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JKR/WB vs. RDR Books Trial: Tim Wu Leads Panel at Copyright Conference, Discusses Fan Response to Vander Ark

Companion Books
Posted by: Kristin
May 09, 2008, 01:21 AM

Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu led a panel May 1st at OnCopyright 2008, a conference hosted by the Copyright Clearance Center. The panel focused on the JKR/WB vs RDR Books lawsuit, and more particularly on the response Harry Potter fans have had to Steve Vander Ark since it was announced the HP Lexicon would be produced in book format. From a summary on the conference at EContent Magazine:

“Wu played an official Harry Potter podcast in which other members of the Harry Potter fan community ostracized and effectively banished Vander Ark from their ranks. Wu’s question to the panel was, “Why are Harry Potter fans disowning Vander Ark?” The panel’s answer was that the fan community needs to disassociate itself from anyone who goes to far in appropriating creative content for fear that their own access to that content might dry up. The panel also noted that Vander Ark’s attempt to turn his online Lexicon into an ink-and-paper book was his ultimate undoing.”

From the same summary:

“Panelist Gigi B. Sohn, the president of the nonprofit organization Public Knowledge, pointed out that many people still consider the internet to be the realm of amateurs, and author Douglas Rushkoff said in following that the transformation of an internet-based project into a printed work presents a significant symbolic shift that forces copyright issues to be taken much more seriously.”

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