Feeds

Harry Potter Lexicon published after judgment-guided edit

Rowling over on legally iffy material

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A new version of the Harry Potter companion book at the centre of a US intellectual property court case has been published. Author Steve Vander Ark has stripped the book of the material a US judge objected to in order to make it publishable.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling's representatives have welcomed the publication, saying that they now consider the matter to be resolved.

Vander Ark is the fan behind the website The Harry Potter Lexicon, which charts the world invented by Rowling for her boy wizard to inhabit. Last year a New York court blocked the publication of a book based on that site, saying that the book infringed Rowling's copyright.

Vander Ark said that he had used the court's judgment as a reference in producing the new version of his book, which is published by RDR.

"This book has been written to carefully follow the guidelines laid out in the Judge’s decision concerning the original Lexicon manuscript," he said on the Lexicon website.

Rowling's agents, the Christopher Little Agency, welcomed the revisions.

"We are delighted that this matter is finally and favourably resolved and that JK Rowling’s rights – and indeed the rights of all authors of creative works – have been protected," said the statement. "We are also pleased to hear that rather than continue to litigate, RDR have themselves decided to publish a different book prepared with reference to [New York] Judge Patterson’s decision."

The Lexicon is a guide to the world of Harry Potter, a reference work listing places, characters and phenomena found in the books.

Judge Robert Patterson said in his ruling that, in fact, much of the Lexicon was not an infringement of Rowling's copyright because it was transformative – it used the information for a different purpose.

The Lexicon's use of material from two companion books produced by Rowling herself, though, was not as transformative because those books were reference works in the first place, he said.

The judge said that the use of information from the books was not against the law, but that Vander Ark had used too much of the literary language of the novels.

"The Lexicon’s verbatim copying of... highly aesthetic expression raises a significant question as to whether it was reasonably necessary for the purpose of creating a useful and complete reference guide," said the ruling.

Citing another ruling, he added, "a copier is not entitled to copy the vividness of an author’s description for the sake of accurately reporting expressive content".

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.