Warner Bros/ Harry Potter dispute kicks off again
Claire Field's father doesn't take lightly to being manipulated
We thought it was all over, but the argument over the Harry Potter Web site run by 15-year-old Claire Field has kicked off again following her father's anger at media manipulation by Warner Brothers' head of publicity Barbara Brogliatti.
Warner's had threatened legal action against Claire, and offered her £9.99 to sign over her domain www.harrypotterguide.co.uk. Warner's of course is behind the upcoming Harry Poter movie. After a bit of media uproar it then backed down, and said it was happy for her to run her wonderful site.
Clearly unwilling to play ball, Les Field fired off an angry email to Ms Brogliatti after she told Hollywood Reporter that the letter to Claire from WB was only asking for her to "clarify the intent of her site". These words never appeared in the letter, he snorted, before threatening to turn to the legal help that has been offered since the story came to light.
In an extraordinary war of words, Barbara then fires back at Les, accusing him of manipulating the media for his cause. Then, in complete contradiction to what the official line over the site had been, Barbara says: "I have been trying to do something for Claire that has NEVER been allowed... and I have been doing it against the better judgement of our attorneys."
Which would suggest that Warner Brothers is the faceless, bullying conglomerate that we have painted it out to be. And so it looks at the moment that this case will get to court - and we'll be watching. ®
A full transcript of the emails is below:
From: Les Field
To: Barbara Brogliatti
Subject: RE: VERY DISSAPOINTED!!!
Having read your quote to the (Hollywood Reporter dated, December 8, 2000) this gives me great concern, again.
Quote: "According to Warner Bros. spokeswoman Barbara Brogliatti, the studio sent United Kingdom teenager Claire Field a letter simply asking her to clarify the intent of her site, www.harrypotterguide.co.uk. Instead of responding to Warner Bros., Field chose to tell the media about the letter " unquote. !!
Sorry, have we a letter here that's got a typing error on too!! NO WAY CAN I SEE THE WORDS, " ASKED HER TO CLARIFY THE INTENT OF HER SITE!!!!!!!!
Only: "If we do not hear from you by by December 15 2000 we shall put this matter into the hands of our solicitors."
Have you seen this letter?? If not I strongly advise you to check it out. Perhaps you can see "asked her to clarify the intent of her site". Where does this appear on the letter? This is absolutely available for distribution if this continues.
I have held off further media coverage hoping for truce, stated the other day, but I will not have these false allegations cast against us. And more so your email dated, 14/12/200, quote: "But if you prefer not to discuss an arrangement or if you prefer I turn this to over to the lawyers.... I will do so." Unquote.
I am going to accept the many offers of legal support that has been extended to Claire. Any further correspondence will be through the nominated, Attorney, Solicitor.
Sorry but you are not going to make us the bad people here.
From: Barbara Brogliatti
To: Les Field
Subject: RE: VERY DISSAPOINTED!!!
Dear Mr. Field,
I too am very disappointed and very distressed. I read the letter sent to you and the intent IS to clarify the intent of a site. I agree the language is very terse in the letter and that is why I have said to you, to Mr. Kelly [The Mirror's Internet reporter] and the reporter at the Hollywood Reporter...that I thought the letter needs to be re-written. But the intent will be the same...to protect our rights, to protect Harry and to protect our fans from those who will misuse or abuse the name of Harry Potter (which is licensed to Warner Bros.).
The reason I contacted YOU...was to explain to you and to Claire the meaning behind the letter...after I read about it in the PRESS. I said to you as I did to the Hollywood Reporter that I had wished you had contacted us before you contacted Mr. Kelly. That is true. I wish you had. Please note the date of the Hollywood Reporter.
Also, please read Claire's quote..."I don't intend just handing the Web site over without a fight" ... how should we interpret that??? NO ONE IS TRYING TO MAKE YOU OR CLAIRE THE BAD GUYS...but neither are we. Ask Mr. Kelly, he talked to me. Ask him if I said you were bad people. Ask him what I thought about the letter. You can also ask him what I am trying to do.
I have been trying to do something for Claire that has NEVER been allowed...and I have been doing it against the better judgement of our attorneys. Obviously, nothing I can say or do will have you believe me or trust me. So I guess it is best that our attorneys stay within the strictest interpretation of the law and that I step away.
AT YOUR REQUEST...I am turning this over to Neil Blair in our London office. You may have your representative contact him. I am truly sorry that it has come to this.