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Harry Potter Lexicon Case: An FAQ

Publication Date: 
April 14, 2008
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
Dan Slater

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog is covering the Harry Potter Lexicon trial. Law Blog editor Dan Slater wrote:

Remember that cool copyright case pitting Warner Bros and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling against the publisher of the H.P. Lexicon?

Well, the two sides failed to settle. And Manhattan federal judge Robert Patterson decided to roll the preliminary injunction hearing and the bench trial into one. So this morning, the Law Blog is heading over to 500 Pearl Street to bring you coverage, which, is expected to entail testimony from Rowling herself.

The suit, filed late last year against RDR Books, an independent publishing house in Michigan, alleges that RDR’s plans to publish a print edition of the Harry Potter Lexicon, a Web site that serves as a rather daunting compendium of all things Harry, violates Warner and Rowling’s copyright and takes away the future market for a similar compendium that Rowling plans to write.


In the meantime, we’ve put together our own compendium of the case. Herewith are a handful of FAQ’s to get you ready for the big event.

Who’s arguing the case?

For RDR, David Hammer, a solo practitioner in Manhattan, will take the lead. He’ll get help from Lizbeth Hasse, of San Francisco’s Creative Industry Law Group, as well as Stanford Law School’s Anthony Falzone — a former Bingham McCutcheon litigator and the heir apparent to Lawrence Lessig’s Fair Use Project.