I’m sure we’ve all heard by now that J.K. Rowlings is suing a fan who has written a lexicon of Harry Potter. She wants the publication of Steven Vander Ark’s “Harry Potter Lexicon” to be stopped. Mr. Vander Ark has been running a Harry Potter Lexicon website of which Mrs. Rowlings approves. However; she feels that publishing a book is a “wholesale theft of 17 years of my hard work.”
Now, since I haven’t read Mr. Vander Ark’s book, nor have I visited his website, I have no way of knowing if he has indeed plagiarized the Harry Potter books. However; I do know that Mrs. Rowlings plans on completing a Harry Potter encyclopedia in a couple of years and if a lexicon is all ready out there, it could hurt the sales of her encyclopedia.
I’m glad I’m not sitting on that jury.
On one hand, Mrs. Rowlings has made a lot of money from Harry Potter and she has created an industry of Harry Potter related books, toys, etc. It’s not going to hurt anyone to have someone make a couple of bucks. (As a Harry Potter fan, I do have to say that I wouldn’t buy the lexicon, nor will I buy her encyclopedia either.) Since she’s planning her own encyclopedia it does sound like she’s only worried about her business future.
On the other hand, if all Mr. Vander Ark has done is rearrange her words, then that is stealing.
I’m really, really glad I don’t have to sit on that jury.