Rowling: It’s Only “Legitimate Creative Activities” When You Don’t Earn Royalties

Filed under:Authors,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on February 29, 2008 @ 6:59 am

J.K. Rowling sues publisher RDR Books and “feels betrayed” by Harry Potter Lexicon founder Steven Vander Ark because they intend to publish a print version of the same name. Seems Rowling was “accepting” of sites such as the HP Lexicon and others while they were thousands of dollars’ worth of excellent free marketing for her books but not so much now that they plan to publish a book that people will have to, you know, buy with money.

Rowling said she was especially irked that the site’s owner and the lexicon’s would-be publisher, RDR Books, continued to insist that her acceptance of free, fan-based Web sites justified the efforts.

“I am deeply troubled by the portrayal of my efforts to protect and preserve the copyrights I have been granted in the Harry Potter books,” she wrote in court papers filed Wednesday in a lawsuit she brought against the small Muskegon, Mich., publisher.

She said she intends to publish her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopedia.

“If RDR’s position is accepted, it will undoubtedly have a significant, negative impact on the freedoms enjoyed by genuine fans on the Internet,” she said. “Authors everywhere will be forced to protect their creations much more rigorously, which could mean denying well-meaning fans permission to pursue legitimate creative activities.”

Poppycock. Is there a copyright violation in the intended work, or is there not? If there is, then for sure there is a copyright violation in the web site, which therefore should have been shut down by legal force years ago. Something doesn’t comprise “legitimate creative activities” when free (and free marketing) on the web but amount to copyright violation only when there are royalties involved. That she would begin to object only when royalties were involved is only too human-nature obvious. And she has a somewhat overblown concept of authors’ rights if she expects to be able to trample what even she describes as “legitimate” work in the name of preventing outright copyright violation.

Is there a copyright violation? I don’t know (insert I Am Not a Lawyer boilerplate here). But on the surface it seems that if there is, then that standard would surely apply to sites like and the books I helped create based on that site. So what if Rowling plans to publish her own encyclopedia? Reference material can be copyrighted but surely not the right to create reference material. Suddenly half of academia would be out of business. Fiction utilizing the characters is different, but a publisher would have to be crazy to put any of that (mostly) swill into print for cash. And nobody really believes that upon publication of Rowling’s own encyclopedia, anybody would say “Oh, well, I already bought Vander Ark’s website in print form, so I don’t really need the definitive word from the author herself,” do they?

She added: “I find it devastating to contemplate the possibility of such a severe alteration of author-fan relations.”

Which is just a sentimental (or, in the British, treacly) way of saying “Our relations will be lovely so long as you do nothing that irritates me, whether it’s actually illegal or not.” Nice.

Jayne Cobb Rides Again

Filed under:Cool,Television — posted by Anwyn on February 26, 2008 @ 7:18 am

To the auction house with his “pretty cunning, don’tcha think?” hat, once again to benefit the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. Adam Baldwin continues to part with his mementoes for a good cause. Good man.


Shake-ups at Hot Air

Filed under:Blogging — posted by Anwyn on February 25, 2008 @ 7:27 am

Goodbye and best of luck, Bryan; hello and best of luck, Captain Ed.

Quote of the Day, or Maybe the Whole Year

Filed under:Jerks,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on February 22, 2008 @ 12:10 pm

“But most Americans can distinguish between the transience of policy failure and the permanence of the national ideal.”

And the rest of the article is a must-read (seriously, go read) but can be summarized like this:

“… and the Obamas can’t.”

And should he be elected, that is the truth that will be validated about the people who vote him and his socialism into office.

H/t Hot Air headlines.

Rachel Lucas’s Boyfriend

Filed under:Priorities — posted by Anwyn on February 21, 2008 @ 11:12 am

…continues to prove his awesomeness by preparing to report for his National Guard call-up to be deployed to Iraq. I wish him effective commanders, efficient subordinates, and a safe return after work well done. Rachel blogs as though she has a spine of solid steel and I suspect she’ll need it all during this time. Strength and good cheer be yours, Rachel, and Godspeed, Rupert.

Posting May Be Light(er)

Filed under:Blogging,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn @ 7:45 am

Taking the Bean to see his grandparents for a week or so. Be good.

McCain for President

Filed under:Jerks,Politics — posted by Anwyn on February 20, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

Keep bringing the crazy, Michelle Obama. By the time you’re done you’ll have even Ann Coulter backing John McCain. As for the substance of your remarks, Ace pretty much speaks for me too, give or take a couple of details about balls. Also over at Ace’s, Jack M. with the prediction that will make me his devoted epic-poem slave should it prove true.

Karma: Don’t Screw with the Post Office

Filed under:Heh,It's My Life,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on February 19, 2008 @ 12:04 pm

Remember the rant about my central post office (might I add, my annex post office in my grocery store is nothing but sweetness and light–they give my son cheerful and exciting stamps on his hand whenever I take him in! Nevermind that the ink is likely meant strictly for paper use and thus runs all over if he so much as waves his hand in the breeze or, God forbid, touches his shirt! Nevermind that, because we are speaking nice about the post office today, lest we be visited by More Wrath of the Post Office Deity)? In the two weeks following that rant, the following three things occurred:

**A package mailed to me on Tuesday, February 5, the same day as the rant, took two weeks to get here from St. Louis. Two weeks! And though the ship method was one of the less expensive ones, it still wasn’t cheap or anything like it.

**A birthday card mailed to my mother three days before her birthday, containing cash in a denomination I wouldn’t normally send through the mail, took a week and a half to get to her. The cash was intact, though. I consider it kind of a warning shot across the bow (Straighten out your mouth or next time we’ll take your mother’s birthday money, unnerstand?).

**A credit card bill, mailed more or less a week before it was due, returned to me the day after it was due–sheared in half. I kid you not, it looked like somebody simply picked it up in both hands and r-i-p-p-e-d right down the middle. This abomination (but only the one half–invoice, check, and all) was placed into an outer envelope with a letter wrapped around in bland bureaucrese–“We are sorry for the damage to your mail … yadda yadda.” Next time we’ll burn the whole bill and you’ll never know it was lost until the late fee shows up on your credit account, got it?

And did I mention how much I used to enjoy the post office in my small, friendly hometown? They’re great, hardly any lines and helpful people eager to handle your package with the utmost in delicacy, even if they charge the same heinous rates as the big surly post office here–talking nice about the post office today, see?

All of which leads me to the Quote of the Day, from my friend Aughey who sent me the two-week package: “The shipping was ridiculous considering how long it took to get there. I think I could have strapped it on the back of a horse and slapped its butt and it would have gotten there sooner.”

Did You Guys Know There’s Going to Be a Fourth X-Men Movie?

Filed under:Movies,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on February 15, 2008 @ 9:15 am

Why the devil can’t they leave bad enough alone?

See What Declaring You’ll Never Ever In a Million Years Vote for McCain Even with a Pony and a Cherry on Top Will Get You?

Filed under:Not Cool,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 8:32 am

Maybe, if you cross your fingers, a ticket even more of us will have an even harder time voting for and may sick up a little if we do so. Thanks, haters!

Okay, Never Mind the Mushy Stuff

Filed under:Cool,Movies — posted by Anwyn on February 14, 2008 @ 11:14 am

Happy Valentine’s Day.

And, Oh Yeah, Yesterday’s News:

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn @ 9:51 am

The writers’ strike is officially over. Hallelujah.

Tough Guy Who Builds Furniture and Has Bossed Construction Guys

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by Anwyn @ 9:11 am


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace