1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Monday, 15 June 2009

Harry Potter and the Copyright Contest

The estate of Adrian Jacobs has today issued proceedings against Bloomsbury alleging that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire infringes copyright in The Adventures of Willy the Wizard - No 1 Livid Land. The estate is also seeking a court order against J. K. Rowling for pre-action disclosure to determine whether to join her as a defendant. The allegations concern plot similarities, both wizards competing in wizardry contests. Rowling is no stranger to the courts, so this contest of Willy and Harry's powers should prove to be spectacular!

Report on Cloud Computing Journal (No 1 magazine for wizards) here.

2 comments:

The MG said...

The story you have linked to seems to be the only version, so I went looking for more information on this from different sources (having nothing better to do of an evening). I found a website for the book, www.willythewizard.com, and it has what it terms "excerpts" from Willy the Wizard, but what seem to be deliberatly trying to point out similarities between it and Harry Potter.

Having read through many of them, and knowing the Harry Potter books well, I can't say that I see any significant similarity really. Some things mentioned in passing in WtW are gone into in great depth in HP or vice versa, emphasis is put on a placename in Jacobs' other book Holiday Antics - Honey Sweet Bay - and the fact that there is a character called Duke in the book, which seems to be trying to suggest that this is the origin of Honeydukes. The fact that eavesdropping and flies (reference to Rita Skeeter) are mentioned within the same book (again HA, not WtW) is also highlighted, as is a flying team game which in no way resembles Quidditch, the fact that the main protagonist (Willy) is famous - like many main characters - and that there is a wizard with a "strange eye" (actually a cyclops, but here they seem to be suggesting that it's linked to Mad Eye Moody). Frankly, this is either a hoax or Adrian Jacobs' Estate trustees are trying to get some publicity for a book that barely gets a mention anywhere. I can't see something like this holding up in court - they have less of a case than Stouffer in my opinion - but we will have to see. Anyway, check out the website. It's not even really about the book so much as trying to prove that Harry Potter was ripped from it.

The MG said...

Oh, and I might add that Holiday Antics was never published, according to www.willythewizard.com and the Adventures of Willy the Wizard was published in a volume of 5000, a "large number" of which wee sent to Jacobs' (unnamed) literary agent.