JKR/WB vs RDR Books Trial: An Appeal to be Filed

112

Sep 15, 2008

Posted by EdwardTLC
Uncategorized

An update for you this morning on the ongoing trial between WB/JKR vs.RDR Books. The Detroit Free Press is reporting an appeal is expected to be filed this week in this matter. The paper reports:

Roger Rapoport, a Muskegon publisher, and Steve Vander Ark, a Grand Rapids area librarian and author, expect their attorneys this week to file a notice of appeal preserving the men’s right to continue the legal battle for their Harry Potter book.

U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson Jr. ruled Sept. 8 that the book violated Rowling’s copyright and blocked its publication.

The paper also reports that reps for Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling could not be reached.

Complete trial coverage from Leaky can be found via this link.





100 Responses to JKR/WB vs RDR Books Trial: An Appeal to be Filed

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Sore losers.

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Those ‘sore losers’ are well within their rights to do so. I hope they win, I’d prefer an independent reference work to one by the author.

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Oh give it up guys. Havent you got the message yet. Ms Rowling doesn’t want your book, the judge doesn’t think its right that you have this book, and we fans darned well don’t want your book!!

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Wasnt the judge rule clear enough? It doesnt really look like they’re gonna get anything out of an appeal….

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@ Debbie It seems that our friend Corey doesn’t agree… she/he rather read the lexicon than some new book by Jo… hehehehe that is precious.

I think if they have the right to appeal and loose again they should do so, then maybe the message will sink in: You don’t copy someone’s book, arrange differently and call you own!

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More good wishes to Jo and company…let’s get this thing settled once and for all!!

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Sore Sore Sore Losers! I can’t believe they actually think there going to win an appeal! HA! I think Corey lives in Wonderland. :P

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100% Ms Carol! They DO have the right to appeal…..and lose AGAIN! Here we go. Another round of stupidity and lost monies, on Mr V’s part. And more monies for the lawyers they have…..

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Woohoo, its Hammertime! I like hearing about Jo laying it thick on the Hammer. I’m kidding, this is sad news. I thought SVA moved on as well as everyone else. My suspicions are that the lawyers gain from making appeals, even if they lose so they encouraged their client (RDR) to make an appeal. I suppose this isnt surprising. So any speculations how this can turn out? Can Judge Patterson’s decision be overruled? If so, by who, and by what likely reasons?

Avatar Image says:

It should be entertaining to see them lose again. Why would they want to drag this out? I am all for independent reference books, but I am no a fan of violating the author and creators rights. Get over it man. You were wrong and you lost…let it go already.

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hm, any of our friends with legal background see any grounds for a successful appeal?

given the resources available to the WB legal staff (and the lack of for the RDR attornies), plus the nature of the ruling (Patterson basically said “go back and re-write from scratch”), this makes no sense.

Is RDR thinking of keeping this going for years, until JKR’s Encyclopedia is ready to come out, and then attempt to block it with the claim it infringes on the Lexicon?

and please folks, let’s not attack either SVA or JKR, just the WB and RDR lawyers…

g’mornin’ , Confederate Lady and Prof Potter.

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I think he should just revise… add more commentary… and proper citation. essays and all sorts of background info about creatures she uses and their use in literature and the various cultures of the world…. THAT would be interesting to read.

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Urrrgh…they may be within their rights, but please…your case was hypocritical…you would recieve JKR’s blessings (or at least not be subject to a lawsuit) if you just edited your book, provided proper citations, reduced quotes, and added commentary.

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Yes, they do have the right to appeal but if this case keeps going, it’s all lost monies. It’s sad.

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I hope Jo wins, because it changes what we authors (I’m one of them) hold as a copyright. It basically says that the government, and quite frankly ANYBODY, can now take a character from any book and write not only a guide for reading but a new story or plot as well. Copyrights are supposed to disable this, but if Jo loses, the right for anyone to literally steal our copyrights is enabled.

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@ bubd, who said: hm, any of our friends with legal background see any grounds for a successful appeal?

I don’t see grounds for appeal, no, though it is perfectly within the Defendants legal rights to do so.

An appeal is simply a judicial review, it is not another trial, not at all.

Did the judge err in his interpretation and application of trial law? Was the judicial ruling ‘overbroad’ or ‘under-applied’? Did he misstep in courtroom procedures? The plaintiffs received ‘statutory damages’ but those damages are capped and must be awarded per the statutory code; this award was not a punitive damage award, but one that is required by law.

RDR Books cannot introduce the timeline issue at appeal, it was not part of the original case, nor can they say “But judge, we’ve rewritten it now, so the past ruling is now unjust.” It’s not another bite at the apple.

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@ Debbie, Whether or not Jo Rowling wants the book is irrelevent, whether readers will want it – well, the market will decide that. These are complicated issues for law to decide, and an appeal is part of the legal process, whether or not fans like it.

@Amy Darlene – agreed!

@ CM McDonald, I would have more sympathy for this view if Jo had taken a stance and tackled fanfiction, which, to me, is the TRUE infringement. Talk about taking characters and writing new plot for them!

@ all posters, For the sake of Dumbledore, and all in his army, let us not set about creating divisions in the fandom (again!). As a wonderful wizard once said, “The world isn’t divided into good people and death-eaters”...

Avatar Image says:

This seems…rather pointless. Patterson’s decision even said “hey if you just revise it you can publish it” So just revise it! Save yourself another $6000 and legal fees.

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This is just pathetic. Vander Ark should just revise his lexicon to include more of his own thoughts. How can he think that repackaging Jo’s work was going to give him the right to profit from it? Wake up and smell the coffee. Add more original interpretation and let this go. Why would anyone buy that now anyway? He has ruined his credibility.

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No. No no no no.

Okay, it’s clear that these publisher are hell bound to get this “book” out there. Have they changed anything in the book? No. Do they have the right to re-publish a book just by rearrenging it? No. Why can’t they get it into their thick heads? This makes me so incredibly angry.. I can’t even speak my opinions properly…

Actually… you know what? This opens the way for the rest of us! You know what I’m gonna do? I wanna be a writer so I’m gonna copy and paste an ebook of Harry Potter, but put the chapters into my book last-one-first, first-one-last, and publish it under my name! Hey, everybody! That means I’m gonna be an author!

Btw, sorry for the bad English. I’m too upset to spell (that’s my bad excuse anyway).

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@ Debbie – The only thing this thing proves is that he isn’t allowed to publish the book. It doesn’t prove that fans don’t want the book, it doesn’t prove that the judge doesn’t want the book, and it also doesn’t prove that JK wants the book, the last of which doesn’t really matter if the book is published.

Plus I’d rather get a well done book from another writer now or close to now than have to wait 5 years or more for JK’s book. Has she even announced how far she is along with the book or if she has even started it? I’m assuming it’s going to be extremely detailed and therefore will be much longer than any HP book out right now.

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Agreed, Cara, I’m not seeing anything in the decision that would offer serious grounds for a successful appeal…sure the right to appeal as a formality is there, but there’s a time when you cut your losses…

hence my musing about motive….Why would RDR continue the process (unless strictly for formality’s sake?) unless it hoped to gain something down the road? based on my second-hand legal education (long stories), I’ll go with the adherence to formal process thought since there doesn’t appear to be any other logical reason.

of course, a revised manuscript would be a totally different situation but would not void the decision. yet oddly there has been no hint or rumor of any effort to extensively rework the materials. very strange….given the time its taken for the first stage of the legal process to work its way through the court, a revised manuscript could have been prepared and ready to go….so, all I can say is “very strange”, and celebrate the fact that the decision does not appear to set serious precident for future intellectual property/copyright cases

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The time to have rewritten the book would have been during the pre-trial run-up, not after the case made its way before the bench. Once having entered the courtroom, then that was the time for the two sides to attempt to reach some manner of amicable accord/settlement.

Now that the ruling has been handed down, though, a full re-write in Vander Ark’s own words and with all manner of appropriate citations, plus a renaming of the work {essentially an entirely new book, the back log of actual work entailed is staggering} is what is now necessary in order to get this book to pass copyright infringement and not be in flagrant violation of the current ruling.

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@ gottaloveluna: How is fanfic MORE of an infringement, when it’s not for profit and involves some actual creativity, than a for-profit companion guide that merely alphabetizes and quotes wholesale and without citations JKR’s actual words? Besides, WB did try to crack down on fanfic when they first bought the film rights—this ended with them looking like cruel monsters picking on every 13-year-old with a FF.net account.

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Given the nature of the HP LEXICON, which touts its completeness as one of its selling virtues, it’d be very, very difficult, if not impossible, to rewrite EVERY entry so that most of the writing is Steve’s, as opposed to misappropriating Jo’s works.

It’s in RDR Books’ best interests to appeal, win or lose, for one reason: the publicity value. This lawsuit has gotten worldwide attention, and RDR Books is getting tons of free publicity at Jo’s expense. (Her legal fees will be in the tens of thousands of dollars, with more to come.)

Let’s leave this to the courts to decide; it’s now a legal matter, and it’s best left at that.

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To all those who say that SVA should just revise it, add more to it, add his own thoughts, etc, there’s one thing I think you’re missing: that would require actual work and creativity on the “authors” part. and I think that is the one thing that Mr. VA is trying to avoid. Why should he put any effort into his own creativity when he (and RDR books) think they can bully the courts into letting him copy and sell someone elses for their own gains?

And to the person who brought up fanfiction, I think the line that was crossed was that SVA is trying to PROFIT off of Jo’s work. He was fine himself while his Lexicon was online and free to the user community. Same as fanfic. Jo probably knows that these things are a wonderful way to keep the fan community interested and involved. but… if someone tried to package and sell a fanfic, you bet your buttercups that she’d put a stop to it (and rightly so!).

to Justin: what makes you think the SVA book is well done? I’ve seen it online (it was part of all the trial stuff). It’s terrible! It is just an alphabetized listing. Thats it! no insight on anything, no theories (debunked or not), no essays, nothing. blah! I’ll wait for the authors work, thank you.

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The Leixcon does not need to be in book format to be more useful. In fact, publishing something which is already available to the public for free online is ridiculously unwise anyway.

But to appeal this case when Jo has already won with the support of millions of fans is blindingly stupid.

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Just a comment on fan fiction…remember folks, no damages are done unless the person tries to profit from what they write.

Personally, I’m sad to see the on-line lexicon gone…I thought what Vander Ark did as a fan on the website was admirable and really well done…it’s just a shame that he decided to try to put it in print and claim it as his own (without doing additional work) with full knowledge that it was against JKR’s wishes. It’s sad to see such a dedicated fan turn on JKR that way.

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Raven: The online Lexicon isn’t gone, there are just a few hiccups transferring the name to a new server. It is currently accessible via http://www.hplex.info/

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Cara and budb, perhaps it’s actually cheaper for RDR to appeal than it would be to rewrite the book? I can’t remember, but hadn’t the book already been typeset prior to the case?

Can someone remind me the differences between criminal appeals vs. civil appeals? I know in a criminal appeal you can only examine whether or not the court proceedings were fair. For example, a certain piece of evidence was allowed, and it never should have been. Do civil appeals work the same way, or would the appeal examine the actual ruling and the judge’s interpretation of the law?

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To just go along with what Cara said earlier, the grounds for an appeal is to lay the claim that something in the original trial was amiss and therefore, the original trial needs to be looked at again to see whether or not something was wrong that is just cause for the decision to be different. (The greatest example I ever got during one of my undergraduate classes on Constitutional Law was, Was your lawyer drunk at the time of the court proceedings? If so then you should appeal!) An appeal isn’t a new case, rather a judicial review of the original case, by a new pair of eyes to see whether or not the appealing party was in some way shape or form unfairly judged.

Having read those ridiculously long transcripts oh so long ago, while it is RDR and Steve Vander Ark’s constitutional right to file for an appeal (and after all who wasn’t expecting one) I doubt the decision will be over turned. Judge Patterson didn’t take this decision lightly (he took how long to come up with his decision?) and nothing in the trial was amiss nor were they unable to put forth their argument in any way, they just don’t like the ruling.

I personally would much rather have an encyclopedia from JK Rowling than any other. While I have read some other companion books (Such as the What Will Happen in Book Seven one (by mugglenet I believe)) An encyclopedia of sorts, I believe, should be written by the original author. As JK Rowling has already stated, hers is going to include things she didn’t get to add in the original seven novels. Like what happened to our favorite ice cream parlor owner after he was taken away (or rather what he was all about in the first place!) or who characters that we only know they exist but nothing about them (James’s Parents). Only she truly knows these things and I personally would love to know what she knows!

I think the time for a rewrite would have been when JKR originally asked for one, before the trial took place. It is officially too late. When JKR and WB originally tried to stop the book (pre case) and JKR expressed that she would accept it with original thought and work, that was the time for rewrites. Now its far too late.

As for fanfiction, no author wants to take that away. Fan Fiction exists for almost (if not every) television show, movie, and beloved book series (and sometimes just a single book!) Every fan of a show, movie or book want to know what happened before or after they were introduced or had to leave their beloved characters so its natural to create those stories yourself. As long as you are simply creating them for your own enjoyment and with the help of the internet sharing them with others, for free, then no author is going to stop that. The second someone tries to print bind and sell fan fiction for copy then it’ll be an issue. But I highly doubt it will happen.

Avatar Image says:

oh my word I think I wrote an essay. Oops. Sorry.

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LOL, beckett, that “essay” actually packed quite a punch. I’m glad that there are some insightful posts here which I could help me understand something more about this case (and here I thought there was nothing left to understand!) But I seriousely expected an appeal to be filed. It didn’t seem as if RDR books was going to give up so soon. I just wanted to know if an appeal would hold any ground.

Anyhow, it just makes me sad. This case has already done more than anough damage within the fandom, why can’t they just let it go?

Oh, and to tackle the issue of fanfiction, adding to what beckett said, every popular movie, TV show and book has fanfiction. It is a non-profit, purely-for-entertainment work which does not “infringe” the rights of the original creator because it is just an extension of the fans’ imagination and insight into the lives of the characters. No fanfiction writer is repackaging Jo’s work, trying to pass it off as their own and trying to earn money out of it.

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What do they expect to get out of this?

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@ mollywobble, who said: Cara and budb, perhaps it’s actually cheaper for RDR to appeal than it would be to rewrite the book? I can’t remember, but hadn’t the book already been typeset prior to the case?

There is no doubt that RDR has ridden this trial, soaking up attention, and trying to get certain groups on his bandwagon. Just browsing his site, however, shows that most works are written by Rappoport and in fact show a blatant lack of literacy.

Had the book been typeset? Part of the American version had been, the French version had been typeset and gone through a full print run.

I have seen a few posts were pro-RDR supporters were under the impression that if the book had been determined to be derivative then it would have been acceptable to publish. In fact, David Ardia, who’s just signed onto the ‘Right to Write’ fund {established by Rappoport} says:

“I am still trying to get my head around the court’s rather strange - and internally inconsistent - holding that the Lexicon is not a derivative work, so I’ll pass on doing an exhaustive analysis of the court’s reasoning on this point.”

He then gives a link to an article written by Derek Bambauer, who concurs:

Most oddly, at 40, the court holds that the Lexicon isn’t a derivative work. It’s correct that the Lexicon may not fall into one of the statutory categories, but those are expressly illustrative and not exhaustive. If it’s not a derivative work, what is it? Something sui generis? A poorly-formed copy? The decision really goes off the rails here without sufficient care in thinking about what a derivative work actually is. I believe the Second Circuit’s characterization of derivative works is much broader than Judge Patterson does.

Basically, though, an author does have the exclusive right to their derivative market. If they seek an appeal saying the judge ruled this work as transformative rather than derivative, they’re definitely shooting themselves in the foot. Should the Appeals Court rule that the book is derivative, then that goes against the Defendant as willful infringement into a market in which they have no entitlement whatsoever. This could be phenomenally bad, bad, bad, not to mention incredibly devastating financially, because the higher court could set aside the smaller statutory award in order to penalize the Defense with a larger statutory damage award along with punitive damages and all court costs/attorney’s fees for both trials. (Of course, that’s the worst case scenario.)

Avatar Image says:

Steve…. Lie back… take a deep breath… now just let it go. The book has gone… it is dead to you… there is nothing to be gained by following this path. Breathe. That’s right. ... Now… tell me about your mother….

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The points made by budb and Cara are excellent. Why dont SVA and RDR “simply” add more own creative content and re-interpret the questionable entries in their own words? It was after all Judge’s Patterson recommendation (well, alright, he didnt recommend directly but his declaration implied it). I think I agree with Mollywobble in that the copyright infringement is so deep that it is too much work! And that it is an easier and cheaper option to appeal. Though its still a mystery to me as to the purpose of the appeal. Do they have a realistic chance of a reversed verdict? Or does appealing give out an impression of their conviction in publishing the Lexicon was in their right, regardless if they win or lose? Or is it simply the power of persuasion from the lawyers to milk them Three possible reasons, there could be more. RDR may also still be playing the “poor small innocent peasant” card for sympathy votes and more publicity. Also, SVA’s next book appears to be with a different publisher so RDR may be clasping onto its only big dollar potential casting caution to the wind. OK, thats 5 possible reasons!

Oh a belated g’morning to you too budb, and to every1 here, goodness, where’s my manners :)

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@ gottaloveluna:

Well, I’ve never read fan-fiction, but those are not published. I am not an author of fan-fiction or guides, nor essays; I have written a story of my own, and it has nothing to do with Harry Potter. If someone were to take my character (his name’s Haldo Meaveero) and write a new story about him in fan-fiction, I would love to read what people might say happens to him! But to take my entire series and sum it up, using direct quotes without quotation, IS a direct violation and infringement of Copyright when it is published. Were it not published and just written for personal use it would be okay, but to completely do what Vander Ark has done (and Jo even said she would approve if he would just rewrite it so that it does not violate her copyright) is just like stealing what we own.

I say what we own not because we wrote it, but because we send in our manuscripts to the Library of Congress, they send back the approved form (receipt), signed by the person who is over all of it, and we then OWN that copyright. If I haven’t explained it well enough, email me at [email protected] I realize that this brief description doesn’t fully account for what is involved with Copyright ownership, so please excuse me.

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As always – I’m hoping for a solid victory for Jo and her team. I would never buy that Lexicon book anyway since I want to read JKR’s own words about her characters and places. Plus it’s downright stealing and that should not be allowed.

GO JO!

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OH GOOD GRIEF!!!!!!

The FACTS are not going to change. Why can’t SVA & RDR just gracefully accept defeat! They are just making themselves look even worse by whining and pouting like spoiled children! NO CLASS!!!!!

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@ budb

You don’t really think that RDR is putting up the cash to pay the attorneys and court costs, do you. Look where their ‘experts’ came from… The ‘experts’, (who were not very expert. Is Shakespeare in the public domain? ) and the attorneys were funded by that large, exclusive university in California. (I forget the name). So there are deep pockets on both sides. Grasping at straws is something ideologs do well, whether it’s justified or not.

Good luck to Jo and WB.

OMT

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@justin

But JVA’s book is not well written. In fact he didn’t even do that good a job of ‘cut and paste’ of JKR’s work. As a librarian, he didn’t even know how to properly acknowledge the source of 90 per cent of the content of ‘his’ book.

OMT

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well i can’t say i did not see the posibility of this happening, I had prayed there would be no appeal but alas RDR books and SVA have $ in there eyes.

What they obviously fail to realize is they have alienated the vast majority of hp fans and that alone will likely kill sales of the lexicon if it ever get published, so i doubt they will even recover they legal fees acrued in the legal battle.

personally id rather have a reference written by the author ( not to mention one that helps out a good cause) then one by a seperate author who may make inncorect supasistions on the future of the characters as i don’t doubt that JKR has a few surprises left for the “Scottish Book”

anyway iwant this over and well over

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Mr. T, its common for law students (and their mentors) to take on cases pro bono and bear the expenses up to a point as a means of getting experience and exposure for the students. nuthin new with that. and to appeal in any kind of case is also pretty automatic. just curious what grounds they will come up with.

CM McD, my interest in this matter is also professional (my academic work, copyrighted at LoC etc etc, was plagairized. And issues of copyright and intellectual property are central to my profession). The WB v RDR decision appears to be very specific and restricted to the case in hand, so I don’t see it serving as the basis for future decisions….

adds a wave to mollyw and any others i missed earlier….

so, we wait until the appeal is filed so we can see what the arguments are: hm, “my attorney was drunk” might work ;-)

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If you read the whole article it doesn’t appear a decision to appeal is definite. I think there is a difference between preserving the right to appeal while you consider your options and declaring there will be an appeal.

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Old Mr. Toad is right about the idealogues. They want to tie up the legal system as a form of protest and to try to get the law changed to match their ideology. I doubt they will win. Actually, I thought that in his decision Judge Patterson gave them a remarkable amount of leeway to paraphrase JKR’s words, so really with some re-writing RDR could get the Lexicon published in a form that WB and JKR would find unacceptable. But it is just easier for them to appeal than to do the re-write I suppose.

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You automatically have the right to appeal. That appeal must be filed within a month’s time of the verdict, or verdict stands. There is no ‘preserving’ the right. You either file appeal by deadline date or you lose the right to appeal.

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The only thing I found interesting about the Lexicon when it was on line were the essays and commentaries. I used to look up reference things once in a while when I was too lazy to figure it out for myself. But that was it.

Once I found out that Steve’s book was just a listing without the commentary, I knew I wasn’t going to buy it. And once I found out how he and RDR were handling the whole thing, I totally lost interest in anything that has to do with the Lexicon.

They really need to stop. Enough is enough already.

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He has the right to appeal, but I wonder if it’ll do any good.. Wouldn’t it be better if he just edited his current book and present a copy to the WB and JKR when they ask for it, instead of refusing to do so (RDR’s fault)? It would probably be less costly than having lawyers battle it out in court over something that’s already been settled

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Cara- maybe you are right but this article is not backed up anywhere else. It is based on one quote in an article in FREEP. If you read the rest of the article it doesn’t look like they have decided at all what they are going to do. JKR won her case, they lost anyone would be considering the repercussions and thinking seriously about what their options are. Nevertheless, no appeal has been filed and I would withhold judgment until there is something more substantial in the press.

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Appeals are part of the process. I for one am glad that appeals are allowed in court cases. People don’t always feel that they got “justice” in a verdict. This is obviously the case here with RDR. If I were their attorney I would probably advise against it, since the probability of them winning is even smaller than with the original case. People shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers at SVA either, he’s not the defendant (and I bet he wishes it would all go away).

So I say let them appeal. They still don’t have a case.

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this is so unbelievably disgusting. mostly i’m surprised at their gall in appealing, unless they just don’t want to appear to be pushovers…..but really…..haven’t they learned that most of the population they’re hoping will buy this stupid book--the fandom—-is just as disgusted with this mess as i am?

this “appeal” seems the thing that will lose steve v any kind of face he may have been able to retain after all this….it’s sad, it’s narcissistic, and i’m so surprised that he doesn’t recognize that for himself. i would assume he’d want to hide from the public eye and never show his face again, but….

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Ugh!!!!!! Not again!!! I thought this just ended! I don’t want any more debate, any more backlash, anything else to severely disrupt the fandom. My best wishes to Jo, WB, and Steve and RDR that they will come to an agreement peacefully…but this whole thing is still yucky.

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W-T-F… The book AS IS infringes on copyright laws. EDIT IT, submit it to Jo and everything will be cool! Steve VA, RDR or whoever is responsible for the appeal, if they are really even gonna appeal, whoever is making the desition needs to stop wasting the time of everyone. Jo’s, WB’s, the courts’ and theirs… what stupidity! And don’t pull the “they have the right to appeal” excuse; the book as is will be determined to be infringing on the law no matter what court it appears before. STOP THIS MADNESS!!!!! and stop making us stress over seeing Jo stress! she needs to spend time with her family and writing, not appearing before court because some IDIOTS can’t see that they need to be on the right side of the law to publish the darn book. AAAARRRRGGGGH!!!!!

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... Firstly, I don’t understand why they are appealing (other than the human desire to say “I’m right, you’re wrong, nanny nanny boo boo!”). Secondly, the judge ruled that in general, reference books do not violate copyright laws, but Van Der Whathisname’s book used too much of JK Rowling’s direct material. Instead of an appeal, wouldn’t it be cheaper to rewrite the Lexicon book so it does fit within the copyright laws?

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@Corey & Justin i don’t get it. how is a book filled with unoriginal information that’s already available for free online more appealing (no pun intended) than a book that’s going to have lots of new canon information and will probably be filled with interesting and amusing passages as with the authors previous companion books?

sure, if it were published the lexicon would probably come out sooner than the scottish book, but how much of a difference does that make when all the information in the lexicon book is already available at online for free? it doesn’t matter whether you can buy the book in 1 year, because you can look at it now online.

and in any case, once the scottish book comes out, the HP lexicon book would be severely out of date and missing information, lol. so i completely don’t understand the notion of the lexicon somehow being more interesting than the scottish book.

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Hi, again! Well, it seems a pretty good bet that this fiasco is going to go round and round and round until someone [paying attention, Mr VA?] realizes it’s over. Shrink had the right of it ”....Steve, lie down and take a deep breath…” I think, as many here have stated, that if SVA is this determined, he should do what others have suggested. Go back. Add your own commentary and insight [if you have any] and re submit it. Through proper “channels”. Don’t give your lawyers any more of your hard earned money….. BTW: Good to “see” your “voice” again, budb!

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Oh god…Give it up, Steve!

You lost the battle, and now you’re either being a sore loser or still looking for more publicity. Either way, you’re doing no good to Potterdom by trying to tear it apart.

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@Confederate Lady – Mr VA was not the person sued and I bet he would like the whole thing to be over. There is still no other reports of this supposed “appeal” to be filed so I have real doubts about the credibility of this single report.

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Oh, how I was hoping this would not happen. Finally, it’s over!...only to be promptly begun anew. sigh Such is life, I suppose.

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Of course they are going to appeal. It’s not costing RDR anything and it’s a high publicity case. They could care less about the book, they are in it now for the attention.

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i thought this would happen but i figured that they wouldn’t have enough money to battle out in court again

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The circus goes on… no wonder there. Guess the rulling is not to their taste and they want another interpretation on the whole thing. I just hope it doesn’t drag on for too long, it’s pointless and tiresome and not even ecological (with the sheer amount of paper it’s generating…must be reaching a tree or two already). I just hope they get rebuffed once and for all and admit defeat. Can’t they see all it does is upset (most of) the fandom?

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This should never have gone to trial. Why would any real FAN go against Jo’s wishes? She’s given us so much, why would we make her life harder?

They are sore losers.

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I suspect that the majority of fans won’t buy SVAs book anyway, so there’s no point in appealing. It’s time to listen to the Judges wise words, to read what the fans write on this comment board, and to think the thing through.

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CARA apologies in advance but I have copied and pasted your (attributed) legal comments to this forum:

http://www.leakylounge.com/WB-JKR-vs-RDR-Part-16-t64544.html&st=230&gopid=1678242#entry1678242

Post 232. Thanks for your informative comments, sorry for stealing them!!

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Oh, come on, RDR – give it up already!

I’m a bit unsure about where Steve Vander Ark stands in this though. In this article from about a week ago, Steve actually says that he is glad the whole thing is over:

http://www.mlive.com/grpress/news/index.ssf/2008/09/after_losing_harry_potter_ency.html

Quote from the article: “I’ve always been a fan of Harry Potter and of Rowling and my hope all along was that we’d find an amicable way to settle this,” Vander Ark said from England this on Tuesday morning. “I’m dissappointed, but this is the way it went and I don’t hold any ill will at all. It was a question of law over a difference of opinion and, in a way, I’m glad that it’s finally over.”

Judging by this, it seems that RDR are the ones who have been pushing for an appeal, while Steve has been willing to accept the defeat…

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So it continues eh… Pity

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From what I recall, Steve Vander Ark isn’t involved in this so much as RDR books is. Steve wasn’t part of the Lawsuit, just his book. Therefore all decisions are squarely on RDR and the legal team he has.

I think it’s political, plain and simple. The lawyers want to change the precedent of the law and are trying to get this case up to the Supreme Court to do so. However, I don’ t think it’ll happen.

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Whoever is behind this Appeal is a brainless, senseless … git, be it RDR or Steve. How can they still claim the right to steal and sell the hard work of Jo ?

I know that Jo will again and again against this ungraceful thiefs, but it’s so boring and disgusting. Jo as the Judges have better things to do than discuss with this scum

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This is utterly ridiculus! Wake up and smell the gillyweed people, if they didn’t win the first time, they’re probably not going to win again nost likely. Look if he were to take his book and write it in his own words, great. But you can’t call yourself an author if you just take someone elses work and publish it as your own. I’m with JKs side all the way. Lets finish this once and for all

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Do they actually think that appealing gives them a better shot at winning the case? they’ve already lost once I just wonder if they’re appealing not because they think they can win the case, but for the prolonged media attention and focus of the fandom. this is just getting ridiculous(like a bogart gone bad…er…badder….much badder…...you get the point…..bogart=bad….ok, now i’m done)

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I don’t know what to think of all of it really. I just think it’s cool to see my hometown’s name on the leaky cauldron!

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God, that Vander Ark character is so creepy.

That said, unless it interferes with JKR’s official tell-all encyclopedia, I wouldn’t mind if creepo’s book was published, (which I doubt will happen even with the appeal).

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Seriously… Why not just edit?

Please?

This is just such a bad case for fair use! If it was genuine “use” it would be an important case for an important issue. But it isn’t. Not if you do not qoute, and comment, or use the original text to show or elaborate on your own thoughs and ideas.

I wish the publishers would have the writer rewrite the book, and the law team find another, more relevant, case to argue fair use. For the sake of peace and general good ethics.

And what else should we expect of Jo? She deserves credit for standing up for autors (and artists) right to their work! It is their jobs, their income, their passion, their hard work. Just becase some artists are sucessfull, it doesn’t mean their work is up for grabs. It reminds me of “free” music downloads. It’s no more ethical if the band is sucessful and rich, than if it is struggeling young musician.

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Well, this news is completely disappointing. I have nothing against independent reference books, but it seems like the one they’re trying to have published is major copying from the original work (which is plagiarizing) and doesn’t add anything new. I hope JKR/WB win.

If I wrote a book, I wouldn’t want to have someone else take my work, copy a majority of it, reword, and then publish it… that’s just appalling! It is my belief that works of fiction or non-fiction cannot be made into independent reference books because it’s all in the author’s head, their imagination or true story (at least not when the author is still alive as s/he can still contradict the information). Anything else can be made into reference books like facts, records, subjects (like math, science, language, literary analysis, etc.).

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@ gottaloveluna – Fan Fiction Authors do NOT profit from the writing of their fan fiction. It’s done simply for the love of the creative process – and the fun you can have whilst doing so. SVA and RDR would have both profited from the sale of the Lexicon, which, in short is a mass republication of great slabs of JKR’s work.

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Roger, man! Don’t be silly! Steve has a good foundation for a book. Fix it up according to Rpattz’s ruling and come out with an even better book. You’re just spending more money, when you’d be better off fixing the book up. Is this really the best decision for your company?

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Oh, come on! Give it up. As for the market; this fan doesn’t want a book by Steve. I want to read Jo’s version, as it is, ah, her world.

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We have been discussing this over in the forums and seem to be reaching the conclusion that this is just a delaying action to keep their options open, because the notice to appeal is a short document that starts the appeal process, and you then have maybe 2 months to submit the appeal proper (and therefore start paying lawyers to devise it).

Of course they might still appeal, but it might also be a negotiating tactic to get a better deal out of the JKR/WB side.

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They’re Pathetic… They should be grateful that they got away with the minimum penalty, but no, they go and appeal! They’re like a toddler throwing a tantrum now.

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Gosh i hate them!!!!

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Posting my usual plea that people not trash either SVA or JKR. Its in very poor taste to do so…..and its not accurate factually.

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Oh NO! I hope Jo wins again!

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real sore losers and hope they will keep losing till final appeal and jkr keeps winning…

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Well they have the right to appeal however, wheres the respect the author has for JK? Didn’t he CRY on the stand saying how much he respects her etc etc? He should just drop the appeal if he “respects” her so much

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COME ON

With all the money and time RDR wasted on these cases RDR could have easily written a ROPER, LEGITIMATE book about Harry Potter and have been making money selling it in stores.

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I’m really not that pissed off, and I don’t see why anyone should be – they’re only causing more damage to themselves. Now, I don’t know all the legal ins and outs, but if a defending party loses the appeal, can the judge sentence them to harsher penalties? I mean, the judge let RDR pretty much off the hook with the equivalent of a verbal warning and a mild slap on the wrist… er… wallet.

Of course, since Steve is protected from harm by his contract with RDR, he has nothing to lose but the good will of the fans.

However, let’s face it, at the end of the day, we still we probably go to the Lexicon, because it still is this incredible resource.

Also, I don’t approve of calling people who want to appeal “sore losers” – it’s part of our judicial system! The constant appealing some cases may get can be tiring, but it is arguably the most fair way to do it. Some of our nation’s most important cases were won or lost by appeals.

As for revising the Lexicon in it’s transition to book form, then it would stop being the Lexicon. Sure

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Woops, accidental hitting of the “post” button. Anywho…

Sure, as it currently is, the Lexicon book is not fair and proper use of Jo’s words. However, correct me if I’m wrong, but the judge wanted more in a revision than simply rewording some directly taken stuff – it would need commentary and the like. And yes, the Lexicon does have commentary on it, but enough of it is (are?) outdated theories tat one couldn’t make a book out of it. The Lexicon is a powerful resource online, but it would lose its power if it became a book chock full of essays and theories. Sure, it could be a good and interesting book, but it’s probably not what Steve would want the Lexicon book to look like.

Also, one of the powers of the Lexicon is that it’s not just a compendium of Jo’s world – it’s a searchable compendium of Jo’s words, and it would lose that power in the transition to book. Plus, I often find myself needing the Lexicon when writing or debating or researching online, and so even if I had a copy of the proposed Lexicon book, it’s likely that I would use the Lexicon online more.

To sum all my thoughts up, Jo is in the right, and Steve will not make any dramatic revisions, but I support the appeal in the same way that the ACLU supports all cases involving the freedom of speech, whether or not they support the particular group – it’s their legal right, so let them appeal. It does no harm to any of us, and the most harm it’ll cause will fall on them.

I mean, if Jo lost, and she (I mean, WB) appealed, would we all call her a sore loser? I think not.

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Rowling should give up. She is not going to win this.

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I agree with shob. I mean Jk is a good author (my cousins don’t like her), but I think… I think i should know what this guy’s writing in this book.

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Mr Vanderark is being as pathetic as Rowling was for sueing him.

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WILL IT EVER END!!!!!!!!!!!!

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People – can everyone please remember that SVA was ONLY involved in the original lawsuit as a witness? WB sued RDR – not Steve. It was not his decision to appeal – it’s RDRs.

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@ Shob:

“Rowling should give up. She is not going to win this.” Ummm… were you confunded recently? Jo already has won, though it’s actually WB that won, and it’s Steve, though it’s actually RDR, that’s appealing.

As to ??, Steve is attempting to put the HPLexicon into book form, and the controversy lies in that most of the proposed book is directly taken from Jo’s work – word for word, and that nothing really is added, no real commentary or the like.

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Thanks, budb, for your fair and reasoned points, and for your reminders to posters to please be civil with remarks. It is appreciated.

Much as it seems that a majority of posters here on this particular forum are “on JKR’s side,” please keep in mind that there are many others (with just as valid viewpoints) who see the situation differently. Someone in one of the first posts on this thread said “we fans” don’t want to buy Steve’s book—well, I’m a fan, and I want to buy his book, and I’m not alone, so please don’t presume to speak for every fan. Some of us would love to have a hard copy of the Lexicon (and yes, I have read the “book version” of it from the legal filings, and yes, I do believe that it has original content and is not “regurgitation” as so many are fond of quoting.)

Zivloc has it right—an appeal is part of our judicial process. “Sore losers” has nothing to do with it. They have every right to appeal if they feel they have something to gain by it, just as JKR would’ve had the right to appeal if it had gone the other way.

Whether it is won on appeal or whether the “revisions” are done in such a way as to satisfy the judge’s suggestions - whichever - I just wish it would be settled soon so that I could get a copy of the book. As someone said earlier, it is an incredible resource which took a great deal of work to organize and in my opinion it deserves the chance to be down on paper.

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You know, before all of this, I’d never even thought of the HPL as “SVA’s”. I’d looked at it as more of a community collaboration. A collaboration in which he played a huge part, of course. But for the most part I thought the HPL was created through the work of many fans, not just him.

I dunno, I’d feel too weird to buy the book if it just had his name on it. I’d rather wait for the Scottish book, and do any kind of looking-up on my own in the meantime.

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Oh this is just ridiculous, it isn’t a case of sour grapes or sore losers or what have you. It is normal procedure for the losers to file an appeal hoping to garner a win on a technicality or to give them more time to come up with succeeding arguments from the first trial. Nothing will happen of course. The WB and JK’s lawyers will have been much too thorough to allow for a loophole. I expect the case will be dismissed or the ruling upheld. There really isn’t anything to worry about.

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Vander Ark is well within his rights to do so…..however, as this case has evolved into a globally-scaled lawsuit (I just watched a report on it on Iceland’s news source), I think he should just let it go. Fanfic and commentaries are plenty to keep the harry potter world vibrant with the fandom. Why doesn’t he just release his work on the internet? Who wants to make profit off of something they can take no real credit for?

Avatar ImageHGROSS44 says: You can bet if someone duplicated one of his copyrighted books he would have a holey cow and make a big fuss about copyright laws and how they stole his story. But the shoe is on the other foot and all they can see is Green and the Attorneys only want money and don't care about anything but the Green line. I would hate to have someone do it to one of my Books.

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