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Suit Filed Against Bloomsbury Regarding "Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire;" Bloomsbury States Claim is "Without Merit"

Legal
Posted by: sue
June 15, 2009, 03:02 PM

Today the estate of late children's author Adrian Jacobs filed a suit against Bloomsbury Publishing citing copyright infringement involving Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. In a press release, the estate claims that "JK Rowling copied substantial parts of the work of the late Adrian Jacobs, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard-No 1 Livid Land, and that Bloomsbury in selling the books have infringed the Estate's copyright." The Bookseller also notes the estate is "seeking an injunction to prevent further sales of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and either damages or a share in the profits made by Bloomsbury. As noted by the Bookseller and the release, the claim says that "both books describe the adventures of a main character, 'Willy' in Jacobs' book and 'Harry Potter' in Rowling's, who are wizards, who compete in a wizard contest which they ultimately win. Both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main task of the contest which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures, 'the merpeople' in Harry Potter. "

Bloomsbury, UK publishers of the Harry Potter series, has now responded to this matter at length. In a response sent to Reuters and TLC, reps note "this
claim is without merit and will be defended vigorously." They continue:

The allegations of plagiarism made today, Monday 15 June 2009, by the Estate of Adrian Jacobs are unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue. JK Rowling had never heard of Adrian Jacobs nor seen, read or heard of his book Willy the Wizard until this claim was first made in 2004- almost seven years after the publication of the first book in the highly publicised Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and after the publication of the first five books in the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was written by JK Rowling before approaching Christopher Little in 1995 and the book was published in an essentially unaltered form by Bloomsbury in 1997.
Willy the Wizard is a very insubstantial booklet running to 36 pages which had very limited distribution. The central character of Willy the Wizard is not a young wizard and the book does not revolve around a wizard school.

This claim was first made in 2004 by solicitors in London acting on behalf of Adrian Jacobs' son who was the representative of his father's estate and who lives in the United States. The claim was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books which was said to copy Willy the Wizard.

Following correspondence between lawyers over a period of three months in 2004 rejecting this claim, no more was heard about the claim until a new set of solicitors put forward the claim on a significantly different basis four years later in 2008 (eleven years after the publication of the first Harry Potter book) but still without identifying any text said to copy Willy the Wizard. These lawyers have stated that they are acting on behalf of a firm of solicitors in Wagga Wagga, Australia and on behalf of a West Midlands property developer who was appointed in 2008 as Trustee of the Estate in order to bring this claim. The claim is now made in respect of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was published in 2000.

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197 Comments

Screen_shot_2011-08-05_at_5
2200 Points

wow like jo honestly needs influence from that book when shes already written three amazing books before it yeah right

Posted by Sirius17 -ROAR_ on June 16, 2009, 11:39 AM report to moderator
Lilyjames_thumb
1163 Points

ah… another lawsuit… well, i hope jo will win. i know she can!

Posted by thewandofdestiny {WBM} on June 16, 2009, 12:02 PM report to moderator
Me_thumb
428 Points

i think too that the estate of the author just wants money from Jo.. which is really sad…

GOF has been released 4 years before they file a case.. it it’s really plagiarism.. right then and there they should have said it…

and there are many books out there that are bestsellers, which have the same plot lines, and yet the authors don’t sue each other…

Posted by alegria35 on June 16, 2009, 12:09 PM report to moderator
Photo_549_thumb
37 Points

Just because their book sucked, and JK did a better job does not mean that have to get their panties in a knot.

Posted by emilylovegood731 on June 16, 2009, 12:36 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
40 Points

um, are the excerpts on the ‘willy’ website real? because they honestly sound as if a first grader wrote them. and a relatively untalented first grader at that.

Posted by dtown on June 16, 2009, 01:00 PM report to moderator
Emma_thumb
216 Points

ha ha, they “Jo-ed” their own website!! I just googled it and the server is down. Now nobody can read the rubbish they say on their own website :)

Posted by EmmaLouise on June 16, 2009, 01:17 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
1930 Points

Not another one of these. Not a single one of these claims by anyone has ever been proved true, what do they think they are going to acheive by doing this?

Posted by felixfelicis11 on June 16, 2009, 01:28 PM report to moderator
Ahh_thumb
8256 Points

I’ve never heard of this person or their work either. It’s just someone else trying to get money off of JK. Because their book didn’t sell or become as popular as JK’s. I hope they don’t get a dime!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by spicefan78 OoM1 {ROAR!} on June 16, 2009, 02:39 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
1449 Points

There will always be people saying that JKR copied their ideas… They are just desperate for publicity and for money if they think that they can ACTUALLY sue JKR.

Posted by Amber_The_Odd (ɯqʍ) on June 16, 2009, 02:48 PM report to moderator
Wig4_thumb
5439 Points

It’s sad what people try to do to get a peny or two.

Posted by Fleur-de- Lily on June 16, 2009, 04:03 PM report to moderator
Dscn0187_thumb
2890 Points

I love that it isn’t even the author of this Willy the Wizard book who is bringing this lawsuit. It’s his estate, which implies that he is dead and he has some very money grubbing relatives who can’t make money with their own merits, so they decided to go after Jo in hopes that she might settle outside of court and throw some money their way. If this is plagerism based on their flimsy points, then Tolkien’s relatives should get busy hiring lawyers, because they could sue about every fantasy author there is. Hopefully the judge has a few more ounces of common sense than the lawyers who brought the suit.

Posted by Laura Keaton [WBM!] on June 16, 2009, 05:11 PM report to moderator
Zelda_zonks_thumb
210 Points

This is so silly. By the same token, the author of ‘the Worst Witch’ could claim that JKR ‘copied’ her work, simply because they are about a school of magic where students learn how to ride brooms and the main character saves the day at the end.

But the similarities are so superficial, really they are nothing alike. Its so obviously all about the money. Pathetic.
Posted by Zelda_Zonks on June 16, 2009, 05:18 PM report to moderator
Bookandcoffee_thumb
184 Points

The law suit is rather stupid. BUT people on here really need to stop insulting the author. Because the author has been dead for sometime, and isn’t the one issuing the law suit. All of these law suits and “copy right” claims have come from the author’s son and others who own what is left of the author’s Estate and now hold the copy rights to his book.

Also, fair warning, there are fake web sites out there about Willy the Wizard that have spyware or worse on them.

Posted by Bookwormjules on June 16, 2009, 06:07 PM report to moderator
Ronharrybestmates01_ushitora-icons_cork_art_thumb
280 Points

To be frank, if the excerpts on the site are taken verbatim from the booklet, then I seriously doubt that Jo read them – I could feel my brain switching off within seconds. It’s dreadfully written, with nonsensical words used for no reason other than to show off, and it actually made my brain hurt.

What a load of tosh! I think my favourite example is ’Willy’s temples throb’. Ooooooooh, Jo stole Harry’s connection to Voldemort giving him a headache from Willy’s famous ‘Temple Pins’, which cause him to ‘sport his own special Adren-Lin’ upon his brow …

Alas, I think this lawsuit is a much better work of fiction than the allegedly plagerised ‘Willy the Wizard’.

Posted by EmmaCMF on June 16, 2009, 06:39 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
2482 Points

“eleven years after the publication of the first Harry Potter book” I guess why they’re claiming just now… Ah, money…
Go Jo!! Defend your books!!!

Posted by ele0206 -ROAR- on June 16, 2009, 08:15 PM report to moderator
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