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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

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271 Points

It sounds like to me the family for the estate is up to this. They are want the money and this will bring out other family members who want to get paid.

Posted by monicahp2009(WBM) on June 15, 2009, 09:53 PM report to moderator
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580 Points

nice try guys, but jo rowling had nothing nto do with that stupid willy the wizard booklet. it seems odd that harry potter is sucha huge phenomenon and they are just coming to realize the infringement now.whch year did GOF come out aain? because this claim was made WAY too lat, if it was 2004. thats when POA was in theatrs! now way, dude, no way ca they win this. its ludicrous.

Posted by weasleyalltheway(rrooaarr!) on June 15, 2009, 10:29 PM report to moderator
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81 Points

they beter not win i wanted a new set of hp books and if they win countless off new hp fans will never read gof its sad. and who the heck cares if the books are similar that willy thing just didn’t become popular who cares.

Posted by loonymoonyy on June 15, 2009, 11:04 PM report to moderator
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81 Points

they beter not win i wanted a new set of hp books and if they win countless off new hp fans will never read gof its sad. and who the heck cares if the books are similar that willy thing just didn’t become popular who cares.

Posted by loonymoonyy on June 15, 2009, 11:04 PM report to moderator
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58 Points

I do think people need to take note that the author of Wily the Wizard is in fact dead and it is not his rotting corpse that is doing the suing but his estate, so claiming that it is just some author trying to get notice for his books which must be poorly written due to his litigious nature is rather unfounded.

Posted by Karamazov on June 15, 2009, 11:06 PM report to moderator
3127553707_f0c0d69baf_o_thumb
58 Points

I do think people need to take note that the author of Wily the Wizard is in fact dead and it is not his rotting corpse that is doing the suing but his estate, so claiming that it is just some author trying to get notice for his books which must be poorly written due to his litigious nature is rather unfounded.

Posted by Karamazov on June 15, 2009, 11:08 PM report to moderator
3127553707_f0c0d69baf_o_thumb
58 Points

I do think people need to take note that the author of Wily the Wizard is in fact dead and that subsequently it is not his rotting corpse that is doing the suing but his estate, so claiming that it is just some author trying to get notice for his books which must be poorly written due to his litigious nature is rather unfounded.

Posted by Karamazov on June 15, 2009, 11:15 PM report to moderator
3127553707_f0c0d69baf_o_thumb
58 Points

I do think people need to take note that the author of Wily the Wizard is in fact dead and it is not his rotting corpse that is doing the suing but his estate, so claiming that it is just some author trying to get notice for his books which must be poorly written due to his litigious nature is rather unfounded.

Posted by Karamazov on June 15, 2009, 11:22 PM report to moderator
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77 Points

Gah, yet another lawsuit. The estate of Adrian Jacobs shall fail miserably, and how sad it is that they likely have no idea what they’re getting into!

Posted by Czechmetz on June 15, 2009, 11:24 PM report to moderator
Rainingmen_thumb
141 Points

I’ve never heard of this Willy book… Not to discredit the author’s estate, but there are a LOT of books with similarities – and why choose 4 years (and the 8) after GoF was originally published to make your claim??? Sketchy…

Posted by BwaySaint on June 15, 2009, 11:50 PM report to moderator
Me_thumb
428 Points

they file a case after 4 years that the book has been released?.. which was not merited..

and now they are filing again?… plagiarism is a case that needs to be substantiated with evidence.. can they prove that the exact wording of the book (WW) is in HP?..

and what book is that? the article says it’s a leaflet, who will read that? No offense meant, but will JKR really copy that?

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

i think this is just a ploy to get money out of JKR..

Posted by alegria35 on June 16, 2009, 12:01 AM report to moderator
Iheartfredgeorge_thumb
3554 Points

Wow. Just—wow. I’m sure I share similar opinions as mostly everyone else who’s commented so far, but it seems like a very desperate attempt for money, and I don’t think it’s going to work. It’s a really sad, pathetic attempt. =/ Bloomsbury is totally right—"this claim is without merit…

Posted by Mera004 on June 16, 2009, 12:39 AM report to moderator
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1603 Points

it’s just a publicity stunt!

Posted by vandy[FTC] on June 16, 2009, 12:42 AM report to moderator
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76 Points

Why NOW?

It’s like when Louis Vuitton banned Britney’s video that had their material ages later. So pointless.

Posted by Bader on June 16, 2009, 02:14 AM report to moderator
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umm yall need to look at this http://www.willythewizard.com/?fn_id=2&fn_mode=fullnews read what the enemy wrote

Posted by gmoney77786 on June 16, 2009, 02:17 AM report to moderator
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