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Harry Potter and the Order of the Court: The J.K. Rowling Copyright Case and the Question of Fair Use Perfect Paperback – October 20, 2008

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NationsCourts.com (October 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615244491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615244495
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,774,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


What is the meaning of intellectual property in a world of rapidly evolving media forms? How do owners protect their intellectual property? In sharing it, how do they preserve their rights? What constitutes fair Use of the fruits of someone else s genius? What allowances should be made to ensure the free flow of information to citizens and scholars?

In Robert S. Want's remarkable and wonderfully named new book, Harry Potter and the Order of The Court, the reader can explore all these intriguing issues in a unique and fascinating context: a recent litigation that Harry Potter series author J. K. Rowling initiated against RDR Books to prevent them from marketing or selling a planned book: The Harry Potter Lexicon, a sort of Potter encyclopedia assembled by Steven Vander Ark.

The case was complicated by a variety of factors, including the fact that RDR alleged the Lexicon was a print version of The Harry Potter Lexicon website, one of the many sites on the internet that Potter fans can currently access for free. Then there was the fact that J. K. Rowling had encouraged such websites and in fact had been quoted positively in reference to this particular site.

In fact, Mr. Want's fascinating account of this complex litigation -- which brought literary fantasy, legal reality, and the contending interests of creative ownership and scholarly privilege into the courtroom -- focuses its attention on the central issue of "Fair Use."

The adventures of Harry Potter may be at an end, but the struggle to define the Fair Use fair doctrine as it applies to many kinds of intellectual property (music, literature, software, web pages, etc.) is likely to continue unabated as media forms continue evolve faster than the law can corral and police their use. Future cases will be decided one at a time, as courts review the Fair Use principles and case law already established, but also apply the subjective judgments and moral instincts that may be appropriate to a given case. All of this will be messy and difficult, but Robert Want s terrific book, through its thorough examination of the R.K. Rowling case, provides the reader with a lively and fascinating look at the battles that lie ahead for those that create intellectual property and those that use it. This is a book that will intrigue writers, readers, Harry Potter fans, and lawyers interested in intellectual property issues. Creators need to be able to protect the rights to what they create, but freedom of expression and free flow of information are also precious commodities. What is certain is that the conflicts between these two sets of interests will grow and evolve over time. Nevertheless, without some omnipotent wizard to wave a magic wand and create definitive and permanent rules for what constitutes Fair Use in a changing world, the courts and the rest of us will simply have to muggle through. --BookReview.com

About the Author

Robert S. Want is an attorney and editor. He is publisher of NationsCourts.com, which reports on new cases in copyright and other areas of the law.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jared TWG on February 6, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was extremely helpful and answered all the questions I had on the topic. The only thing that bothered me was the way that- twice on one page- it would tell me that the testimony provides for "rather compelling reading." I've already bought the book; I intend to read it. Just get to the point.
Other than that, I really liked it.
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