Rowling prevails in Harry Potter Lexicon suit

Posted: September 9th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: In the News | Tags: , | Comments Off on Rowling prevails in Harry Potter Lexicon suit

J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. have prevailed in their action again RDR Books, who were readying Steven Vander Ark’s Harry Potter Lexicon for publication. Although the author’s fan site had previously been singled out for praise by Rowling, news that a print edition has been prepared and was going to be published sparked the legal dispute between the parties, and a larger debate about when reference guides cross the threshold of copyright infringement.

The New York trial was closely watched by copyright scholars, publishers, and others in the publishing community involved with the creation and production of so-called companion books, works that reference, explain, and in large measure rely upon previously published works. Of concern was how Judge Patterson’s decision would affect the market for such works and whether it would signal a shift toward a narrower and more restrictive test for what constitutes an infringing work.

A copy of Judge Patterson’s opinion is available online; Mark Hamblett’s summary for the New York Law Journal is available via