old school 04.14.2008, 6:51 PM
posted by bob stein
J.K. Rowling went to court today to try to stop someone from publishing a lexicon of Harry Potter characters. She says she wants to do it herself, but even if that gave her the right to stop others from doing it (which i surely hope is not what the court decides), Rowling misses the opportunity here to JOIN with Harry Potter fans in the sublime exercise of building on the story.
Reminds me of a koan i've been working on which goes like this:
old school authors commit to engage with a subject ON BEHALF of future readers.
new school authors commit to engage WITH readers in the the context of a subject.
JoseAngel on April 16, 2008 8:57 AM:
It is somewhat pretentious on the part of Rowling to assume that she owns the Harry Potter universe to that extent. It has been appropriated and co-created by thousands of readers and fans worldwide - and this is not really the effect of J.K. Rowling's outstanding literary talent or originality - ?it is a chaotic vortex of fame and money which is generated by globalized patterns of publishing, information, distribution and communication. I suppose she is right in trying to hold her own - ?(this is the kind of issue where your money interest dictates your views) but the judges would do well to dismiss her claims.
Sharon on April 18, 2008 2:13 PM:
The NYT reporter hasn't done enough research on this issue, and/or you seem to be missing significant backstory. Vander Ark claimed to have received authorization from Rowling, which he hadn't. Then he and his publisher (RDR) had different views on what the book would contain. For that matter, the Lexicon-for-print is being represented as Vander Ark's own work, though the Lexicon-as-website presents the labor of a couple dozen editors. I've little respect for a self-professed fan who wants to profit from other fans' donated time and who isn't smart enough to have learned that fans talk to each other.
Backstory is aggregated via a tag on journalfen.net called, appropriately enough, "this is the wank that never ends." I suggest the posts from 16 Jan 2008 (one) and from Nov 2007 (several), particularly praetorianguard's analyses when they're linked thence.
Before anyone knocks the informal style on those linked posts, btw, consider that cleolinda has published professionally as a journalist; here she's writing to help a broader audience gain access. praetorianguard is a contract/IP lawyer who works for a Fortune 300 company.