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April 25, 2008


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You're right, it would've been far smarter for her to work with the guy on the book.

I haven't seen the work in question but it sounds like it's a derivative product. Without Harry Potter, the series, there's no lexicon. Basically, he's making money off of her work.

But again, if she was worried about quality etc. she should've co-authored it with him. It would've been a win/win for both.

Rosie Powell

If Steven Van Der Ark wanted to publish and profit from the Lexicon site, he should have asked Rowling for her permission. Rowling's novels are the reasons why Van Der Ark was able to create the Lexicon website in the first place. It's one thing to create the encyclopedia on the Internet, as long as he doesn't make a profit from it. But he tried to make a profit from Rowling's novels by publicizing the Lexicon website . . . without her permission. I really cannot see how anyone would be sympathetic towards him.


I'm sympathetic to Van Der Ark. He's not making money that would otherwise have gone into Rowling's pocket and if the Lexicon is popular it will only help her sales. There's no exploitation here that I can see.


I haven't been following the case that closely, mostly because it depresses me and has caused a schism in the HP fan community, which I generally like a lot. But didn't this really only become an issue when Van Der Ark wanted to PUBLISH the lexicon? When it was just an Internet fancy it was fine with Rowling and all involved. Only when he allied himself with a corporate entity, a publisher, did the corporate entities allied with Rowling feel the need to shut it down. I'm sympathetic with both parties, but Van Der Ark seems to be stepping very close to a line a lot of fans cross "because I have devoted so much time and energy to this hobby, it OWES me something."

The real issue is, if Rowling and co didn't fight this, would the slope get slippery. Could I publish my own book with her characters and claim she had abandoned her copyright? I know that was a big concern with Star Trek fansites a while ago. Paramount seems to have found balance, it even allows people to make those "new voyages" episodes with new actors playing Kirk and Spock, just so long as the creators don't profit. But I don't think this is just corporate paranoia.

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