Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rowling sues to block book version of Harry Potter fan site

Author J K Rowling and the maker of the Harry Potter films are suing a small publisher in Michigan over its plans to release a book version of a popular fan-based Web site dedicated to the boy wizard.

The suit, filed on Wednesday by the author and Warner Bros at a federal court in Manhattan, claims that RDR Books will infringe on Rowling's intellectual property rights if it goes ahead with its plan to publish the 400-page "Harry Potter Lexicon" on November 28.

According to the publisher, the book contains much of the same material already found on, a fan-created collection of essays and encyclopedic material on the Harry Potter universe, including lists of spells and potions found in the books, a catalog of magical creatures, and even a "who's who in the wizarding world."

In the past, Rowling has expressed support for such fan-driven efforts, and has singled out the Harry Potter Lexicon Web site and its editor, Steve Vander Ark, for high praise.

But in the lawsuit -- filed on Halloween -- Rowling claimed that the print version of the Lexicon would improperly interfere with her plans to write her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopedia, one which would include new material not included in the novels.

"I cannot, therefore, approve of 'companion books' or 'encyclopedias' that seek to pre-empt my definitive Potter reference book for their authors' own personal gain," Rowling said in a statement, released by Warner Brothers.

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