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Suit Filed Against Bloomsbury Regarding "Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire;" Bloomsbury States Claim is "Without Merit"

Legal
Posted by: sue
June 15, 2009, 03:02 PM

Today the estate of late children's author Adrian Jacobs filed a suit against Bloomsbury Publishing citing copyright infringement involving Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. In a press release, the estate claims that "JK Rowling copied substantial parts of the work of the late Adrian Jacobs, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard-No 1 Livid Land, and that Bloomsbury in selling the books have infringed the Estate's copyright." The Bookseller also notes the estate is "seeking an injunction to prevent further sales of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and either damages or a share in the profits made by Bloomsbury. As noted by the Bookseller and the release, the claim says that "both books describe the adventures of a main character, 'Willy' in Jacobs' book and 'Harry Potter' in Rowling's, who are wizards, who compete in a wizard contest which they ultimately win. Both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main task of the contest which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures, 'the merpeople' in Harry Potter. "

Bloomsbury, UK publishers of the Harry Potter series, has now responded to this matter at length. In a response sent to Reuters and TLC, reps note "this
claim is without merit and will be defended vigorously." They continue:

The allegations of plagiarism made today, Monday 15 June 2009, by the Estate of Adrian Jacobs are unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue. JK Rowling had never heard of Adrian Jacobs nor seen, read or heard of his book Willy the Wizard until this claim was first made in 2004- almost seven years after the publication of the first book in the highly publicised Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and after the publication of the first five books in the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was written by JK Rowling before approaching Christopher Little in 1995 and the book was published in an essentially unaltered form by Bloomsbury in 1997.
Willy the Wizard is a very insubstantial booklet running to 36 pages which had very limited distribution. The central character of Willy the Wizard is not a young wizard and the book does not revolve around a wizard school.

This claim was first made in 2004 by solicitors in London acting on behalf of Adrian Jacobs' son who was the representative of his father's estate and who lives in the United States. The claim was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books which was said to copy Willy the Wizard.

Following correspondence between lawyers over a period of three months in 2004 rejecting this claim, no more was heard about the claim until a new set of solicitors put forward the claim on a significantly different basis four years later in 2008 (eleven years after the publication of the first Harry Potter book) but still without identifying any text said to copy Willy the Wizard. These lawyers have stated that they are acting on behalf of a firm of solicitors in Wagga Wagga, Australia and on behalf of a West Midlands property developer who was appointed in 2008 as Trustee of the Estate in order to bring this claim. The claim is now made in respect of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was published in 2000.

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197 Comments

Hpmaggie2_copy2_thumb
1040 Points

Whoops, forgot to log the daughter out first again! Sigh Sorry, LemonPrincess!

“It continually amazes me to witness the depths of villainous absurdity people are willing to sink to in the hopes of making a fast (and unearned) buck. They should be so mortally embarrassed by bringing such a worthless suit against Jo that it is actually painful. All for the sake of some complete nonentity of a 36 page booklet. Puuuh-leeeze. I hope Jo laughed her head off at them.”

That was me, not LP! :)

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on June 16, 2009, 03:56 AM report to moderator
Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

ot sounds pointless and stupid. tbh i think it is for publicity for the guy. I dont think the guy would have any chance against Jo Rowling.
Go Jo!!!

Noavatar-thumb
43 Points

I am repeatedly surprised by the greed of mankind, even though history would teach us not to be surprised considering how often this desire has – regrettably – been the principal cause of our actions. “…humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them.”

Posted by sachem on June 16, 2009, 04:05 AM report to moderator
58265-daavvy_thumb
110 Points

This is ridiculous. Thing is the author’s not suing…he passed away. To be frank, I don’t see how a 36 page book can compare in the details to goblet of fire. From reading the book, you can tell that Jo put alot into planning not only that book, but all of the novels in the series. I also think the person over the estate should be ashamed for doing this.

Posted by LadyCake on June 16, 2009, 04:07 AM report to moderator
Triple_thumb
327 Points

oh like the bloke can copyright the form of a wizard contest

allow this other bloke
he is just another basatard trying to swindle jo out of some money

remember the people who tried to get her done because their kids had ran head first into the platform 9 3/4 wall and got head injuries

pfftt fools

Posted by HudMug1712 on June 16, 2009, 04:09 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
52 Points

If they expect to gain only popularity from the lawsuit, they will, unfortunately, probably get it.
Must…resist…urge….to read…..Willy the Wizard!

Posted by beatlefreak9 on June 16, 2009, 04:15 AM report to moderator
018734281a3970190750b972929570l_normal_thumb
2408 Points

Cool the way Bloomsbury sent out a statement directly to Leaky

Posted by KiwiMcI on June 16, 2009, 04:20 AM report to moderator
Hbp_poster_two_thumb
3048 Points

Ridiculous and frivolous lawsuits filling the legal systems of countries inhibits judges and governments from addressing and implementing justice where justice is due. It is a pity that someone filled with greed, coveting the prestige and wealth that J.K. Rowling has accrued, decided to resort to such a desperate gesture in order to secure fifteen minutes of celebrity. The argument he has employed in order to justify his “theory” that J.K. Rowling borrowed from him is incredible and absurd; one could find more obvious “plagiarisms” from other works of literature than that in the Harry Potter books if they tried hard enough.

Posted by Kirk on June 16, 2009, 04:31 AM report to moderator
Ahdsummeravatar_w_thumb
244 Points

That is beyond ridiculous. Jo wouldn’t, nor does she need to, copy from another author. It’s just a shame she’ll have to pay lawyers to defend her against this absurd allegation and squash this guy. :<

Posted by Angeltown on June 16, 2009, 04:35 AM report to moderator
Order_of_the_phoenix__3__thumb
460 Points

i agree completely with Jaymie Brooks, this is crazy! JK doesn’t deserve this, her books are a gift to the world, and this is just, for better words, desperate excuse for some writer to make money. this is sad, and indeed, without merit. go ahead JK, fight back and win!

Posted by kingdom on June 16, 2009, 04:39 AM report to moderator
Cool_thumb
112 Points

Sounds like the other author is trying to get some much needed press for Willy and trying to interest people enough to go have a read of their book to see how similar they are. It’s a scam. They think it will pay off if they motivate people to check out the book.

How stupid.

Posted by weB3now on June 16, 2009, 04:42 AM report to moderator
Hobgoblin13_thumb
328 Points

HOW EXACTLY DO THEY EXPECT TO TAKE GOF OF THE SHELVES!!?:
“here’s book 1, book 2, book 3 … and book 5.”

Posted by Hobgoblin 13 on June 16, 2009, 04:44 AM report to moderator
Harry-potter-poa_thumb
49 Points

I find this rediculous and outrageous. It’s amazing how low people will go all for the sake of greed. The fact that the book is only 36 pages long, and that the estate wants a share in Bloombury’s profit just shows the absudity in this suit.

Posted by Peacemaker92 on June 16, 2009, 04:56 AM report to moderator
Kit_thumb
288 Points

Well, that’s so … so … Slytherin! ~ >:(

Posted by Fereverto on June 16, 2009, 04:58 AM report to moderator
Normal_scan_thumb
115 Points

This brings concern since, if you go to the author’s site for the 1987 book, there is a list of similar concepts that are supposedly in “Willy” like there is in "Harry, " like wizard chess, wizard school (wizard college), wizard trains and prisons, wizard hospitals…This could harm the Harry Potter series if Jo and Bloomsbury don’t hire very good lawyers who can find loopholes.

Posted by The Hollow on June 16, 2009, 05:05 AM report to moderator
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