Saturday, March 1, 2008

Rowling Howling about Unauthorized Potter Lexicon

J.K. Rowling, author of the enormously successful Harry Potter series and one of the world's wealthiest women, richer than the Queen of England in fact, is unhappy that a fan blog author has compiled a Harry Potter Lexicon and published it without her permission. She is suing the author, stating that,
"I am deeply troubled by the portrayal of my efforts to protect and preserve the copyrights I have been granted in the Harry Potter books," she wrote in court papers filed Wednesday in a lawsuit she brought against the small Muskegon, Mich., publisher.
She said she intends to publish her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopedia."

Well gosh, we wouldn't want to stop the poor woman from cashing in even more from her fame.
I'm sure there are many complicated, subtle reasons of copyright, intellectual property and so on that are involved here, but my first, admittedly non-legally qualified reaction, is: doesn't she have enough money to just relax and stop whining? On a slightly more specific and professional (librarian, that is) note, BHPL purchases many books of literary criticism, reference books about authors' works and other materials that are based on literary works. I don't see how this blog-based lexicon is any different. Which of course is for the court to determine. Thoughts anyone?


Anonymous said...

Ms Rowling's lawyers have no doubt demanded she come down hard on this "unauthorized" Harry Potter Lexicon, and, sadly, they are right to do so. One aspect of owning copyrighted material is that you must defend it vigorously. When you accept any incursions onto your "turf," -- even ones that everyone agrees are harmless -- you set a precedent that will ultimately come back to bite you.


Anne said...

VK, thanks for your perspective on copyrighted material. It's an interesting case, isn't it?