Fair Use Project to Represent RDR Books in Harry Potter Lexicon Dispute

Here's a link to the press release. It is not my jurisdiction to cover this development - I trust you’ll hear more details and updates from Anthony and his team soon. I'd only say it looks like one of the most exiting and challenging fair use cases I’ve seen recently and a must-follow one. From the press release:

The Fair Use Project of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society announced today that it is signing on as co-counsel to defend an independent book publisher’s right to publish The Harry Potter Lexicon, an unofficial reference guide to the Harry Potter series of books and movies. Warner Bros., which owns the film rights to the Harry Potter books, and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling filed a lawsuit on October 31, 2007 against Michigan-based RDR Books to block the publication of the lexicon, claiming that it violates copyright and trademark law and infringes on Rowling’s plans to publish her own companion book. RDR Books contends it has the right to publish the encyclopedic reference book under the fair use doctrine, which safeguards the use of copyrighted material so long as it is used transformatively and does not damage the market value of the original work…

The 400-page Harry Potter Lexicon is a print counterpart to the fan-created website, The Harry Potter Lexicon [HPL] … is widely considered to be the most authoritative reference to all things Harry Potter. The site includes information on the series’ characters, places, animals, magic spells, and potions along with atlases, timelines, and analyses of magical theory. Created in 2000 by librarian Steve Vander Ark and myriad contributors, the site has an estimated 25 million annual visitors and is maintained by Vander Ark and a team of volunteer fans. Among the site’s supporters is J.K. Rowling, who bestowed the HPL with a Fan Site Award in 2004 and wrote on her website: “This is such a great site that I have been known to sneak into an Internet café while out writing and check a fact rather than go into a bookshop and buy a copy of Harry Potter (which is embarrassing).”

Good luck!


Lets hope RDR is case is thrown out and that they get charges with the cost of the court case.
For the future of all authors is jeopardy due to this case.
If RDR wins, anyone can basically put "" "" around a whole book and call it commentary.

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