J.K. Rowling has won a lawsuit against the Harry Potter Lexicon website, which was planning to publish a print version.
“I took no pleasure at all in bringing legal action and am delighted that this issue has been resolved favourably,” said Rowling in a statement. “I went to court to uphold the right of authors everywhere to protect their own original work. The court has upheld that right. The proposed book took an enormous amount of my work and added virtually no original commentary of its own. Now the court has ordered that it must not be published. Many books have been published which offer original insights into the world of Harry Potter. The Lexicon just is not one of them.”
In his opinion, U.S. district court judge Robert Patterson said that RDR “had failed to establish an affirmative defense of fair use” and issued a permanent injunction against the Lexicon. According to Reuters, Patterson awarded the plaintiffs $750 for each of Rowling’s seven Harry Potter novels, as well as $750 each of the Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, for damages totaling $6,750.
Rowling’s victory would seem to cast a pall over all kinds of fan-based projects, from Robert Foster’s Guide to Middle Earth on to various fan encyclopedias of various comics characters.
We’ll have some more analysis tomorrow.