From SCI FI Wire:
12:00 AM, 29-FEBRUARY-08
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling would feel "exploited" if a fan's unofficial encyclopedic companion was published, she said in court papers, the Reuters news service reported.
Steve Vander Ark has written The Harry Potter Lexicon, a 400-page reference book based on his popular fan Web site. Rowling and Warner Brothers, which produces the Harry Potter movies, are suing RDR Books, an independent publisher that planned to publish the book last November.
"I am very frustrated that a former fan has tried to co-opt my work for financial gain," Rowling, said in a declaration filed in U.S. District Court in New York. "I believe that RDR's book constitutes a Harry Potter 'rip off' of the type I have spent years trying to prevent, and that both I, as the creator of this world, and fans of Harry Potter, would be exploited by its publication."
The lawsuit was filed in October and seeks to stop publication and requests damages for copyright and federal trademark infringement and any profits to be gained.
Rowling has said she plans to write her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopedia, which would include material that did not make it into the novels, and donate the proceeds to charity.
RDR Books has said Vander Ark, a librarian, had spoken at Harry Potter academic conferences in Great Britain, Canada and the United States and that a timeline he created was used by Warner in DVD releases of the Potter films.
The company and Vander Ark have said the book would only promote the sale of Rowling's work and that Vander Ark's Web site had been called "a great site" by Rowling herself.
Shaf's take: Reminds me of Paramount's attempts to reign-in the unsanctioned Star Trek sites. Depending on your point of view, it could be seen as a bit heavy-handed. I guess J.K. feels the need to protect the Harry Potter brand.