Rowling vs Vander Ark
#1
Any opinions on the Rowling vs Vander Ark case?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7346093.stm

I really don't get what Rowling is trying to achieve.

If she wins, this would be a landmark against secondary literature on copyrighted works. Thousands of other works of secondary literature could theoretically be banned and I don't really think that's what copyright is really about. She would go down in history as the author who took a dent out of free speech for motives of greed.

If she loses she has made a fool of herself.

So I don't really know what she's after.
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#2
Depends on the manner in which the encyclopedia is written.

Rowling had intended to write her own encyclopedia.

Perhaps it's as simple as that?
Houston . . . we have a problem.
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#3
Fantasy Wrote:Depends on the manner in which the encyclopedia is written.

Rowling had intended to write her own encyclopedia.

Perhaps it's as simple as that?

But wouldn't that be like Christopher Tolkien deciding to write his own Tolkien encyclopedia or guide and then taking David Day, Michael Martinez, Tom Shippey etc to court for having got there first?
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#4
shadowfax Wrote:But wouldn't that be like Christopher Tolkien deciding to write his own Tolkien encyclopedia or guide and then taking David Day, Michael Martinez, Tom Shippey etc to court for having got there first?

If he'd already announced one, yes. I believe she had announced she was going to work on one.
Houston . . . we have a problem.
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#5
This is an unconscionable attempt to extend copyright law on the part of the folks making money other than JKR and her. The Ministry of Magic approach being employed is certainly different from what it was when she awarded the Harry Potter Lexicon top billing and stated she used it herself whilst writing. Also, she made -nor did her compatriots in the bonanza- NOT any complaint about similar items preceding the final book.

Strictly interpreted the claims made would eliminate sites like this, literary criticism, and social criticism on the claim that it was unauthorized usage of a trademarked WORD.

From such foppery, Good Lord, deliver us and Steve.
inked
"Aslan is not a tame lion. Safe?
No, he's not safe, but he's good."
CSL/LWW
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#6
inked Wrote:This is an unconscionable attempt to extend copyright law on the part of the folks making money other than JKR and her. The Ministry of Magic approach being employed is certainly different from what it was when she awarded the Harry Potter Lexicon top billing and stated she used it herself whilst writing. Also, she made -nor did her compatriots in the bonanza- NOT any complaint about similar items preceding the final book.

Strictly interpreted the claims made would eliminate sites like this, literary criticism, and social criticism on the claim that it was unauthorized usage of a trademarked WORD.

From such foppery, Good Lord, deliver us and Steve.

Can't stand up to such eloquence and observation. *big bow*

In this light, Ms. Rowling appears to have an omelette's worth of eggs on her face.
Houston . . . we have a problem.
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#7
Must see video of white stag in the Forest of Dean................

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/d...K=20374352

Though I contend that its the White Stag and it's fleeing the hunt of the Queens and Kings of Narnia but not yet to the lampost.:wave: :bounce: :party:
inked
"Aslan is not a tame lion. Safe?
No, he's not safe, but he's good."
CSL/LWW
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#8
More on the JKR lawsuit by Orson Scott Card:

http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/Article...nd_Oz.html
inked
"Aslan is not a tame lion. Safe?
No, he's not safe, but he's good."
CSL/LWW
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#9
inked Wrote:More on the JKR lawsuit by Orson Scott Card:

http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/Article...nd_Oz.html


Seems more like an angry rant. He touches on a couple of salient points, then just beats the horse. I largely discounted Card when I found out most of his efforts were just retellings of The Book of Mormon, and read his statement he refused to attend any university that didn't take said book as seriously as he did. I wasn't aware that any university had a policy specifically against The Book of Mormon, then or now.
Houston . . . we have a problem.
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#10
I love reading Card, I really do. He's very entertaining even in his rants! LOL
I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. -Rita Rudner
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#11
I have to say, I'm more inclined to think JKR is in the right. As I understand it, the printed version of the Lexicon is basically the same as the web version. I've perused the web version, and there is very little in the way of commentary or analysis; it's basically a copy and paste with some paraphrasing and insufficient citing. And Vander Ark seems to think that he owns it, not just the site, but the material on it; all over the site, if you try to highlight something it will say something to the effect of "Do not copy. This is my original work." I do not deny that he did do a great deal of work on that website, but to call it his original work? I've never thought that was right. And now, he's the one trying to publish, he's the one trying to make money from it.

The bottom line is, the copyright belongs to JKR. Whether she's made a hundred dollars from the series, or a hundred million dollars from the series, the copyright belongs to her and if she feels that it is being infringed upon, then she has the right to defend it. I know that if I spent any span of my life writing such a series, that if someone decided to copy and paste it and resell the same information for a profit I would be very upset. And you have to remember that there are hundreds of actually analytical books that have been allowed by JKR and her representatives, because they take very little from the source material, whereas Vander Ark took very much.

There is no precedent for this sort of thing, and copyright laws are very fuzzy. Whether the judge decides to allow RDR to publish or not, I don't think it will cost JKR anything, at least not monetarily. Nor do I think it would hurt the sales of her own encyclopedia. But that's no excuse for the outright theft of another person's work. Just because the judge could say that it is legal does not make it right. I imagine knowing that someone could just copy and paste and alphabetize her work and sell it would have to be disconcerting. Should the Lexicon be published, though, I guarantee that I will never buy it.

BTW, the thread should really be JKR vs. RDR, the publishing company. Vander Ark isn't named in the suit, because he signed an indemnity clause with RDR so that he would be free from any legal action (makes me think he expected something like this to happen).

Gah, sorry for the essay, I'm done now.
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#12
I wasn't aware of Vander Ark or his website until this whole thing started, so in a way, it has given him some free publicity.

I've looked over his website and I do feel that there is an awful lot of copy pasting and that many of his opinions and analyses are either stating what is obvious or somewhat naive. However, that is his right. There is no law against poor quality or incompetence in literary commentary.

However, having said that, Vander Ark does in places make very fitting comments and has obviously put much thought into it, so he's definitely no fool.

And sometimes copy-paste re-arrangements can be useful. JKR admits to having used this webiste herself in the past to check up facts. This shows she places high confidence in it, but also that she hasn't been keeping notes herself to the same level of detail.

If rather than calling it an encyclopedia, we call it a catalog, would there still be a problem?

Copyright laws permit fair usage, and fair usage includes litearary analysis and commentary. It doesn not specify a minumum quality that such analyis or commentary must have. Fair usage does not apply when it is being used as an excuse for plagiarism. This is the loophole JKR wants to exploit. But to prove that there is plagiarism, JKR would have to prove that people buying vander Ark's book are not buying hers as a result. I don't think that's happening.
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