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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
4366 Points

Hahahah xD That’s just ridiculous! I hope the judge dismisses the case. It’s just silly!

Posted by Sophie on June 15, 2009, 04:01 PM report to moderator
Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

and i’ve never heard of it and that is saying sumthing coz i lurve books!

Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

my 2nd comment is on pg 2 for sum reason. my first was on pg 3

Img_1245_thumb
96 Points

I doubt this will get very far. No one has heard of this guy’s little book and he found superficial similarities between the two books. He might try to sue, but he won’t win.

Posted by Clara M. on June 15, 2009, 04:06 PM report to moderator
Img_1245_thumb
96 Points

I doubt this will get very far. No one has heard of this guy’s little book and he found superficial similarities between the two books. He might try to sue, but he won’t win.

Posted by Clara M. on June 15, 2009, 04:07 PM report to moderator
___thumb
329 Points

Sad what people try to do to get a peny or two.

Posted by Jillian {WBM} on June 15, 2009, 04:12 PM report to moderator
Pluto_thumb
36743 Points

really !

Posted by simos girl {WBM} ~Lemon~ on June 15, 2009, 04:14 PM report to moderator
Bookworm_thumb
1623 Points

I just can’t understand how the estate and its lawyers think this case has merit…perhaps the Wagga Wagga Werewolf is behind the whole thing! ;)

Posted by Bookworm Jen on June 15, 2009, 04:24 PM report to moderator
Foto446_05
534 Points

…Wagga Wagga exists? LOL.

(Apologies to any Wagga Wagga residents, I do not intend to offend. But you have to admit, it IS a funny name).

Posted by Bell Dema [FTC!!!] on June 15, 2009, 04:29 PM report to moderator
Yin_yang_thumb
857 Points

“either damages or a share in the profits made by Bloomsbury.” Well, we know what they want and it has nothing to do with the facts of the case.

Posted by Deanie on June 15, 2009, 04:30 PM report to moderator
Rupes_maggie_thumb
24135 Points

Geez, another law suit. Jo’s so going to win!

Posted by hermyone*ROAR* on June 15, 2009, 04:40 PM report to moderator
Avatarjameslily5twistoflimes_thumb
551 Points

Oh my, this is silly. They’re clearly just trying to garner some attention from this suit so they can sell more. The comparisons are so vague, it’s ridiculous.

Posted by Trillian on June 15, 2009, 04:49 PM report to moderator
Me-cropped_thumb
711 Points

wow… this is just dumb.

Posted by janspach on June 15, 2009, 04:55 PM report to moderator
Normal_scan_thumb
115 Points

I think this could get ugly if they choose to dig into this conspiracy theory. Here is an excerpt from the web site, listing concepts in the “book” that strangely mirrors some of Jo’s concepts:

“Adrian Jacobs’ work ‘The Adventures of Willy The Wizard’ was well received when it was sent around in manuscript form by his literary agent to potential publishers in 1987. Publishers were enthusiastic about his ideas, including:
i. The Year of Wizards’ Contests – the central theme of The Adventures of Willy the Wizard. ii. stories and reminiscences of wizards college. iii. parallel worlds of real places and wizard magic. iv. wizard trains where Wizard Chess is played. v. the theme of alcohol brewing villages. vi. gambling wizards. vii. wizards prison. viii. wizards needing to earn money. ix. the central character of an empowered child wizard. x. Wizard special Hospitals”
http://www.willythewizard.com/willy-the-wizard.html

I’m scared for Jo. I hope she wins this case (especially since this book was a one-hit wonder in 1987). But I am concerned about the above concepts since Jo has similar things in her stories that made Harry Potter unique. I wish someone has really read this “book” in order to really see if these claims are false and ridiculous.

Posted by The Hollow on June 15, 2009, 04:58 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
74 Points

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD luck Adrian Jacobs Estate. You don’t mess around with Jo, Harry Potter, WB or any of their publishers. I’ll say it again… GOOOOOOOOOOD luck Adrian Jacobs Estate.

Posted by eaglephot on June 15, 2009, 05:14 PM report to moderator
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