In short, by deciding to sell his material, Vander Ark was stepping across a line. He was no longer just an enthusiastic fan, but a professional and potential competitor — fair game for the lawyers.
The question now for the courts is whether the lexicon itself violates copyright law, and the decision may not be easy.
U.S. rules allow for the "fair use" of copyrighted material in unauthorized works, but there are limits. Journalists may quote from films and books when writing a review. Scholars can use excerpts from a novel while penning an author's biography.
J. K. Rowling held out an olive branch on Wednesday to the Harry Potter look-alike who wants to publish a guide to her books and whose publisher she is suing for copyright infringement.
Ms. Rowling seemed clearly wounded after the previous day’s testimony by the writer of the guide, Steven Jan Vander Ark. Mr. Vander Ark broke into sobs on the witness stand Tuesday as he said that he had once been one of her biggest fans, but now felt cast out of the “Harry Potter community” by her lawsuit.
Ms. Rowling told the judge in Federal District Court in Manhattan that she had been misunderstood. Mr. Vander Ark watched from the back of the room as the trial drew to a close.
Full story in the New York Times.
The New York Times continues the sad saga of J. K. Rowling v. The Lexicon of Harry.
Read it and weep. Steven Jan Vander Ark did, and Rowling came close.
J.K. Rowling testified before a packed courtroom in a lawsuit to block publication of a Harry Potter lexicon, telling a judge that the book amounts to a "wholesale theft" of nearly 20 years of her hard work. "We all know I've made enough money. That's absolutely not why I'm here," Rowling told the judge in U.S. District Court.
Okay, so it's not Friday and I'll not post this under the Friday Funnies topic. Besides, there's nothing funny about J. K. Rowling suffering a "wardrobe malfunction" at some kind of red carpet extravaganza because she wore a dress with a low neckline which was utterly incapable of containing her breasts.
It's also not funny that her agent gallantly leapt into action to protect the modesty of a woman who is far richer than the queen of her country. And it's not funny that he did so by valiantly grabbing and, um, manually containing the (ahem) offending breast.
It's not funny.
Shall we schadenfreude? (pictures are SFW)
What will be the fate of the UK publisher of that phenominal series of books? Bloomsbury Books thinks there will be a life after Harry Potter, consisting of a strong line up of books and more internet sales. In 2007 the publisher said it not only benefited from big sales for the final boy-wizard instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but also from the success of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
The Potter books have catapulted Bloomsbury from small independent publisher to multimillion-pound business. Founder and chief executive Nigel Newton struck gold by signing JK Rowling when no other house would. Bloomsbury ships her books into 83 markets.
J. K. Rowling's really getting down to business now; she's even trademarked the names "Harry" and "Potter":
From Shelf-Awareness (scroll down): "Lawyers for J.K. Rowling have indicated in public filings that the author of the Harry Potter series has directed them to use their "full powers" to protect the reading experience of fans of her iconic work.
To that end, legal staff are continuing the suit against RDR Books over the Harry Potter Lexicon and will remain vigilant in opposing in court any other similar infringement on Rowling's intellectual property.
More strikingly, in an additional new move, the lawyers have copyrighted and trademarked the words "Harry" and "Potter" and will protect those brands. In a statement, the author said, "Muggles everywhere should be happy that I have been so restrained. Some thought I should protect every word I wrote in the seven Harry Potter volumes." Check out all of today's reportage from Shelf-Awareness, and have a good one.
Pottermania lives on in college classrooms: Drawing on their expertise in theology, children's literature, globalization studies and even the history of witchcraft, professors have been able to use Harry Potter to attract crowds of students eager to take on a disciplined study of the books.
Danielle Tumminio, a Yale Divinity School graduate student and the instructor for Yale's Harry Potter course "Christian Theology and Harry Potter," said her academic background in literature and theology, combined with her personal interest in the books, inspired her to design the course.
Purchased, donated --or--stolen from the library?
March 19 Bloomberg News reports that Christie's International raised 36,560 pounds ($73,000), with fees, at a London sale of 20 lots of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, including a rare first edition of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.''
The Potter action at Christie's South Kensington salesroom surpassed a low presale estimate of 20,000 pounds without fees.
It also raised questions about Christie's controls after the London-based auction house confirmed that it didn't check whether the first edition, which sold for 4,000 pounds including fees, might have been stolen from the Northamptonshire Libraries & Information Service, whose label appears on the volume.
The other day Blake posted this story on LISNEWS: Rowling 'deeply troubled' by unauthorized book. Slate has an interesting article that is related to this called: J.K. Rowling's Dark Mark: Why she should lose her copyright lawsuit against the Harry Potter Lexicon.