Fan Feud”, from The New Yorker

Avatar Image says:

Yet again, a journalist not getting his facts straight

Avatar Image says:

Stupid stupid stupid. Is he saying Steve might have more skill than Jo? I think not.

Avatar Image says:

I appreciate Leaky’s balance reporting on this controversy.

Avatar Image says:

of course he has turn the vast majority of hp fandom against him and i think SVA is bitter because melssia’s book has gotten the okay while his has not and i think 1st post?

Avatar Image says:

Melissa has done way more than Steve did. Anyone could have copied the content of the book.

Avatar Image says:

I hate it how he started on Melissa…she didn’t deserve it…her status??! This is insane!

Avatar Image says:

Okay… so Steve has talent at cutting and pasting other people’s work, then has a right to profit from it whilst stating he is the author? Hmm if I ever submitted something at uni that I cut and pasted from somewhere else, I’m definitely sure I’d get pulled up for plagiarism.

I really wonder how most of these journalists can even attempt to pass judgement on who they think has the rights, considering few (if any) have read either of the books.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa didn’t write an unauthorized lexicon. She is writing a book that she actually had to work on; she didn’t copy the contents of Rowling’s book.

How dare he start with Melissa just because he’s upset that he screwed himself over. Melissa did nothing wrong! This is a low blow on Steve’s part and I truly think he deserves to be the outcast in the Harry Potter community that he has become because of his actions. His actions have deeply hurt the community. The worst part is, his actions are all selfish. He isn’t writing this book for the HP fans; he’s writing for money, pure and simple. Otherwise he would have either been satisfied with the online lexicon as a representation of his work and dedication or he would have sold his books and donated the profits to charity as JKR has done.

Avatar Image says:

Oh, my goodness. SVA is really trying to paint himself as a tragic hero. SVA needs to take responsibility for his actions; in fact, he should’ve taken responsibility for his actions MONTHS AGO.

And wow, reading all these articles makes me realize how much misinformation is swirling around about this lawsuit. Don’t any of these magazine or newspaper reporters bother to do any fact-checking before writing their articles?

Avatar Image says:

Okay… so Steve has talent at cutting and pasting other people’s work, then has a right to profit from it whilst stating he is the author? Hmm if I ever submitted something at uni that I cut and pasted from somewhere else, I’m definitely sure I’d get pulled up for plagiarism.

I really wonder how most of these journalists can even attempt to pass judgement on who they think has the rights, considering few (if any) have read either of the books.

Avatar Image says:

SVA’s comments about Melissa remind me of the scene in OOTP, when Draco loses the Quidditch match to Harry, and resorts to bitterly mocking Harry and the Weasleys to cover up his humiliation. “Talk about sour grapes”, indeed, Angelina.

Avatar Image says:

‘“Melissa has done more to hurt me than Rowling,” Vander Ark said during a recess. “I can’t blame her for liking her status.” After all, he said, Rowling “is God and Melissa is her prophet.” He went on, “I am an outcast now. But I still consider myself a ‘Harry Potter’ fan.”’ .... How dare he.

Honestly, how dare he.

I don’t even know what to say anymore.

Avatar Image says:

You have to be fair and remember that we all probably frequented his site in its hey-day. Don’t kick him while he’s down – the lawsuit probably hit him as a total surprise and he’s got his reasons for defending it. He put a lot of work into what he did. An atlas maker didn’t create the world, but he can still describe it and catalogue everything in it. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rowling’s going to win, but don’t turn Steve into a villain just because in this one thing he’s in a disagreement with your favorite author.

Avatar Image says:

Um. Oops? Sorry for the triple post. No idea how that happened O_O

Avatar Image says:

Oh, no, Mommy loves Melissa better than me! Come off it, she can comfort Jo if she wants to. I’m looking forward to Melissa’s book. I will never read Steve’s.

Avatar Image says:

I think his random attack on Melissa was just his last resort. I was hoping that after this somehow someway he cud feel welcomed back into the fandom again, but this shows that it’ll never happen.

Avatar Image says:

We are all with you Melissa how dare he do this to you are the best and I’m glad that Jo as given you her blessing keep on with your book we support you in anything you do we all love you and steve is not a real friend or fan when is says such horrible things….. WE ARE ALL WITH YOU…...

Avatar Image says:

I just knew this was coming… he had to go on and verbally attack Melissa. That was just low. I don’t know why he felt the need to say such things as I’ve never heard Melissa say anything bad about the case. She’s made it very clear that she’s just presenting the facts as they are. And an outcast he says? He can’t blame anyone but himself for that.

Avatar Image says:

Interesting piece. He doesn’t seem to be taking any sides of this matter. He’s just reporting on the people involved, and the effect it’s had on us all. Very sad.

Avatar Image says:

I didn’t think Steve deserved to be ostracized by the community until he started talking about Jo so horribly. This is just the final straw for me. He had at least some sympathy from me until he started talking smack about Melissa. Melissa was trying hard not to badmouth him, and he just turns around and says those terrible things about someone who was once a close friend! That’s not just an isolated man trying to defend himself; that’s someone trying to bring others down unfairly. Melissa and Jo have contributed so much to the HP community, SVA has done less than either of them. Jut because he read the books so many times and he made the Lexicon. The Lexicon is good for quick reference, but compared to Jo’s and Melissa’s contributions, its nothing.

The diference between an atlas maker and SVA is that an atlas maker doesn’t pretend the contents of his book were made by him. Word-for-word descriptions were taken from the books and put into the Lexicon. That’s disgusting. And he deserves to be kicked while he’s down if that;s the atitude he’s going to have. Everyone else is trying to be civil about this whole thing despite the fact that he is one hundred percent wrong, and he just keeps insulting people. Disgusting.

Avatar Image says:

It really annoys me when reporters don’t bother to check facts. I think they should formally apologize to Melissa and Pottercast.

Avatar Image says:

TLC has gone out of its way to be even-handed in reporting everything about this lawsuit. If Mr. VDA doesn’t understand why so many of the fans have turned against him, he should read that last quote. Melissa has bent over backward trying to be fair to him. He just keeps shooting himself in the foot. It seems to me he’s really started to ‘court’ the press. I think he’s realized that they don’t bother to check anything and are buying his sob story. Since he couldn’t get a job with J.K.R. he’s probably angling for a reporting job when the court proceedings are finally complete. As for Melissa’s book, her’s is ENTIRELY written by her. It’s about the history of Harry Potter fandom and the various controversies that have occurred along the way. It is nothing BUT commentary whereas his ‘Lexicon’ book is a hack job of J.K.’s work with very little of his own work added. And I would guess the main reason that J.K. has endorsed it is because Melissa bothered to check with her first, unlike a certain former school librarian (who lost his job for ‘fudging’ his academic credentials.).

Avatar Image says:

ouch! i hope he doesn’t think making comments like that are going to put him into any better standing. is he trying to alianate himself from the rest of the fandom now that he’s done with the Jo purists?

Avatar Image says:

“Melissa is prophet” Who the HECK does this guy think he is? Just because the PC quartet support Jo doesn’t mean they’re sucking up.

Avatar Image says:

We love you Melissa!

Steve can attack J.K.R. as much as he wants, but saying what he did about you takes this way to far.

Avatar Image says:

let’s hope the judge doesn’t do a fudge.

Avatar Image says:

Um, excuse me, but Melissa actually wrote her own book! She didn’t just copy Rowling’s words. This is ridiculous! SVA shame on you! This makes me so angry. Regardless of the merits of his book, there is no need for him to go attacking Melissa. And if he really has read all 7 books “40 or 50 times a piece” he needs to get a life, he needs to find some new books. It’s true the HP books are so good I will read them over and over again for the rest of my life, but I think that statistic sounds a little unrealistic. 40*7 = 280. that means 28 potter reads a year for the past 10 years. Doable, but difficult.

Avatar Image says:

@ Diaperchangindaddy…

You wrote: “You have to be fair and remember that we all probably frequented his site in its hey-day. Don’t kick him while he’s down – the lawsuit probably hit him as a total surprise and he’s got his reasons for defending it.”

Unfortunately I can’t agree with you here. When RDR approached VDA, he turned them down, saying he believed that publishing his site would constitute copyright infringement. When RDR pressured him, he agreed, but wrote into his contract that if he was sued, that RDR would assume all legal responsibility. He can say many things, but he cannot say this lawsuit came as a surprise.

Yes, the Lexicon is a great site. No, Steve does not have the right to publish it. And yes, Steve totally deserves the treatment he is receiving from Jo, Warner, and the HP community. He tried to take advantage of Jo and her kindness (and her HP Fan award) and not take any responsibility for something he knew was wrong. And now he’s attacking and lasthing out at others who’ve gone about writing a book the proper way: legally, and with respect to the author of the material.

He has no one to blame for this mess other than himself and his publishers at RDR.

Avatar Image says:

Kristin, Tim Wu compared Steve to Arachne, not Jo. Rowling is Athena in this metaphor.

Avatar Image says:

Updated because I SWEAR I corrected to Athena before I hit “post”...

Avatar Image says:

For anyone who feels like publicly stating they are boycotting his book if it gets published, please join the Facebook Group “Harry Potter fans boycotting Steve Vander Ark and RDR books”. I did not create this group, nor am I an officer, I just ran across it and thought it was an excellent idea.

Avatar Image says:

I just saw your post – thanks, Bandersnatch!

Avatar Image says:

I can’t believe he actually said “Many readers dislike the epilogue in the final book; Vander Ark urged them to disregard it entirely, and even invented his own spell to do so (“expelliepilogus”). “Jo’s quit, she’s done,” he told the audience. “We’re taking over now.”

I’m sitting here with my mouth open in disbelief. That is so rude. If I had of been there I would have started booing him.

Melissa your site is the best and you are well rid of Steve. He has shot himself in the foot yet again and maybe now this will open up the eyes of the people who still felt sympathy for him.

Avatar Image says:

Isn’t Melissa’s book about the fandom (correct me if I am wrong)? How can Mr. Wu compare Steve’s book with Melissa. She writes about how the HP fandom works together and analyzes the impact the book series has had on society. All Steve does is organize Jo’s work into a spoiler book.

Avatar Image says:

Wow, sounds to me like SVA has lost touch with reality completely. Melissa is a prophet? JKR is God? He has been vilified? (well he has but by his own hand) Just when I thought this whole thing couldn’t get crazier. Seriously, the guy needs some mental health professionals. I really, REALLY think he has somehow put himself in the HP world and that has become his reality.

And as for the, ummm, author of this scholarly piece (choke, gasp) what the heck is with this ancient Greece garbage? Seriously bad, bad writing here and facts completely disregarded or misconstrued.

I cannot wait till the judge renders a verdict so we don’t have to hear about SVA anymore.

Avatar Image says:

I think we should all call Mr. Wu telling him to appologize to Melissa and all of the HP community. If nothing else, send him an e-mail with the words “GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT!”

Avatar Image says:

A big thank you to everyone at Leaky for the way they’ve handled their coverage of the trial from the beginning!! Leaky and PotterCast are the only sources I’ve found for consistent and accurate coverage about this situation. If Mr. Vander Ark wants people to have any sympathy for feeling like an outcast, he should probably stop making cruel and ridiculous comments about everyone and everything that the Potter community holds dear. Neither he nor Mr. Wu have any right to go after Melissa, Sue, or any of the Leaky crew!!

Avatar Image says:

Are you kidding me? What ever did Steve expect to happen when he decided to plagiarize Jo’s writing? I am sorry to say this, but I think the mere fact that Steve appears to be unaware of the wrongs that were taken here verges on delusional thinking. Anyone who writes anything for a living, or even attended school in this country, knows that to take people’s words is plagiarism, period. Secondly, if you take people’s words there is this system used for that, which happens to be called “citing”. Furthermore, there are books that teach individuals how to cite properly; basic MLA formats. The only thing I can surmise from this is that Steve lacks self awareness. He also appears to be at a deficit to understand that the impact of his choices and actions. In addition those choices, he is clearly not taking responsibility for what he has done and therefore protests by placing blame on others rather than to looking closer to home. This is typical disassociation from self and interpersonal behaviors. It’s shameful that he is trying to pull others into his misery.

Avatar Image says:

Wow. That is all I have to say. Wu needs to get his facts straight before making such heinous comments. I can believe that a reporter did this, I mean especially after the pottercast where they gave many specific examples of other reporters doing this, as well as in my own expierence seeing articles such as these, but every time i see something like this, well I get a little angry, and for good reason. Melissa, that reporter has NO right to insult you and offend you in any way. I am just appalled!!!

Avatar Image says:

that is a TERRIBLE analogy

Jo acts like athena, in a way…but, the problem is Jo didn’t invent WRITING, she invented Harry Potter. . . If, in the myth, Athena made and developed a very specialized method of weaving, the analogy would make sense and the woman declared she was the best at it, MAYBE, MAYBE that coudl hold osme water…

but, as Wu is comparing something so general as weaving, to something as specific as 7 books out of the BILLIONS of pieces of work (including term papers, thesis papers, book reports etc.) done by various authors it doesn’t make sense…

HOLY *^$@#&&% what the HELL is GOING through Steve’s head! Literally! If any of you listen to Mugglecast, there was a question posed as to whether they would ignore Steve if he went, for example, to a conference. They said they would accept him back and not let the friendship go out with the bathwater…I sure as HELL hope that they chang thir minds after this TRASH that he said about Melissa, an /OPITIME/ of the perfect Harry Potter fan.

I’m buying your book Melissa done and done. Steve, if you’re reading this, I would say some extremely mean things right now. But I won’t.

He makes me SICK.

Avatar Image says:

I think that what this “journalist” wrote is absolutely disgusting. Yet sadly, he is just another in a long line of “journalists” who instead of reporting the truth are only interested in selling a story. I really wish that someone would tell the story how it really is and not take a side, but mention the fact that an incredibly large percent of the fandom is with Jo. The worst part of the article is what Steve said about Melissa. He should have the maturity that she has and not make this personal. Not once has Melissa said anything rude about Steve only that she disagrees with him, which so many of us fans do and we all have the right to do! Its sad that Steve is getting all this press and is trying to make people believe that he is the victim when its his own fault to begin with. I understand if RDR made him go through with the lawsuit, but they didn’t force him to be a jerk. I just hope that Melissa doesn’t take his stupidity to heart. Like many others posted, I’m with you Melissa.

Avatar Image says:

The point my friends is that Potter is JO’S WORLD – Melissa has Jo’s blessing as the creator, Steve did not. Simple.

Avatar Image says:

“I can’t believe he actually said “Many readers dislike the epilogue in the final book; Vander Ark urged them to disregard it entirely, and even invented his own spell to do so (“expelliepilogus”). “Jo’s quit, she’s done,” he told the audience. “We’re taking over now.”

I’m sitting here with my mouth open in disbelief. That is so rude. If I had of been there I would have started booing him. Posted by Rachel * on May 05, 2008 @ 10:07 PM “

Rachel, this is a case of the context being schewed. i can assure you, the few hundred people in attendance most certainly did not boo. do you honestly not remember the fan reaction to the epiloge at all? Jo is done, fanficers are not bound by what’s in the epiloge, we can ignore it. we can draw pairings that are not epiloge compliant. fandom creations no longer hinge on what Jo says. the books are done, they are the canon, but we are fanon and that, we own.

you know, when i start to see people cut and pasting various quotes together, i start to question what i’m reading. this is the guy who quoted Melissa saying what Sue actually said.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa, Don’t listen to this trash! We’re all in this with you! Vander Ark better get his facts straight, since the more he turns on you and the other members of the HP community, the greater his exile becomes. We Support YOU! Don’t listen to this guy!

Avatar Image says:

I can’t wait ‘till Friday when this whole thing would (hopefully) be over. We could gladly say goodbye to Steve and RDR.

Avatar Image says:

“You have to be fair and remember that we all probably frequented his site in its hey-day. Don’t kick him while he’s down” -This is true, I have been to the Lexicon site. But that was then. And those that are “kicking” the man, are not doing so because he is down, my thinking is they are “kicking” him because he did something sufficiently stupid. Well, more than a few things now.

“He put a lot of work into what he did.” -This is also true, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V is very difficult indeed. -Again, true. But I don’t think that God (that is to say God Himself, and not JKR) didn’t put a copyright stamp on the Earth. Unless He’s going to come back at the endtimes and Zap the map-makers by proving there is a small copyright stamp at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean or something.

"An atlas maker didn’t create the world, but he can still describe it and catalogue everything in it."

“but don’t turn Steve into a villain just because in this one thing he’s in a disagreement with your favorite author.” - The fact that it is Jo he’s up against doesn’t help, but I am against him for the fact that he is breaking law(s) here.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa is writing (has written) a book about the fans of Harry Potter, not a guide to the Harry Potter books. To compare the two without pointing out the distinction is just plain wrong.

But what I find more revolting is the willingness to stir the pot of anger and hurt feelings just to make the story spicier. It saddens me that we have become addicted as a society to this kind of yellow journalism. Honestly . . does knowing that Steve’s feelings are hurt (and by whom) offer any new insite into the situation? Methinks nay.

Avatar Image says:

If we all riot, should I bring the torches or pitchforks? Just asking! SVA, you had no right to go against JKR or Melissa! Long live HP!

Avatar Image says:

Wow… the arrogance is just staggering!!! Just because Melissa didnt spit in the face of the author, and actually got the OK that her work was NOT copyright infringement, and suddenly she’s on the receiving end of his drivel?

He’s all upset that he’s on the outs. Poor boy. Steve, you cant steel from Santa and expect the elves not to get pissed! And you know you stole from her!! You know it! You proved it when you made sure that your contract exempted you from the lawsuit if she sued (which you knew she would). if you were really worried about the fandom and your position in it, that clause in your contract would have stipulated that the book be stopped if she sued, not just your butt would be protected. What an a$$.

Thanks, Melissa, for not going about things the way Steve did: for doing things the right way.

Avatar Image says:

Hmm, In my above post, one of the quotes somehow is now out of place. The “Atlas Maker” quote goes between “indeed” and “-Again..” in the 2nd paragraph.

Avatar Image says:

Personally, I think that SVA is a little pathetic. And that is exactly why the press is, as a whole, taking his side. It’s easier to write the story and take the side of the former Trekkie, 50 year old, non-economically secure guy, and never mind that “the little guy” has attempted to break copyright law by printing a catalogue of Rowling quotes, which, though thorough, could have been accomplished with a simple cut and paste, and show no research. SVA knows his status and is using it for publicity by boo-hoo-ing that his Idol didn’t smile at him in the court where she was suing him. His blow at Melissa was not even well thought out, of course J.K. Rowling is going to be friendlier to the person who is testifying for her and is writing their book with her permission. I don’t really find any of this that surprising. What is surprising is that the New Yorker did not block this article from being published in their Magazine. Overly-dramatized comparisons to completely irrelevant Greek myths (Rowling is suing him for the Encyclopedia, not the his claim in Toronto), shoddily researched facts, and a partisanship that completely disregards reason, One of the most excellent periodicals around appears to have lowered its standards.

Avatar Image says:

Sorry about the extra posts, my computer is acting up strangely.

Avatar Image says:

Wow, I cannot even believe Steve has sunk this low! I’ve just been staring at the screen, trying to figure out how to best express my outrage, but I’m nearly speechless. Melissa, I’m sending lots of love and support your way – I know this whole situation has been extremely difficult for you, but I hope that knowing you’ve got the Leaky community behind you makes it just a little bit easier. ♥

Avatar Image says:

I just thought that I might post up a few quotes from a wise old man to help point out the difference between how Steve handled things and how Melissa did, words that I know Steve knows…

“Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy…”

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Avatar Image says:

Well, I definitely would expect more than a fluff piece from The New Yorker. But, I’ve come to a conclusion: to most of the world it’s all fluff and entertainment. It’s like a celebrity mugshot or angry phone call. To treat it seriously ruins the fun and magazine sales and website clicks.

So, let’s ignore them. Let’s not give them the satisfaction of doing what they aimed to do: increase reads. Forget them. We know the facts and soon (hopefully) there will be a verdict.

As for SVA’s statements. Is anyone actually surprised?

Avatar Image says:

Hmmm. I seem to remember the Leaky Cauldron turning on Steve first, so he has plenty of reason to be bitter. I also think the media has a clearer view on this issue than rabid JK/Leaky Cauldron fanboys and girls.

Avatar Image says:

that was harsh

Avatar Image says:

Turning On Steve first? newbis what are you talking about. TLC has tried to be nothing but neutral during this entire mess. Where do you see them “turning” on him? Just because they tried to stay Neutral and tell the truth isn’t turning on someone. It was Steve’s actions that have caused his rift with the Fandom, not TLC and most definitely not Melissa. This ‘old man’ is acting like a coward and baby and frankly has been acting like one since September.

Avatar Image says:

Krisitn, and the entire Leaky Staff, thank you for keeping us so well informed. It is a shame this matter has gotten so personalized, and you have my sympathies!

Why doesn’t anyone at RDR or SVA himself seem to get the basic difference between paraphrasing and plagiarizing? Sorry, the materials we have seen go far beyond the Fair Use doctrines, it is flat out plagiarism…so why not just call it that and get this over? I flunk students that verbatim copy others, and send them to a dean to get chewed out a second time! They do it twice, then they are supposed to end up on academic probation… why is this even an issue?

Melissa, I await word that your work will be available soon!

Avatar Image says:

Hey, newbis. When did Leaky turn on Steve? I don’t recall any betrayal of bias. Some Lexicon groupies were furious with Melissa because she didn’t buy Steve’s version hook, line and sinker without corroboration. Mmmmm. Isn’t that Journalism 101. It was Steve who kept his little book contract secret, who lied about the Lexicon’s expenses under oath and told Melissa he’d been lied to and misled by RDR at the same time that he was telling Dave Langford that he believed in the lawsuit and thought Jo was out of line. I think poor Steve has been kidnapped by Mean Girls.

Avatar Image says:

re: “As for SVA’s statements. Is anyone actually surprised?”

Posted by mollywobbles23 on May 05, 2008 @ 11:12 PM

molly, yeah, i am…and very disappointed in SVA. Let’s hope this is over soon.

Avatar Image says:

What you are about to read might sound negative and maybe hostile, but it’s my honest opinion… Articles like this are deceiving and they frustrate me so much! Mr. Wu wouldn’t mention that Melissa’s book is not a bunch of plagiarized ripped-off quotes from JK Rowling! He doesn’t mention her book actually is a product of her creative mind for which reason she has Jo’s blessing! And of course Jo would hug her supporters, Melissa and any other supporter! She would hug Steve VA as well if he wasn’t acting like such a greedy git and having a law suit against her! This article is a bunch of crap yellow journalism! It’s deceiving and disgusting. Also, if SVA made that remark, I guess it’s his own opinion… An opinion based on God knows what, because I would bet ANYTHING that Melissa has done nothing to hurt him. And, if he is hurt by the dissolution of the Floo Network or people having negative feelings towards his stand, then he should know he brought that upon himself; it’s all consequences of his actions and he’s a coward for pinpointing anything on Melissa. He could have done the right thing, re-write the book abiding to the copyright laws and Jo’s rights, but no, he decided be stubborn and fight for what? I thought he had an analytical mind and he would be more intelligent than this. It disgusts me… I think this book is motivated by greed and I think that RDR Books and SVA are using the trial in (unlikely) hopes of winning and using it as marketing for his unlawful and corrupted piece of literature. That’s SAD!!! Why can’t he rely on his own creative work like the great example of Jo who CREATED Harry Potter herself, or Melissa who CREATED the narrative of her experience of the Harry Potter fandom and make rightful profit off that? What SVA wants to do is parasitical; he took Jo’s creation, chopped it up, put it in alphabetical order, repackaged it and expects to sell it. He did not give the due credit to Jo and he did not produce much creative literature of his own, so to sell it would be immoral and unfair to Jo. We’ll see if it is considered illegal in a court of law, but it’s definitely dishonest. Melissa: HUGE props to you for doing your book the right way because YES, the right way is almost always the harder way, but it’s the one that in the end tastes the sweetest. You better do a tour! and I want a big hug and your autograph on my copy of your book. Leaky staff: THANKS for the professionalism and the hard work! I have huge respect for this site and the staff. You all have my full loyalty. Just thought you ought to know =D Good Night now!

Avatar Image says:

then again… these reporters are @#$^x%x*()! this is so unfair for Melissa…

Avatar Image says:

@diaperchangingdaddy:”The atlas maker didn’t create the world, but he can still describe it and catalog everything in it.” That’s all well and fine. However, this suit is not about “describing and cataloging” it is about SVA taking JKR’s work [WORD FOR WORD] and adding NOTHING to it….that is not “describing” it…that is plagerism!!!! Plain and simple. JMO

Avatar Image says:

This is the media. Lie, lie, lie. It’s a rare and special thing when a journalist actually reports without bias. So far I haven’t seen one. Mr. Wu is supporting my theory that respected journalists are going extinct.

Avatar Image says:

Lol @ comparing SVA to an atlas maker. The world is real, the HP-verse is fictional. It’s not the same.

Avatar Image says:

This whole ordeal is getting very childish and immature, at least on the side of RDR and Mr. Vander Ark. I’ve said it before and I’ll reiterate my gratitude toward The Leaky Cauldron for offering fair and balanced reporting. As a dedicated fan who has taken to reading every article about the case (unfortunately, instead of finishing my finals) it is refreshing to find a news source who is reporting the full story, not twisted interpretations of the story crafted for grabbing the headline. Sure, the mass media loves to root for the underdog but in this case the underdog is diseased and is biting at anyone close. I cannot feel sympathy for someone who attacks the only person in sight dedicated to accurate reporting. As for Leaky turning on Steve, I cannot think of a single instance where TLC has denounced Mr. Vander Ark. My hope is that we can put this hugely divisive case behind us and enjoy each other’s company again.

Avatar Image says:

Arachne was weaving disrespectful scenes of the gods as well as being quite verbally abusive of them; when Athena ordered Arachne to stop, the weaver boasted that she was a better weaver than Athena, thus the weaving contest.

Usually when the truth is distorted, it becomes mythology. So now that Wu has mythology wrong, do we call it fact?

Avatar Image says:

The only reason he’s saying this (other than because he’s an idiot who has his facts completely wrong!) is because news negative about JK Rowling gets more publicity, and thus, more profits. It may suck, but that’s journalism for you.

Avatar Image says:

My sister almost walked out of his presentation when he started talking smack about the epilouge and I was seething. Steve’s always sort of rubbed me the wrong way and now I know why. It seems that he’s always been an arrogant, coniving little pretender and now the rest of the fandom sees him for who and what he is. I just wish the press could see that side too, It does feel as though he’s “courting” journalists; feeding them this David and goliath line. Pulling Mellisa into this was increadibly low.

I just can not believe that so many people have bought into it. And if he wins...this could have massive repricussions for the fandom as a whole. So, when fansites are shut down, fanfiction is disbanded and companion books are no longer aloud to be published because JK Rowling can't afford to take anymore chances, we'll know who to thank!
Avatar Image says:

wow….cut deep

Avatar Image says:

Oooh Steve, You have done it this time.

You may have your own opinion, You may defy the wishes of our Jo, but you MAY NOT insult our Mellisa!

How dare he!

Avatar Image says:

Oh boo-freak’n-hoo for Steve Vander Ark. Where’s the story about the minor mythical being, who saw himself as the chose one, and tried to get himself a job as JK’s assistant in (co?)writing her encyclopedia?

This isn’t some brash teenager with aspirations, it’s a 50 year old librarian what can’t attribute quotations correctly. It’s not about creative freedom, it’s about cashing in.

With great gusto the man has shot himself in both feet on less and then laments the pain of being shunned by author and community.

Shame on Steve Vander Ark for belittling Melissa. Shame him for lashing out at those that doesn’t see the windmill he’s tilting at. These are the petty acts of a lesser man.

Avatar Image says:

Well, this IS the Talk of the Town section of the New Yorker. For those not familiar, these are little pieces of “atmosphere” in a early section of the mag before the longer feature stories kick in. Everybody who reads the New Yorker at least reads this section. I usually enjoy these vignettes very much. This one … not so much.

I wonder how Tim Wu … copyright (I think) law professor at Columbia who was at the trial with his students…. came to write this piece? Not to be too meta about this, but did NYor approach him specifically for Talk of the Town?

He wrote pre-trial articles disagreeing with Jo/WB’s stand in this case. So, what did HE think of the trial and how each side presented their case? Are we going to see a longer article from him?

Let’s face it, the media thinks this is a big joke: Either a chance to bash Jo or a chance to make fun of fans. Ol’ mushroom-cropped fifty year old man Steve is like manna from heaven for this! Only the legal/business writers at Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg seemed to take this seriously.

Melissa, Sue, John … courage!

Avatar Image says:

Melissa, the next time your name appears in The New Yorker (after their correction, I mean) will be when they publish an exherpt from your book on the eve of its publication.

THAT would be sweet revenge.

Avatar Image says:

SVA needs to be slapped in the face with a 2×4 piece of wood and told to get real!!!! He’s making an @&^() out of himself by saying what he did. He claims he’s now a writer, but if I was a publisher I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. In no way has Melissa or anyone else hurt him. He’s done this to himself. As Dumbledore said, “It’s our choices….” He had a choice to pull away from this and he didn’t. Normally I’m a very soft spoken person who hates to say anything bad about anyone, but this just took the cake when he made this personal with Melissa who has been more than fair toward him.

Melissa, you did nothing wrong and you’ve got thousands of supporters on Leaky and I’m sure elsewhere. You’re a jewel of a reporter and I wish that Wu guy would take a lesson in reporting from you. I can’t wait to read your book!

Avatar Image says:

The only reason why is “an outcast” is because he has declared himself one both in words and actions. I think a lot of people were supportive him at first but each time he opens his mouth he digs him self in deeper and deeper…. RDR was so keen on hiring lawyers but maybe they should have invested in some better PR training.

Avatar Image says:

Wow Steve – You are official more immature than the little girl I babysat who was 3 years old.

You feeling ostracized? Like you aren’t apart of the community anymore? Well I’m sure the best way to get back in our good graces is to insult another webmaster who is supposed to have been your friend. What, pissed that they disconnected you from the network? That you aren’t going to be back on PotterCast. Get over it. You’re 50 years old, show some respect for others and stop whining. It’s childish, immature and frankly below you.

Melissa – I love Leaky and I love you. I’ve never been to the HP Lexicon site and never will strictly on principle. Leaky is the only HP site I go to everyday to check for news and quite frankly, I love PotterCast and wait in anticipation for the next one. I hope that you ignore these awful words from a childish man who’s just angry and bitter. I hope you know how much those of us here at Leaky love you and if I was in NY I’d give you a hug.

Avatar Image says:

“SVA needs to be slapped in the face with a 2×4 piece of wood and told to get real!!!!...” Posted by LisaRosa on May 06, 2008 @ 12:42 AM ROFL! That was hilarious…

Avatar Image says:

I think the words of note there are ‘is writing a book with Rowling’s blessing’. SVA could also have done this instead he is hammering to try and publish one without it. The whole thing is just getting so nasty and people are flinging mud where it don’t belong.

Avatar Image says:

im sorry i just have to say this is all rediculously insane.

this all could have been handled way better.. he SHOULD have gone to jo and asked if it was ok first. and if she said no, (which i hope was a CONVERSATION before it was a FIGHT on her part), he shouldnt have fought it. its her story. but haveing said all that, this is a fan of the same thing we’re all so crazy about.. a fan who simply made a mistake. how do you think he feels haveing ths source of this thing he’s held so high in his life, suddenly lashing out this hard at him simply for (in HIS view) expressing his fandom. when you love something so much, sometimes it becomes equal to RELIGOUS fervor, and you forget that theres an actual person behind this and that it actually belongs to someone. ..dont say you never had that problem..

as for the melissa thing, im not a very frequent regular here, i dont know melissa, if its not in the HP books infact, i dont know it. what i DO know, is fan-hierarchies are stupid. i hail from another fan world very much like this one, where i WAS one of the “famous fans”. ..and i never understood it. yes i owned official sites and was all kinds of admin and mod of other sites and street teams and all that crap, but i never loved them more than some of the other fans did (though i loved them very much), i just had better oppertunities. dispite what some butt-kissers told me, i was NOT special. and i found it really odd when a personal matter came up between me and whoever, and a whole bunch of strangers treated it like it was a televised fued that they all had to jump in on and loudly root for their princess as if they knew the whole story. and they too had a very “how DARE he/she insult stitch!!” attitude.. like nobody’s allowed to have a negative view of me?? its impossible for me to rub someone the wrong way?? ..it made me very uncomfortable.. so uncomfortable infact, i deliberately took myself off the radar and kept very private. i refused to be the “famous fan” anymore and it shouldnt be long before they all forget or stop careing about MY “status”.

point is, im sure theres two sides, but let the man have his oppinion. he has a VERY different point of view of this whole thing that he cant help. being a fan of something is one thing, but thats just idol-worship.. and when idol-worship bleeds into people who are NOT the creator of the thing in question, its even worse.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa this is for you. Please try not to concern yourself with this recent article and how it may or may not affect your book. I personally feel that the mention of your name was a last ditch attempt on Steve’s part to try and hurt you or take something away from you. His behavior is like that of a small child who lost his toy and is trying to take anothers. I know that when I heard you where writing your book about the fandom, I was so happy for you. In addition, I eagerly await its release date. I believe that the vast majority of people who know you and love you feel the same. There is nothing that Steve can do to take that away. His choices to go the “easy way” rather than the “right way” (roughly quoting Dumbledore) are very clear. He chose to blatantly plagiarize Jo, which may have seemed easy at the time he did it, however, now he is paying dearly in societal consequences. I do not know any true harry potter fan who would touch his book with RDR or any other future book for that matter. Please rest easy Melissa and know that this will blow over as all news does. Tomorrow is another day and all this will be just a memory. A million hugs and kisses.

Avatar Image says:

Not sure if this was brought up in previous pages but…. If I remember correctly it was Melissa and Emerson (Mugglenet) who were invited to Scotland to meet with JKR during one of the previous book releases – never SVA. JKR may have given him a nod for all his work on the website but SVA was never in Melissa’s league.

Plus her book is a very worthwhile effort especially from a sociology standpoint. I remember years ago (when I was a kid) and a certain Scottish band was all the rage – all our newsletter were done by snail mail. All our contacts through penpals. We’ve come a long way with the internet age and it makes sense that someone writes about how fandom has changed in the interent age.

Avatar Image says:

See ignorant reporting rant in last week’s PotterCast:

hugs Melissa Thank you for your, and all of Leaky’s, integrity throughout this whole thing. It does not go unnoticed. I really appreciate it.

Sidenote: Congratulations on finishing your book!!

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Melanie. I will proudly buy your book Melissa. You have my vote and my support baby!!!!

I cannot stomach Steve and I have to admit I never could. I know this sounds mean, but every time on Pottercast he bothered me with his tangential thoughts and “Trekkie” ideas that he wouldn’t let go of! He drove me crazy with his comparison of the last UK edition cover and insisting that the clouds were the Star Trek ship?Do you all remember that? Is the man a little nutty? Back then Melissa and the gang put up with his nonsense because he was one of them, but here, in this case he clearly put himself outside the circle by once again being defiant and pushy about what he wanted even though it was wrong.

Nobody likes a whiny martyr who spews “Oh woes me, poor me, I’m an outcast…..blah,blah, blah, blah,blah.”

Steve if I could say one thing to you I would say, “Grow up, take responsibility for your actions and apologize to Jo and Melissa.” What’s next Steve? Are you going to try and take down the Pottercast crew, Sue, John and Frak too? LOSER.

Avatar Image says:

Okay, everyone, please comment on my theory, because im really interested to know what others think on this:

Could is possibly be that JK-WB/RDR-SVA have some inside understanding on the judges deliberation at this point that shows how Honerable Judge Robert Patterson is leaning in his decision, and SVA is now trying to get more coverage and more attacks in because its turning towards JK-WB? could it be he is bitter that it looks like his side is going to lose, and he wants to get in a few more low blows like he has been giving out against fans and against jk rowling before the verdict comes out against his and RDR’s wishes, and people start ignoring him in the press?

Avatar Image says:

Jo is God and Melissa is her prophet? snort

Steve is the jealous one, not Jo. This whole thing started from Steve being cut up about not getting enough recognition or reparation for his work on the Lexicon. He has a staggeringly overblown sense of entitlement.

Avatar Image says:

I really hope Steve is being wildly misquoted by all these journalists who seem unable to get any other facts correct in these articles. But if these are his actual quotes, he certainly seems to exhibit a maladroit anti-genius every time he opens his mouth. Someone needs to take him aside and tell him to zip it, because he just digs himself in deeper every time he grants an interview.

He’s like that one relative no one can stand who shows up for all the family gatherings and ends up making some relatives want to kill him, driving other relatives to tears, causing overall dyspepsia and casting a pall of discontent and simmering rage over the entire weekend.

Avatar Image says:

Strange isn’t it, how we all loved the HP Lexicon, frequented it and appreciated the efforts of it’s creator, yet now when Ms Rowling files a lawsuit against him we all side with her and start shunning Mr Vander Ark?

Avatar Image says:

Max, Vande Ark has shunned himself by not only insulting Rowling (without whom there would be no Lexicon; he’s just copying her work), but all the other fansites as well! Have you read the trials, and what he and his lawyers said about Mugglenet? Or this article attacking Melissa for no reason except being on a friendly basis with Rowling? I don’t know about you, but I think that’s reason enough to “shun” Vander Ark.

Avatar Image says:

Strange, isn’t it, how we all thought SVA was a fan and now when he can’t make money off plagiarism he starts turning on people he called friends?

Avatar Image says:

Naria- That annoyed me too how Wu didn’t understand the mythological story. In all my greek mythology studies Arachne was struck down for her hubris and inhumility towards the gods. So, in a way one could compare the Steve Vander Ark story to Arachne , the moral being don’t mess with the gods!! To bad Wu misinterpreted it : (

Avatar Image says:

No, he isn’t a Harry Potter fan but he is a BAD Harry Potter fan!!! How can a true fan does this to our lovely Jo!

Avatar Image says:

Stupid SVA. Stupid reporter. i am so angry. SVA deserves to be an outcast after what he has done.

Avatar Image says:

stitch – your points are well taken. Since you are not a Leaky regular you probably aren’t aware that when this all started it was Melissa and company who asked everyone to not over-react and take a wait and see stance. It wasn’t until SVA started making negative comments in the press that Leaky discontinued its relationship with Lexicon. I think this may be why some of the fans are reacting so strongly. Many of us were willing to give SVA the benefit of the doubt until he made comments that were out of line. Just my two cents.

Avatar Image says:

Max - I never loved or raved about the HP Lexicon. If you want to know the truth. I agree with Jo’s comment, A for effort. To express further, his site sucks. SVA site is so poorly designed. One can tell just by looking at the site that it is not a clean site, not to mention lacking in personal creativity. I have never been a SVA fan. He made my skin crawl from day one, but I never commented on this because it is impolite. But now I am a little pissed that you are lumping all fans together. WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. WE DON’T ALL HAVE TO AGREE. YET, WE SHARE A COMMON DISCONTENT WITH STEVE AND HIS FOUL ACTIONS. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE AND ALLOW US TO HAVE AN OPINION.

Avatar Image says:

Katie – I agree. I have to admit that while I had a bookmark on my computer for Lexion I very rarely went there. I much preferred to reread original books.

Avatar Image says:

.... Is this for real? That’s in horrible taste.

Melissa, let me just add my two cents and say that you are a wonderful reporter, mod, and fan, and I support you 100%. I hope you won’t take what this ill informed and rather Skeeter-ish man says seriously, because we’re all very lucky to have you on the scene. Leaky is the only source I’ve trusted for Potter information since I discovered the fandom. I’ll be buying your book the day it’s published. You keep rocking the magic, girl!

Avatar Image says:

“Melissa has done more to hurt me than Rowling,” Vander Ark said during a recess. “I can’t blame her for liking her status.” After all, he said, Rowling “is God and Melissa is her prophet.”

I still cannot believe he said that. I, and I know many others, feel deeply insulted and hurt and angry for Melissa- she used to call him a friend, and for him to take such an extreme and hurtful dig at her is absolutely dispicable.

And, gosh, Steve, I wonder why you feel like and outcast? Hmm, breaking the law, turning your back on the fandom and people who used to love and support you, all in favor making yourself some cash… hmm, whodathunk… I am disgusted.

Avatar Image says:

I’m so shocking about these kind of journalist who yesterday celebrate JK Rowling talents and now she finished Harry Potter do all they can to demystifiate her They’re so PATHETICS they’re true weather vanes.

Avatar Image says:

If we’re looking for honest statements here, I actually always found the HP Lex rather bewildering to navigate. I’d blame it on age if it weren’t that SVA was about a decade older than me. But then again, I’m positive that the “Jo is God and Melissa is her prophet” statement, though hard to conceive, is probably edited for maximum offense value. Highly offensive though the original context surely is, I hesitate to believe SVA has descended into such a state of mental instability that he would make such a statement as it lays ‘flat on the page’. ( I really loved that statement by Jo about reading quotes from Gambon! )

Avatar Image says:

I think the comparison with Athena is wrong. Contrary to Arachne, SVA didn’t produce anything new, better, or inventive, just a compendium of facts taken by JKR’s books.

It is very easy from the journalists’ point of view depict Jo as the devouring billionaire, squashing everything and everyone in her path; it is very easy to attack successful people because they inspire envy. It’s the “David against Goliath” syndrome. Pity that JKR doesn’t deserve it at all, considering all her success doesn’t come from a Goddess’ supernatural capabilities, but from her hard, long work. And I think she has all the right to dispose of her work and her world as she wants. Journalists in these cases never mention that she allowed the creation of huge fan and fanfiction sites, even giving awards to them. SVA’s mistake was thinking that being a devoted fan would allow him to gain from it without JKR’s consent.

Considering what he said about JK and Melissa in this post, I think he just lost the sense of proportions. I can be sorry for him but I have no real pity for his self-induced misfortunes.

Avatar Image says:

Wow its amazing how the people that are paid to inform us with hard facts cant even get hsi facts straight. I think that was kind of a low blow from Steve to Melissa, I mean they were friends before the lawsuit,

Avatar Image says:

Let Steve say what he likes to reporters. Let him say what he likes in public. Let him have his majority of supporters. As long as we (who now may be in the minority thanks to these brilliant so called journalists and news media) know the truth (thanks to Leaky’s detailed unbiased reports) then that is all that matters. Through the likes of Leaky team, I am sure Jo knows she has her supporters and I hope that would be enough for her. And it doesn’t matter if even the judge rules against her either. It was enough for Sirius Black that only very few knew of his innocence.

Avatar Image says:

I was already disgusted by SVA, but this catty behavior is unbelievably immature. He’s been rejected by the fandom because they recognize him for what he is, unlike the media and the peanut gallery celebs who comment on the situation without knowing the facts.

Avatar Image says:

I just want to thank leaky once again for their fair reporting, it must be difficult when you guys are dragged into it.

Also, Melissa is a prophet!!!!! Yay!!!!

Avatar Image says:

“Melissa has done more to hurt me than Rowling,” Vander Ark said during a recess” That was falling off my chair reading for me.

Melissa I am sure no blame can be given to you for anyones hurt feeling, and we all know it was you who tried to stop the comments getting nastily personal, so don’t let SVA’s remarks hurt you. Leaky fans are right with you.

I hope your book will be available in the UK.

Avatar Image says:

I’d like to see a psychological evaluation of what is going on here. I’m sure there are theories to explain it. Anyone care to post a link?

In a sense, this debacle is a good thing, though. Posters are revealing their worst, pettiest sides, wich is postive because it’s a eye-opener to what kind of people become obsessive fans. It’s a little bit like when the Harry/Hermione ship sunk, but without being as much fun, because real people are involved here. Of course, there are voices of reasons, from both sides. I’m not going to mention any names, I’m sure you know who you are.

(I’m equally sure the rest of you meanies think you are reasonable too. Here’s a few hints to when you are not reasonable at all: Using the word disgusting; the phrase “how dare s/he”; claiming the lexicon is useless because you know the books by heart; dismissing others opinions just because they get one or two facts wrong, when changing those facts would not have any impact on the opinion at hand.)

Avatar Image says:

Oooh, I forgot: The Leaky Cauldron is doing an amazing job here. Well done. I’m sure it’s very difficult being at least reasonably objective, concidering some of you guys seem to be good friends with JK Rowling, but I think you are doing a great job.

Avatar Image says:

I haven’t read a Harry Potter book since last year and this is the only fandom related site I visit. There goes your obsessive fan theory.

Avatar Image says:

Mara: Obsessive is more a state of mind, I should think. Passionate might be a better word.

And Mara, your above comment about Steve is very, very mean. He is not fictional, you know. Bully.

Avatar Image says:

“Melissa has done more to hurt me than Rowling,”

WTF?? I am constantly amazed by the professional approach of Melissa – she has taken the high road and yet SVA is claiming that she is still hurting him. Melissa I really admire the way you are handling the trial and frankly SVA’s comments are laughable.

Wu should get a good kick someplace for yet again blaming Melissa for things she hasn’t said. Why does it seem that all the news articles are on SVA’s side? Please report more pro-Jo articles if you come across them because this is really unfair and depressing!

Avatar Image says:

I’ve had my own problems with a bad publishing house and though I could sympathize with the situation Steve has landed himself in, his behavior has been far more Duddly-ish lately. As a Ravenclay myself I am ashamed and embarrassed that Steve would place himself in my house.

I am throughly repulsed by his childish behavior.

Avatar Image says:

Yes, I know I misspelled my own House. Lay on the fail-macros.

Avatar Image says:

Ugh, I hate when they bring others into this conflict. All I know is that Steve Vander Art wished he owned the idea of the Wizarding World, but it’s stupid, Jo Rowling created this herself, and no one should try and meet the same level as her, because she has done extraordinary works in this and he just wishes he created it.

This is reality, Steve, Jo created the Potter universe and you either accept it and be a respectful fan. Ugh, I just wish this can stop. It’s getting out of hand.

Avatar Image says:

My first reaction to reading this [before I even got past the first paragraph] was: “Oh, give me a break!” – as other people here have commented, anyone can copy someone else’s work – it doesn’t take genius.

Essentially that is what Steve did…and this “journalist” who wrote is obviously biased – did he seek out the other point of view? He just wrote Steve’s point of view!

If Steve [and RDR Books as well] expects this to be tried in the court of the “people” [read: press] and get Jo to back off the lawsuit, then he better think again.

All the HP fans need to do is mount a writing campaign and start letting these publications know exactly how we feel, and that we know the truth.

Melissa – we are behind you! I can’t wait for your book to come out – I’ll be buying a copy.

Avatar Image says:

Ah, poor Stevie… Just because Melissa can write and you can’t, you’re hurt? Give it a rest boyo – In school, anything written in an essay that is not properly cited and quoted is considered plagiarism when it is caught out – even if it is one line. You got caught with what, 90%? You knew you’d get sued the moment you signed the clause letting RDR pay for legal fees. Take your chops like a man, instead of whining like a 5 year old.

Avatar Image says:

I can’t believe mugglecast said that about SVA! Is there relationship with SVA that strong? Does anyone know what episode that was on?

Avatar Image says:

The thing that’s being lost in all this is that what SVA did in compiling the Lexicon isn’t entirely without value. Deep down, outside a courtroom, I think even JKR would agree with that. It’s just that he and RDR are trying to sell the book as something it isn’t. It’s not a scholarly tome, it’s something that was put together by an enthusiastic amateur. SVA (as JKR said in the trial, some of his assumptions and etymologies are simply wrong). Fans don’t deserve to pay for that, and it certainly doesn’t deserve to take market share away from the Scottish Book.

SVA certainly should have nothing to complain about in Melissa’s coverage – she has been incredibly fair and balanced given how close to home it all is.

My guess is that he’s a pretty resentful guy at the moment. While I wouldn’t pretend to be fond of him, and never have been particularly, he doesn’t deserve all the vilification that’s been thrown at him – some by people who have no deeper knowledge of the case than the journalist who wrote that article.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it all just blew over …

Avatar Image says:

Rioting with pitchforks and torches; hitting SVA with a “2×4 piece of wood” in the face… JK Rowling can be proud of her “true fans” and civilized “defenders”...

Avatar Image says:

And this is why I take any press…be it newspapers, tv news or magazines with a grain of salt. How much is the ‘truth’, how much was taken ‘out-of-context’ from the interview to put a ‘front-page’ spin on a not so newsworthy item.

I’m waiting until the final results are in from the Judgement.

Avatar Image says:

I wonder when any of the writers of articles that vilify JK will remember that it is not Jo that is suing Steve, but WB suing RDR books. I am sure that if Jo & Steve could have sat down in a room, just the two of them, at the beginning of this mess there would not be a trial now. Journalists and people submitting editorial stating incorrect information about the case just makes me so angry. Keep your chin up Melissa. Great reporting on the story too by Leaky.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa, I’m really sorry about what he said. That is pretty disturbing. What respect I had left for Steve has all but dissipated. I hope you’re doing okay. We support you.

Avatar Image says:

Once again the journalists are not checking their facts, and are just trying to stir things up. Well done to Leaky for reporting the trial so balanced, despite it hitting so close to home.

We are with you Melissa!

Avatar Image says:

Sorry about the comment about the 2×4. What I was trying to get across was that SVA needs to get a grip on reality. I wasn’t really awake when I made that comment. Been in fandom in general too long and seen things like this happen before but never on this scale where it reached the public eye. It’s sad.

Melissa, I hope you’re doing okay. {{{hugs}}}

Avatar Image says:

Steve is a knob. His arrogance, narcissism and notions of self-grandeur were uncomfortably apparent during his presentation at Prophecy in Toronto, as was his lack of gratitude for Rowling and HER intellectual property. At that point, with the series only just officially ended, he came off as eager to kick JKR off the stage in order for the other actors in the fandom to play- where, of course, he would re-cast himself as a lead. He was completely irreverent. Melissa, sadly, has now become the new target of his enlarged and whiny ego. Sour grapes indeed…it is too bad he couldn’t be satisfied with the fantastic website he did create and leave it at that.

Avatar Image says:

I hate how none of these people know what they’re talking about. How dare they bring Melissa into it…Melissa, you’re the best.

Avatar Image says:

Steve is a knob. His arrogance, narcissism and notions of self-grandeur were uncomfortably apparent during his presentation at Prophecy in Toronto, as was his lack of gratitude for Rowling and HER intellectual property. At that point, with the series only just officially ended, he came off as eager to kick JKR off the stage in order for the other actors in the fandom to play- where, of course, he would re-cast himself as a lead. He was completely irreverent. Melissa, sadly, has now become the new target of his enlarged and whiny ego. Sour grapes indeed…it is too bad he couldn’t be satisfied with the fantastic website he did create and leave it at that.

Avatar Image says:

Since I was here, last night, there have been two more pages of comments added. I have spend my morning, reading every single one, something I don’t normally do. In the vastness of support for Melissa, and JKR, I found one or two [out of 135 to this point ] that made reference to the comments, of Mr Wu, regarding Ms Anneli’s book {Melissa, I hope I spelled that right] The idea that JKR is favoring Ms A, over SVA, is ludicrous, at best. Let us look at the facts: Ms A is writing [has written] a book, of her OWN thoughts, regarding HP. [Fandom, as I understand it, is her main topic] What ever her topic, it is her thoughts and opinions. Not so with this gentleman [I’ll use the term loosely, here] He has taken someone else’s work [word for word] and placed it as his own. As was already stated, many times: no commentary, no personal views, no scholarly opinion. It is NOT [as some would have fans believe], a “scholarly tome”. SVA, being a Librarian and self-proclaimed scholar, has proven, [once again] that he is neither a scholar nor an honourable person. Ms A.,I applaud you and the entire Leaky Staff. As so many have pointed out, for your unbiased reporting of the facts, here. Even to posting the bad as well as the good. “His view vs Her view” if you will. It is not an easy task, given the scope and magnitude of this situation. Thank you, once again, for your hard work. You are to be commended. This may be redundant, but despite what others think, SVA is WRONG. Sadly, but truthfully, as I see it. Shame on you, SVA. Just my 50 cents….

Avatar Image says:

Ick HP Politics. He didn’t need to bring Melissa into this.

& I’m fed up of people saying that we see Jo as God. That is ridiculous & offensive to religious people, though you’d think he’d be trying to get people on his side.

Avatar Image says:

Asside, to Ms A: When all this is calmer [if there ever is such a time] can we know when your book will be released? Again, echoing the sentiments of many, many here: Thank you for all your hard work….stay “on track” and don’t let petty jealousy detract from YOUR HARD WORK!

Avatar Image says:

To ‘Linny’...someone [like SVA] who claims someone else, [in this case Ms JKR], has a set him/herself up as a God, is ludicrous too. Unfortunately, SVA has proven [beyond a shadow of a doubt] that HE is the one with the “God complex”. How sad…don’t feel as you have done an disservice to anyone, Ms A. You have proven yourself to be an honourable person. I commend you.

Avatar Image says:

Confederate Lady, I enjoyed your 50 Cents. I believe Melissa said on Pottercast last week that her book will be out this fall.

Avatar Image says:

Thinking more about it, SVA is in a really difficult place right now. From what I understand, he doesn’t have a real job, and regardless of the trial outcome the book is going to tank because the fandom is not behind him. I can see where financial stress like this would cause one to lash out in such a manner.

The really sad thing, though, is that he has not only alienated himself from this fandom, but an entire community of helpful, literature lovers. Leaky membership includes many a librarian, writer, etc. If Steve had only come to this community and said he was down on his luck instead of lashing out and trying to make a quick buck off our Jo, I’m sure the fandom would have given him all the support it could muster. It makes me feel sorry for him that, at the ripe old age of 50, he still hasn’t learned the basic lesson that in hard times one should rely on ones friends.

For someone who has read the Harry Potter books so many times, it seems he never caught onto the fact that through everything Harry faced, his main sources of strength were Ron and Hermione. After the battle in DH, Harry dons the invisibility cloak and does not seek out his lover (Ginny), but his two best friends.

He also didn’t seem to catch on to the theme in DH that the “god-like” figures in our lives have flaws too. Harry learned to love Dumbledore for the man he is, flaws and all, rather than the man he thought he was at the beginning of DH. Steve’s idol-like worship of Jo, plus his recent comment, makes me wonder if he realizes that Jo is indeed just another human being. He’s really not treating her like one. Of course Jo was shaking her head at him, he did something very wrong. She doesn’t have to be like God and forgive everyone immediately for sinning, especially when that person never said sorry and continues to do the wrong thing.

What I’d like to see, is for Steve to show some true Gryffindor bravery and apologize and stop trying to print his Lexicon. If I know this fandom at all, we are all softies and would take him back; Not that he wouldn’t have to do a little repenting for his sins first, but in the end I know that even the ones he has hurt the most, like our Melissa, would forgive him.

Avatar Image says:

Hey, here’s ONE journalist who at least attempted to do some research….Wu even listened to PotterCast! (And the transcripts probably weren’t up by that point, and if he hadn’t listened to PotterCast before, he might not have been able to tell the difference between Sue and Melis – long shot, I know, but I think this reporter deserves a pat on the back for an article well-written and researched!)

Avatar Image says:

Oh please. We are not all with you Melissa. I personally find you an insufferable kiss-up who’s always flaunting her advantages, and your commentary annoying. And, as for Sue Upton making the aforementioned comments, she still did so with Melissa’s blessing, so give us all a break here kids. Furthermore, anyone who says that Melissa “worked” on her book and SVA did not is simply a moron. You’re all playing a cliquish playground game and you should be ashamed.

Avatar Image says:

OMG – turn off the computer at 9:00 pm last night and look at the activity, unbelievable. David English made a reference at the LL forum that SVA has been considered to be the “Elvis” of fandom. It’s unfortunate that this has been thrown away by his not making the Lexicon book his own creation, making underhanded agreements with publishers almost immediately after the release of DH, smugly standing back portraying the injured party whilst throwing out insults and innuendo during interviews. I think he has damaged his reputation beyond repair.

Avatar Image says:

If it is true that someone is casted by WB to play Young Lucius Malfoy in the same scene as Slughorn and Tom Riddle jr, than WB (and maybe JK Rowling) should start reading the “sloppy” Lexibook even without Copyrigth , in stead of suing it, so they could prevent making such terrible mistakes!

Avatar Image says:

I have two comments:

1. “JKR is a god and Melissa is her prophet.” One of the reasons I like JKR is because she really doesn’t want her fame and strives to show that she is just a normal person like the rest of us (albeit with jaw-dropping writing talent). One of the reasons I like the PC trio is because they are just average-joe fans, just like me. If JKR EVER started acting like a God, or the PC trio (Melissa) EVER started acting like prophets, I would be gone. I just don’t see the analogy from my personal experience. I like it when JKR talks to the PC trio because it almost feels like she is talking to me (with the PC trio being so representative of average fans).

2. It’s amazing, but if SVA had never opened his mouth since this lawsuit started, he would be fine. Think about it, all of his problems have come because of his public statements since the lawsuit was filed. If I could go back in time to the start of this, I would beg him to please not say A WORD except for his testimony in court. If he had done this, he would still be in the Floo Network and we would all be totally convinced that he was suckered by RDR. Oh well, it’s too late now. Just take this as an example people, when you get in a tight spot and you think you can say something clever to make it better, just say nothing. At least, that’s what I’ve learned from watching SVA.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa and others are making far more money than Steve ever will from HP fandom. The Lexicon took a tremendous amount of work and I think in its web form is far more interesting to read than Melissa’s book will be.

If what Steve has been doing for the last several years is so terrible than why did TLC ever associate with him? People seem to be saying that selling The Lexicon in book form somehow pushed it beyond the boundaries of fair use which doesn’t make sense at all from a legal perspective considering the four statutory factors.

I hate how TLC has lead a movement to vilify Steve and make him an outcast dragging his personal life and other irrelevant things into reporting. It is interesting that this reporter recognized and reported on the conflict in the fandom.

Avatar Image says:

noway, if you listened to PC you would know that Sue has been very torn about this case, because she considered Steve a mentor and close friend. Her comments were in no way negative towards Steve. She simply stated that Steve is now vilified by the fandom, which is true: there is animosity towards Steve, that is obvious. Kristin, who wrote the post, not Melissa, wanted it to be clear that Melissa did not say those words. Wu simply didn’t recognize whose voice belonged to whom.

Avatar Image says:

Melissa, I still think you’re an amazing person! It was a very low thing for Steve to attack you like that! I’m really rather speechless at the moment—it’s all so frustrating! I took a journalism class last year and am going to be on my school newspaper next year and I will make sure I check all of my facts unlike the reporters writing on this case.

Avatar Image says:

Akemi, when has TLC dragged his personal life into this?

Avatar Image says:

It was inevitable that someone somewhere would latch on to the opportunity to tear down Jo. No-one can be that talented and successful (and, let’s face it, rich) without having potshots taken at them. Newspapers have to sell copies, and I expect that this David vs. Goliath story is irresistible to many in the media. Of course Vander Ark is going to see and present himself as the victim, but if anyone’s victimized him, it’s RDR books. Unfortunately, it look as if no-one is going to come out of this debacle unscathed.

Avatar Image says:

The two stories just are not parrallel at all. Sounds like this Tim Wu has missed the whole point of this law suit.

Is SVA really surprised at being an outcast? If he really is an HP fan, he should understand why people feel the way they do about him and his attempts to profit from his plagiarism. Even if his book is published, are many people going to buy it?

Avatar Image says:

@akemia42

Who is making the most money is completely irrelevant. The Lexicon website has been interesting, informative and a fun site to cruise through and was offered up by a hobbyist that was the “super fan”, He did it for the love of the project and offered it for free for other fans. Steve knows that he can produce any number of works that would be given the kiss of approval by JKR/WB and other fans and we would have rushed to buy it. But unfortunately that is not what has been presented for publication and the author of the works is challenging the matter in the courts – her absolute right to defend her creation. Also unfortunate is the constant supply of untruths, half truths and complete fiction being provided by the media – I don’t believe any one of them have gotten it right yet. They just continue to fuel the David & Goliath theme to have readers react to their nonsense so that they can write subsequent articles about the “crazy Harry Potter fans”.

Avatar Image says:

If one thing good has come out of all this mess it is that many of you have learned that you cannot trust what you read in the press as the absolute fact. You need to research things for yourself. My husband was in television for almost 20 years and still works on the fringes of the media. He is appalled by the lack of fact checking that goes on today. It use to be you had to have two sources before you could even run a story, not so today. It has really become pathetic. So if we all get nothing else out of this situation, I hope we have learned that everything you read is not true, no matter where you are reading it.

Avatar Image says:

Not that anyone is probably reading a comment this far down in the pages, but I want to say that I think I’m finally tipped against Steve Vander Ark. I still think, on a matter of legal precedence and from what I know of the legalities of the case (and as a literary scholar myself), that he should win the case. Even if the case is on the borderline, wins for the author in these types of cases can be an open door to extending authorial control beyond its already over-inflated status. I say that because the concept of authorial rights is a relatively new phenomenon, one that I am not for personally. There are issues when you allow for stuff like this, but they are less than those that would come from a complete loss of the field of bibliography (which is, in part, the scholarly art of cataloging and recompiling works for review). That is the issue here, and the reason why I think that Steve Vander Ark’s publisher should win this case.

THAT BEING SAID, I think that just because Steve has the legal right to publish this book doesn’t mean he should have gone against Rowling’s wishes. His sense of entitlement to the work he has done to catalog and compile the mass of information on his site is understandable. His work is impressive and was very time-consuming, no matter whether or not you want to admit that it was. However, his entitlement to respect from fandom and from Jo is deplorable. His expressed feelings toward Melissa are completely out of line, and reflect a grossly off-center view of the situation. Steve is not the poor mistreated outcast he makes himself out to be. I will give him the benefit of the doubt on going ahead with the book after the first signs of discontent (he did have legal rights to publish the thing, after all), but after it became clear that WB was willing to sue on Rowling’s behalf, he should have backed down and found a way to go ahead with something that Rowling would have approved. Her approval of Melissa’s book demonstrates that she was certainly willing to work out a compromise with Steve Vander Ark if he had simply tried to work one out. Steve and his publishers clearly mistreated the situation and stubbornly pressed on to publish the book as is, rather than incorporate more clear-cut scholarship (that is essays, as opposed to cataloging, which is scholarship but not as clearly so) or otherwise attempt to make the book closer to what Jo might have approved.

There are places where I think Jo, her publishers, and Warner have stepped over the line in pressing their “legal rights” to “their” work. It has happened in the past, and I’ve stated my opinions on the subject when they’ve come up, but on this issue, I think that a compromise could have been reached, and that the fault for this case being where it is lies clearly on the shoulders of Steve Vander Ark.

Avatar Image says:

I must admit that although Wu is obviously wrong as regards various details of the case, the overall message of the article does appeal to me. The attitude of the Leaky Staff has always seemed to me to be rather slavish towards JKR. There never has been any fair criticism neither of her nor of her work, although both her conduct in the case as well as the last three novels in the series are not as praiseworthy as it may appear from what we hear in Pottercast. Plus, I do get the feeling that “hardcore” fans of Leaky are siding with JKR so univocally under the PC-trio’s direct influence. Of course, I can see nothing wrong in presenting one’s opinions in one’s own podcast and I do appreciate the work that has been put into making the coverage of the trial as objective as it could be under the difficult circumstances, but nevertheless, being not such a headstrong HP/JKR-fan, I do feel a terrible bias and I’m afraid it is true that Leaky/Leaky’s fans are dead-set against all attempts of criticising the Goddess Rowling whatever she writes or does. You have the right to take such a stand, of course, but I’m glad that one can still hear the other side’s story…

Avatar Image says:

One of his former cohorts, Melissa Anelli, sat at the back of the courtroom for much of the testimony. A twenty-eight-year-old Gryffindor from Brooklyn, she is the Webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron, a leading “Potter” Web site. Although she and Vander Ark had collaborated on podcasts (she’d referred to him as a “guru”) and had even linked their Web sites together in the “Floo network,” she was not at the trial to cheer him on but, as she said, “to support Jo.” “It’s her world,” Annelli said. “She lets us play….”

“Now go buy a Leaky Mug, & kneel before me, you lemmings!”

Avatar Image says:

this is just getting ridiculous. if steve is allowed to publish this book, i am publically declaring that i will be writing:

the harry potter lexicon lexicon.

and i will copy everything steve wrote, forget about quoting or citing the entries, white-out steve’s name from the cover and insert my own. let’s see how he likes it then… what a dork.

Avatar Image says:

I feel sorry for Steve – going up against a billionaire (ie.person who can buy the best lawyers on the planet), getting worldwide media attention…and the guy was just a freakin’ librarian from Michigan! Come on you guys, put yourselves in his position, I mean, REALLY imagine YOURSELF up there on the witness stand going through this – I would sh** in my pants. And all he was doing was basically cataloging what most of us were doing at home to keep all of those minute details straight in our heads while we were reading.

Now before all of you shoot back with “But the material belongs to JKR and he was going to make a profit from it!”, Yes, I understand that and I also understand copyrights, etc. But if they made sure, at the beginning of the book, that all of this material came from the HP books and they are the invention of JKR and used quotes where appropriate, I really don’t see what the issue is. Plenty of people have profited from her work, including…egad, may I say it? This website and many others! It may be in a different form than publishing profits but lots of people are STILL profitting in some way from giving the fans what they want!

How many of you used “Cliffs Notes” to write that last minute paper in college or high school because you couldn’t keep yourself awake all night until the morning the paper was due?.....I recently used one while I was reading Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities” and I never “forgot” that it was Charles Dickens words on the page and not “Mr Cliffs Note”. They are simply a regurgitaiton of the information that is in the novel.

I don’t know if I would have (or will) buy the Lexicon book but even if I do I can guarantee you that I will ALSO buy JKR’s encyclopdia – because I am a Harry Potter fan! I believe the two books are of a completely different genre and do not compete with each other at all. I don’t see how anyone can believe that people who have not ALREADY bought all of the HP books and who will ALSO buy “The Scottish Book” will run out and buy the Lexicon book. That’s illogical reasoning to me.

The Lexicon made be, as some have described simply a “regurgitation” of her work, but I HAVE used the site and it is by far the most useful and complete informational website around if what you are seeking is FACTS and DETAILS.

I consider the Harry Potter Lexicon the “Cliffs Notes” to a modern day novel and nothing else.

Avatar Image says:

I don’t understand why people cannot see that when SVA made the website it was fine but when you want to publish a book for pure profit then it becomes an issue! Don’t tell me it’s for the fans….the fans already have the website! The website is actually much better because of the search features IMHO so I don’t know where people get off rationalizing this.

Avatar Image says:

Oh SVA…you’ve become the Percy Weasley of the fandom. Hopefully this will end the same for you as it did with Percy in book 7.

Avatar Image says:

this is just getting ridiculous. if steve is allowed to publish this book, i am publically declaring that i will be writing:

the harry potter lexicon lexicon.

and i will copy everything steve wrote, forget about quoting or citing the entries, white-out steve’s name from the cover and insert my own. let’s see how he likes it then… what a dork.

Avatar Image says:

So, according to Mr. Wu, J.K. Rowling is a goddess?

(I’ve always used the name ‘Athena’ online, but this is cracking me up)

If the goddess Athena existed, I wonder what she’d think of this one…?

Avatar Image says:

this is just getting ridiculous. if steve is allowed to publish this book, i am publically declaring that i will be writing:

the harry potter lexicon lexicon.

and i will copy everything steve wrote, forget about quoting or citing the entries, white-out steve’s name from the cover and insert my own. let’s see how he likes it then… what a dork.

Avatar Image says:

@Brett Morgan

Just to point out that Tim Wu is a highly regarded writer and rather than write about the legal facts of the situation which he is well versed in, he decided to become one of the “Potterazzi”. Would have expected better from him. Just because he wrote the article the way he did….doesn’t make it fact.

Avatar Image says:

this is just getting ridiculous. if steve is allowed to publish this book, i am publically declaring that i will be writing:

the harry potter lexicon lexicon.

and i will copy everything steve wrote, forget about quoting or citing the entries, white-out steve’s name from the cover and insert my own. let’s see how he likes it then… what a dork.

Avatar Image says:

@Brett Morgan

Just to point out that Tim Wu is a highly regarded writer and rather than write about the legal facts of the situation which he is well versed in, he decided to become one of the “Potterazzi”. Would have expected better from him. Just because he wrote the article the way he did….doesn’t make it fact.

Avatar Image says:

this is just getting ridiculous. if steve is allowed to publish this book, i am publically declaring that i will be writing:

the harry potter lexicon lexicon.

and i will copy everything steve wrote, forget about quoting or citing the entries, white-out steve’s name from the cover and insert my own. let’s see how he likes it then… what a dork.

Avatar Image says:

Thanks, Mollywobble…Looking forward to it! I’m glad you enjoyed my “half Dollar”....I stand by everything I said.

Avatar Image says:

I must admit that although Wu is obviously wrong as regards various details of the case, the overall message of the article does appeal to me. The attitude of the Leaky Staff has always seemed to me to be rather slavish towards JKR. There never has been any fair criticism neither of her nor of her work, although both her conduct in the case as well as the last three novels in the series are not as praiseworthy as it may appear from what we hear in Pottercast. Plus, I do get the feeling that “hardcore” fans of Leaky are siding with JKR so univocally under the PC-trio’s direct influence. Of course, I can see nothing wrong in presenting one’s opinions in one’s own podcast and I do appreciate the work that has been put into making the coverage of the trial as objective as it could be under the difficult circumstances, but nevertheless, being not such a headstrong HP/JKR-fan, I do feel a terrible bias and I’m afraid it is true that Leaky/Leaky’s fans are dead-set against all attempts of criticising the Goddess Rowling whatever she writes or does. You have the right to take such a stand, of course, but I’m glad that one can still hear the other side’s story…

Avatar Image says:

@mollywobble

Steve’s personal life was dragged into TLC reporting when a number of posts from his wife or ex wife were allowed to remain on the news page. I found this tasteless and a strange way to interpret the rule that the personal lives of others are not discussed.

@Cathy

I agree that who makes the most money is irrelevant, but let’s face it being a “professional fan” is weird. I hate it when people make judgments about Steve for making money from HP when others are doing the same thing. No one judged Steve for making The Lexicon a free web site. Now that this suit has come into view, he is a villain and that is unfortunate.

Avatar Image says:

Should RDR Books win the case, Steve will have won the battle but lost the war: the majority of HP fans and, most significantly, Rowling herself will never accept him back in the HP community. Steve has, by his choices and actions, made himself a pariah in a community that once looked up to him as one of its leaders. Though Steve may enjoy book sales and royalties on his Rowling-related titles, the ironic thing is that if he had, in the beginning, cut himself lose from RDR Books and apologized to Rowling, he would have likely remained in her good graces and, in time, been able to work on an approved book project with her consent and, possibly, cooperation.

That, of course, is now impossible: the rift is permanent and I’m willing to bet that if Steve had a Time-Turner, he’d go back to the time when he was offered the book contract and declined, citing Rowling’s well-stated objections to such a book.

Legalities and suppositions aside, the fact remains that if Jo Rowling made it clear that she doesn’t want ANYONE to write an encyclopedia drawn from her fiction, it’s a matter of professional courtesy to abide by it, and do so with a measure of grace. So far as I can tell, only quiz books and encyclopedias are off limits, and everything else in terms of writing books is by her own admission fair game. Rowling has given so much to HP fandom, allowed so much (to her obvious distress), and has asked so little in return. She wanted to reserve the right to do her encyclopedia without competition, and certainly never imagined she’d find herself competing against Vander Ark, one of her most ardent fans, much less face him off in court to protect her rights.

Steve has alienated himself from the very people to whom he’s felt closest. To use an analogy: Though there were clearly wizards who were unjustly imprisoned in Azkaban, Steve Vander Ark is a Muggle who imprisoned himself to Alcatraz and will forever torture himself over what he did and, more importantly, what he didn’t do: let the matter drop before it got to the point of no return.

Avatar Image says:

so sorry that my comment posted about 10,000 times. ...oops! my bad.

Avatar Image says:

“you cant steel from Santa and expect the elves not to get pissed!” Posted by Beth A on May 05, 2008 @ 10:52 PM

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m totally stealing that line.

Avatar Image says:

You know, what really bugs me the most about the SVA quote that JKR is a god and Melissa is her prophet is this: What is he saying about the fans? When he characterizes JKR and Melissa, he is characterizing the rest of us as brainwashed followers. Wow, he must be pretty self-confident to insult such a large group of people. I mean, even if what he were saying was true, the fact that he actually said it caused my opinion of his intelligence to drop considerably.

And another thing, the characterization of anyone who supports JKR/WB in this suit as brainwashed lemmings has become so unanimous that the people saying it are starting to sound like lemmings themselves. So just remember, if someone calls you a lemming, they are a lemming too, only they are a hypocrite as well.

Avatar Image says:

@akemi42

I am not stating that SVA should be condemned for wanting to make money with his Lexicon. Totally fine with it and believe that he has the information and ability to do so. But when the author of HP is concerned that when she decides to publish her encylopaedia she could indeed be sued for copyright issues for taking information that the Lexicon book currently contains and SVA/RDR would then hold the rights to, things are getting very complex and need a judgement. SVA/RDR did have an inkling that things could go to court. This is one aspect of the case that would have to be considered should SVA/RDR prevail. This is the kind of detail that Tim Wu could write about with great insight. I guess not as eye catching as “Fan Feud”. Besides we aren’t feuding, we are discussing and commenting.

Avatar Image says:

What an ass to bring Melissa into this, I mean seriously like, what an ass! I wasn’t in the group of villifying Steve but I’m finding it harder and harder to empathise with the man. What an ass!

Avatar Image says:

Desperate, angry, pathetic. That is all I can think when I read this. What happened to Steve? I think his obsession ran away with him and he honestly can’t separate fiction from reality anymore. ( I wonder whether he thinks he wrote the books?) This is actually pretty sad. Melissa, I can only imagine what this makes you feel like and while I’m sure a part of you wasn’t surprised, it still has to sting. I am sorry you have to even go through this. This is a sad period for the HP fandom. Remember guys, we need to try not to been juvenile or mean toward Steve though, whatever he says. That’s just not what Potter People are about. He’s done enough damage to himself anyway.

Avatar Image says:

I now know what my HP book will be “The Sad, Lonely, Fall of a Once Mighty Harry Potter Superfan” the unauthorized story of Steve Vander Ark.

First Chapter

From his meager beginnings as a Star Trek fan Steve learned he was a dime a dozen amongst those catalouging, ship detailing, red shirt counting uber fans. When Harry Potter came Steve realized he could do what every star trek fan does for their passion, catalouge everything, for the Harry Potterr series. But instead of having to sit through and transcribe endless hours of videotape he could just scan books into a computer and cut and paste. Thus the Harry Potter Lexicon was born.

Hey Melissa, you could add a last chapter to your fan book “The Fan Devide”, “A fan’s Final Fate” or “The Dangers of Obsession and Ego.”

Personally I blame myself and others for Steve’s fate. In Star Trek fandom he is a dime a dozen. Also unlike Star Trek that has many people involved from actors, designers, costumers,etc. that helped shape that world HP has one author, and since JKR could not be at HP events Steve stepped in. In the beginning of HP fandom we crowned him a God. We let him shape our opinions and speak for us as a collective. Wheter we meant to or not we supported Steve’s ego, and unlike his Star Trek book, the published Lexicon would have made him rich selling much more than only 40 copies.

Avatar Image says:

I now know what my HP book will be “The Sad, Lonely, Fall of a Once Mighty Harry Potter Superfan” the unauthorized story of Steve Vander Ark.

First Chapter From his meager beginnings as a Star Trek fan Steve learned he was a dime a dozen amongst those catalouging, ship detailing, red shirt counting uber fans. When Harry Potter came Steve realized he could do what every star trek fan does for their passion, catalouge everything, for the Harry Potterr series. But instead of having to sit through and transcribe endless hours of videotape he could just scan books into a computer and cut and paste. Thus the Harry Potter Lexicon was born.Hey Melissa, you could add a last chapter to your fan book “The Fan Devide”, “A fan’s Final Fate” or “The Dangers of Obsession and Ego.”

Personally I blame myself and others for Steve’s fate. In Star Trek fandom he is a dime a dozen. Also unlike Star Trek that has many people involved from actors, designers, costumers,etc. that helped shape that world HP has one author, and since JKR could not be at HP events Steve stepped in. In the beginning of HP fandom we crowned him a God. We let him shape our opinions and speak for us as a collective. Wheter we meant to or not we supported Steve’s ego, and unlike his Star Trek book, the published Lexicon would have made him rich selling much more than only 40 copies.

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Splinched. The things he is saying are getting more and more unbelievable, but any attack on SVA at this point is just going to garner him sympathy, so leave him to lie in the bed he’s made. Besides, I don’t WANT to see anyone suffer like this, I desperately wish he would shut up because he keeps making things worse. Dude, don’t screw yourself over so bad!!! I keep thinking he can’t make things any worse, and then BAM, he finds a way.

Avatar Image says:

all i can say is that this thread just makes me feel very uncomfortable. having gone to cons and wrockstock, i’m constantly amazed by the amount of love and acceptance this fandom has. this whole issue only shows me that we’re still as petty and mean as the rest.

Avatar Image says:

Re: Comment originally posted on April 17th, 2008 @ 3:57 p.m. to the article, “JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: A partial settlement reached; WSJ summarizes day three of testimony.”

In some ways, fan sites, supplemental books, and critical analyses, are being portrayed as utter “boiler room” transactional money makers, where an industrial, sterile environment employs drones who work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, “shooting out” something that is “reverse-engineered” based upon the original Rubik’s Cube®. That concept is a bit hard to grasp, especially when a fan site, or other supplemental material, is largely audience driven, or the material may be produced or posted by a fan (to be fair this includes SVA for the most part). While the site or publisher themselves expend resources to switch on electricity, many of the images, or other intricacies of Harry Potter have already been paid for, or are going to be paid for by the audience user, through purchasing DVD’s, books, etc., a million times over; what you are left with is a Harry Potter Club that is exchanging baseball cards. When indexes, references, or reports are created for Legal or Academic purposes, that is one thing, even then they can be reduced down smaller and smaller to the original creative source, be it a Statute or Judges opinion, or directed back to the originator of the light bulb, because citation is given to the originator. On the other hand, I too, would have found it highly useful, in a utility sort of way, to take J.K. Rowling’s books that I paid for and scan them into a computerized format; if anything so I could read the pages, save them, search for words, numbers, and sentences, count words, index, and rearrange until I squeezed every little thing out of Harry Potter that I could. But, therein lays the value. Most every Harry Potter fan congregated religiously to squeeze every little thing they could from each other once a new Harry Potter book was published. Those things were largely offered back and forth without barter. Every new thing that came about, idea, concept, theory, waited in limbo and docked somewhere in the ethereal universe, until it was trumped by what J. K. Rowling wrote in her next book; even J. K. Rowling’s intermittent comments left hardly anything for Cannon. What is being muddied is the fact that timelines and characters can be discussed until we fans are blue in the face, and that the fact will still remain that within J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter there is a “timeline”, all fancied up and storied as it is, and there within Harry Potter, the characters are developed, as storied and unalphabetized as they are. It is a bit peculiar, any questions in the form of “Do you the author receive entertainment value from what I’m giving you? Do you find what I’ve done useful?” On the one hand, one is left wondering if the Harry Potter brand would be as big as it is for J. K. Rowling, if there weren’t the movies, or the extensive discussion of the material on fan sites. On the other hand, it would be rather annoying if you drilled a water well and laid a driveway across my property, then tried to encourage me that it is somehow useful to me as well. If one were to get into comparative legalities, surely there is some legal discussion as to when the property owner loses “title” to the underlying property, maybe after a period of time has elapsed?; let’s say, for example, 15 years. Maybe there is other discussion as to the property owner giving an “‘A’ for effort” as “consent,” therefore never really losing actual control in title of the property that holds the water well and the driveway, no matter how much time has elapsed. Further those trains of thought might say that any further embellishment, addition, change of circumstance, could lead to the original property owner enforcing the rights that were established. It really isn’t much different with this Harry Potter case. Let’s say that there was any consent to the existence of any fan website whatsoever. Does that allow for the creation of a publishable, bounded material from the one who was given the hypothetical consent? Yes, I too, would love to have scanned each of J. K. Rowling’s books into a computerized format, to analyze and rearrange, but I can’t go out and present that to the blue chip executives that have some interest in what the latest Harry Potter clothing trends are these days. As to fan sites, and Rubik’s Cubes®, I would say that it really does help J. K. Rowling tremendously to have fan sites, commentary, and critical analyses lurking about, when the overall effect of the audience’s interaction actually adds value to what she is doing. If something I do deserves a marking of “ ‘A’ for effort”, I’d do what I could to keep the status quo. What does the “ ‘A’ for effort” actually mean? Well as any Harry Potter fan is aware of, it could mean anything. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean perform the “Sectumsempra” curse on my material, and it doesn’t say anything about re-publishing in revised form all J. K. Rowling books “Years 1 through 7.”

Avatar Image says:

This all makes me uneasy. I can’t wait for it to be over.

To be honest, I remember reading about Steve and his “celebrity status” a while back and thought he had a nerve parading himself as a HP celebrity, when he did nothing but quote the book online