Rowling Wins Copyright Case

Judge rules publishing Potter encyclopedia would cause creator 'irreparable harm'

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 8, 2008 3:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – A fan-written "Harry Potter lexicon" will not be published, a federal judge in New York ruled today, finding for author JK Rowling that the reference guide was an infringement of copyright. The ruling held that the book would cause Rowling irreparable harm as a writer, the BBC reports. The Potter creator had characterized the unpublished work as “wholesale theft.”

The judge ruled that the book exceeded the guidelines of "fair use" and said it "appropriates too much of Rowling's creative work for its purposes as a reference guide," the AP reports. Rowling had previously said that she was planning to write her own Harry Potter encyclopedia and donate the proceeds to charity, but now says she thinks the ordeal may have sapped her of the “will or the heart” to do so.

Harry Potter fans show the newly published Japanese edition of the last Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling at a Tokyo book store, Wednesday, July 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
In this Aug. 1, 2006 file photo author J.K. Rowling speaks during a press conference, in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig,File)
Author J.K. Rowling speaks to an audience during her commencement address at Harvard University commencement exercises, Thursday, June 5, 2008 ,in Cambridge, Mass.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
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