Rowling 'deeply troubled' by unauthorised book
Harry Potter author JK Rowling claims she feels “deeply troubled” by an unauthorised reference work on her fictional boy wizard.
Rowling has submitted legal papers in Manhattan outlining her stance on the Harry Potter Lexicon which is the brainchild of Steven Vander Ark.
“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 against the publisher, RDR Books.
Ark is editor of a website containing a fan-created collection of essays and encyclopaedic material on the Potter universe, including lists of spells and potions found in the books, a catalogue of magical creatures and a who’s who in the wizarding world.
The Lexicon is largely based on the material on his website.
Rowling said she intends to publish her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopaedia.
“If RDR’s position is accepted, it will undoubtedly have a significant, negative impact on the freedoms enjoyed by genuine fans on the internet,” she said.
“Authors everywhere will be forced to protect their creations much more rigorously, which could mean denying well-meaning fans permission to pursue legitimate creative activities.”
She added: “I find it devastating to contemplate the possibility of such a severe alteration of author-fan relations.”
RDR Books attorney Lizbeth Hasse said that Rowling is seeking a monopoly over the work, which is not part of copyright law.
“It’s a very legitimate literary activity,” she said of the lexicon. “Like a reference book or a guide to literature, it’s a long-recognised genre. ... We are not replacing the novel or taking away the market.”
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