Submitted by birdie on June 2, 2008 - 4:46pm
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. - A Poplar Bluff woman refused to attend a work related party, and claims the fallout forced her to quit her library job. Now she's filed a lawsuit in federal court.
Deborah Smith tells Heartland News she didn't want to work at a library sponsored Harry Potter book party, because she feels the contents of the wizard series go against her personal religious beliefs.
Smith claims she was suspended for ten days without pay, and says her work duties changed when she returned to the library. Smith quit her job and started the legal battle for her rights. Story here.
Submitted by tqft on May 28, 2008 - 8:10pm
<a href="http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23776559-952,00.html">HP - The Prequel</a>
But you may not get to read it.
"JK Rowling has written a secret prequel to the Harry Potter series which is to be sold at auction next month to raise money for charity.
Her Potter prequel, which will not be published, comes almost a year after the last book in the boy-wizard series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hit the shelves.
Submitted by Blake on May 28, 2008 - 6:59am
ACLU files suit in Poplar Bluff 'Harry Potter' librarian case: The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri announced today via news release that it has filed a suit on behalf of a part-time librarian in Poplar Bluff, Mo., who was disciplined after she objected to participating in the promotion of a "Harry Potter" book.
The employee had religious objections to the promotion, "which she believed encouraged children to worship the occult," according to the news release.
Submitted by birdie on May 12, 2008 - 9:16am
Insight and analysis into the fan feud between J. K. Rowling and HP Lexicon author, Steven Vander Ark from The New Yorker.
Add into the mix, Melissa Anelli, webmistress of "The Leaky Cauldron" who has won the approval of author Rowling. Says Vander Ark: “Melissa has done more to hurt me than Rowling. I can’t blame her for liking her status.” After all, he said, Rowling “is God and Melissa is her prophet.” He went on, “I am an outcast now. But I still consider myself a ‘Harry Potter’ fan.”
Still waiting for the judgment from the trial...
Submitted by Blake on May 6, 2008 - 3:36pm
Poof! Harry Potter has performed a new vanishing act.
For the first time in nearly a decade, the New York Times bestseller lists will be without a title featuring J.K. Rowling's hugely popular young wizard. And the character is finally disappearing from the Canadian rankings as well.
Submitted by Blake on April 29, 2008 - 9:51am
Good News For Harry Fans: Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone is being offered as a 'set text' by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), the UK's largest exam board, which is responsible for nearly half of the country's exams. But horrified education experts fear Harry will rob the A-level of credibility.
Submitted by Blake on April 23, 2008 - 11:28am
CNN Takes A Good Look at Rowling Vs. The Librarian. Most lawyers agree this is a close call. That is because this is an extremely close call on the law, almost a toss-up, in my view. Even U.S. District Court Judge Robert Patterson, who is deciding the case, said so, urging the parties to settle. "This case is in a murky state of the law," said Patterson. "I've listened to the parties and heard them. I'm not sure you couldn't settle even now, if you listen to what's being said."
Submitted by Blake on April 20, 2008 - 7:42am
In short, by deciding to sell his material, Vander Ark was stepping across a line. He was no longer just an enthusiastic fan, but a professional and potential competitor — fair game for the lawyers.
The question now for the courts is whether the lexicon itself violates copyright law, and the decision may not be easy.
U.S. rules allow for the "fair use" of copyrighted material in unauthorized works, but there are limits. Journalists may quote from films and books when writing a review. Scholars can use excerpts from a novel while penning an author's biography.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 17, 2008 - 10:19am
J. K. Rowling held out an olive branch on Wednesday to the Harry Potter look-alike who wants to publish a guide to her books and whose publisher she is suing for copyright infringement.
Ms. Rowling seemed clearly wounded after the previous day’s testimony by the writer of the guide, Steven Jan Vander Ark. Mr. Vander Ark broke into sobs on the witness stand Tuesday as he said that he had once been one of her biggest fans, but now felt cast out of the “Harry Potter community” by her lawsuit.
Ms. Rowling told the judge in Federal District Court in Manhattan that she had been misunderstood. Mr. Vander Ark watched from the back of the room as the trial drew to a close.
Full story in the New York Times.
Submitted by birdie on April 16, 2008 - 3:05pm
The New York Times continues the sad saga of J. K. Rowling v. The Lexicon of Harry.
Read it and weep. Steven Jan Vander Ark did, and Rowling came close.
Submitted by Blake on April 14, 2008 - 7:22pm
J.K. Rowling testified before a packed courtroom in a lawsuit to block publication of a Harry Potter lexicon, telling a judge that the book amounts to a "wholesale theft" of nearly 20 years of her hard work. "We all know I've made enough money. That's absolutely not why I'm here," Rowling told the judge in U.S. District Court.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on April 14, 2008 - 10:14am
Okay, so it's not Friday and I'll not post this under the Friday Funnies topic. Besides, there's nothing funny about J. K. Rowling suffering a "wardrobe malfunction" at some kind of red carpet extravaganza because she wore a dress with a low neckline which was utterly incapable of containing her breasts.
It's also not funny that her agent gallantly leapt into action to protect the modesty of a woman who is far richer than the queen of her country. And it's not funny that he did so by valiantly grabbing and, um, manually containing the (ahem) offending breast.
It's not funny.
Shall we schadenfreude? (pictures are SFW)
Submitted by birdie on April 7, 2008 - 10:06am
What will be the fate of the UK publisher of that phenominal series of books? Bloomsbury Books thinks there will be a life after Harry Potter, consisting of a strong line up of books and more internet sales. In 2007 the publisher said it not only benefited from big sales for the final boy-wizard instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but also from the success of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
The Potter books have catapulted Bloomsbury from small independent publisher to multimillion-pound business. Founder and chief executive Nigel Newton struck gold by signing JK Rowling when no other house would. Bloomsbury ships her books into 83 markets.
Submitted by birdie on April 1, 2008 - 9:08am
J. K. Rowling's really getting down to business now; she's even trademarked the names "Harry" and "Potter":
From Shelf-Awareness (scroll down): "Lawyers for J.K. Rowling have indicated in public filings that the author of the Harry Potter series has directed them to use their "full powers" to protect the reading experience of fans of her iconic work.
To that end, legal staff are continuing the suit against RDR Books over the Harry Potter Lexicon and will remain vigilant in opposing in court any other similar infringement on Rowling's intellectual property.
More strikingly, in an additional new move, the lawyers have copyrighted and trademarked the words "Harry" and "Potter" and will protect those brands. In a statement, the author said, "Muggles everywhere should be happy that I have been so restrained. Some thought I should protect every word I wrote in the seven Harry Potter volumes." Check out all of today's reportage from Shelf-Awareness, and have a good one.
Submitted by Blake on March 26, 2008 - 9:02am
Pottermania lives on in college classrooms: Drawing on their expertise in theology, children's literature, globalization studies and even the history of witchcraft, professors have been able to use Harry Potter to attract crowds of students eager to take on a disciplined study of the books.
Danielle Tumminio, a Yale Divinity School graduate student and the instructor for Yale's Harry Potter course "Christian Theology and Harry Potter," said her academic background in literature and theology, combined with her personal interest in the books, inspired her to design the course.
Submitted by birdie on March 20, 2008 - 9:26am
Purchased, donated --or--stolen from the library?
March 19 Bloomberg News reports that Christie's International raised 36,560 pounds ($73,000), with fees, at a London sale of 20 lots of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, including a rare first edition of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.''
The Potter action at Christie's South Kensington salesroom surpassed a low presale estimate of 20,000 pounds without fees.
It also raised questions about Christie's controls after the London-based auction house confirmed that it didn't check whether the first edition, which sold for 4,000 pounds including fees, might have been stolen from the Northamptonshire Libraries & Information Service, whose label appears on the volume.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on March 2, 2008 - 4:17pm
Submitted by Blake on February 29, 2008 - 6:47am
Pity Poor J.K. Rowling... “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.
“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. I find it devastating to contemplate the possibility of such a severe alteration of author-fan relations.”
Submitted by birdie on February 25, 2008 - 1:27pm
Time for a little Harry Potter news and/or speculation (of the cinematic variety), from the soon to be sold Publishers Weekly.
Submitted by Blake on January 11, 2008 - 8:14am
Over On Slate Tim Wu Says There is a necessary and healthy line between what the initial author owns and what follow-on, or "secondary," authors get to do, and Rowling is running over that line like the Hogwarts Express. The creators of H.P. Lexicon may not be as creative as Rowling, but they are authors, too, and deserve a little respect from the law.