Saturday, April 19, 2008

Harry Potter Update

Here's some late breaking news from the J.K. Rowling copyright suit. The point of this article, I can only surmise, is to go neener neener to the richest woman in the UK for having her work chided in an American court. Here are the key paragraphs:

District Judge Robert Patterson Jr said that he had read the first half of the first Harry Potter novel to his grandchildren, but found the “magical world hard to follow, filled with strange names and words that would be gibberish in any other context."

“I found it extremely complex,” he said, suggesting that a reference guide might be useful.

I'm no legal expert, so I have no idea what bearing the personal opinion of Judge Patterson has on the case, but there's no jury, so my guess would be "some." I'm just wondering how you get to be a District Judge without the reading comprehension skills of a third grader. By the way, if you changed the word "magical" to "legal" that sentence would make more sense to most of the planet's population.

I wouldn't lose any sleep over this case though. A few more years and it won't even be an issue.


Robin S. said...

Veritaserum and COKE - this HAS to be one of your best post titles yet, swwetie. I love it. I'm getting a kinda rum and lime flavor in my mouth, with the fizzy going on.

I'm on the fence about this thing with J.K. On one hand, as I understand it - she liked it when these guys had this deep info on a website. Of course- all the discussion and worship are good for sales. If I ever am lucky enough to have discussion and worship - I'll be thankful.

Anyway- publishing the stuff feels different to J.K. and to Warner, I think, because there are going to be actual quotes and direct use of her intellectual property. I'mm a firm believer in intellectual property rights - so I can see the point.

And I don't think this judge should be making this decision. If little children can understand J.K.'s created world, and they can, and this guy self-confessedly can't - that's ridiculous. Sounds like he may have been predisposed in his judgment.

Ask ello- I bet she knows what I'm about to say is a fact- just because a guy graduates form law school and is politically astute enogh or connected enough to attain 'judgehood' - doesn't mean he can't be, underneath it all, a bonehead.

blogless troll said...

just because a guy graduates form law school and is politically astute enogh or connected enough to attain 'judgehood' - doesn't mean he can't be, underneath it all, a bonehead.

Oh, I know. I see it all the time in other areas.

I tend to side with Rowling on this one. I don't know if the guy was making money off the website or not. I haven't really looked too closely at it, but like you said, his book consists of mostly her books, chopped up and arranged differently

Sarah Laurenson said...

I was in law school - for one year - in the evening class where the boneheads were a little more limited in number. But they were there. And they smoked and drank like little fiends. These are our up and coming lawyers? Whatever.

I think there is a world of difference between putting information on a fan site and choosing to take the author's words and put them in encyclopedia form and sell it. Especially when the author expressed her own desire to do just that as her next project. He wasn't making money off the website (that I know of) and he's all weepy about her not liking him any more. Poor baby. Whatever.

I also think her main issue with it, besides it taking her work and making money off it, is that it's not very good in her eyes. And she doesn't want to see something published that is associated with her and it sucks. I can definitely understand that.

As for the judge - he only needs to apply the law about how much information can be lifted without breaking copyright. Not having read this tome, I don't think it would be that hard of an issue. But this guy has also said they should settle out of court. I have a strong feeling that his law library is very limited and probably full of the only books he's ever read. And you don't have to really read those, just skim the index for the info you need.

The lawyers on both sides have months to file paperwork showing how much has been lifted and how much is original.

And then there's our prolific text book writer who does not fact check what he publishes as he lifts it willy nilly from websites far and wide. Want to rely on his books?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Oh yeah. Loved the title myself!

And am now thinking that our school text books are probably written by this clown and that's why the kids get a crappy education. That is, the ones who stay in school do. The drop out rate hovers around 50% some places. WTF?

Whirlochre said...

The difference between the two potential encyclopaediae (?) is that JK's own version will illuminate what's in her books whereas this other guy's offering will merely duplicate.

On that basis alone, she deserves to have him obliterated from the known universe.

What she doesn't deserve is the hassle—or, it seems, the judge.

ChristineEldin said...

Where do you find these articles!?!!! Re--robots.

I also side with JK for all the reasons everyone has already mentioned. I could get a robot to come up with a few more...

Precie said...

Sorry for the non sequitur, but tag, you're it!