Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
For those of you who don’t follow Leaky but might be curious about the current state of the lawsuit against RDR Books, a fantastic update has made by Melissa that summarizes the 1,100 page complaint filed by JKR and WB. As it’s a summary of a 1,100 page document, it’s quite long and in two parts (Part One here and Part Two here).
For those who have read my previous post on this subject, I add that the following section and quote as summarized by Melissa speaks directly to my point, and is an unsurprising potential side effect of a fansite’s attempt to cross the line from free distribution into profit.
9. A rule against JKR/WB would harm the fan community by “necessitating more monitoring and restriction of fan activity by copyright owners afraid of compromising their rights against infringers.”
As a fan of both JKR and The Lexicon website, I’m afraid I have to side with JKR and WB in this battle, if only because I hope the current good will between owners of copyright and their fans will continue. I’d hate to see the cease and desist letters fly anew, all because copyright holders are freshly afraid of people profiting off their work. A win for RDR means that other fans (both in the Harry Potter fandom and other fandoms) will likely also attempt to profit off copyrighted works, and you can be sure the copyright holders will respond to that by taking internet fandom — think fanfiction, image use, screen-grabbing, and fanart — more firmly in hold. Part of the reason I love JKR is because she loves us just as much, and encourages us to experiment and play in her space; what a shame it would be to see that disappear over a print version of a website.
RDR has three weeks to reply to the complaint.