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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

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3031 Points

sucks for them!!!!!!

Posted by Horcruxalej on June 16, 2009, 03:07 AM report to moderator
Me_thumb
474 Points

wow. this is ridiculous. why is this just coming up?

Posted by Courtney Quirke on June 16, 2009, 03:09 AM report to moderator
Dhonesheet_thumb
1661 Points

LAME AND PATHETIC!! This isn’ plagarism…These people are just trying to get some of JKR’s money because they’re grandfather clearly didn’t leave them enough. You’ve got to be kidding me. They seriously need to look up Plagarism in the dictionary.

Posted by cghambright on June 16, 2009, 03:21 AM report to moderator
Raven_avatar_thumb
80418 Points

Waste of time….

Posted by Won_Two on June 16, 2009, 03:30 AM report to moderator
Hobgoblin13_thumb
328 Points

HOW EXACTLY DO THEY EXPECT TO TAKE GOF OF THE SHELVES!!?:
“here’s book 1, book 2, book 3 … and book 5.”

Posted by Hobgoblin 13 on June 16, 2009, 03:36 AM report to moderator
1_thumb
1013 Points

Hey, guys, did you know there was a place called Wagga Wagga, Australia? I didn’t! I think that’s pretty awesome, actually. It’s like Walla Walla, Washington! But with g’s!

Posted by Dawlish and the Archies {WBM!} on June 16, 2009, 03:37 AM report to moderator
1_thumb
1013 Points

Hey, guys, did you know there was a place called Wagga Wagga, Australia? I didn’t! I think that’s pretty awesome, actually. It’s like Walla Walla, Washington! But with g’s!

Posted by Dawlish and the Archies {WBM!} on June 16, 2009, 03:38 AM report to moderator
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54 Points

oh man. :-\
here we go…

Posted by Muggle-Born-Witch on June 16, 2009, 03:39 AM report to moderator
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1372 Points

That’s ridiculous. I’m sure Bloomsbury will win. I’ve read plenty of books with the same main idea but tweaked.

Posted by elaphantluv34 on June 16, 2009, 03:41 AM report to moderator
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797 Points

Oh goodness….people and their accusations of Jo stealing ideas. Again. >_>

Posted by Lysh on June 16, 2009, 03:43 AM report to moderator
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4138 Points

I just saw Katies comment and I totally agree with her. I mean if this book is apparently 36 pages then does it really matter? I bet JK hasn’t even heard of the book till now… I sure haven’t coz but either way the author sounds like a jerk and I would never read the book.

Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on June 16, 2009, 03:43 AM report to moderator
Burtondeppavvie_thumb
241 Points

Another pointless attempt to nick Jo’s money.

Posted by Linnyish on June 16, 2009, 03:44 AM report to moderator
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44049 Points

I don’t think so.

Posted by Dolemite [FTC!] on June 16, 2009, 03:46 AM report to moderator
My_hero_neville_thumb
6352 Points

I have no idea how the courts will view this suit, but it seems absurd to me. First the HP Lexicon and now this. If nothing else, I’m sure the sales of “Willy the Wizard” will rise. Maybe that’s all the plaintiff is after. I hope JKR is not consumed by this silliness. She must be wondering if this is a sign of her future.

Posted by KB Prez [ROAR!] on June 16, 2009, 03:48 AM report to moderator
Rissas_avatar_thumb
79 Points

It continually amazes me to witness the depths of villainous absurdity people are willing to sink to in the hopes of making a fast (and unearned) buck. They should be so mortally embarrassed by bringing such a worthless suit against Jo that it is actually painful. All for the sake of some complete nonentity of a 36 page booklet. Puuuh-leeeze. I hope Jo laughed her head off at them.

Posted by LemonPrincess on June 16, 2009, 03:54 AM report to moderator
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