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

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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417 Points

I feel so bad for JK, first with the VanderArk deal and now this, gees. She wrote these amazing books and can’t just sit back and enjoy for a while.

Posted by eruwaedhiel on June 17, 2009, 05:18 AM report to moderator
2661 Points

Oh gosh… This unknown author will never win. Why even bother?

Posted by Wingardium Leviosa ❄WBM❄ on June 17, 2009, 05:41 AM report to moderator
266 Points

what a waste of lawyer fees.. these people should have just saved themselves the work and embarrassment. similar general ideas is not the same thing as plagiarism. there is absolutely no proof that it is anything but coincidence.

Posted by iceymoon [Cygnus] on June 17, 2009, 06:39 AM report to moderator

Hey Guys! If you wanna support J.K., please feel free to join this group! :)

P.S. sorry for posting this message on another page… I thought it was this page I clicked. I have no idea how it happened =S

Posted by elvaldo on June 17, 2009, 08:16 AM report to moderator
34 Points

It all sounds rather desperate, and is (in essence) not unlike the claim made against Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”. JK and Bloomsbury have nothing to fear.

Posted by wizard on June 17, 2009, 12:12 PM report to moderator
654 Points

it’s unbelievable that people would even waste their time trying to sue the Harry Potter franchise, espescially with the intention of taking one of the books off the shelves. It would never happen and would just be a colossal waste of money!

Posted by ErinV*Roar* on June 17, 2009, 12:37 PM report to moderator
62 Points

I think that the allegations about plagiarism are unfounded…I mean loads of ideas are recycled nowadays and even though there is a striking similarity between the two plots this is primarily due to this fact…It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack! Definitely a lost cause to me…

Posted by Aradion on June 17, 2009, 10:02 PM report to moderator
362 Points

Okay, clearly people need to go over the definition of plagerism again.
Plagerism: copying stuff WORD FOR WORD and claiming it as your own.
ideas that are similar? NOT PLAGERISM.
If you want to go after every idea that is similar to yours then everyone would be suing everyone else. In fact, JKR could sue a whole bunch of books that are similar to hers that came out after HP.
Why do people waist the courts time with this crap?

Posted by fantasylover12001 on June 18, 2009, 12:12 AM report to moderator
348 Points

And Harry Potter still continues to be the number one mode to gain quick publicity despite TWO YEARS after the end of the series…I don’t even understand why someone would even ATTEMPT to make such a case, it just sounds absurd!!

Posted by Prenz13 on June 18, 2009, 03:02 AM report to moderator
J.K. was upset over the Nancy Stouffer business and I hope she doesn’t let herself get upset over this. She shouldn’t spend five minutes worrying about mosquitos like this. Let the lawyers handle it. Lots of authors have been sued by scavengers like this.
Posted by Dadgrid on June 18, 2009, 03:37 AM report to moderator

Aradion your wrong



1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.
2. something used and represented in this manner.

Note it IS NOT copying word for word its the use of the ideas

I dont know what plagerism is though.

Posted by tehwinner on June 18, 2009, 09:38 AM report to moderator
857 Points

Ermmm…sounds like someone had way too much time on their hands to sit around and try to bring up old issues. The author is dead, right? God, find something else to do.

Posted by kayzz on June 18, 2009, 09:51 AM report to moderator
181 Points

Ok, so I’ve read some things at their website ( Whoever wrote the bio of Adrian Jacobs, it sounded pretty biased. And why is “Willy” sometimes spelled “Willie”? It sounds like they threw the whole website together in a few hours. I’m pretty sure they’re stretching the picture and trying to take advantage….

Posted by Scarlette on June 18, 2009, 12:36 PM report to moderator
90 Points

PotterCast should have have one of those “Really?!” segments like on SNL. This would be one of those Really?! kind of moments.

Posted by wrockin_maddie {WBM} on June 18, 2009, 10:18 PM report to moderator
4024 Points

So, stupid and so, pointless. There might be similarities but she has never heard of this and frankly I don’t think any of us have either!

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