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Suit Filed Against Bloomsbury Regarding "Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire;" Bloomsbury States Claim is "Without Merit"

Legal
Posted by: sue
June 15, 2009, 03:02 PM

Today the estate of late children's author Adrian Jacobs filed a suit against Bloomsbury Publishing citing copyright infringement involving Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. In a press release, the estate claims that "JK Rowling copied substantial parts of the work of the late Adrian Jacobs, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard-No 1 Livid Land, and that Bloomsbury in selling the books have infringed the Estate's copyright." The Bookseller also notes the estate is "seeking an injunction to prevent further sales of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and either damages or a share in the profits made by Bloomsbury. As noted by the Bookseller and the release, the claim says that "both books describe the adventures of a main character, 'Willy' in Jacobs' book and 'Harry Potter' in Rowling's, who are wizards, who compete in a wizard contest which they ultimately win. Both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main task of the contest which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures, 'the merpeople' in Harry Potter. "

Bloomsbury, UK publishers of the Harry Potter series, has now responded to this matter at length. In a response sent to Reuters and TLC, reps note "this
claim is without merit and will be defended vigorously." They continue:

The allegations of plagiarism made today, Monday 15 June 2009, by the Estate of Adrian Jacobs are unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue. JK Rowling had never heard of Adrian Jacobs nor seen, read or heard of his book Willy the Wizard until this claim was first made in 2004- almost seven years after the publication of the first book in the highly publicised Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and after the publication of the first five books in the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was written by JK Rowling before approaching Christopher Little in 1995 and the book was published in an essentially unaltered form by Bloomsbury in 1997.
Willy the Wizard is a very insubstantial booklet running to 36 pages which had very limited distribution. The central character of Willy the Wizard is not a young wizard and the book does not revolve around a wizard school.

This claim was first made in 2004 by solicitors in London acting on behalf of Adrian Jacobs' son who was the representative of his father's estate and who lives in the United States. The claim was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books which was said to copy Willy the Wizard.

Following correspondence between lawyers over a period of three months in 2004 rejecting this claim, no more was heard about the claim until a new set of solicitors put forward the claim on a significantly different basis four years later in 2008 (eleven years after the publication of the first Harry Potter book) but still without identifying any text said to copy Willy the Wizard. These lawyers have stated that they are acting on behalf of a firm of solicitors in Wagga Wagga, Australia and on behalf of a West Midlands property developer who was appointed in 2008 as Trustee of the Estate in order to bring this claim. The claim is now made in respect of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was published in 2000.

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197 Comments

Noavatar-thumb
28 Points

There’s no way that the suit will go through! I’ve read an excert of the Adrian Jacobs books and they are complete rubbish

Posted by strikefreedom87 on June 16, 2009, 08:52 PM report to moderator
Avatars_movies_ootp_002_thumb
2105 Points

Oh, please! This is just a blatant attempt to cash in on Jo’s success – they’re probably figuring that Bloomsbury can afford to buy them off in order to avoid bad publicity, but I’m sure they won’t – Jo’s publishers have proven they’re willing to fight for her in court, and GoF isn’t a copy of anything! It’s unique, like all the HP books. Shame on that writer’s son!

Posted by Agrippa1 on June 16, 2009, 09:13 PM report to moderator
30305_116079131768789_113664342010268_91277_1312318_s_thumb
208 Points

They can’t win..!

Posted by Rita_Dumbledore94 on June 16, 2009, 10:01 PM report to moderator
The-moose_thumb
8876 Points

Good grief … JKR says she’s never heard of this guy or his book … has anyone? It’s a weird way to seek publicity.
Anyhoo, he claims JKR stole his idea of a wizard (so not a new idea, dude) that has to compete in a tornament (ditto) and win (hmm ditto again … yeah, sensing a pattern emerging here)… this concept of The Hero’s Journey is as old as dirt. :x doh

Posted by Moose_Starr on June 16, 2009, 10:57 PM report to moderator
15657683_thumb
791 Points

As far as I can see, the “Willy the Wizard” website was created with the deliberate intent to mislead people who aren’t deeply in-the-know about the Harry Potter series: the captions of the extracts from the aforementioned website are extremely misleading, and the similarities are just few (most probably both Rowling and Jacobs were inspired by the same fantasy and non-fantasy milestones: The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc.). No author in the world can escape influences. No book is entirely based on original ideas. And it will always be like this.

In my opinion this lawsuit is just a pretentious attempt at gaining some money/fame. And it will end up like the “Nancy Stouffer” lawsuit, with them desperately trying and trying to succeed in winning over JKR.

Posted by Cellar Door [*SQUEE!*] on June 16, 2009, 10:58 PM report to moderator
Naughty_galaxy_thumb
28416 Points

Well I went and had a look at the extracts from Willy the Wizard. Hmm, they’re not very good are they? I shouldn’t think they would have inspired anyone to copy them but they seem to have given the extracts titles which are desperately trying to look as if they are just like elements of Harry Potter and therefore Jo must have copied them, but when you look at the extracts you have to wonder what planet they are living on if they think they can accuse Jo or Bloomsbury of plagiarism. Well all I can say is it’s about time they started living in the real world, do they think we are all that stupid!

Posted by moglet [ITC!] on June 16, 2009, 11:32 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
123 Points

Ok who hires lawyers from Wagga Wagga to get Harry Potter off the shelves,seriously!

Posted by Kay on June 17, 2009, 12:05 AM report to moderator
Xz5jc2nr_thumb
22044 Points

mmm… ddn’t rd t!!! =P

Forest_thumb
357 Points

JK and jeannemclROAR are one of the many people that haven’t heard of this person or these books

Noavatar-thumb
3121 Points

The same thing happened to Jk with the ‘worst witch series’ which were totally unfounded as these ones are.
It is just jealousy. I have never heard of willy the wizard, and being a huge fan of such worlds, including the worst witch series, one would think willy the wizard would jump right out waiting to be read.
I am so sick and tired of all the petty jealousy that is directed at JK. including the pathetic book burnings by some mentally deranged fundamentalists.

Harry Potter will be part of our lives always.

Posted by DobbyWinkyKreacher on June 17, 2009, 01:16 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
1930 Points

Not another one of these. Not a single one of these claims by anyone has ever been proved true, what do they think they are going to acheive by doing this?

Posted by felixfelicis11 on June 17, 2009, 01:32 AM report to moderator
Hbpofficiallstills102_thumb
5413 Points

WOW… seriously this guys dead who gives a rat butt… Let it Go Harry Potter was a origianl idea and I’m sure JK has the manuscripts to prove that after many re-writes she got that final copy which may or may not have included some similarities..

Posted by Harry Potter 4 Ever!! on June 17, 2009, 03:36 AM report to moderator
51gc04es2jl_thumb
829 Points

ok seriously there are loads of books that are about people in contests and the main character winning them in order to save something or somebodies. honestly i think this is a pathetic attempt to get money, y would jo want to copy an infamous book idea, she probably didnt even read the book because like it said those books were sold to limited people. also jo had the plot line of the hp series planned way before the publishing of GOF and this lawsuit ( sorry about writing so much, just had a lot to say)=]

Posted by cesca !ROAR! gold&yellow on June 17, 2009, 03:50 AM report to moderator
51gc04es2jl_thumb
829 Points

i completely agree with everyone who is talking about the willy the wizard website, #1 who would want to read a book called willy the wizard, rele?… #2 that website takes so long to load that i don’t think jo would have the patience to wait and look at this site

Posted by cesca !ROAR! gold&yellow on June 17, 2009, 03:57 AM report to moderator
Owl_watermelon_thumb
1242 Points

Where’s Cleo when you need her?

Posted by Lucia Meadows on June 17, 2009, 04:18 AM report to moderator
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