HP Lexicon – a solution?

There has been much written about the recent trial of Stephen Vander Ark and his Harry Potter Lexicon.  The court recently came to a decision and ruled in favor of J.K. Rowling.  The decision was an interesting one because the court, even though they ruled in favor of Rowling, stated that reference books are protected entities.  A reference work, with the exception of the HPL, is within the bounds of “fair use” (a devil of a phrase) of copyrighted works.

One of the best summaries that I’ve come across is Chris Meadows analysis on Teleread.  I especially like his closing argument

“but now that this decision has provided a blueprint for how to pass fair use muster, she won’t get that lucky again.”

I wonder, in the future, will this case be a new benchmark in copyright law?  Has it set any new precedents or is just a reaffirmation of something we already knew?


One response to “HP Lexicon – a solution?

  1. It is a quirky little lawsuit. I knew she liked the original website, and my understanding was that because she wanted to make a similar book on her own, that that was why there was such a stink. But with the concept of being a reference item, and the fact that she approved the website… I’m sort of surprised that she won. Then again, I don’t really go on the Lexicon site, don’t know what they said on their behalf, and don’t know the ins-and-outs of the trial, so I may be out of line in that regard. But I do agree with the thought that the one book wouldn’t have crimped her empire in the slightest.

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