When Judge Robert Patterson barred publication of RDR Books’ THE HARRY POTTER LEXICON, his ruling made it clear that the biggest problem was the lifting of JK Rowling’s words and the “almost wholesale” incorporation of information in the two minor charity companion books, Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch Through the Ages.
The publisher and author have done the sensible thing–rewrite the book, using Judge Patterson’s decision as “rule book.” They will issue the revised Lexicon in January, with the new subtitle, An Unauthorized Guide to Harry Potter Fiction and Related Materials. RDR has withdrawn its appeal of the court’s ruling, a statement has been issued on behalf of Rowling saying: “We are delighted that this matter is finally and favorably resolved and that J.K. Rowling’s rights — and indeed the rights of all authors of creative works — have been protected. We are also pleased to hear that rather than continue to litigate, RDR have themselves decided to publish a different book prepared with reference to Judge Patterson’s decision.”
The Muskegon Chronicle says that “readers can get a treasure trove of background information about the Harry Potter series that Vander Ark, who calls himself ‘just a librarian,’ culled through years of research. They’ll get not only an index of characters, but background on them, the reasons behind their names, the folklore and mythology behind the creatures they encounter and much more.”
The events mean that Judge Patterson’s ruling stands without review from an appeals court, and may take on greater weight as a guide to fair use when writing about fictional characters.