J.K. Rowling Seeks to Block 'Potter' Fan Book

The author slaps a lawsuit on the editor of a proposed Harry Potter Lexicon

Photo: Mark Stewart/Camera Press/Retna

J.K. Rowling has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan against the publisher of a proposed, unauthorized reference work, Harry Potter Lexicon.

“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,” say court papers filed on Wednesday by Rowling, whose co-plaintiff in the suit is Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Associated Press reports. The defendant is RDR Books, a small Muskegon, Mich., publisher.

Rowling, 42, says she aims to publish her own authoritative Harry Potter encyclopedia. RDR’s version, due in stores in November, has been shelved for now because of Rowling’s lawsuit.

An attorney for RDR, Lizbeth Hasse, said Thursday that Rowling is seeking a monopoly over the work.

“It’s a very legitimate literary activity,” Hasse said of the proposed appreciation. “Like a reference book or a guide to literature, it’s a long-recognized genre.” She adds: “We are not replacing the novel or taking away the market.”

But, as Rowling contends: “If RDR’s position is accepted, it will undoubtedly have a significant, negative impact on the freedoms enjoyed by genuine fans on the Internet. 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.”

On its Web site, RDR Books says it is “determined to publish this book for the benefit of Harry Potter fans everywhere.”

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