Thursday, December 6, 2007

Stanford University to battle Hogwarts School in Harry Potter Lexicon Copyright and Trademark Dispute

I previously posted (link here) about the lawsuit filed by J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers against RDR Books over RDR’s plans to publish a 400 page book entitled the “Harry Potter Lexicon” which is apparently just a print version of the free-of-charge Harry Potter Lexicon fan website website ( See Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. et al v. RDR Books et al, Case No. 1:2007-cv-09667 (S.D.N.Y.).

A temporary restraining order was put into place pending the court’s decision on Rowling’s motion for preliminary injunction. The hearing for that motion is scheduled for February 6, 2008.

Now comes news that RDR has a powerful new ally to aid in its battle against Rowling and Warner Brothers – a group of intellectual property lawyers at Stanford Law School. See news stories here and here.

The Fair Use Project at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society announced on Tuesday that it would help defend RDR books in the lawsuit. Fair Use Project executive director Anthony Falzone said that the book RDR wants to publish is protected by long-standing U.S. law giving people "the right to create reference guides that discuss literary works, comment on them and make them more accessible".

So how will the Stanford Center for Internet and Society match up against Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? My money is on the school that relies upon law rather than magic.

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