Lexicon Trial Updates and Important Announcement about Floo Network

113

Mar 24, 2008

Posted by Melissa Anelli
Uncategorized

We owe quite a few updates tonight, and there is an important announcement following (since the information in this post is vital to that announcement, so make sure to read the whole thing):

Update:: Agence France-Presse says JKR will be a witness.

Firstly, the April 14 trial in the JKR/WB vs. RDR Books case will be a bench trial, meaning that there will be no jury. A witness list is due by April 4.

Secondly, Steve Vander Ark of the Harry Potter Lexicon gave an interview recently to BlogHogwarts, which Alejandro of BlogHogwarts kindly sent to us in the original English (it was translated to Spanish for the site):

  • * * *

Do you think that, if Lexicon wins the case, the Harry Potter fansites are going to be affected in any way(Lexicon Online included)?

A victory for RDR Books will protect the rights of fans to create based on someone else’s work. If RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc. So a win for RDR Books is definitely in the best interest of fans who create websites, write fanfiction, make wands, compose wizard rock, and so on. I am surprised how many fans have missed this point. Their freedom to create is on the line here.

How many pages does the Lexicon book have?

The Lexicon book will have around 400 pages. It’s 160,000 words. The book has four authors. I am the main author, but three of my Lexicon editors worked on the book as well.

If the Lexicon is published, once the Scottish Book gets out, will you still update Lexicon Online and Book?

I’m as excited to buy Rowling’s Scottish book as anyone! It will be very different from the Lexicon book, with a lot of new and exciting information which only Rowling can provide. I will continue to update the Lexicon website. I love working on the Lexicon and will do so even if I have no staff and even when people don’t read Harry Potter much anymore. Beyond that, I have written another book, called In Search of Harry Potter, which will be published in July. I’m starting on another one as well. I intend this series of books to comprise a complete independent reference library to Harry Potter. The second and third books will not generate the kind of legal concern that the Lexicon book has, thankfully.

Do you consider that your fanatism or admiration to J.K. Rowling is less now after all that have happened?

My admiration for the Harry Potter books is as great as ever. I’m still a huge fan. I’m also still a fan of Rowling, although I think her current actions are unfortunate and badly advised. I still admire her as a writer and a person and I don’t expect that to change just because she and I have a disagreement over a legal issue. Friends can disagree and still be friends.”

  • * * *

And finally, we have a very important and related announcement regarding the status of the Floo Network.

The following is an announcement that contains commentary.

The interview quoted above contains a number of assessments about J.K. Rowling’s intentions and what the Lexicon case means for fandom as a whole. The comments sat uneasily with many of us as soon as we learned about them, and prompted a discussion among our entire staff about Leaky’s association with the Harry Potter Lexicon, in which it became overwhelmingly clear that Steve’s thoughts on this matter and ours differ so greatly as to be polar opposites; we do not think a win for J.K. Rowling means tighter controls on fan creativity at all, and are concerned for the opposite, as well as the attempt to misportray the issues of the case as stated in sworn affadavits. So, after a few days of careful and many-sided discussion, we, as a full staff, decided that people who have such a fundamental disconnect in beliefs cannot and should not be partners in name or spirit, and two days ago informed the Lexicon that we are severing our association.

There were many who called for this since the day the lawsuit was filed, and on many occasions since, but we decided to wait to make the final decision until we were able to shake out more about the case and the beliefs of the parties involved. Now that it has been made clear to us that the Lexicon’s leader and we disconnect on such a fundamental level regarding fandom, it would be disingenuous to continue calling ourselves partners.

We had intended not to make this decision until the case was completed, so as to not sway public opinion. The comments in question, however, combined with the suit’s history and revelations therein, make us too uneasy to continue affiliation for a moment longer. We had also wanted to refrain from offering commentary on the case, but we all agree that if it meant the continued propagation of comments against our beliefs by someone so visibly associated with us, silence could not be maintained.

That it was a fully supported decision doesn’t mean it wasn’t very hard for this staff, who have for so long considered the Lexicon an ally in all things. The staff was sobered and saddened to find itself walking so uniformly toward this decision, even knowing it was the right one. We have enjoyed an excellent five years as a member of the Floo Network, and don’t regret that time for a moment. We wish everyone associated with the Lexicon health and happiness in the future.

We plan to retain strong affiliations with Accio Quote, though how it would manifest depends on some future decisionmaking, as things are slightly upended right now. This decision in no way affects the regard and admiration we continue to have for Lisa Bunker and her staff, or for Belinda Hobbs and the work she has done on the main Floo page; we hope to remain closely associated with them and their sites. In addition we strenuously discourage anyone from taking frustration for this decision out on any associated staff members, of the Lexicon or any other site. This was not a decision based on hate and hurt, it was rooted in the sad realization that we are much too different now to remain partners.

As for what this means, more functionally: This essentially means the Floo Network has been dismantled, as the network would be, then, Leaky projects and Accio Quote, and that’s more a partnership than a network. (We will sort out what to do with the main Floo page, and its content, as well.) There have been many asking, since November, whether Steve would return to PotterCast: That answer is now no. And while Leaky has always owned the hp-lexicon.org domain and paid for the site’s hosting, we’ve promised to transfer the domain to Steve as soon as litigation is complete (a stipulation that would not have been made had ownership not been mentioned in court documents). We will continue to pay for hosting and provide free support until that day.

This has been very emotional and trying for the staff here so we hope you’ll forgive our little foray into the commentary area. Since people are by nature opinionated, and we are all human, we wanted to keep the personal opinions we all have separate from the pages here, which is why after the first few weeks of figuring out what was going on with this case, we began to stick to linking to and summarizing court documents and other publicly available pieces, and trying to ask further questions to clear up misconceptions when they occurred. The rationale there is that if it’s publicly available there’s an easy check on its accuracy, and goodness knows our users are nothing if not close readers. We have been mentioned time and again in these proceedings, which makes us involved to a certain, small extent; therefore the coverage will continue to be simple linking-to and explaining-in-layman’s-terms legal documents, so you can easily read them yourself if there’s ever any doubt what we say is true. That said, we don’t expect any significant public documents until reports start surfacing of the April 14 trial; there might be a few article updates and more interviews, but mostly we are waiting for the courtroom proceedings to occur. As usual, we’ll keep you updated to the best of our ability.

Thank you for understanding, and as always, we thank you in advance for your civility and respect to each other in the comments.





663 Responses to Lexicon Trial Updates and Important Announcement about Floo Network

Avatar Image says:

It’s sad, but definitely the right choice…. :(

Avatar Image says:

Haven’t read the entire thing yet, and I’m sure this was addressed. But I think Steve is so horribly wrong in saying that all HP fansites and wizard rock and everything would be on the line. Jo doesn’t want to stop any of that stuff ( I assume), anyone back to the article for me.

Avatar Image says:

Yeah, he is completely wrong.

“we do not think a win for J.K. Rowling means tighter controls on fan creativity at all, and are concerned for the opposite, as well as the attempt to misportray the issues of the case”

Avatar Image says:

And, now I’m also very sad Leaky had to severe it’s ties (as old Perce would say) with the Lexicon. Especially that he won’t be on PotterCast anymore, I always liked him on CC. But, like Leaky, it would be sort of hard for me to just ignore what he was saying about the case. And I 100% agree with their decision, sad pandas to all.

Avatar Image says:

Definitely the right choice. I’m sort of surprised this didn’t happen sooner.

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Couldn’t be prouder of you, Leaky Staff. You guys have been great representatives of the fandom. I think you guys made a very fair and well-informed decision. Well done!

Avatar Image says:

tis a sad day but i foresaw this day comming ( and no im not related to Sybil Trelawney ) I agree with this decsion 100% and i do not think HP fan sites and such would effected by the outcomeof this case outside the possibility of the lexicon, but it is possible that other authors would not be so generous and force websites and etc to shut down idf the do not pay some type of licensing fee

Avatar Image says:

This is very sad, but necessary for Leaky. As always, I applaud you, Melissa for trying to stay neutral until this point and do not blame you or your staff for making the decision you did. Breaking up a friendship is very hard, but in order for a person/web site/fan site, etc to remain healthy, they must break away from what is considered an unhealthy relationship. I’ve had too much experience in this, but don’t regret it because I’m a much healthier person for it (mental and physical).

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone on Leaky. hugs

Avatar Image says:

I am really impressed with the way Leaky and all those at Leaky have handled this situation. You have been professional and generous, and that is inspiring. Everyone at Leaky does a wonderful job, and everything you do makes this a Potter site to truly be proud of.

Avatar Image says:

A throughly contemplated decission based on principal and high standards reminicent of Harry and friends. That, however, does not make it any less of a painful decision. Kudos for you all. I also agree and trust Ms. Rowling’s statements she is not against sites and fans, just those profitering off of her extensive and exhaustive work.

I again ask that if things should not go as we hope and steve’s book is published there is a complete boycot of the book. If they do not yeild to common sense and courtesy, then absent sales will let them hear our displeasure loudly.

Avatar Image says:

Well, this is rather sad. Not entirely unexpected, but sad. Wish I could say that I didn’t see something like this coming, but, oh well. What’s been up with Steve lately anyway? He seems a bit…off. I always thought he was a really nice guy, but saying that Jo would try to “ZOMGAbolish All FanworksWTF!!1!”? Not on, Steve. Not on. D:

Avatar Image says:

It really is a sad day, but it was inevitable. I’ve kept my opinion for myself since the beginning of the case, in order to have arguments from both sides to consider and I agree with TLC (and therefore with Jo). Can’t you see it Steve ? You completly misunderstand the nature of the relationship linking Jo with us. It’s all about trust, confidence, mutual respect and above all, Love. And now you’ve been (temporarily or not, that is for Jo to decide) cast out of it. You’ve been badly advised, you should at the very least recognize that, if only for the devastating effects your behaviour and your position has generated. I really do hope that RDR will lose the case, or it will be a new era for authors and their fans, an era of defiance and mistrust, an era I don’t want to know of.

PS : sorry for the mistakes, french guy speaking here… ^^

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It is clear that an awful lot of thought and care went into this difficult decision. I applaud you all for the professional, caring way you have handled the entire drama, and for being able to put aside personal feelings and emotions to stay so neutral and fair. It’s sad that it had to come to this, but definitely the right decision based on everything that has happened.

Avatar Image says:

You’ve made the right decision. I must say I really don’t understand what the Lexicon has been doing from the start and I also disagree with their comments. I don’t think any website will be affected : there’s a huge difference between writing online and publishing to make profit. It’s impossible for them to win. It’s obivous the Lexicon book is an organized copying and pasting of what’s in the books ( their character pages especially ), I don’t see how it can possibly compare to fanfiction, Wizard Rock or anything else for that matter. I really love the Lexicon as a website and I’ll continue loving it after the trial although I so strongly disagree with Steve on the publishing issues.

Avatar Image says:

Firstly, I applaud the entire Leaky staff. This was a really brave thing you guys did, some people/places would shy away from making such a stand as this. You guys are truly my heroes in standing up for what you believe in. That being said; if our Fandom and whatever meager rights we have or don’t have as Fans who write fan fiction, create Wizard Rock, build Websites, create Fan Art etc, is in jeopardy, it is because of his lack of forethought in regards to compiling a piece of work in order to earn a profit from it. Steve should have left it at a website – where millions of people could have had access to it at a moment’s notice.

Greed is a terrible, terrible thing.

Avatar Image says:

This is the right decision for Leaky. While it was probably very difficult for you all to come to this point, it’s not entirely unexpected, and it preserves your integrity as a fansite. I applaud all of you in the staff for taking this hard, but needed step. Hopefully people will understand why you had to do this.

It’s sad that it has come to this, but let’s remember that Steve Vander Ark brought this on the fandom, and on the Lexicon all by himself. It was his choice to publish his site in book form, and to bring all of these legal proceedings on in his and RDR’s actions towards JKR and WB.

I’m sorry to see the Floo Network gone, but if it preserves Leaky and all of the good you guys do for the fandom, I’m all for it.

Avatar Image says:

It is a sad day, for all of Leaky and the fandom in a sense, but I’m proud of you guys Leaky Staffers. This was the right thing to do, and I’m happy that at least majority of the fandom is together in this.

As for Steve’s comments, well, Steve, it’s not us who’re missing the point, but you who don’t even seem to be trying to get it. If RDR wins this case, then no other author will ever trust any fansite at all, and they’ll all work harder to protect their rights. And if Jo herself imposes any restrictions after such a scenario, then I can completely understand it.

Hope everything turns out fine and this trial goes through properly enough. Thanks a ton once again Melissa for everything. Your trial summaries were just what a layman like me needed to understand this whole thing and you’ve done a fabulous job sorting through it all to bring it to us in simple language.

Avatar Image says:

It’s sad that it has had to come to this, but it was a necessary move and I applaud Melissa and the entire Leaky staff for making it. Steve has separated himself, in my opinion, from the vast majority of the fandom – and it’s time to make it clear we don’t agree with him. A win for Jo is a win for the fandom – let’s hope for the best.

Avatar Image says:

My thoughts are with the Leaky staff right now. As the Harry Potter books (and ultimately, JKR herself) have taught us, sometimes the easy path is not the right path. As Neville Longbottom stood up to his friends, so have you…. and it is difficult. I’ve had to do so professionally and personally, and I know this was painful for so many at Leaky (I’m 36 years old, have had 3 careers… of course I know!)

For Steven to make statements that he is essentially doing this for the fans is ultimately reprehensible. My goodness, Jo Rowling has been exemplary in how she has encouraged fans online, especially in the Leaky Cauldron, and others. My goodness, I cannot think of another author who has made sure that the online fan representatives such as Melissa on Leaky Cauldron and Emerson on Mugglenet have a seat, front row and center, at many Harry events. I’m a 36 year old avid reader, holder of many obsessions such as HP, Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc., and internet surfer – and I cannot think of an author or creator who has promoted his or her own fans like Jo. See… I feel so close to her that I feel that it is okay to call her by her first name!

Shame on Steven, and BRAVO Leaky Cauldron.com. I’m proud of you, and I”m sure that J.K. Rowling is touched by this.

Avatar Image says:

That was undoubtedly a rough decision to make, yet it feels like the right thing to do. I support you all the way, Melissa and your whole team.

Avatar Image says:

I just want to start by saying The Leaky Caldron has had to make a very difficult decession, and I think they have made the right choice. I’m a two month old newlywed to home internet, and there for very new to Leaky. So for I love you site, and am over joyed by Potter Cast. I have never been to the Lexicon website, but I do belive I’ve checked out a book about hidden clues in Harry Ptter leading up to The Order of the Phoenix. I did enjoy that book, but could never read it again if MR. Vander Ark wins this case. Jo has rights to the material she has written, and he has to honor them. If she says she doesn’t want him to write a book about Harry Potter, she doesn’t need a reason. From what I have heard & read, Jo’s main concern is that Steve is now wishing to sale for money content that up till now has been free on the internet. That is so wrong to do to the fans of Harry Potter. And just because Steve & Jo have a disagreement, doesn’t mean that she’ll close down all the fan sites, wizard rock bands, and the like if she wins the case. I feel like that is a scary tactic on MR. Vander Ark’s part to win over the fans. If the Lexicon is published, I will not buy a copy, or ever read one. I will wait for Jo to publish her own Harry Potter Dictionary, which I belive she has said will be called “The Scottish Book”. As I love all things Scottish, I’ve fallen in love with the name. I wish you the best of luck Jo, and the staff at Leaky! May Harry Potter live for ever!!

Avatar Image says:

I definitely applaud the decision of the Leaky staff, as hard as it was to make. The parting of ways between friends is always a difficult choice. But, as it was mentioned, organizations with polar ideas, opinions, etc., would find it hard-pressed to work together or be partners.

I stand 100% behind Leaky’s decision and may the world of Harry Potter fandom continue on.

Avatar Image says:

Its sad that the floo networj is no more, but I can see how it woulkd be impossible to have two partys who clearly think differently about matters such as what is right as a fan and what isnt, to not be able to work together.

Avatar Image says:

I’m supporting the whole Leaky staff on this decision. That was the right choice to make. I do hope that someone will soon pop Vander Ark’s bubble. Reading the above interview gives me the impression that he’s living in his own universe now and that he’s completely disconnected from reality. Fans have not missed the point, he has.

Avatar Image says:

If RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc. So a win for RDR Books is definitely in the best interest of fans who create websites, write fanfiction, make wands, compose wizard rock, and so on. I am surprised how many fans have missed this point. Their freedom to create is on the line here.

Their freedom to create is on the line, but only if RDR WINS. Until now, there have been plenty of authors who do not allow fan fiction or other fanworks. The vast majority do, of course. However, I’m sure most of these authors who allow fan fiction would not be so forgiving of fanworks which attempted to interfere with their own profits, or in JKR’s case, charity fundraising. Especially since not all authors are as well of as Jo.

The only thing a win for RDR means Steve, in case you missed the point, is that authors will have to control their copyright more rigidly and ban all fanworks, fearing that if they selectively enforce their copyright (as JKR has done) and only try to block publication of books that take away from their own profit (rather than free to access fansites or fiction, or companion books that will not take away sales from their own books), they will not succeed due to the precedent that has been set.

Copyright holders already have all the powers Steve has listed. They already have the power to shut down sites and stop authors from writing about their works. At least in terms of fanfiction. They certainly don’t have the power to shut down commentaries, news sites, and anything parodying the copyrighted work, that’s covered by fair use. But JKR has had every right to stop fanfiction, and the only reason most authors might stop fanfiction in the future will be because you forced their hand, Steve. You forced them to completely and totally defend their copyright and disallow all works not covered by fair use.

That is what this case is about. You’re the one who is putting our freedom on the line. Not Jo. She is merely blocking publication of one book which would interfere with her own sales. You should have respected that and backed off, Jo is the only one who has the right to make profit off her own creations (excepting fair use, which exists to preserve free speech with minimal infringement on the author’s rights or profits). If anyone else profits, it is by her grace. Note that I say profit. Jo has been perfectly respectful of fansites merely raising money to keep the site operating via advertisements.

Commentary books are covered by fair use. Trivia books are covered by fair use. Fanfiction is not covered by fair use, but Jo has kindly allowed it. Neither the site, nor the published Lexicon are covered by fair use, and Jo has not allowed the published version. In the future, if authors feel they are not allowed to choose, they will simply ban everything and we will end up with a worse situation than at present, all so you could get your wannabe Scottish Book published, Steve. I understand that you want to get something back for all the work you put into the Lexicon. But you knew, or should have known, when you set off down that road, that you never had any right to profit off that site.

Whoa, that was a long post.

Avatar Image says:

Good decision, Leaky. Well done.

Peace, Rotae

Avatar Image says:

i am so happy to see the Leaky Staff not back Steve. When we allow people to make wide sweeping accusations on what would happen when this case is resolved we run the risk of alienating the entire fandom. I also love to see the respect shown by the staff to Jo. If we can’t be fans without having to steal from the creator of what we are fans of… then we aren’t true fans.

Avatar Image says:

“It’s sad that it has had to come to this, but it was a necessary move and I applaud Melissa and the entire Leaky staff for making it.”

I second that. Well done to Leaky.

Avatar Image says:

Thanks for your courageous decision guys.

Avatar Image says:

Ditto to all of the above. Personally I think that the fans in a certain way have a say in what happens (to a certain extent) and based on the above it looks pretty unanimous what we all think.

Avatar Image says:

Dear Leaky Staff,

Thanks for being Dumbledore’s man (ehem…people) through and through. And know that like Harry, you aren’t alone in this.

<333333333

Avatar Image says:

condolences to all of us

Avatar Image says:

That is quite some decision, but very understandable and of course neccessary. Thank you very much for staying neutral until now. It made it a lot easier to understand the ongoings. But this has defnitely reached a point, where Leaky had to make their position clear. And thank you for doing it. After what Steve said and did, there was no other possibility. I cannot understand why Steve gave that first answer. Jo made it perfectly clear that this was exactly what she didn’t want to happen. And MattJM is right in assuming that this will happen if Steve/RDR wins. It is all in all a very sad case and in the end it is all about money. And I don’t understand Steve why he went down this road at all.

Avatar Image says:

‘ear ‘ear!

You’ve handled this beautiful, Leaky. I agree with everyone else, you’ve all been extremely admirable. Thank you for that.

Avatar Image says:

Thank you Leaky staff for always maintaining high standards of honest, fair reporting. I have a lot of respect for the diplomatic way this has been handled, and you have, as always, made the correct choice to maintain the interests of the fans and be an ambassador for us. No wonder Jo has the confidence to associate with Pottercast and the staff at Leaky.

Avatar Image says:

“people who have such a fundamental disconnect in beliefs cannot and should not be partners in name or spirit”

You mean people with disconnects like the citizens of the United States? Or the member states of the UN? Or the students at a major University?

While you have every right to do this, it is the first disappointing thing I’ve seen or heard from the Leaky staff in . . . well, frankly ever. You disagree with Steve’s actions and his interpretation of the likely fallout from the case—as does practically everybody (though I think things are much less certain than portrayed here). That’s all you need. But the “principle” you cite above is really not the philosophy you have followed for many years and in my opinion is beneath you.

Avatar Image says:

I totally agree with Tom (first page) and I couldn’t have said it better. It’s sad that Steve won’t see that he is on the wrong side.. And I can understand that it isn’t easy for you all of the Leaky – couldron – group. Thank you for keeping us so well updated Sue! Hope you are well!

Avatar Image says:

It really is a sad situation and I respect Leaky even more for a very caring and sensible attitude toward those concerned. So many fans must be really hurt by the change in Steve , not least those who used and enjoyed his website. Thanks again to Melissa and all the staff, it can’t have been an easy decision.

Avatar Image says:

You should have severed the connection as soon as it became obvious where your loyalties lay. Steve is right about the chilling affect. this could wreck a lot of things for a lot of fandoms, not just this one.

Avatar Image says:

Sorry, I was wrong with the name, it’s Melissa.. hmm

Avatar Image says:

Whoa.

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Not a bit surprising that a bunch of sycophants like the people running this site would both miss – or not care about – what’s really going on with this case and also dump a colleague and friend over it. Shameful & stupid. (What else is new?) However, having always found it unfortunate that the sites were associated, visiting the Lexicon without having to see reference to this place will be a great silver lining. So, good riddance.

Avatar Image says:

I am sorry but for me a win in JK direction would only mean that she wants more money (Even if it goes to charity, it would be donated by her and not the fans who truly support her and her new life style). To say on record that if Lexcon wins then she might not publish the book is like holding it ransom (if you don’t agree with me then you get nothing!). How childish! I am sorry but after reading everything on this case and how they split the last movie in two halves just makes me think that this thing called HP has changed from fan to money it is no longer about the fans anymore…Joe has what she wants a large fat pocket and could truly careless what her fans would like. I think that if the lexcon was printed people would still surely buy her copy of a HP book, me being one of them but to say “Don’t print that because I want to make one first” is a bit too much for me.

I love joe and wish her the best but to come off with an inflated ego has driven a wedge between my love for her creativity and my sense of morality. How is allowing people to make music using quotes and characters from the book ok (even when they are making a profit from them) better than selling a book with the same contents. And I am sorry but there are many books out there with the same text quoted in those reference books but nothing has become of that.

I think a win for Joe would be a bad move on fandom as a whole…...if she doesn’t like the contents of your site she can have it closed. If your fic is not to her taste she can have it removed. Saddly this has been approved but all you sheep that are lead by this site so blindly because “It’s JOE and I would support her no matter what.” mentality. People wake up, we have something that is called the fifth amendment and I like Steve have opt to use it.

I would advise others here to go outside of this board to look for information on this case because I am sorry to report this site is bias. They have made contact with Joe and want to remain in her good graces which is understandable, just don’t go so willingly into others paths ask questions and demand replies. You, as a fan have a right to question those you want to follow ( The word follow here is used to describe your opinion and how hearing on side can alter that opinion.)

I would also like to say that I think this site is great, it has a lot of news and comments on topics on Harry Potter but to say that you remain un-bias is not true you may have tried but it is always very hard to leave emotions out of something you feel so passionate about. I do applaud your efforts. I would hate to think that if Joe wins and someone post something she dosen’t approve of may it be a comment or a topic she would close you down or worst ask you to deleted it….....everyone has a right to be heard!

Always a pleasure, Nef

Avatar Image says:

Well said, Melissa.

I agree with Leaky’s decision to ‘sever ties’ with the Lexicon and remain as factual (and unbiased) as possible in the posts about the trial. I’m so glad this site has not suffered because of these crazy legal issues. I can’t imagine anyone who choses to plant their loyalties on Steve’s side is going to maintain many fans after all of this.

I don’t understand how he can be so disrespectful. This case has gone further than I ever thought it would. It’s all very sad.

Whatever the case may be, I hope both parties (and fans and whoever else involved) don’t get too invested in this emotionally. There are, really, bigger things to worry about.

peace and best wishes to everyone,

sue.

Avatar Image says:

Sorry for my bad english

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It seems to me in reading what Steve read that he is “towing the corporate line” or what he’s been lead to believe by RDR Books. If you tell yourself a thing enough times – and it sounds logical – you start to believe it. I never would have thought in a million years that he would say that about Jo. I, too, will miss Steve on Pottercast – I thought he was a great addition to the show on CC – but all of the events recently have made it nearly impossible for me to listen to him on even older Pottercasts I have D/L to my computer – I can’t imagine what it would be like if he were to return [had this decision not been made that is]. I agree with everyone else here – kudos to the Leaky Staff for making a very tough, yet correct, decision…you have the support of the fandom in this one.

Avatar Image says:

Thank you Leaky Staff for being so professional and caring for all concerned. The consideration and thoughtfulness you have displayed is what makes your site so well supported. Thanks for the explanation and the time you and the staff have taken to put all the above information together. Keep up the great work. I wish you all well.

Avatar Image says:

about time!

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Dear Leaky staff,

I’m sure this wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do. Being associated with the Lexicon, given their questionable actions throughout this entire sad affair, could have affected this site as well, particularly considering Steve’s ludicrous belief that he is somehow fighting for fandom in his lawsuit rather than his own wallet.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to someone you thought was a friend, but in the long run, this was the best thing for Leaky to do. You guys don’t need the bad karma and misguided views that SVA and RDR have, particularly towards Jo, and you deserve better than to be potentially tainted by their foolishness.

Keep your heads up, and don’t let anyone tell you that you were wrong to do what you did. Severing all ties with Steve and with the Lexicon will be a good thing for the long term health of both the Leaky, and the HP fandom as a whole.

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You guys have made the right choice. As Dumbledore said, you choose what is right and not what was the easy way. A partnership can no longer function, when both are so obviously on different sides of the debate. I personally think Steve is wrong in saying, if Jo win’s she’ll crack down on the whole fandom of HP.

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It is sad that it had to come to this but I think that Leaky made the right decision. I think everyone at Leaky has conducted themselves in such a great way. I am proud to be a fan and a member of Leaky now, and in the years to come.

Crookshanks144

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Steve wasn’t being a friend or colleague to Leaky by dragging fandom at large into the mess he got into by trying to publish the Lexicon site as a book.

He also wasn’t being a friend or colleague to Leaky by inflating the profits he would have gotten for his sales if they came from a link posted on a Floo site, including Leaky. He would have gotten 50% and RDR would have gotten the other 50%. Friends don’t deliberately plan to take advantage of their friends like that, yet Steve did. Just look for his publishing contract in the court documents.

And he was no friend or colleague to fandom by trying to make the wrongheaded, 1984-style argument that a win for him is a win for fandom when the actual legal truth is the other way around. If he wins, we all lose, but he can’t and won’t see that. If he loses, we’ll be fine, but if he wins, fandom will be in danger.

Personally, no matter how hard this was for the Leaky staff, I’m glad they cut their ties with him. They’re even going to give Steve the Lexicon domain, which Leaky still owns, once the suit ends, and they’re going to pay for it until the suit ends. That’s a gift. Leaky doesn’t have to do either of those things, but they are, and people should realize that.

As hard as it might have been to say goodbye, it will be a benefit for fandom in the long run, and it will be good for Leaky.

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In comparing the ability to make the right decision it is obvious who the responsible adults are here. Melissa and the entire Leaky staff have shown extraordinary maturity, objectiveness, and careful consideration in covering the whole JKR/WB vs. RDR/SVA suit.

The decision to sever relationships with the Lexicon and Steve must have been heart-wrenching, but I honestly don’t see how it could have been any other way. Steve is going to be the big loser no matter what the outcome of the lawsuit. He has lost a good proportion of the support of the Potter fandom. He has lost his place on PotterCast where I think he held a position of influence and respect and most of all, he has lost his credibility. I don’t expect that we will be seeing him portrayed as a Potter expert on any future movie DVDs.

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If the Leaky staff think that this move will further endear themselves to Jo and the fandom, that they will appear the ‘good guys’ then I am not surprised in the least. Ambition on a purely cruel-hearted Slytherin level has been a trademark of so many at this website, and this move further condemns them as nothing more than self-servers, rather than true fans.

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Adding my voice to those who have said that this “parting of the ways” was a sad but necessary decision. Thank you, Melissa and the rest of TLC’s staff, for doing the right thing.

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The only self-serving, Slytherin level ambition comes from the so-called “fan” that tried to not only publish his website as a book, but who moved to take advantage of the good relationship he had with Leaky by piggybacking on them for more money.

Leaky have been more than professional through all of the nonsense that Steve and RDR have inflicted on this fandom for their own greedy purposes. Why should they be tarred by their association with the Lexicon? It wouldn’t do them any favors, and they disagree anyway.

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Agree with Minnie, Steve was no friend or colleague. If he himself had cared so much about “friends and colleagues” he’d never have let this thing stretch to such an extent. And yeah, one more thing, I’m sure Jo is going to be very touched by this, and you guys have proved that you really are “Jo’s Army”...

And Mater Inferorum, tell moe then, does being a “true fan” mean doing what Steve has been doing? If it is so, then sorry, I’d rather not be a true fan at all…

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Just adding my voice to the support here. I understand and support TLC’s action, it’s a difficult decision to execute so kudos to you. I also disagree with Steve on his comment that RDR losing would mean a constriction on fandom – as so many of us do, and am surprised that he can’t see the other side.

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How typical. Instead of talking about the decision that the entire staff of Leaky made, some would rather attack Melissa directly.

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I’m definitly proud of being a Leaky Fan…! It’s hard but those choices matter. After everything he said, it would be very sad otherwise…

“Keep each other safe. Keep faith.”

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I’m definitely proud of being a Leaky Fan…! It’s hard but those choices matter. After everything he said, it would be very sad otherwise…

“Keep each other safe. Keep faith.”

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It’s sad that the floo network is being disbanded, but I respect Leaky’s decision. This is not an easy choice, and as we have seen in these comments, there will be a backlash towards Leaky. However, in the long run I think this is in the best interest of the The Leaky Cauldron, but I do hope there will be a strong partnership with the other floo network sites.

I also respect the staff’s decision to speak their opinion on this case now instead of waiting. It’s only fair to the fans. I know that Leaky will continue to provide straightforward information regarding the case, and links to the trial documents for every fan to see.

I’m sure this is a tough decision for you all, but you have to go with what’s in your heart and mind. I think regardless of what side you’re on, you have to respect the decision.

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I feel even more proud to be a Leaky reader today after their display of such courage in their actions. So professional, so dignified, so committed to their readership. Their clarity in reporting, their attempts to not let anyone feel hatred towards individuals or groups but to understand the concepts of “difference in opinions”. I am in admiration for the staff. But I also feel their pain in making such difficult decisions. I think they are feeling a little low right now but I hope they remember that most of their readership will be in awe of them and immensely proud of them.

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I absolutely agree with Prenz and Minnie. Steve should have “ceased and desist” at WB’s request if he cared about the fandom if he so truly believed that the “fandom rights are at stake”.

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I’m sure this was a very difficult decision for all of you to make, considering your history in basically starting the homes of the HP fandom together. You are quite right that you need to stand by your convictions and I congratulate you all on being brave enough to do so. I hope this lawsuit is settled soon and we can all get back to discussing Harry’s world, and not the Muggle world’s messing about with it.

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Once again Ms Rowling has to battle through the bilgy by-products of her success and once again she does this with inspiring humility, compassion, courage, clarity and brilliance of mind, humour and standing unfaltering for what is true and right. Once again, the world will cower gratefully behind her trailblazing.

For someone who never wished for any of this, I’m amazed that she still has the generosity of spirit to keep fighting, keep writing, keep supporting and championing those in need and keep so grounded. I know I would never have managed this.

Whatever the outcome of the case, I fear for the unique, warm and privileged relationship the fandom has enjoyed with Ms Rowling.

I have been saddened, over the years, by the degree and volume of hurt and liberties apparently considered acceptable to pile on her, especially by so-called fans. What would be the outcome if all this worldwide attack was aimed at one unknown man in the street? It seems that each single voice of reason is drowned out by an envious mob.

So thank you, Leaky, for doing the right thing and for speaking out. Now that the lips have been unsealed, is it possible for your admirable staff to pen an open letter of support to Ms Rowling on all of our behalf?

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It’s the right choice.

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Steve is facing a brave battle.. but I think it could be a rather foolish one.

Then again, I’m trying to stay out of this. I have great admiration for both Jo and the Lexicon and have no intention of jumping on any band wagons. I really, really dislike Harry Potter Politics.

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I am very proud of being a regular Leaky visitor right now.

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A little late, but finally a course of action I can applaud. Well done for finally having the courage to do this, Leaky.

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Word of the month “sycophant” has been seen on this discussion board repeatedly when criticisms are being flung at both the Leaky staff and their readers. I have seen it on other HP sites as well in reference to this lawsuit. I am thinking if RDR has assigned this to it’s people to spread their word and attitude – they need a new dictionary, it’s getting a little boring. Congratulations to the Leaky staff for keeping us informed and for making a very difficult but, I believe, correct decision.

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There’s no “could be” about it, Linny—Steve’s battle is incredibly foolish, especially since the law really isn’t on his side, and because the Lexicon book uses far, far too much of JKR’s books to ever be considered Fair Use.

He should have held back when he had the chance and tried to work with JKR and WB. At this point, there’s no way his Lexicon book, or anything else for that matter, will see the light of day. He’s destroyed his credibility in the fandom, his reputation with both JKR and WB, and any chances of being a legitimate author by trying to publish a fansite for profit.

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“We are free to do all things, but there are things which it is not wise to do. We are free to do all things, but not all things are for the common good.”

This is the thing I have been thinking throughout this whole mess. Steve may believe that he has the right to do this, and go to court to defend that right, and even, possibly, win legal approval for that right….but that does not mean that it is, in another sense, “right”.

Legality aside, in my opinion it would have been the wise and classy thing to have dropped this the moment Jo said ‘I don’t like it.’

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I applaud Melissa and all of Leaky for making this incredibly difficult decision. In the end it had to come to this and how you have handled this now and in the updates in the past has just been remarkable and the fandom GREATLY appreciates this. Thank You Leaky

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I’m sorry, while I’m sure you’re doing what you think is right, I believe you are wrong.

No, if RDR loses, Harry Potter fandom will probably go untouched, because JKR both appreciates her fans and is savvy enough to understand the benefit she gets from fannish material. But the point is that such fannish activity proceeds ONLY because she allows it. Should, alas, something happen to JKR and the rights fall to someone with a less appreciative and less savy attitude, the cease and desist letters could descend on fandom like the owls on Privet Drive. And with a negative precedence set by RDR’s suit, the chance of making a legal case to stay up in the face of orders to shut down will be harder.

And worse yet, it’s not just Harry Potter fandom at an issue. JKR has been wonderful in her approach towards fandom, but not every creator has been equally open. For years, Star Trek fandom was actively opposed by Paramount (until the fans got them their third season). Star Wars fandom took place under very strict constraints set by George Lucas. Other creators have been very negative towards any fannish activity beyond “don’t you just love it? I do too”.

Clearly, RDR has done some things that have made things worse. If they’d worked with JKR, as some other writers have done, this might never have come up. But having done some stupid things does not mean they are in the wrong.

And I will also say I’m disappointed in the decision to sever all ties with Steve Vander Ark. From all I could tell in the Pottercasts, you were friends. He contributed a lot to the discussion. If JKR is at all the person I believe her to be, I don’t think she’d demand that you push him away as some sort of loyalty test (and if there has been any such pressure from her, I’d really like to know, because it would affect my view of her and my decision to purchase her future works). You have a different view on a lawsuit, and even a larger philosophical disagreement on the boundries of legitimate fannish activity. But as SVA says, friends can disagree while still remaining friends. I’ve lost some friends in disagreements over lawsuits, and looking back, it was a remarkably stupid thing to do. I hope you won’t have to look back in a few decades and have the same reaction.

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Dear Melissa and staff, at Leaky: I want to thank you, all, for your hard work and dedication to remaining as unbiased as possible. It was [is] a hard thing to do. Severing yourself, from the Floo Network, was a very hard decision too. I applaud your efforts and will continue to remain a loyal fan of Harry Potter and recommending The Leaky Cauldron to all my Fan Friends [who aren’t already here, with “the crowd”] I love TLC and all the work you do. As has been stated, by many here, the only one who is truly losing out is SVA. This is a sad event. Please, stay as you are, Leaky. You’re tough, fair minded and helpful…sign me: A Devoted Harry Potter/Leaky Cauldron Fan.

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Leaky, never fear! You have our support!

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I came to the Harry Potter fandom late in it’s life and found it to be THE most open community around! I don’t think any fan believes that a win for J.K. Rowling is going to mean restrictions/control over what fans do to contribute to the fandom…AT ALL! I think it’s foolish for Steve to state such a thing and a convient argument considering his position in this case.

I feel for you guys. It’s not alway easy to make these types of decisions. The Leaky staff all belong to Gryffindor….yes even you Sue!

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GadgetDon, if what you say is true then creators can already block material that they dislike (a la Paramount pictures, for example). In which case, this lawsuit adds nothing new. They will not be granted any new powers that they don’t already have.

If what you claim is not true, and creators cannot block such material, then I’m not sure why you’re mentioning all these worst case scenarios. As I see it, the case is targetting the lexicon due to specific allegations: 1) It’s profit making 2) It’s rehashing JKR’s own work, and adding nothing new

For any future case to be able to use this lawsuit as precedence, they would have to prove these same conditions hold. I don’t feel those conditions are unfair (and do feel that all future work should meeting those criterial should be blocked) because it’s reselling someone else’s work as your own.

Now, if the lawsuit was attacking the lexicon because of its use of the characters, books or trademarks in something original (fan created work) I’d be fully agreeing with you. But as it stands, such work will not be able to use this court case as precedence, because the circumstances will be different.

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In response to the comments about this:

RDR Books loses, copyright holders will be given broad new control over fan activity, control which will allow them to shut down sites, stop authors from writing about their works, etc.

He’s not saying that JKR will actually pull the plug on fan activity, but he’s saying that now, without question, she could. As could the countless other authors who’s work we enjoying creating fic and art based on.

This is a completely important trial, with a completely important and valid arguement.

Don’t forget that. It’s not all about Jo vs. Steve.

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It’s the right move, TLC, and one I’m sure you’ve been mulling behind-the-scenes since this case appeared. The business / legal aspects of the decision make it an easy one and the appropriate one—the friendships and invested emotions are what make it so unpleasant.

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Firstly huge HUGS to every single person who works here at Leaky and makes this site a wonderful place for fans.

Secondly, I don’t think there is a single person here who judges you all harshly for wanting to know more information before you break up with a friend. Exactly how Dumbledore felt as he was realizing the true nature of Grindelwald I’m afraid.

Thirdly, I know it’s been said a hundred times throughout this but I know I’m glad that you came to this decision and ultimately I am sure Jo would be happy to hear you have come out and stated publicly that you’re on her side.

I know that every single one of us will be here to support you and this site since we all know it is by far the most comprehensive site for Potter fans. You provide us with an easy one stop for updates and news, friendship and academia, pictures and videos. And in return I hope we all can give you the loyalty you deserve and that you have shown to us, especially in this hard time.

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I am glad to finally hear an oppinion from leaky on the subject. It’s sad, but I also flet I knew somehow it woud come to this. I support Leaky all the way.

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Leaky Staff,

I can only imagine that this must feel like breaking up with a significant other. You know it’s the right thing, but you still love them and miss them. All I can say is that with time, things change and may even heal, and perhaps the relationship may become stronger even if it is a different sort of relationship.

Although I love the Lexicon website and have enjoyed Steve in Pottercast, I have to admit that this is the right course of action. I am glad that the staff waited this long to distance themselves and waited for specific proof that TLC and the Lexicon were going in different directions before taking such a step. To have done so before would have seem like you were leaving a man out to drown and brought up questions of loyalty. By waiting you until now, you have extended your hand and waited for him to grab it. You’ve done your part, now it’s up to him to decide to sink or swim.

Sorry, for all the analogies, don’t know what’s gotten in to me.

I support you guys 100% because your staff has always done the right thing for the fans and I have never had reason to mistrust any decisions you have made about this site.

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I like how it’s okay to put the lexicon online, and how Leaky was more than willing to pay and host the website, and affiliate itself with the Lexicon, and how it was all okay to do until J.K. had something to say about it. Now everyone is bailing on the Lexicon. Despicable! Don’t want bad press, eh?

This case is about more than just the Lexicon and Rowling. It’s about the ultra restrictive copyright laws. So I can’t even say Harry Potter in a book without risking a lawsuit. And when Rowling files suit she will say it’s all for charity, and everyone will fall all over themselves to condemn the author of the infringing book.

I’m not saying I know Steve’s intentions. They may be entirely greedy, and Rowling’s may be purely innocent, but some of Rowling’s stunts lately, after the final book, lead me to think she just wants to remain in the public eye.

I love Harry Potter! I am grateful Rowling wrote these amazing books. I may have never read a Dickens or Tolstoy story if it wasn’t for Rowling. But, I am disgusted by all parties in this suit. It should have never happened. Steve should have responded to Rowling’s original request for the Lexicon book. Rowling should better understand the position she holds. She may have invented the world of Harry Potter, but it is bigger than just her now. And Leaky shouldn’t have made a decision until after the case was settled.

I can understand the Lexicon and Rowling. Both sides might be greedy, or both sides might have honorable intentions. Nevertheless, Leaky making a decision before all the facts are out is despicable!

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GadgetDon, I think you make some good points. However, you mentioned creators who want to limit their fandom (Paramount, Lucas), but what about authors or creators who are more accepting of fan work. We all know Jo has been supportive of the websites and fan fiction, etc., and there are other authors out their who feel the way she does about their fandom. The problem with this case is that it’s a free fan website that Jo supported that is being published into a book for profit. If RDR wins, will future creators and authors, who would normally be more open to their fandom, be forced to supress their online fandom in fear of losing their copyright? I think that is the main issue here.

As for seperating all ties with Steve, I think it is really sad as well. However, we don’t know what is going on in the background. Perhaps there is more to the story than we know, and their friendship is irreversibily damaged. I hope not.

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Well,if Jo doesn’t want the publication of HP lexicon,we should as real HP fans support her!!!I completly with her! and I can’t wait for the Scottish book!

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correction:I’m completly with her. :D

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This is a very sad, but very brave decision. Well done for so carefully stepping into the arena of commentary. I know it’s a hard thing to do when this site is normally so impartial.

I think it’s the right decision.

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Those of us who truly understand what’s on the line here, not only for HP fandom, but for all fandoms, are standing behind your decision, Leaky. Thank you for doing the right thing, even if it wasn’t easy to do.

And I don’t see how anyone who is that disrespectful of an author’s wishes over creative material she OWNS could possibly call themselves a fan. Jo is very generous to the fandom, there are authors who don’t allow what HP fandom can do, especially in regards to fanfiction. We’re allowed to play in her world, but we shouldn’t forget that it belongs to her. I’m sure many of us who do creative works understand her feelings about this. By abusing the privileges we have, we may lose them altogether.

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Good for you, Leaky. I know this must have been hard, but you made the right decision. I find it a bit distressing that Steve can imply that Jo is an evil copyright-grabbing monster trying to stop creativity. Isn’t it just the opposite? Didn’t she come on PotterCast? Doesn’t she browse the fan sites regularly? Wasn’t it she who didn’t freak out when Sue Upton came squeeeing over to her that night at Carnegie Hall? I think it’s pretty safe to say that Jo really likes the fandom. I don’t think she’s trying to stifle creativity, I think she’s trying to promote it. She encourages writing and creative thinking, and she even laughs about the most over-the-top fan fiction. After these and other recent comments coming from Steve, I just can’t imagine him as the defender of the fandom from the creativity-stifler that is Jo. I think it’s Jo who’s the defender of the fandom.

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I think some people are missing the point – claiming that if this lawsuit wins, it opens a huge floodgate to creators being able to control any and all fan created material.

That just is not true.

This present case holds if, and only if, it can be proved that the Lexicon is simply a rehashing of JKR’s material and if it has been done to make money.

There is no issue of “Ah ha! But although JK Rowling WONT shut anyone down, she COULD”. She’d only be able to do that for other people who reproduce her work for profit.

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I think I’m gonna’ cry. This is all so horribly sad, and it was excruciating to read that interview. For him to spark worry in fans in order to sway opinions on the case was just awful. To Melissa and everyone at Leaky, thanks so much for everything. Really. You guys are amazing. While other Potter sites have deviated from their roots (and it was extremely difficult to watch), Leaky has always stayed true. I feel you’ve made the right decision. Yay Leaky, for being the GryffinPuff of Potter sites, always bravely fighting for the right cause. I love you guys so freakin’ much!

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I think y’all made the the right decision and in a dignified way. thanks for upholding great standards in all that you do with this website. Thanks for being honest and forthright as well.

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“I like how it’s okay to put the lexicon online, and how Leaky was more than willing to pay and host the website, and affiliate itself with the Lexicon, and how it was all okay to do until J.K. had something to say about it. Now everyone is bailing on the Lexicon. Despicable! Don’t want bad press, eh?”—Jeff

Jeff, things happen. This is a working relationship, and when you have fundamental disagreements with a partner, even if they are a friend, sometimes it is better to seperate ties with them. They have very seperate views for what is best for the fandom, and it would seem odd for both sites to be listed under the same banner. I’m sure, like most fans, the Leaky Staff went over all of the information provided and made their own opinion on this case. I doubt they blindly accepted the situation in favor of JKR, especially since Steve was a friend (and may still be a friend). Melissa, out of anyone here, has probably spent the most time sifting through legal documents on this case. So I am confident that they did not rush to this decision.

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I think y’all made the the right decision and in a dignified way. thanks for upholding great standards in all that you do with this website. Thanks for being honest and forthright as well.

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To my thinking, Steve has been being missadviced to say such things. I admire his work and all, but the sad part is that this whole ordeal started linking Leaky and of course, since Leaky has such a great relationship with Jo, you can’t risk that. I am really sorry about this, but if there is nothing else you guys can do, parting ways will be. I never thought I’d see the day in which serious Harry Potter websites would severe their association for bigger reasons than shipping. It is really sad.

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I disagree with Steve, and it is JK Rowling’s complete right not to allow them to release the encyclopedia. I will only buy Rowling’s scottish book

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What a tough call to make and I proud of all of you. Like most people who have commented I feel it was the correct decision. Best wishes always.

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I disagree with Steve, and it is JK Rowling’s complete right not to allow them to release the encyclopedia. I will only buy Rowling’s scottish book

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Everyone at Leaky as obviously been very conscientious in their attempts to be fair and represent such a large portion of the fan community. Well done Leaky!

Some of the opinions on copyright are a bit frustrating to me. I don’t know if it is generally understood that it is extremely difficult to make your living in the arts. It is not something that is promoted by our “business” culture. Copyright laws protect writers, musicians and artists of all kinds so that they may bring their work to the public and be able to make a living at it.

Yes, Jo has profited by this more than most artists. She is now wealthy from her efforts and her art, but that doesn’t mean that it is all about money for her. As a writer, your stories are like your children. You feel the same sort of fierce protection for them. For someone to take advantage of your work (the point being the SVA has added nothing new in his proposed book), then you must protect them as Molly protected Ginny in the final battle. It’s the same motivation!

So while everyone is looking at profits and greed in this particular case, remember that there are those of us who have a lot of trouble earning our living from our art, and if it were not for copyright laws, we would have no chance at all. Everything we created would be up for grabs by the public at large, and then how would we pay our rent or put food on the table? The issues here are not just about the moneyed, but about all artists and their right to earn a living from the material they create.

It is a sad situation to be sure, and my empathy goes out to everyone involved.

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I agree with you and think you have done the right thing.

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“If your determination to shut your eyes will carry you as far as this Cornelius Steve,” said Dumbledore, “we have reached a parting of the ways. You must act as you see fit. And I Leaky shall act as they see fit.”

It’s a sad day.

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Alan, the issues of how much control someone can have over fandom is somewhat of an open issue, in most cases the fans backed down and so to the best of my knowledge it hasn’t gotten a precedence set yet. Fans back down for lack of resources, or just a desire not to fight the creators of something they create.

As I understand the issues (I am not a lawyer, though I’ve read on these issues) the profit making element is legally irrelevant, it’s no more legal to violate copyrights or trademarks for free than it is for “I’m gonna be rich”. Creators have more incentive to go after those who are infringing for profit, but you just need to see the headlines about the RIAA to see it’s not necessary. When discussing the books in the Leaky Lounge, I regularly check the Lexicon if I’m unsure of a connection. That seems to be to be adding something new.

I will make this prediction…if the judge rules against RDR, the reasoning stated won’t be crafted in such as way that fanfiction and fanart will be protected. It may not specifically state that they are allowed, but the best we can hope for in such a decision is for our status as a legal grey area to remain.

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Jeff,

They didn’t bail out on him. Leaky was a neutral provider of information on this case. If Steve had not given that interview and said what he said, Leaky would have waited until the verdict before giving their opinion.

When have you known Leaky to be greedy? Have you not been around for the countless charity drives? Please make your points without insults. By the way, Jo didn’t try to stay in the public eye. She’s always been there. She doesn’t need extra publicity. All she has to do is be seen writing at a cafe and the press would go crazy. No to mention that the cafe owner would turn in a nice profit and all those “eye witness” would get paid to talk about what they saw her doing, what she was wearing, and anything else they can think off.

The Lexicon would have no problem going on if it wasn't going to sold.  Even if they printed a version of the whole site and then gave it away for "free" I doubt Jo would have had a problem.  It's the fact that a lot of the site has copious quotes from the HP series and it's being sold that's the problem.  Even with all the quotes on site, Jo doesn't care.  So no, I don't think this is going to affect HP sites.  I cannot say the same for other authors, but for us HP fans, I think we'll be fine.

What I don’t understand is why Steve, being the talented writer that he is, did not just limit the book to essays and articles he and his staff have written. He could have done that and no one would have had a problem. I think the problem is also that the book is almost exactly like Jo’s “Scottish Book”. Change the format and some of the content and publish it that way. Then everyone should be happy.

Leaky, ignore the negative comments, as they are very few.

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Thanks again, Melissa. I know this decision was probably very difficult for all TLC staff; but it’s easy to see that Steve’s latest comments created a tipping point.

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To those who are (like Steve) afraid of the wesites etc. closing down: Somehow this makes me feel a bit uneasy. Actually Jo allows a lot more that most other authors and publishers. She and her publishers actually have the right to close down a site like the Lexicon already (as far as I know), or rather to limit the contents. You won’t find that much information about other series anywhere. E.g. for Eragon the sites have very restricted possibilities to write about the content. The same goes for several other books. I always was amazed how much Jo allowed the Lexicon to publish online. Including copies of texts on her website and large quotes out of her books. It just shows to me that some people can’t handle it if they get too much freedom. And it is somehow unfair to use this freedom as an argument to go even further. And if you look at the copies of the pages of the book that are online due to the case, then it shows that it is just some means of making money and has nothing to do with the website.

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Thank you Leaky! Steve was really getting under my skin, and Leaky was keeping their opinion to themselves. Professional and respectful, of course. But i still didn’t know what to think or feel when it came to regards of the leaky team. It was because of your association with the Lexicon, and even though you’s had nothing to do with it, i was still a bit ‘are they on Jo’s side or Steve’s side?’

So im happy for you guys! I’m happy that you’s made the decision now and not after the case was closed. And because of that im happy knowing that Leaky wont be sucked down along with whatever ship Steve is sailing.

Also, not too fussed that Steve wont be returning to PotterCast. Can we keep Frak instead though?

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I have 2 things. Good for you Leaky for taking action about how you feel instead of ignoring at hoping it will go away. Too many people go along today believing or saying things that are not quite right because other people either don’t challange their ideas at all, or over react and make no point at all. Your way of dealing with the situation has effectively shown your point while not demeaning the other party concerned.

Second thing, I love how polite people are on this page. I have read comments about articles on different news web sites, and it seems like most of the comments are people just ranting about anything. Good for you commenters for reading the article and speaking to the point politely. Thanks.

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ps – I take issue with the person who referred to the TLC community as fawning parasites (sycophants). That is a broad, sweeping statement about thousands of people that you don’t personally know at all.

I think what draws us all to this community are the spirits of hope, friendship and tolerance that are engendered by the Harry Potter novels. There is little enough of those things in the world, and bravo to TLC for providing a haven for us all!

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I’m surprised this decision was not made much earlier.

Could it be that RDR has imperioused Steve? Hmmmm…

OMT

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Erg. You see (my post above) would be a prime example of why i would make a terrible editor.

Keep that chin up Leaky staff!

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I’m surprised this decision was not made much earlier.

Could it be that RDR has imperioused Steve? Hmmmm…

OMT

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Don’t kid yourself, Jeff. Steve’s got no one but himself to blame. Attempting to make Rowling or TLC the bad guys here rather then Steve is disingenuous and extremely puerile.

As for copyright laws, they exist for a reason. You’re entire argument is fallacy. We’re not talking about ‘if only the laws were different’. They are NOT different and you may not like it but that does not change the fact that this is how the law currently stands – which means that Steve should have conformed to the law. He didn’t. Others who’ve written HP fan books have managed to conform to the law. Why should Steve expect the law to be any different for him?

It’s not a matter of JK being greedy or giving money to charity. It’s JK’s work, she’s entitled to earn monies from it and do with that money whatever she wants. She does NOT have to allow someone to steal from her no matter how big a fan he proclaims himself to be!

I applaud TLC’s efforts to remain nuetral and ache for the loss of the Floo Network. But I fully support this decision.

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Can’t fandom just be fun anymore. The problem with HP fandom is everybody already knew what to do. Meaning Star Trek and Star Wars taught people how to react, so in HP we get the super fan. Fill a niche get out the website if this whole HP thing hits we get famous. JKR has embraced this fully and so has WB after some early missteps.

To me HP fandom is starting to get really lame and political. People that read the books seemingly for their own means after it became a phenomenon are flooding message boards with irreverent dialouge and theories about motivation behind certain phrases and characters. I have never been a fan of cannon conundrums because it propagates the idea of mistakes and bad writing in HP. I read the open letter Steve and Emerson put up after GOF? and found it to be pompous and arrogant, I don’t know Steve personally but I never liked his comments in that letter. For a matter of fact, I just saw Steve on the OOTP dvd! Great your’e an expert I get it. So am I, when DH came out I answered a lot of questions about the series for weary fans from behind my Hagrid beard. You don’t see me writing a book using text lifted from HP. The only fan site I visit now is Leaky, I stopped going to mugglenet after the prediction book. How stupid was that? I got all of the same predicitions from my own theories and Leaky’s free predictions on the web. Of which I think Steve contributed to. Thanks Steve those were great. Is HP fandom going to stay like this? Is it destined to be filled with people who want to make a buck and feel they are entitled to do so. Books that don’t compliment HP but regurgitate it like teen dream books about 90210, Hanna Montana or any other hot thing aimed at kids who beg their parents to buy it. Is it destined to be ruled by people who think DH was badly written and others need to stop drinking the JKR kool-aid and take off the rose colored glasses. Because if so, this lawsuit means nothing win or lose because one fan will just go back to reading the books and writing opinions in journals. Please spare us the noble fair use argument Steve this means cashing in while you got the chance. Yours would be the only new HP book on the market for at least ten years, that could be multiple printings, one now and one when the scottish book comes out. CHA CHING,little kid at christmas ten years later ‘Thanks Grandma,(in a whisper) Mom she got the wrong one, this one is written by Steve Vander Ark?” Mom “Shhhh! I’ll buy you the other one tommorow”

In closing, Heres to you www.the-leaky-cauldron.org from your noble charitable roots to your modern incarnation as a place of true HP fandom. One that provides a means fans to post comments on your articles and on your message boards. From your HP video galleries, to the fan art pages; From the Cauldron Shop to the Harry Potter crafts page. You have seeked out and explored every facet of the heart of HP fandom and your site has something for everyone or just one fan with eclectic tastes. You have always done it right the first time, and never had to correct it later. To all staff at leaky now and then, My you never falter in your mission, and never taint your purpose.

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Sad news tonight, Diane. It seems even many months after the final Harry Potter book was released, most of the fans are still refusing to get a life.

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To the Staff of the Leaky Cauldron and affiliated sites,

First of all…BRAVO!!!

It’s about time yall made this decision. Since this whole case started, my respect for Steve Van Ark has gone from great to nil. The fact that he is trying to sell his rehash of the books and world that Jo has spent many years creating, showed me and apparently the majority of the fandom that I’m sorry to say, your love for Ms. Rowling and the fandom are a tad false. Otherwise you wouldn’t be taking the steps you have. Also trying to scare the fandom with your recent statements was reprehensible and unforgivable. Until and after this case started, Jo has been completely accommodating to her fandom as a whole (including fansites, wizard rock, etc.) with only a few exception, which is her right as the copyright holder and creator of the work. I join the rest of the fandom in saying shame on you Van Ark, and know I am one who will never buy any book that you right, regardless of whether it is about Harry Potter or not. You have completely lost my respect.

To those that side with Steve/RDR Books,

I want you all to think about if you were a writer. You’ve spent years creating a world in which your novels will take place. You’ve suffered, scrimped and scraped for your art, and after all that hard work it is finally paying off. During all this time, you have taken pains to be as open and accommodating to your fandom as much as possible. You’ve also given to charities and stood up for causes, whether asked or not. Then one day you find out that someone is trying to publish, which basically boils down to a rehash of the same information that comes from the novels that you’ve created and cultivating…nothing is really different. Knowing that basically this person is reselling almost word for word something that you put your blood, sweat and tears into for many years. Honestly…regardless of how much money you’ve made from YOUR CREATION, how would you feel about it?

Now there are some that say she’s doing it for money. She plans to release the Scottish Book, which has ten times more information about Harry and his world then Steve’s rehash of HER CREATION could ever have, so to say she just wants to get her book out first, as if the two books can be compared is laughable. Being a budding writer myself, I know from experience how hard it is to create anything that’s worthwhile. It comes from your head, and becomes apart of your soul, so to say that it is just about money is ridiculous. It’s about what’s right and wrong, and what Steve is doing is all kinds of wrong, and would hurt all fandoms present and future, if he and RDR Books win.

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I know I’m posting on this a lot, but I want to respond to Amanda’s points.

The idea that Leaky had to “choose sides” on the lawsuit is arguable, but when reporting the news, it’s best to present a view of neutrality, so that we can choose.

The idea that Leaky had to chose the person, that if you like JKR you must reject SVA as a person, is ridiculous. Neither SVA or JKR have made it personal (at least in their public comments), they have a disagreement. I love JKR, I think she’s both a wonderful author and from the way she’s interacted with her fans and other things she’s done show she’s just a very nice person. But I believe she is wrong in the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, SVA has been an active fan, put his industry and his logic at the service of fandom for years, based on his appearances on Pottercast he’s shown more than a little wit. From everything I’ve heard before this lawsuit, he was well-liked and people thought highly of him. Even if you think he’s made a terrible mistake with this book and pushing forward in the face of the lawsuit, that doesn’t negate what he’s done before.

Good people sometimes do things that they shouldn’t. They rely on bad advice, they don’t see the whole picture, and there are times in everyone’s lives where we add one and one and one and come up with five. The way I’ve seen both SVA and JKR behave during the lawsuit does nothing to make me think badly of either of them. It’s rough on both of them, and the best part of when this is resolved is that it will be resolved. The worst part of this is that people feel a need to choose sides, to say “I like you so I can’t like you”.

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Well, that was definitely the right choice. Sad, certainly, but necessary. To confirm what I understood, this means that the Floo Network no longer exists, and that The Leaky Cauldron now encompasses the shop, podcast, news, and search engine, while continuing a partnership with Accio Quote? I just want to confirm what I understood. I suppose I have two more questions. Will Leaky form a new online resource, and would the Floo Network be reformed if another website rose to a similar prominence in the fandom? Otherwise, I thank you for the amazing work you’ve done covering this case.

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Diffinetly the correct choice,sad as it is .As great as Steve was on PotterCast,CC especially,he will be missed but this cannot be helped,it is TLC’s very correct choice and they have my support in this.i do not agree with his assessment either .And i agree with Rose,i am surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.

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JKR has been overwhelmingly cordial and encouraging of all fansites (yes even Lexicon, until their scurrilous antics). I am sure that she looks on, with great pride, the creativity that her work has inspired in others. After all, she is a TEACHER. And to be able to inspire people to feats of imagination and creativity is a teaher’s greatest reward.

To see someone (SVA) ill-use her by pirating her work and casting a shadow on her intentions is truly dispicable. For SVA to imply that he is still a fan is loathsome and sickening beyond endurance, he is showing the greatest disrespect imaginable! His actions are the true indicators of his REAL intentions and thoughts … NOT his pretty, duplicitious words!...Yep. it is true “Actions do speak louder than words!”

I have not been back to the Lexicon site since this whole thing started. I have un-bookmarked it. I have no intention of ever going there again … I will wait patiently for Jo’s “Scottish Book”.

SVA and his site are pariahs in my book! I am boycotting the site because to do otherwise would be endorsing his reprehensible actions!

As a side note: I really do feel sorry for all the honourable people that have worked on SVA’s site, because they have been painted with the same brush as SVA and are seen as SVA’s toadys. They have been ill-used as well. IMO I do believe in the good intentions of people until they have proven themselves to be undeserving. I think it is clear what SVA’s intentions are!

There really is no defense for SVA … just the observation: “The promise of great wealth makes people crazy!”

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Bryan,

Please! If you owned such a lucrative property would you allow people to steal it from you? If you say yes then either you’re not being truthful or you’re terribly foolish.

The copyright/trademarks owner are NOT seeking more rights. They’re only seeking to protect the rights they already have. “Exclusive rights” which are gauranteed to them by the LAW.

Steve is in the wrong. This is not David versus Voldemort as RDR has asserted from the beginning. If anything it’s more like Draco Malfoy stealing Neville Longbottom’s remembral. Draco {Steve} was the thief and he was in the wrong and it was Harry {Rowling/WB} that took up the challenge and got the stolen item back.

I’m sorry you want to turn your back on TLC for doing what is right, rather than what is easy. I support TLC, Rowling, and WB.

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Bryan, look up Anne Rice. You are clearly severely uninformed on the subject of published authors and the fanfiction they inspire if you think JKR/WB is controlling.

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Leaky wont be Jo’s next target, Bryan. Because Leaky isn’t trying to steal from her. Leaky isn’t trying to break the law. I wouldn’t stick by a friend who insists that breaking the law is ‘the right thing to do’. We dont own Harry Potter. JKR and WB does! Its as simple as that! If he didn’t mess with it in the first place, he wouldn’t be in this situation!

I agree with Dumbleweed. You cant just enjoy something anymore. Everyone wants in and everyone wants some of the money. It makes me sick.

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Dang…way to go on sticking to your principles, my respect for Leaky just went up a notch ;)

It is sad though, my heart literally jumped into my throat when I read this. Best of luck to everyone, hopefully this won’t get any uglier than it already has.

Cheers.

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OH! And I forgot, SORRY!

THANK YOU! Melissa and everyone at TLC for your decision to make a stand and distance yourself from SVA and his site!

With all the exceptional support for JKR and her creations that TLC has shown over the years, I would hate that TLC would be negatively impacted by what is going on.

I know it was hard to reach the decision but, ... by inaction one endorses the action. Thank you again, for your action!

A true Fan!

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing!” Edmund Burke 1727-1797

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I completely agree, Leaky I think you made the right choice. I was thinking as I read the SVA interview that he had it completely backwards: If