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?