Saturday, March 1, 2008

J.K. Rowling, get over yourself

I am a huge Harry Potter fan. It had a good run, I own all 7 volumes(in HARDCOVER no less).
I read the whole series once a year, at least, and I read them to my kids. We have Harry mania at our house.

However, enough is enough.

Apparently there is a man, Steve Vander Ark, out there writing an unauthorized book called "Harry Potter Lexicon". This man is a fan. He is the editor of a Web site containing a fan-created collection of essays and encyclopedic material on the Potter universe. Spells, potions, animals, creatures, Characters and a Who's Who of sorts.
In the past Rowling has praised efforts of this web site and editor. She has long been the champion of free fan based web sites.

She is NOW trying to stop this Harry Potter lexicon...why?

"I am deeply troubled by the portrayal of my efforts to protect and preserve the copyrights I have been granted in the Harry Potter books...If RDR's(publisher) position is accepted, it will undoubtedly have a significant, negative impact on the freedoms enjoyed by genuine fans on the Internet," she said. "Authors everywhere will be forced to protect their creations much more rigorously, which could mean denying well-meaning fans permission to pursue legitimate creative activities....I find it devastating to contemplate the possibility of such a severe alteration of author-fan relations."

I can understand her point of view. If I were a writer, I think I would feel the same way, especially books that I had spent the past decade writing. A decade in becoming the first BILLIONARE author. A decade in getting every person on the planet wearing taped spectacles and striped scarves for Halloween.

THEN I found out that SHE wants to write the Harry Potter Encyclopedia. Hmmm, I think I see where this is headed.

Lizbeth Hasse, an attorney for RDR(the publishing company wanting to publish the fan based Lexicon) says that Rowling is seeking a monopoly over the work, which is not part of copyright law. They also say,
"It's a very legitimate literary activity," she said of the lexicon. "Like a reference book or a guide to literature, it's a long-recognized genre. ... We are not replacing the novel or taking away the market."
RDR publisher Roger Rapoport said "...the lexicon would not compete with any official encyclopedia written by Rowling..."
RDR Books said it was "determined to publish this book for the benefit of Harry Potter fans everywhere."
It said it "believes Ms. Rowling, who has championed the 'Lexicon' for years, will love reading the book just as much as she does the Web site on which it is based."

So what are your thoughts on it?

I am of both minds. I can understand that she created Harry Potter. I can understand that she would be protective of it.
BUT this was a web site she loved and championed and encouraged. Now that they are wanting to publish something about it , she is turning the cold shoulder and showing her true colors. Because SHE wanted to write one first.
It is an UNAUTHORIZED guide. Thats why they call it UNAUTHORIZED.
How many unauthorized guides to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons are there out there on the market? TONS. I dont remember the hissy fits and drama associated with those. Because THEY know that when the real authorized version comes out, it will far outsell any attempts from previous unauthorized versions.

Lighten Up J.K. You wrote a book, not created the Universe. Let the fans have their unauthorized lexicon. Once yours comes out it will far outsell anything they could have written anyway.
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