Harry Potter author wins lexicon copyright claim

September 9th, 2008 - 4:31 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 9 (DPA) Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has won her battle to prevent publication of a Harry Potter lexicon after a New York judge Monday ruled that the planned book infringed on her copyrights and could cause her irreparable harm.Author Steven Vander Ark had argued that the 400-page lexicon was protected under fair-use provisions of copyright law, but Rowling claimed that the book amounted to “wholesale theft of 17 years of my hard work”.

Judge Robert Patterson in US District Court in Manhattan sided with Rowling and ruled that Vander Ark’s publisher RDR Books “had failed to establish an affirmative defence of fair use” and that publication of “The Harry Potter Lexicon” should not proceed.

“Because the Lexicon appropriates too much of Rowling’s creative work for its purposes as a reference guide, a permanent injunction must issue to prevent the possible proliferation of works that do the same and thus deplete the incentive for original authors to create new works,” the judge ruled.

Rowling welcomed the ruling saying that her legal action had aimed “to uphold the right of authors everywhere to protect their own original work”.

“Many books have been published which offer original insights into the world of Harry Potter. The Lexicon just is not one of them,” she said in a statement.

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