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  1. #1
    WhiteCrow Guest

    Default Rowling 'exploited' by book plan

    Is it me or is JK increasingly losing the plot? Her words seem kind of strong, considering unofficial reference books of these kind exist for just about everything ...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7270477.stm

    JK Rowling published her final Harry Potter novel last July
    Harry Potter author JK Rowling said she would feel "exploited" if an unofficial reference book about the boy wizard was published, according to court papers.
    The writer is taking legal action in New York against Steve Vander Ark and publisher RDR Books over their plans to release a Harry Potter encyclopaedia.

    "I am very frustrated that a former fan has tried to co-opt my work for financial gain," Ms Rowling said.

    Lawyers for RDR Books said it was a "legitimate literary activity".

    'Rip-off'

    They added: "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."

    Ms Rowling has said she will write her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopaedia, including material that did not make it into the novels.

  2. #2
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    Fair enough if she wants to write her own, but I don't see the problem with unofficial reference books, as long as they don't try to pass themselves off as officially sanctioned...

  3. #3
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    The problem as I see it is that as a 'fan' this guy knew that she was intending to write an official Encyclopedia & is trying to get there first. Also he isn't actually doing a lot of the work himself, I believe that he is making an on-line encyclopedia (The Harry Potter Lexicon) & making that in to a book...which has been contributed to by a lot of fans in the past several years. Yes, he may say that it was contributed to by them & even name a few but are they going to get any money for it? I very much doubt it.

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    She can become the new Terry Nation for a whole new generation
    Bazinga !

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    Hardly. She does own the entire rights to the whole Harry Potter genre. Terry Nation just owned the rights to the Daleks, not Doctor Who.

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    No, I meant in her over-reaction in diving into legal action. Every other major franchise manages to survive having unofficial products based on them - just look at every Sci-Fi/ Fantasy TV show in town, and DW in particular. All she needs to do is ensure her own encyclopaedia is better and contains all those unused ideas, and people will still buy it. I don't believe she's doing it for the benefit of the fans who might unwittingly buy a shoddy product, but rather to add to her gargantuan fortune.

    I don't deny she's written books that lots of people enjoy, but the hype and media circus surrounding her and her product would make you think she'd singlehandedly invented books.
    Bazinga !

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    Having spent some time on a Harry Potter forum I found that this encyclopedia is actually driven by the fans. Before the last book came out J.K.Rowling was asked about the stuff that she had cut from the previous books & she off-handedly made a comment that she might put them in a book, a sort of encyclopedia. The fans leaped on this as fact that she was going to write one. When the last book came out she was then asked, "What next?" And she said that there was nothing major in the pipe line, but she had tentative ideas about a pre-school age children's novel. "What about the encyclopedia?" And it was then that she said that she hadn't given it much thought & the fans started clamouring for it. She gave in & said she would do one.
    It was after this that this other encyclopedia came about. Having the fans ask her for it & then have another one turn up was probably a smack in the mouth. If the fans hadn't hounded her to write it she would probably never have taken out this legal action.

  8. #8
    WhiteCrow Guest

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    She's in the news again today ...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7288079.stm

    Harry Potter author JK Rowling returned to court to try to ban publication of a photograph taken in the street of her son, David, when he was 18 months old.

    The author, who lost her High Court action last year, claimed the child's right to privacy has been infringed.

    Speaking in court her solicitor Richard Spearman QC said: "This claim is not about the rights of adults, this is about the rights of the child."

    Photo agency Big Pictures said there was no proof the child had been hurt.
    Compared to some celebrity horror stories about being persued by photographers this doesn't seem that bad.

    It's interesting to see the picture the BBC chose to use of her for this news story - it just seems to say "I am an uber-bitch".



    It's interesting you can write a fairly balanced report, but just the use of what photo you select can sway a reader.

  9. #9
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    RDR Books, the small publishers who talked Vander Ark into putting it into print, have argued that it is little different than any other reference guide to an important novel and should be allowed to go to press.

    Yesterday, Rowling said she was "vehemently anti-censorship" and generally supportive of the right of other authors to write books about her novels.

    But she said Vander Ark had "plundered" her prose and merely reprinted it in an A-to-Z format.
    Both sides have a point, as I see it. While the publishers argument has merit (after all, similar such titles are a common sight in bookshops around the country), I have to agree with JK here...if this guy and/or this publishing company want to publish this book, then go ahead...as long as it's written in the guys own words

    He shouldn't get away with simply lifting her prose lock, stock and barrel and then try to pass it off as his own work. There's nothing wrong with a quote here and there, but the majority of the work must be the writers own, imo. There's a ready-made audience for this if it's published, and it will no doubt sell millions, making him a rich man, so the least he can do is put in a bit of hard graft rather than just copying someone else's work.

    If that's actually what's going on here, and no-one will know for sure until the book is actually published...

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    Harry Potter author JK Rowling returned to court to try to ban publication of a photograph taken in the street of her son, David, when he was 18 months old.

    The author, who lost her High Court action last year, claimed the child's right to privacy has been infringed.
    Maybe there are some obscure laws in play here, but I just have to ask exactly what right to privacy one has when out on the street in public. If the picture had been taken through a window in her house or something like that I could see the point, but out on the street?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Thompson View Post
    Maybe there are some obscure laws in play here
    I think its the one about being 'considerably richer than yow'
    Bazinga !

  12. #12
    WhiteCrow Guest

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    Can I say that as one of her readers, I've somehow felt exploited by her, esp by the awful Order of the Pheonix. Can I sue her over that?

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    I think you'll find J.K.Rowling knows she is a public person but her children are private citizens & as such are due the privacy that you would expect yourself.

  14. #14

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    I'm afraid I think the Harry Potter books are over-rated. Just because JK's books are 5 inches thick it doesn't mean they're necessarily any good.

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    The first 3 aren't any thicker than any other hardback.

    How many have you read?

  16. #16

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    None, so I'm spouting an opinion on her books without any knowledge or justifiaction!

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    That's what I thought. Ignorance isn't necessarily bliss.

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    Personally I'd say that a comparison with Terry Nation is very apt, in that she's excellent at story, not so good at the actual writing. There's some very 'clunky' prose in some of the later books, IMHO, but certainly on first read you don't notice or care because of the excitement of finding out what happens next.

    I still think the encyclopedia thing was a big over-reaction though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    I still think the encyclopedia thing was a big over-reaction though.
    I agree. Some of the best Doctor Who non-fiction output has been 'unauthorised'!
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  20. #20
    Dave Lewis Guest

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    Just because JK's books are 5 inches thick it doesn't mean they're necessarily any good.
    I agree that inches and thickness are not necessarily an indicator of quality.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord President View Post
    I agree. Some of the best Doctor Who non-fiction output has been 'unauthorised'!
    The problem isn't it being unauthorised - it's that the content of the encyclopaedia is all Rowling's work! The guy who was making the encyclopaedia wasn't writing his own encyclopaedia and referring to the novels, he was using direct quotes from the books as definitions instead of rewriting them in his own words.

    Compare this to, say, the Television Companion - the only stuff which was copied from the TV episodes were a few choice quotes (allowed under Fair Use) - everything else was original text from Howe et al.
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  22. #22
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    But the TV Companion was a BBC Book?

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    The first one was - I as thinking of the Telos re-release.

    A better example might be the Buffy and Angel guides Keith Topping did...
    Your people? Your people??? They are MY people now!

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