Monday, September 15, 2008

J.K. Rowling's agents request advanced copy of Steve Vander Arks travel guide

NOTE: While there are reports that RDR Books plans to file an appeal regarding the publishing of the Harry Potter Lexicon in book format, the Times Online writes that Steve Vander Ark has written a travel guide based on events in the Harry Potter series.

J.K. Rowling's agents have apparently requested to see an advanced copy before the book is published.

What we're curious about here at Shell Cottage is whether the use of trademarked words will be permitted by Warner Brothers. WB has trademarked as inventions many individual words used in the series and this is the type of action being taken to control not just graphics owned by the studio, but now the words themselves. We're keeping an eye on this.

Here's the London Times article from here:

An American author whose Harry Potter encyclopedia was banned after a legal battle with JK Rowling is to write a travel guide based on the boy wizard’s exploits.

Steve Vander Ark faces crossing swords with the millionaire author again by publishing a “travel memoir” detailing visits to British locations he claims inspired the Harry Potter series.

Rowling’s agents have asked to see a copy of In Search of Harry Potter before it is published next month to ensure it does not breach copyright. Last week a New York judge awarded Rowling almost £4,000 damages and banned Vander Ark’s Harry Potter Lexicon. Rowling had argued that the book was a “wholesale theft of 17 years of my hard work”.

Despite the ruling, Vander Ark, a former librarian from Michigan, said he intends to press ahead with his guide. It recounts his travels to King’s Cross station, where Potter and the other wizards board the Hogwarts Express, London’s Charing Cross Road, the site of the Leaky Cauldron pub, and Surrey, where Harry lived in the fictitious town of Little Whinging.

He also claims to have discovered the location of Hogwarts school on Rannoch Moor in the Highlands.

“This is my own writing about my own experiences and I can’t imagine there will be any problem with this book,” he said.

Peter Tummons, managing director of the publishers Methuen, said: “This is a travel book . . . written in full by himself after his travels . . . There is nothing in it that would cause any distress.

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