And building her fan base: Potter fan faces Rowling in court
The author of an unofficial Harry Potter encyclopaedia broke down as he faced JK Rowling in court in a battle over the right to publish his book.
Steven Vander Ark said his only goal was to celebrate Rowling, sitting in front of him, who he called a “genius”.
Rowling had earlier told the court his plans to publish The Harry Potter Lexicon amounted to “wholesale theft”.
She is suing Mr Vander Ark and his publisher RDR Books in New York for copyright infringement.
Asked whether he still thought of himself as part of the Harry Potter fan community, Mr Vander Ark struggled to speak through tears.
The fact that this got to court suggests, of course, that there are strongly-held (and possibly reasonable differences of) opinions on both side of this question (or at least questions of both fact and law to be heard), but it’s been interesting to note that, where there are newspapers that post comments along with the article, most observers see this as a David and Goliath fight, as opposed to one of punishing a venal thief. Whether the tears are real or not, the battle for public opinion here appears to be going as well for Rowling as it has for the RIAA.
See also Sued by Harry Potter’s Creator, Lexicographer Breaks Down on the Stand
Later: this APWire article doesn’t help Rowling implores NYC judge to block publication of guide (pdf)
A three-day trial over an unauthorized Harry Potter encyclopedia ended Wednesday with a flash of anger from J.K. Rowling.
The British author returned to the witness stand and told a judge that if he allows the fan-written lexicon to be published, it will clear the way for countless rip-offs of her books, as well as those by other authors.
”I believe the floodgates will open,” Rowling said, her voice rising. ”Are we the owners of our own work?”
[...] The discussion Wednesday seemed to both delight and dismay the judge, who began the day by urging the two sides to settle out of court.
Patterson likened the trial to the story Charles Dickens told in ”Bleak House,” a novel about the pain caused by endlessly drawn-out lawsuits in the 19th century British judiciary system.
Patterson predicted a similar fate for the Potter case. He said it involved unresolved areas of American law and was almost certain to end in years of appeals.
”I think this case, with imagination, could be settled,” Patterson said.