Monday, March 24th, 2008
Steve Vander Ark gave an interview recently to BlogHogwarts (in spanish, the original English was passed along to TLC and can be found here) which prompted this post by Melissa on behalf of the Leaky staff.
“The interview quoted above contains a number of assessments about J.K. Rowling’s intentions and what the Lexicon case means for fandom as a whole. The comments sat uneasily with many of us as soon as we learned about them, and prompted a discussion among our entire staff about Leaky’s association with the Harry Potter Lexicon, in which it became overwhelmingly clear that Steve’s thoughts on this matter and ours differ so greatly as to be polar opposites; we do not think a win for J.K. Rowling means tighter controls on fan creativity at all, and are concerned for the opposite, as well as the attempt to misportray the issues of the case as stated in sworn affadavits. So, after a few days of careful and many-sided discussion, we, as a full staff, decided that people who have such a fundamental disconnect in beliefs cannot and should not be partners in name or spirit, and two days ago informed the Lexicon that we are severing our association.”
The post by Melissa continues on to describe the Leaky staffs’ position and reasoning a little more, and to discuss the dismantling of the Floo Network, though they plan to continue to be affiliated with Accio Quote.
I would assume there will be a comment made or some discussion of this on the next episode of Pottercast. Possibly not the one due to be released tomorrow (depending on when the decision was made vs. when they taped the episode) but probably at some point it will come up. Melissa has also added:
“There have been many asking, since November, whether Steve would return to PotterCast: That answer is now no.”
Which is a loss for Pottercast, as Steve’s thoughts in the popular segment of Canon Conundrums were always interesting, and his personality complimented the Pottercast trio well in my opinion.
At this posting, the Floo Network was still operational. Obviously something like that takes time to disband, and as the affiliation is incorporated into the current Leaky CSS it will probably take some time for it to disappear entirely, especially with their key web designer on leave for college-related reasons.
It will be interesting to see what the Lexicon’s post in regards to this will be.
As for me, I’m not sure where my ultimate support in this case lies anymore. I have always been a strong supporter for creative freedom and liberal interpretation of Fair Use laws, including support for groups like Creative Commons and the Organization for Transformative Works, and I don’t honestly see how the publication of a print version of the Lexicon will in any way endanger the sales of JKR’s Scottish Book. At the same time, I’m not sure I would qualify the Lexicon as a scholarly or transformative work, based on the current guidelines — it’s really in that blurry gray area for me.
I continue to be unusually riveted by this series of events. Apologies to those who don’t give a damn.