BALTIMORE, April 25 /PRNewswire/ — Becker Group, in partnership with
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, today announced it will bring worldwide
audiences “Harry Potter: The Exhibition,” a state-of-the-art exhibition
highlighting artifacts from the Warner Bros. films based on J.K. Rowling’s
beloved book series. The 10,000 square foot experience will premiere in
Spring 2009 in a major market, and will appear in ten or more cities around
the world throughout a five-year span.
“Harry Potter: The Exhibition” will include elaborate displays of
authentic costumes, props and artifacts from popular environments featured
in the films such as those from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
including the Gryffindor common room and Hagrid’s hut. During its run, the
exhibit will also be updated to include artifacts from the final
installments of the Harry Potter film series. The exhibition will be
displayed in major cultural and entertainment venues, museums and
institutions, and will be supported by a multimedia promotional effort and
advance ticket sales worldwide. Tour information, updates and ticket
availability will be posted at http://www.harrypotterexhibition.com as details
become available, or for more information, call 866-231-8328.
Archive for April, 2008
Hi Everyone! This is just a heads up that as of now, we will not be releasing episode 77 this week. Things are very busy around here and unfortunately there is no time to prepare, record, and edit the episode this week.
We look forward to returning next week for our regularly scheduled episode, and we apologize for this.
Ginny, have you seen my Firebolt?
The trial over Steve Vander Ark and his Harry Potter Lexicon continued today in New York, in what appears to be the final day of testimony. According to the WSJ Law Blog (which may be suing HPProgs for copyright, as we’ve been linking to and excerpting from the quite liberally), the defense (i.e. SVA and RDR) seemed to have the upper hand coming out of today’s session. HPProgs legal analysts (read: hacks) think this might indicate that the judge really favors Rowling, but was testing their side more rigourously to see how they stood up to scrutiny. More likely, though, he’s leaning towards RDR/SVA.
The WSJ also posted an interview with an IP lawyer who gave his opinion on the case (long story short: too close to call). Did we mention that Anthony Falzone, one of the attorneys for the defense, used basically the same argument we did in yesterday’s podcast discussing the trial? He must be a listener (we’ll send you a bill).
In the meantime, more information has come to light. Commentor Bill posted a link to a site that contains most of the information that has been submitted for the case (I think lawyers call these things affidavits). Included in Bill’s comment was an excerpt of an email exchange between SVA and JKR’s representatives; what emerges is a very disturbing picture of a case of an obsessed fan taking things too far. This, of course, has no bearing on the legality of the Lexicon as a published work, but certainly adds a nice amount of drama and context to the entire affair.
Check back tomorrow for more updates on the trial. We here at HPProgs are hoping for a settlement; short of that, we’ve got two galleons on RDR/SVA.
Well the hopes of a full settlement were apparently too much to ask for. Darn. The WSJ law blog tells us that when the courts reconvened today, the attorneys informed Judge Patterson that they had reached a settlement only on the false advertising and deceptive trade practices claims. This means only that neither J.K Rowling’s name nor her quote endorsing the online version of the Harry Potter Lexicon will appear on the cover of the book version of the Lexicon….if it is published. Also, Anthony Falzone, who’s representing RDR in the case, told the court that both parties hope to “paper a settlement” on the trademark infringement and unfair competition claims.
The crux of the courtcase; which is Copyright Infringement is still unfortunately on the table and has not been settled on.
So the case moved on…
David Hammer, the lead attorney for RDR, seemed to be most interested in establishing the point that the more creative a work is — a “fantasy” being perhaps the most creative genre of the novel — the more there’s a need for a reference guide to illuminate, for the reader, the unique (and non-existent) world the author has created. Sorensen testified that, historically, lexicons and reference works similar to Vander Ark’s have been helpful for readers seeking to gain a better understanding of such works as J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and C.S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Lexicons like Vander Ark’s, testified Sorensen, can educate a reader on etymologies, mythical references, geography (real and imagined) and the vernacular and slang used by the author. She also said that reference guides written by the authors themselves aren’t necessarily the final word on their own texts, since authors can assume too much knowledge on the part of the reader.
In her cross, Cendali returned to the plaintiffs’ legal motif in the case: The H.P. Lexicon takes too much, and does too little. Cendali pressed Sorensen on the point that the Lexicon contains little interpretive analysis. Sorensen conceded as much, but said that analysis isn’t the only value a reference guide like Vander Ark’s can provide a reader.
It should also be noted that JK Rowling and Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. put out an official statement regarding the case:
“A fan’s affectionate enthusiasm should not obscure acts of plagiarism. The publishers knew what they were doing. The problem remains that the Lexicon takes an enormous amount of Ms. Rowling’s work and adds virtually no original commentary of its own. As we’ve said in court, it takes too much and adds too little. Authors have a duty to prevent the exploitation of their works by people who contribute nothing original, creative or interpretive.”
If you are starting to feel lost in all of this legal jargon and want the laymen’s/Harry Potter fan’s version of the events, feel free to listen to our latest podcast episode, “Harry Potter Goes to Court.” We discussed the case so far, as well as the impact that it has had on the Harry Potter Fandom.
This week, we take a break from the Patterns in Potter series to disucss the court case currently underway in New York between J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. on one side, and RDR Books and Steve Vander Ark on the other. There’s been excellent coverage of the trial (and interesting comments) over on the WSJ Law Blog, make sure to check that out.
In the mean time, if you have a thought or opinion about the case, leave a comment or a message and we’ll play it our next podcast. We look forward to hearing from you. You can leave comments here on the blog or send in your voicemails to 206-337-0357 in the US or 07092899490 in the UK. Please make sure to keep the message as close to one minute as possible and try to speak loudly and clearly.
No news this week, other than, you know, that court thingee. We will continue the Patterns in Potter series next week, beginning Book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
You can listen to the podcast using the player below, or download it directly as an mp3.
Apparently, Judge Robert Patterson feels similarly to many Potter fans. Towards the end of today, he asked both parties involved if they could reach a settlement, stating that he feels that the case between JK Rowling and Steve Vander Ark/RDR Publishers has become more lawyer-driven than client-driven.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports the events of today as follows:
Judge Patterson removed his glasses and addressed the court. “I’m concerned that this case is more lawyer-driven than it is client-driven,” he lamented. “The fair use people are on one side, and a large company is on the other side. . . . The parties ought to see if there’s not a way to work this out, because there are strong issues in this case and it could come out one way or the other. The fair use doctrine is not clear.”
“I’m bringing it up now so you can think about it before you get into the rest of the case,” Judge Patterson added. “Maybe it’s too late; maybe we’ve gone too far down the road. But a settlement is better than a lawsuit.”
The plea came as plaintiffs counsel Marvin Putnam of O’Melveny was cross examining a witness, an exchange that seemed to leave the lawyer frustrated and losing patience. The Judge broke in to point out that it was four o’clock, and asked Putnam how much longer he needed. Putnam apologized, and said he’d need quite a bit longer.
I don’t know about you but I am hoping that this will be as painless as possible and that the folks on both sides will strongly consider settling the case. From a purely selfish perspective, I hope that this can be resolved painlessly. I hate seeing what it is doing to the Potter author/fan/fandom relationship, which used to be looked at as a model to be emulated. Now it is starting to feel like a dysfunctional family.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has posted another great entry about the JKR/RDR/SVA court case. SVA testified today.
What’s More Important to the Parties? Money or Passion? Yesterday, Rowling said the case isn’t about money, but about principle. One of RDR’s lawyers, Anthony Falzone, in his opening remarks said that for Vander Ark it was never about money, but rather passion. Today we got a sense of where thing stand on both fronts. According to Vander Ark, he’s made about $6,500 off his Web site — all through advertising — between 2000 and 2008.
But the most telling part of Vander Ark’s testimony came at the end of Hammer’s direct examination. Asked whether he still considered himself a part of the Harry Potter fan community — those that, in Vander Ark’s words, devote most of their free time to all things Potter, he choked up, and said, “I did.” But then, when pressed on it, he changed his answer. “I do,” he said, breaking up.
Hammer then asked him why the question was so “emotionally-charged.” Regaining his composure, and trying hard to look past J.K. Rowling, whom the plaintiffs counsel positioned directly in front of the witness stand, Vander Ark said, “It’s been difficult because there’s been a lot of criticism and that was never the intention. I understand where that comes from, but it’s difficult. The lexicon has been an important part of my life for the last 8 or 9 years of my life, and now, to have it turn into this . . . .”
This seems to be turning into an emotional roller coaster for all of the parties involved. I wish JKR and SVA could just kiss and make up. In a completely selfless gesture, I am offering both sides the opportunity to talk 1 to 1 without the courts getting in the ways. Feel free to come on our podcast. We’d be happy to have you. In related news, yes I am delusional.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has given a report on some of today’s court proceedings.
According to the Law Blog, the heart of this case is the fair-use doctrine which according to the US Copyright Act is explained as follows:
One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the Copyright Act (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” Although fair use was not mentioned in the previous copyright law, the doctrine has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years. This doctrine has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.
Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
the nature of the copyrighted work;
amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
This was discussed in detail today by JKR’s attorney:
After going through the list of correspondence that Cendali argued showed bad faith copying on Vander Ark’s part, she painstakingly detailed the four factors of fair use — the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount of the work copied, the purpose and character of the use, and the effect on the market — arguing that they don’t apply to the Harry Potter Lexicon.
Mostly, Cendali focused on the third factor, belaboring the same phrase over and over again, arguing that the Lexicon “takes too much and does too little.” In other words, she argued, unlike other Harry Potter companion books, which add commentary, analysis and research to Rowling’s work, the Harry Potter Lexicon adds nothing new or original, but merely “rearranges the furniture of Rowling’s novels.” In characterizing the Lexicon as a “reference guide,” Cendali, in her own bit of literary pilferage, concluded that RDR is attempting “to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.”
When Stanford University’s Anthony Falzone, the inheritor of professor Larry Lessig’s Fair Use Project, took the podium, he gave comparatively short remarks, saying simply that the public will lose out if publication of the Harry Potter Lexicon is enjoined, and arguing that the power Rowling asserts over her fictional world does not translate into power she can assert over companion guides wirtten by others. “Profit was nover the point,” concluded Falzone, Vander Ark wrote the Lexicon out of passion.
As we mentioned previously, Jo took the stand today and spoke quite emotionally and passionately about her feelings on this issue. One interesting tidbit the Wall Stree Journal offered was the following:
“Should my fans be flooded with a surfeit of substandard books — so called lexicons — I’m not sure I’d have the will or heart to continue,” said Rowling, who went on to characterize the H.P. Lexicon as “sloppy,” “lazy,” and “incorrect.”
Personally I don’t know that I would classify the HPL as sloppy, lazy, or incorrect. I think it is a very excellent compendium of the Harry Potter world that I have taken advantage of (and according to many previous reports, so has JKR) quite often. Once again, I don’t know the ins and outs of copyright law and I don’t know who is in the right OR wrong here but to see the badmouthing and deterioration of fan and author relations saddens me the most.
NEW YORK – J.K. Rowling said Monday that her efforts to halt a publisher’s “Harry Potter” lexicon have been crushing her creativity.
Rowling said she has stopped work on a new novel because the lawsuit in federal court has “decimated my creative work over the last month.”
Rowling is suing RDR Books to stop publication of Steven Vander Ark’s “Harry Potter Lexicon.” She says her copyrights are being violated.
“This book constitutes wholesale theft of 17 years of my hard work,” she testified Monday.
To me the biggest revelation in this story is that Steve Vander Ark is 50. Did not realize THAT.
JKR/RDR/SVA: really bad shipping idea?
Well…yes, but they are also the key players in the trial which will begin this week in New York City.
The showdown between Rowling and Steven Vander Ark is scheduled to last most of the week in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Rowling is scheduled to testify Monday in a trial that is sure to generate huge interest among Harry Potter fans and the public. Her lawyer has arranged with the judge to have a private security guard for Rowling in the courtroom and for the author to spend breaks in the seclusion of a jury room — away from any die-hard Potter fans in attendance.
I think that’s us, they are referring to.
Well, we are some die-hard Potter fans, but unfortunately we won’t be in full stalking attendance mode. But we will keep you updated on any news that surfaces.
This comes from Amazon’s Beedle the Bard Page:
Calling all Harry Potter fans!
Want to get your (gloved) hands on J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard? Amazon.com wants to send you and a friend to London, England to spend a weekend with the rare and delightful book of fairy tales (security guards included, of course), handwritten and illustrated by J.K. Rowling herself. Open to muggles ages 13 and older in 24 countries, the Beedle the Bard Ballad Writing Contest challenges you to creatively answer one of the following three questions in 100 words or less:
• What songs do wizards use to celebrate birthdays?
• What sports do wizards play besides Quidditch?
• What have you learned from the Harry Potter series that you use in everyday life?
English-language submissions will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. PDT April 22, 2008. An Amazon.com committee will select 10 semi-finalist submissions (based on creativity and writing style) from each of two age categories: 13-17 and 18-and-over. Amazon.com customers will determine the two finalists and Grand Prize winner by voting for their favorites. The Grand Prize includes round-trip airfare, two nights lodging at a London hotel, as well as an expense allowance. Plus, each of the finalists from the two age groups will receive an Amazon Gift Certificate in the amount of $1,000.
Key contest dates:
• April 9-April 22, 2008: Call for submissions.
• May 5-May 11, 2008: Semi-finalists are revealed and customers vote for their favorites.
• May 13-May 19, 2008: Finalists in each age group are revealed, and customers vote for the Grand Prize winner.
• May 22, 2008: The Grand Prize winner is announced.
For more information, view our Frequently Asked Questions, or read the official rules.
Broadway Equus dates have been announced:
As previously reported by Playbill.com, Daniel Radcliffe and Tony and Olivier Award winner Richard Griffiths — who played to sold-out crowds in the London revival — will reprise their work for Broadway audiences. Radcliffe will star as Alan Strang with Griffiths as Dr. Martin Dysart. Opening night at the Broadhurst is scheduled for Sept. 25, and the production will play a 22-week engagement through Feb. 8, 2009.
It is possible that this has been up for weeks but I just noticed that the Formal Programming for Portus has been announced on the website.
My two roundtable discussions are included.
If you haven’t decided whether to come to Portus or not yet, maybe this programming list will help you make your decision.
It is going to be amazing. Nuff said.
Update: I just read through the presenters biographies and I realized that I am one of the only presenters who didn’t offer my credentials. I feel stupid now because I certainly worked hard enough for my M.S. and there is no better place in the world for me to brag about it than at a Harry Potter convention. Did I mention I graduated Summa Cum Laude (that is for Greg who didn’t)?
Last week, we introduced pride as the theme of Book 4, with a focus on both personal and communal pride, and how nationalism, racism and other -isms can flow from pride. This week, we continue our discussion of Goblet of Fire and the theme of pride, listen to a few comments, and have an all-around good time.
We look forward to hearing from you. You can leave comments here on the blog or send in your voicemails to 206-337-0357 in the US or 07092899490 in the UK. Please make sure to keep the message as close to one minute as possible and try to speak loudly and clearly.
Shoutout to our listener, Robert Kingett, and his podcast: www.freewebs.com/4yoinformation.
In the news:
- Nick Kids chose Potter again.
- Bloomsbury has a lot to thank Potter for.
- College kids love muggle Quidditch.
- JK Rowling’s work will be in a Birthday Book for Prince Charles.
- Transcript of JKR’s talk when she received the James Joyce Award.
You can listen to the podcast with the player below, or download it directly as an mp3.