Wall Street Journal Law Blog: Rowling Running Over Fair Use Like The Hogwarts Express?

On the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Dan Slater notes the growing reaction against Rowling's copyright claims against RDR Books, and generates a spirited discussion of her position. Read it all here.


J.K. Rowling should take a page out of her own book series. She has become the Voldemort of the literary world and is now bent on trashing what might have been the most revered reputation in publishing. As Tom Riddle became bedazzled with the dark side, so has his author. Opps! Can I make this commentary? I have mentioned a Rowling character without the express written permission of the author. And to think, J.K. Rowling was going to do her own parody of her own greed for this blog and now I have ruined that. Does this mean that all literary criticism that might be written about this mighty body of literature must also come from Ms. Rowling. Are we to exchange literary dialogue for self-indulgent monologue in regard to literary works? Holy Hogwarts! What charity has been denied the proceeds of her own works on her own works? The United Muggle Defense Fund?
Ms. Rowling has proven, once again, that too much is never enough. Or is this the work of Warner Brothers trying to protect tie-ins and spending Rowling's street credibilty to do it? It doesn't matter. You are the company you keep and the causes to which you lend your name.
Ms. Rowling, shame on you. The fair use doctrine is far more important to our society than your fantastic accounts of a world that never existed. Large aristocratic money interests have already pushed our society into information feudalism by destroying the doctrine of fair use and increasing the right of ownership. We are fast becoming mere tenants, peasants if you will, excluded from any ownership or participation in the estate of the social exchange of ideas. We are practically forced to pay ASCAP royalties for humming a song on the street anywmore.
What next? Am I going to have to pay royalties for thinking about Harry Potter after I have read it? Well in my imagination of the Harry Potter characters are lined up on the front lawn of Hogwarts making a defiant gesture in unison in order to express what they think about having the freedom of thought so unjustly bullied.
Where is our Harry Potter, our hero, to save us from the real Voldemort in the real world that is making us slaves in the information age?

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