Art and Entertainment


J.K. Rowling Sues Fan for ‘Betrayal’

April 15, 2008 04:47 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Rowling and Warner Brothers are suing RDR Books to halt publication of an unauthorized Harry Potter encyclopedia written by the author of a popular fan site.

30-Second Summary

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, is in U.S. District Court pursuing a lawsuit against RDR Books, publishers of an unauthorized companion encyclopedia to the series.

“The Harry Potter Lexicon” was written by Steven Vander Ark, a teacher and librarian who has spent the last few years creating a comprehensive Harry Potter fan site of the same name.

Vander Ark was contacted by RDR Books after the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final installment of J.K. Rowling’s series. RDR books assured him that publishing the lexicon would not violate copyright law, Vander Ark claimed in court.

Although Rowling previously praised the Web site, she considers the print encyclopedia “an act of betrayal.” According to the Associated Press, Rowling told the court on Monday, “This book constitutes wholesale theft of 17 years of my hard work.”

Rowling and Warner Brothers (which owns the copyright and trademarks of the Harry Potter series) are suing RDR books over the legality of Vander Ark’s lexicon. Dale Cendali, a lawyer at Warner Brothers, claims, “This is a case about the massive wholesale copying.”

Vander Ark’s lawyers hope to prove to the court that the 400-page “Harry Potter Lexicon” serves an educational purpose and does not conflict with the sale of Rowling’s novels.

Headline Link: ‘Wholesale theft’

Reactions: Rowling and Warner Brothers vs. Vander Ark and RDR

Background: Rowling’s own encyclopedia plans

Key Players:

J.K. Rowling
Steven Vander Ark

Reference Links: Harry Potter Lexicon

Related Topics: Rowling sued by author of “Larry Potter”


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