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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

Downsized_0124001234a_thumb
502 Points

Have fun trying to get HP off the shelves…I’m sure it will be a valiant attempt [:

Sucks for Jo though…It just seems like one thing after another doesn’t it?

Posted by Olivia Elaine a.k.a Agent Pomplamoose on June 15, 2009, 05:21 PM report to moderator
15657683_thumb
791 Points

While obvious plagiarisms have happened, I tend to smirk when I hear that a fantasy author (or those in his place, in this case) accused another fantasy author of plagiarism. Each of them grow up reading the same fantasy and non-fantasy milestones (LotR, Narnia); you can’t expect they haven’t taken something from it – mostly unconsciously. This happened, happens and will always happen to every author: you just can’t avoid influences. This is not a bad thing, but some people try to use it as an excuse to gain some money/popularity – like these “Willy the Wizard” people are doing.

In my opinion, the similarities between Harry Potter and Willy the Wizard are just mere coincidences. JKR couldn’t possibly know about this 36 pages long forgotten booklet. Most probably both authors were inspired by the same books.

Posted by Cellar Door [*SQUEE!*] on June 15, 2009, 05:22 PM report to moderator
Eeyorescrollsparky_thumb
444 Points

OK, this author and book are so obscure that when I googled both, they didn’t even show up. The only Adrian Jacobs that comes up is a South African rugby player. Did anyone actually have this book and read it? Not very likely.

Posted by Eeyore on June 15, 2009, 05:27 PM report to moderator
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57 Points

that sucks

Posted by LindsayC14 on June 15, 2009, 05:48 PM report to moderator
Leakypic_thumb
177 Points

How ridiculously lame…

Posted by DylanAqua on June 15, 2009, 05:48 PM report to moderator
Accio_milk_thumb
329 Points

groan another lawsuit! As though the first wasn’t enough. Adrian Jacobs does not have anything on Jo though, so it doesn’t seem that major. Grrrr… its just really frustrating when people accuse Jo of plagiarism! We need summat to decrease world suck… oh wait i got it! PCLUPINWILLOW!

Posted by sometimesremus[ROAR] on June 15, 2009, 05:49 PM report to moderator
Ravenclaw_thumb
51 Points

I agree with most people here.
Its just a washed out, never before seen author, trying to sell his worthless book by critisizing one othe te best selling authors in the world. Jo could buy every lawyer in the world, and bribe the jusge by 1 million. Seriously.

And who ever heard of him anyway?

And aswell, I mean, the Goblet of Fire is an award winning book, sellng over 1 million copies, It would destroy the industry, and fans, to take it down from the shelves.

But theres no need to worry.

Posted by Loony_Moony on June 15, 2009, 05:50 PM report to moderator
Animated_tom-voldemort_thumb
112 Points

“Sounds like a desperate author trying to get attention and sell some copies of a failed book.”
Compleely agree, Kait…

“JK isn’t the only one who has never heard of this person.”
jeannemclROAR shoots… jeannemclROAR scores! =D

“That guy should just get over the fact that Rowling obviously made the better books with a better thought out story!”
AishMeist, absolutely true.

Posted by Dark Lord Hector on June 15, 2009, 05:51 PM report to moderator
Cauldron2_thumb
2388 Points

Willy the Wizard is only a booklet!

Does anyone else find it amusing that the lawyers for Willy the Wizard are located in Wagga Wagga (Australia)? :D

Posted by PotionsLover on June 15, 2009, 06:16 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
156 Points

The fact that Jo can afford the best lawyers can t be it!!! If she really “rented the ideas” justice should win. But still, everything seems wagga wagga to me

Posted by Giant Fairy on June 15, 2009, 06:17 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
156 Points

The fact that Jo can afford the best lawyers can t be it!!! If she really “rented the ideas” justice should win. But still, everything seems wagga wagga to me

Posted by Giant Fairy on June 15, 2009, 06:17 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb

First off – why wait 4 years after the publication of GOF?
Secondly, no book nowadays can possibly be entirely original. Anyone can go into a book shop pick up a few random books and immediately see some comparisons between at least two or them! Its silly.

Posted by pipkin3 on June 15, 2009, 06:20 PM report to moderator
Hp_ravenclaw_thumb
765 Points

I agree, it’s the Wagga Wagga Werewolf out for revenge!

Posted by Verity Weasley on June 15, 2009, 06:28 PM report to moderator
Potter_thumb
1911 Points

r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s.

why now when this wonderful book that has brought nothing but good to the world has been out for nearly 5 years?!?!

Posted by TheWeasleyClan on June 15, 2009, 06:30 PM report to moderator
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4208 Points

Poor Jo,She doesn’t deserve this happening again. it sounds like Jacobs Jr. is trying to make a fast buck with his lawsuit.

Posted by Fresca ROAR on June 15, 2009, 06:41 PM report to moderator
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