Frequently Asked Questions
Why are Warner Brothers and JK Rowling suing RDR Books?
Roger Rapoport of RDR Books contacted Mr Vander Ark in August 2007 and the two signed a contract to publish a book based on parts of the Harry Potter Lexicon website. JK Rowling and Warner Bros feel too much of the content of this proposed book belongs to them and so they asked the courts to stop publication. RDR Books, however, claims the book is fair use of the copyrighted material given the purpose of a lexicon.
Who are the people whose names I see involved in this suit?
Roger Rapoport is the owner and publisher of RDR Books. He's an author and a journalist. He founded RDR Books fifteen years ago. More here and here.
Steve Vander Ark is founder of the Harry Potter Lexicon. He discovered Harry Potter while teaching at a K-8 school in Michigan just before the publication of Goblet of Fire. See here and here.
What is fair use and what does it have to do with this case?
Copyright in the USA allows for the fair use of a work for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Just as it isn't always easy in baseball to tell when a hit was fair or foul, the same is true when borrowing from a copyrighted work.
MTV has a good overview of Fair Use here at
"Behind the Legal Jargon."