This is topic Harry Potter Plagiarism Case... in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by InarticulateBabbler (Member # 4849) on :
You can find infor with a google search, this report is one which leans in Rowling's favor--I've read several accounts--but it's interesting to note that the case hasn't simply been dropped (like others).

Then again, it makes me wonder if it is a publicity stunt. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 is scheduled for release in November. How bad is that? Like they needed a part 1 and 2.

Posted by Pyre Dynasty (Member # 1947) on :
So the basis of the claim is he sent a novel with a wizard competition and trains to the same agent. And the agent claims he never saw it, probably because it didn't make it past slush.
Even if he saw it, ideas aren't copyrightable. If his train stopped at platform nine and three quarters, and his competition involved stealing eggs from dragons, saving people from merpeople, and fighting each other through a hedgemaze, the possibly there is something there.
Next are the Tolkein people going to go after the grandfather of all spiders?
Posted by tchernabyelo (Member # 2651) on :
I must admit the moment I saw the cover of the first Harry Potter book, and read the back cover copy, it reminded me of Neil Gaiman's "The Books Of Magic" and Timothy Hunter - young bespectacled protagonist discovers he's a powerful wizard, has an owl familiar... but realistically, there are really NOT that many combinations of things out there and similarities are from time to time inevitable.

The idea behind this lawsuit appears to be that an agent would read a submission, think it had merit, and then ask another author to use those ideas. To me that is frankly... odd.

Posted by redux (Member # 9277) on :
The basis of the claim is that Rowling's agent had access to the 'Willy' manuscript and that there are substantial similarities between the books. The judge cannot dismiss the complaint if there is an actual issue of fact in question.

Since the Jacob's estate overcame the first hurdle (showing they are copyright owners of 'Willy,' that defendants had access to 'Willy' and that there are some similarities between the two), now the court gets to determine if those similarities are in fact substantial and if so, how much was plagiarized.

tchernabyelo - When I first heard about Harry Potter I immediately thought of 'The Worst Witch.' I used to watch it every Halloween. Tim Curry was great as The Grand Wizard.

[This message has been edited by redux (edited October 17, 2010).]

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