Have you heard about the latest with JK Rowling taking a publisher to court because they are publishing a lexicon about Harry Potter's world? It all started with a website where Harry Potter fans can get together and discuss everything Harry. They talk about the books, the characters and what might have been. It was a place where even JK enjoyed hanging out. Or at least she did until she found out the owner was publishing a lexicon about her books.
Now according to the Webster's Dictionary, the word Lexicon means...
...1: a book containing an alphabetical arrangement of the words in a language and their definitions : dictionary
...2 a: the vocabulary of a language, an individual speaker or group of speakers, or a subject b: the total stock of morphemes in a language.
So that sounds like it means he is taking her world, words, special language and plotline and putting it together in one volume that can be referred to as needed for clarity.
She feels as if what he's doing is "stealing her words".
You can read more about this at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080414/ap_en_ot/harry_potter_lawsuit and about a gazillion other places on the web.
Apparently, the publisher and author says it's okay to do because "it was used for some greater purpose, such as a scholarly pursuit." Rowling says "it is nothing more than a rearrangement" of her own material and should be stopped.
So...is what this guy doing, plagiarism? He's obviously using JK's words in his own work. But he's crediting them all to her. So has he gone over the line? Or is he really going to "enhance the reader's pleasure" by making this thing?
After all the uproar about Cassie Edwards and the famous ferret papers, here is another situation that is similar, yet different. Plagiarism seems to be an ongoing problem for authors, but how can you tell what is and what isn't when even the BIG GUYS can't figure it out.
I swear...it's enough to make even a wizard confused, let alone a muggle.
So what is your opinion? Should the courts favor the author who wants to keep copyright on her own work? Or should they allow the lexicon since it is only meant as a companion book to help those who enjoy the wonderful world of Harry.
All opinions are welcome.
Never anger an elf... we have very long memories.