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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

“This person is just trying to get their 15 minutes of fame.”

Do none of you idiots realize that Adrian Jacobs is dead? That’s kind of “the late Adrian Jacobs” and his “estate” means. He left it in his will that he wanted Jo sued.

I was going to comment to show my support for Jo, but Jesus Christ, you people are idiots.

Posted by natasha09 on June 15, 2009, 06:41 PM report to moderator
Avatarhghbp_thumb
181 Points

“Wagga Wagga exists?”

Yes, it exists. It’s a town in the state of New South Wales in Australia, down towards the border with Victoria. It’s an aboriginal name meaning “place of many crows”. I’ve been there several times and no, I didn’t see any werewolves, lol.

Posted by mouse68 on June 15, 2009, 06:53 PM report to moderator
I-quote_ravenclaw0140_thumb
1172 Points

Lawsuit? More like LOLsuit, am I right?

I’m so sorry about that.

Posted by L. P. Dantas on June 15, 2009, 06:56 PM report to moderator
Me_and_james_going_to_school_thumb
2963 Points

how many more people are going say she copied their book?

Posted by prof mewthree "squee" on June 15, 2009, 07:06 PM report to moderator
Img_44501_thumb
4151 Points

lame. JK Rowling ftw!

Posted by mai {beatnik owl} on June 15, 2009, 07:18 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb

I have just read all of the stuff from willy the wizard. I suggest you guys do too instead of getting all defensive. It honestly doenst look very promising for JK or Bloomsbury. There are some very interesting points of plagiarism I can see. Remember plagiarism isnt copying word for word its stealing ideas and original concepts.

Posted by tehwinner on June 15, 2009, 07:30 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb

I have just read all of the stuff from willy the wizard. I suggest you guys do too instead of getting all defensive. It honestly doenst look very promising for JK or Bloomsbury. There are some very interesting points of plagiarism I can see. Remember plagiarism isnt copying word for word its stealing ideas and original concepts.

Posted by tehwinner on June 15, 2009, 07:33 PM report to moderator
The_one__colored_by_burdge_bug_thumb
7475 Points

yes there are similarites, but i think it’s just a coincidence….

Posted by Luce-Lupin !~ROAR~! on June 15, 2009, 07:35 PM report to moderator
4656_1105780456589_1589123784_30248503_5726170_n_thumb
968 Points

why the hell would you sue Jo….you will lose and get all of the hp fans pissed at you….duh

Posted by theREALGinnyWeasley on June 15, 2009, 07:36 PM report to moderator
Cimg2812_thumb
2156 Points

…Seriously?

This lawsuit should be thrown out..

Posted by ericaeeks on June 15, 2009, 07:59 PM report to moderator
Ipod-harry_thumb
804 Points

THIS IS STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Justinbro ROAR!!! on June 15, 2009, 08:00 PM report to moderator
2zpr1ao_thumb
499 Points

this is ridiculous….. willy the wizard??? merlin’s pants….obviously someone is a little jealous… or just desparately looking for money =P

Posted by Dobbyrox [WBM] on June 15, 2009, 08:37 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
872 Points

This is rediculous.

Posted by Heavenly_Horcrux on June 15, 2009, 08:37 PM report to moderator
2zpr1ao_thumb
499 Points

this is ridiculous….willy the wizard??? Is that a picture book? merlin’s pants…… obviously someone’s a little jealous…. or just desperately looking for money =P

Posted by Dobbyrox [WBM] on June 15, 2009, 08:43 PM report to moderator
Img_7524_thumb
730 Points

This is absurd. Good luck to Jo, although I think it’s a pretty clear-cut case.

Posted by RavenclawDancer on June 15, 2009, 09:36 PM report to moderator
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