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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the as-yet unanswered questions that we find we are frequently asked, or information regarding issues about which our readers often talk.
Where do you get the news?
The news on this site is collected from several sources, but our top two resources are Internet research and e-mail alerts from you, the readers.
My site had a link to an article up 10 minutes before you – why didn’t you source me?
If your site is where we saw the article, we did. Most likely, however, our first link was to the actual article from a reader – not to your site, linking us to the article. We thank the who or whatever alerts us first, whether it’s a site or a reader. If not sourced, it came from our own research and alert system (as we don’t think it wise to thank ourselves). If you had it up 10 minutes before we did – great, good work. But we’re not going to say you did unless that’s where we got the news ourselves. To put it simply: if you were not sourced, you were not our source.
Doesn’t that mean you stole from my site?
Not in the least. If you wrote the article and we didn’t source you, that would be stealing, as the article is your intellectual property. Articles we at Leaky write, pictures we take, podcasts we publish and videos we create/edit, are not available for archive elsewhere, but having a public link up first does not entitle you to ownership of the news item, though linking to things in a fast and efficient manner is the best possible way to increase readership of your site – we recommend it and congratulate you for doing it. We do respect other sites when they get a ‘scoop’ – new images, first scans, first info – by directing our readers to that site instead of just co-opting the info/scans/images ourselves; we feel this is the way to assure full credit to the person who did the work for the info.
So what is stealing?
It is taking someone else’s written work without their permission. It doesn’t matter if you give credit in that instance.
What’s the best way to link to something you at TLC have written?
The most honest way to do it is to clearly say who wrote it and where it is, link to it, and quote a few snippets from the text – much like what we do with all the articles we post linking to other organizations.
What do you mean when you say something is “exclusive”?
It means you can’t find it on any other site or in any other media publication, at least at the time of publication. It means the news was reported on our site first and any subsequent reports are using our site as a source, whether they say it or not. When the HP kids pose for pics at a press conference in front of more than one photographer, none of the pictures (even if they vary slightly from those taken by other photographers) are considered exclusive. When someone gives an interview to more than one reporter at once, nothing he or she said is exclusive to anyone. If TLC conducts an interview without any other reporters present, that interview is exclusive – though we may not always call it that on the site.
So what’s a “tip”?
A tip is when someone e-mails us or otherwise notifies us to existing news, be it on a Web site or any other method of media.
Is it right to call something that you at TLC have reported yourselves a “tip”?
No. If the news we published is the result of our own reporting, then it should be treated as any other news article, linked to and giving credit to TLC for reporting the news, and the same way we’d do for other sites. A tip implies that we did not do the reporting ourselves.
How soon do you post the news you get?
At our very first opportunity. We’ve been known to sneak time from our real lives to post important news as it breaks, but shhh, don’t tell anyone.
How do you verify whether or not something is rumor?
If a story has been posted on an accredited news site (BBC Newsround, CNN, etc.), then it is generally assumed to be newsworthy and postable. When TLC receives links to stories on less-reliable sites or when we are presented with rumors, the links/rumors are not posted until the claims can be verified or debunked. If the truth can be neither verified nor debunked but the matter is noteworthy enough, the article may still be posted, but will be clearly labeled as a rumor.
How selective are you about the news you post?
If it pertains (sometimes peripherally) to Harry Potter, if it is appropriate (we try very hard not to link to things that parents might object to their children seeing, and we post warnings if something is newsworthy but possibly inappropriate), if it is newsworthy (“I think I saw Dan Radcliffe on the street today!” is probably not going to get posted), and if it has not been posted before, then it will appear on TLC.
How may I work for The Leaky Cauldron?
We are always looking for people to work at all levels of the site. Please visit our Job Openings page for more information. All of Leaky’s readers, however, already work for the site; we continue to be very grateful for all your helpful submissions. Please continue to work for TLC by sending in links to the news and images from the films, etc.
How may I submit news to the site?
Please click on the “Contact Us” link in the sidebar; there, you can choose what type of feedback to send us, be it a news tip, comment or inquiry. There are also direct contact lists for our senior staff members at the bottom of that page.
How may I submit an image to the site?
Please send it to images@the-leaky-cauldron.org.
May I use an image from your site on my site?
If the image is exclusive to our site, we ask that you wait a few days from publish date before taking the pic for your archives. Otherwise, it’s always best to e-mail us and inform us of what site you want to use it on and for what purpose. In general, our answer is yes, as long as you credit TLC for the use of it.
Why didn’t you thank me online for the link I sent you?
Chances are you sent it after we posted it, we got multiple tips to that link, or we found it on our own. We are still very grateful that you sent it, even if we didn’t say so on the site.
Why didn’t you answer my e-mail?
Be they links, files, suggestions, accolades, critiques or furious tirades, please be assured that we have read your e-mails and have done our best to update from them or to answer them if they required answering. However, due to the sheer volume of e-mails we receive on a daily basis, we have no way of responding to each individual who mails us. Please remember that your e-mail might be very similar to twenty other e-mails received in the same hour, and that the site itself will often update to reflect an answer to your e-mail.
What kinds of e-mails do you find useful?
We find useful your tips, links, images, suggestions, critiques and praises.
What kinds of e-mails do you generally ignore?
We do not find useful flames, petitions, or requests to be put in touch with celebrities within the Harry Potter franchise.
But do you have contact information for the celebrities connected to Harry Potter?
Even if we did, we would hire Fluffy to protect their privacy.
Do you have information about film auditions?
No. We are in no way affiliated with Warner Bros. We do not have anything to do with the film auditions. We cannot help you there. When we receive information on open casting calls, we always post it, and that’s as much as we know.
Will you post my petition? It’s very important.
No, we won’t. We are aware of the urgent nature of many petitions that circulate, and we are also aware that many fans might like access to certain HP-oriented petitions. However, were we to endorse any petition, we would be obligated to post them all, and our news board would be permanently clogged with them. Also, we do not want to affiliate ourselves with certain kinds of petitions, and we do not feel we should be deciding which ones are “important enough” and which ones are “silly.” Therefore we simply do not post any of them. (This restriction also appears in the Comments Terms of Use.)
How do I use the comments feature?
When you click on ‘comments’ under a news item, a small pop-up box will appear that is dedicated to that item, where you may view and respond to others’ comments.
What was the Get a Clue campaign?
In December of 2002, JK Rowling donated to Sotheby’s auction house a card on which 93 random words from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (which was at that point unreleased and much-anticipated) were handwritten. Because TLC knew that Harry Potter fans would want to see that card, and because all proceeds from the auction were to be donated to Book Aid International, we organized a fundraiser and put out a call to action. Thanks to the incredible generosity of TLC’s wonderful readers, we collected £14,202.93 (about $24,000). And though it was not enough to win the card (we were immediately outbid), all the money we collected was given in support of literacy, and the effects of that money can be read about here. “Get a Clue,” in honor of that first drive, has become Leaky’s annual charity effort. In 2003 we sold T-shirts; more than 800 were sold, and $6,300 was donated to Book Aid as a result. We are currently planning the 2004 drive.
What are your copyright disclaimers?
The Leaky Cauldron is in no way affiliated with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Books, Carlsen Verlag, Bloomsbury Publishing or Warner Bros. All images and material related to the J.K. Rowling novels is copyright Scholastic Books (US), Carlsen Verlag (D), and Bloomsbury Publishing (UK). All material related to the “Harry Potter” films is copyright Warner Bros.
I have a question I’d like answered here. Where do I send it?
E-mail us with “FAQ” as the subject, and we will do our best.