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swvaughn
06-15-2009, 06:06 PM
We've had quite a few discussions on plagiarism and copyright infringement here. And here's another one!

From today's Publisher's Lunch:

The estate of children's book author Adrian Jacobs has sued Bloomsbury in England's High Court, alleging that JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire "copied substantial parts" of Jacobs' THE ADVENTURES OF WILLY THE WIZARD--No 1 Livid Land. The estate "is also seeking a Court order against JK Rowling herself for pre-action disclosure in order to determine whether to join her as a defendant to the...action." They also allege that when Jacobs was first seeking representation, he submitted to Rowling's agent Christopher Little.

Apparently both books feature wizards who compete in contests and have to rescue humans. While on the surface the suit would appear to be a ploy for attention, Bloomsbury's shares were down more than 7 percent this morning.

Full link to the release: http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=259183

I'm quite interested to hear what AW folks think about this...

WriteKnight
06-15-2009, 06:08 PM
Magical contest, with peoples lives at stake.... not much to work with there. It really all depends on how closely the storylines match, and whether or not access can be clearly established.

Can't copyright an idea -only the expression of it.

Mel
06-15-2009, 06:43 PM
Nine years after Goblet of Fire has been out? Meh. Willy the Wizard (http://www.willythewizard.com/) site which has excerpts if you want to compare the two books. Read a few, not impressed. Looks like they are trying to stretch the similarity too much. Probably will give Willy the Wizard a bit of notice and maybe bring some money into the estate's coffers.

Namatu
06-15-2009, 06:58 PM
Can't copyright an idea -only the expression of it.Exactly. Are passages word-for-word or poorly reorganized paragraphs of the same? That's plagiarism. "Wizard saves humans" is a vague idea.

The Lonely One
06-15-2009, 07:02 PM
*Stuffs bagel back in mouth.

Very interesting, though hazardous to health while eating...

Could anyone clear up the key differences in copyright in England v. U.S.? I'd like to know what kind of shot Willy has of trouncing Harry.

Claudia Gray
06-15-2009, 07:12 PM
I went to the WILLY THE WIZARD website; it does not advertise the books or the late author in any meaningful fashion -- instead, it's all set up to "prove" their plagiarism case. And wow, it really does NOT prove it. The likenesses are all extremely vague and highly wishful. Bloomsbury and JKR have this in a slam dunk.

underthecity
06-15-2009, 07:18 PM
They would have to prove Rowling had read the Willy book and copied it, wouldn't they?

This isn't the first time this happened. About ten years ago some woman brought suit that alleged Rowling had stolen the idea of magic boys and more importantly, "muggles." Of course, her muggles were small, enchanted creatures versus Rowling's version. There were other similarities between her book and HP, but, well, similarities occur in literature.

I never found out what happened in that lawsuit.

swvaughn
06-15-2009, 07:22 PM
Ah. I've not been to the Willy the Wizard website (boy, what an unfortunate name for a wizard...).

I'm really fascinated that "the estate" is trying to sue after the author's death. I admit that I'm jaded, so I just don't quite buy the whole "setting the record straight in honor of the author's memory" thing - not when so much money could potentially be involved.

It rather reminds me of something that happened around here a few years ago. My sister-in-law's sister, who was 17, was on a JROTC crew cleaning up roadside trash, and she was hit by a car and killed. This is a small community, and the guy driving was a prominent doctor. He wasn't drunk - he stopped paying attention to the road and was fiddling with his radio.

There was a trial - either manslaughter or reckless endangerment of a minor, I don't remember. He was acquited, but eventually was convicted in civil court and slapped with a large fine.

I don't think Lindsey's parents were satisfied with money. I know I wasn't satisfied with the outcome. And though this case isn't involving anyone's death (except the author, whose death had nothing to do with the plagiarism accusation), I think there's a similarity in that money shouldn't be the answer. If they were truly seeking justice for the allegedly wronged party, that is.

ChristineR
06-15-2009, 07:32 PM
They would have to prove Rowling had read the Willy book and copied it, wouldn't they?

This isn't the first time this happened. About ten years ago some woman brought suit that alleged Rowling had stolen the idea of magic boys and more importantly, "muggles." Of course, her muggles were small, enchanted creatures versus Rowling's version. There were other similarities between her book and HP, but, well, similarities occur in literature.

I never found out what happened in that lawsuit.

Thrown out, and the judge fined the author for wasting his time. This one is far, far closer, but I guess they still haven't got much.

Sean D. Schaffer
06-15-2009, 07:46 PM
Doesn't plagiarism have to do with copying another author's exact words verbatim?

As for the copyright infringement thing, how is using simple ideas that are similar to another author's ideas a copyright violation? I was of the understanding that a book itself is the only thing that can be copyrighted, but that ideas cannot.

I think this is a ploy to get money from Rowling and Bloomsbury because Ms. Rowling made a lot of money at this and Mr. Jacobs did not. Pure and simple, I think it's all about an estate getting its hands on a rich person's money. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't think Mr. Jacobs's honor has anything to do with this.

ChristineR
06-15-2009, 08:54 PM
Actually, I think it's a ploy to sell more copies of Willy the Wizard. That was why the judge was so harsh to the author of The Legend of Ra and the Muggles, or whatever it was called--the title seemed to be kind of mutable. The judge did not appreciate having his courtroom used as a book advertisement, so he slapped a substantial fine on the author, hopefully enough to cancel out the money she got from curious book buyers.

That was a wretched book, by the way. It looks like Willy the Wizard has more merit.

Lisa Cox
06-15-2009, 09:05 PM
Reading the article, it does sound as if there are more than a few similarities. And it could also be read as suspicious that GoF was the book where JKR had a meltdown, told her publishers she couldn't complete it, was told to take more time, and then miraculously pulled GoF out of the hat. She admitted that she scrapped most of the book and started from scratch.

However, I'm calling over-reaching on this. I don't believe JKR is dishonest in her practices and coincidences like this can and will happen. It's not the first time this has happened to her, as others have said, and she proved herself honest then.

Rufus Coppertop
06-15-2009, 09:27 PM
I had a look at the problem solved in bathroom and I have to say that I would laugh this out of court on that basis alone and fine the morons heavily for wasting court time.

Rowling is light years ahead of that tragic idiot. His writing comes across as barely lucid mush.

Lisa Cox
06-15-2009, 09:30 PM
Rowling is light years ahead of that tragic idiot. His writing comes across as barely lucid mush.

While I agree that his writing is awful (he hasn't even got a handle on decent grammar, let alone sentence construction), the issue is the concepts.

But you simply can't copyright an idea, so I don't see how this guy (or his estate) has a leg to stand on -- unless the similarities are too complex to ignore, which I very much doubt.

Rufus Coppertop
06-15-2009, 09:31 PM
Nothing more, nothing less. I don't think Mr. Jacobs's honor has anything to do with this.

If Mr Jacobs had honour, he would have stopped writing. Try following the links in the first post and actually read the nausea inducing extract about solving the problem in the luxurious bathroom.

Rufus Coppertop
06-15-2009, 09:36 PM
While I agree that his writing is awful (he hasn't even got a handle on decent grammar, let alone sentence construction), the issue is the concepts.

But you simply can't copyright an idea, so I don't see how this guy (or his estate) has a leg to stand on -- unless the similarities are too complex to ignore, which I very much doubt.

I can't help thinking that the poverty of his grammar and construction almost suggests that he was suffering from a degree of thought disorder.

Lisa Cox
06-15-2009, 09:39 PM
Having now read some of the excerpts, particularly the areas highlighted as 'plagiarised', my humble opinion is this: it's all BS.

I mean, come on. No judge is going to take this seriously.

Lisa Cox
06-15-2009, 09:45 PM
I can't help thinking that the poverty of his grammar and construction almost suggests that he was suffering from a degree of thought disorder.

I'm the last person who would speak ill of the dead -- but, my God, I think you could feed these concepts to my three-year-old and he'd come up with more cohesive, grammatically-correct sentences. It's just awful. I can't imagine JKR would have given the time of day to this mess of a book back in the day. I don't see how she would've been able to read far enough into it to discover these concepts she's allegedly plagiarised.

None of this makes any sense to me.

ChristineR
06-15-2009, 10:17 PM
I don't think it's fair to judge the quality of the writing by these excerpts. They've been chopped up so that they only show what the plaintiffs think are parallels, and I strongly suspect that the published version must have been better edited. They break off in the middle of sentences, have line breaks and commas and random spots, and is just generally not edited. It seems to have been commercially published, though I could be wrong.

BenPanced
06-16-2009, 12:29 AM
Apparently, this isn't the first time his estate has approached Rowling about the case: (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090615/media_nm/us_britain_potter_plagiarism)

Bloomsbury added that the claim was first made in 2004 by solicitors acting on behalf of Jacobs' son, who was the representative of his father's estate.

"The claim was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books which was said to copy Willy the Wizard."

Sean D. Schaffer
06-16-2009, 05:37 AM
Apparently, this isn't the first time his estate has approached Rowling about the case: (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090615/media_nm/us_britain_potter_plagiarism)


Oh, for crying out loud! I can just about imagine Mr. Jacobs rolling over in his grave. If they couldn't prove it before, what makes them think they'll prove the same thing now?

Good Gawd! :e2smack: What a waste of their taxpayers' money!

Matera the Mad
06-16-2009, 05:42 AM
"The claim was unable to identify any text in the Harry Potter books which was said to copy Willy the Wizard." I should hope not! I've read every HP book end-to-end, and I can't get through two paragraphs of that goshawful willywank.

ETA: I smell sour grapes with an undertone of vanity press. Intense aroma. Sad.

Sage
06-16-2009, 06:17 AM
I went to the WILLY THE WIZARD website; it does not advertise the books or the late author in any meaningful fashion -- instead, it's all set up to "prove" their plagiarism case. And wow, it really does NOT prove it. The likenesses are all extremely vague and highly wishful. Bloomsbury and JKR have this in a slam dunk.
I went to the site, and you read the titles of those excerpts (which so far have been a few sentences in length) and they do sound very HP-ish. Then you read the excerpts, and they're not even close. Like "snake tongue communication" and you look, and it's a communicator made out of a snake tongue.

AnneMarble
06-16-2009, 06:21 AM
The Writer Beware blog has something on this:
http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/06/victoria-strauss-fruitloops-galore.html

In one of the articles, I read that the case was brought by a publicist. That explains a lot. Maybe he persuaded the estate that a "case" could be made. But those claims of similarities are really stretching it. We're talking the Stretch Armstrong of legal claims here.

Did you read the one where Willy solves a problem in the bath? This sentence really stood out...
"A switch by the right hand tap engaged by a twiddle from his big right toe motivated a slide out screen."

Do people honestly think that J. K. Rowling would have *wanted* to steal
from this book? And how does your toe motivate a screen? Does it put up one of those posters with a picture of a soaring eagle that says SUCCESS" or something like that? :tongue Anyway, it bears no resemblance at all to the bathroom scenes in the Harry Potter books. Harry didn't solve problems by sitting in a bath (zzz). The bathroom scenes involved things like the ghost of Moaning Myrtle -- not someone sitting around thinking.

Fokker Aeroplanbau
06-16-2009, 06:36 AM
This is going to make me go out and buy a Willy book. (rolleyes)

Matera the Mad
06-16-2009, 06:56 AM
You'll have to click a PayPal button to find out how much it costs. Lots of buttons, little info. *rolls eyes also*

I really doubt the estate of a millionaire is hurting from lack of book sales. Really.

icerose
06-16-2009, 07:00 AM
The Willy book was like a 39 page pamplet that was barely distributed and they tried and failed before. I don't see anything to this case other than trying to pry out some sales and attention for a dead author.

Matera the Mad
06-16-2009, 07:14 AM
I rather think it's the publicist who is thinking about making money. Out of the same sewer as SEO spammers and ambulance-chasers.

CoriSCapnSkip
06-16-2009, 10:57 AM
Like the earlier lawsuit, they're grasping at straws. Hopefully the publisher has insurance and high-powered lawyers and this ends up not wasting too much of the author's time.

Izz
06-16-2009, 12:18 PM
"A switch by the right hand tap engaged by a twiddle from his big right toe motivated a slide out screen."
0.o
o.0
0.0
o.o
o.~
~.o
~.~
*head explodes*

ccv707
06-16-2009, 01:10 PM
"A switch by the right hand tap engaged by a twiddle from his big right toe motivated a slide out screen."

Disgusting, disgusting writing. I'm sure it makes more sense within the context of the story and the whole scene, but I can't imagine that, even then, the sentence structure comes across any more coherent (or coherent at all). I mean...wow...that's baaaad.

ccv707
06-16-2009, 01:11 PM
0.o
o.0
0.0
o.o
o.~
~.o
~.~
*head explodes*


LOL!!!!!

calley
06-16-2009, 01:28 PM
Wizardly trials seem a common enough plot device. I doubt they'll be able to prove a case, and I can't help but think it's a rather tasteless move to make, particularly so many years after Goblet of Fire came out. I'm curious to know why they took so long--it would be rather hard to not know the gist of the Harry Potter books long before now, given their popularity.

Christine N.
06-16-2009, 01:48 PM
Anyway, it bears no resemblance at all to the bathroom scenes in the Harry Potter books. Harry didn't solve problems by sitting in a bath (zzz). The bathroom scenes involved things like the ghost of Moaning Myrtle -- not someone sitting around thinking.

Actually he did - in GoF, specifically, HP sat in the Prefect's bathroom to try and solve the riddle of the golden dragon's egg. Cedric Diggory said it "wasn't a bad place for a bath...mull things over in the hot water."

But I think this publicist is bonkers anyway.

Lisa Cox
06-16-2009, 01:51 PM
Actually he did - in GoF, specifically, HP sat in the Prefect's bathroom to try and solve the riddle of the golden dragon's egg. Cedric Diggory said it "wasn't a bad place for a bath...mull things over in the hot water."

But I think this publicist is bonkers anyway.

Cedric was trying to hint that putting the egg in the water would make it possible to hear the mermaids' voices. It was nothing to do with 'sitting in the bath thinking'. The bath itself was a plot device because mermaids can only be heard underwater, and JK needed to get Harry in a large-ish body of water. There are slim comparatives at best here.

SPMiller
06-16-2009, 05:55 PM
Can't copyright a story idea.

Brindle MacWuff
06-16-2009, 06:20 PM
I though that Willy couldn't be that bad, until I clicked the website at random. this is what happened....

IT IS FORBIDDEN TO CAST SPELLS WHILE YOU VISIT THIS CASTLE. THE PENALTY FOR THE THOUGHT...’

Willy’s Adam’s apple began gyrating in his throat. The thoughts of every wizard are being monitored!

...WILL BE BANISHMENT TO TREATMENT ISLAND.’

Oh, my my my!

‘Willy, what’s wrong with you?’ said Gambling Kentucky, the famous Coup Wizard. 'You look like death hotted up and you’re dripping. Look!’ He pointed to the flagstone. A little pool had started.

‘Kentucky, I’m terrified. Treatment Island. Do you know about Treatment Island?’

‘We all know, Willy, but you surely aren’t going to induce that penalty, are you?’ He raised an incredible blue shaven eyebrow. Their dialogue was interrupted....


What a lot of sh*te. And it's INCUR a penalty.

Claudia Gray
06-16-2009, 06:30 PM
Yeah, for imagination and mood and mystery, which sounds better to you:

Azkaban
Treatment Island

Also, what is a "blue shaven eyebrow." If your eyebrow has been shaved, how can it be blue? (Or, I guess it can be blue, but it can't be on your face for anybody to notice that it's blue.)

Brindle MacWuff
06-16-2009, 06:33 PM
My thoughts exactly. And, someone can have a blue eyebrow, and i find that quite credible. not Incredible.

Poor bloke, he must be spinning in his grave. Still, should give the court a good laugh when the case comes up.

Pagey's_Girl
06-16-2009, 07:03 PM
...Willy’s Adam’s apple began gyrating in his throat. The thoughts of every wizard are being monitored!

I'll take "Mental Images I Didn't Need" for $1,000, Alex....

ETA - I've dyed my hair blue (among many, many other colors) but never my eyebrows...

ETA again - found a story on Yahoo (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_britain_potter_plagiarism)about it. Apologies if it's repeating information. According to Reuters, the book in question is 36 pages and the lead character is an adult.

sassandgroove
06-16-2009, 09:56 PM
Anyway, it bears no resemblance at all to the bathroom scenes in the Harry Potter books. Harry didn't solve problems by sitting in a bath (zzz). The bathroom scenes involved things like the ghost of Moaning Myrtle -- not someone sitting around thinking.


Actually he did - in GoF, specifically, HP sat in the Prefect's bathroom to try and solve the riddle of the golden dragon's egg. Cedric Diggory said it "wasn't a bad place for a bath...mull things over in the hot water."

But I think this publicist is bonkers anyway.
ANd, as ANNE pointed out that is where Moaning Myrtle talked to him. He didn't just sit there and think. But I guess this is off topic...

AZ_Dawn
06-16-2009, 11:50 PM
‘Willy, what’s wrong with you?’ said Gambling Kentucky, the famous Coup Wizard.
Gambling Kentucky? :ROFL:

Unless this is a fantasy western, that is one crappy wizard name.

Christine N.
06-16-2009, 11:54 PM
True, but I do see the similarities in the bathrooms, if I squint and turn my head to the side. Stretching it.

BenPanced
06-17-2009, 12:19 AM
0.o
o.0
0.0
o.o
o.~
~.o
~.~
*head explodes*
*brings in mop and bucket*

"I'm so glad we've had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song..."

Cyia
06-17-2009, 12:36 AM
Is this an illustrated book? That's what it looks like. No way could a <40 page illustrated kids' book have the character development and plot intricacies of a >500 page novel.

Gillhoughly
06-17-2009, 03:33 AM
Magical battle.

Lives at stake.

Never mind books, let's go to the cinema.

How about this American International Release that predates both?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51W54KQJ0DL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Or this 70's entry from Ralph Bakshi?

http://www.ralphbakshi.com/images/wizards.jpg

Or even Disney's 60's Sword in the Stone...Madam Mim vs Merlin?

http://o-meon.com/images/reviews/2008/06-24_Sword/06-24_Sword-2.jpg


Apparently Jacobs's estate missed this one from another UK writer:

Willy the Wizard (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Willy-Wizard-Anthony-Browne/dp/0552549355). Though you can't sue for having the same title.
http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/8C7D2913-61FC-4A56-8727-2FECFBA53C2A/0/brownewillywizard.jpg

But I imagine they're going for the larger cash payoff at this point.




Anyone with something called "Willy the Wizard" would only ever make a fortune on that item in an UK adult toys shop.

Maybe I should research that... :D

Pagey's_Girl
06-17-2009, 03:42 AM
http://o-meon.com/images/reviews/2008/06-24_Sword/06-24_Sword-2.jpg


"DUUUUUUUDE! Wanna look at my tongue and guess what I had for lunch?"

Sorry, couldn't resist. :)





Anyone with something called "Willy the Wizard" would only ever make a fortune on that item in an UK adult toys shop.

Maybe I should research that... :D

Umm - "interesting" mental image. I'd go into detail but I'd probably get banned. :D

ETA - is it just me, or does "Treatment Island" sound like some kind of celebrity rehab reality show?

ShebaJones
06-17-2009, 07:16 AM
Gambling Kentucky. Gambling Kentucky.

I'm kind of in love with that name. But for a wizard? No.

It's an awesome name for a pimp, though.

AnneMarble
06-17-2009, 07:28 AM
0.o
o.0
0.0
o.o
o.~
~.o
~.~
*head explodes*
Uh-oh.
*Offers towel*


Disgusting, disgusting writing. I'm sure it makes more sense within the context of the story and the whole scene, but I can't imagine that, even then, the sentence structure comes across any more coherent (or coherent at all). I mean...wow...that's baaaad.
Can you really imagine a kid reading this book and enjoying it? I mean, other than a relative of the author or a neighbor kid who just thought it was cool that Uncle Adrian/nice Mr. Jacobs had published a real book.


Actually he did - in GoF, specifically, HP sat in the Prefect's bathroom to try and solve the riddle of the golden dragon's egg. Cedric Diggory said it "wasn't a bad place for a bath...mull things over in the hot water."
True. And thank God Harry didn't have to operate the controls with his feet. :)

*Anne's mind wanders at the idea of Robert Pattinson in the bath...*

But I think this publicist is bonkers anyway.
His name is Bonkers D. Bobcat. :D

AnneMarble
06-17-2009, 07:34 AM
Magical battle.

Lives at stake.

Never mind books, let's go to the cinema.

How about this American International Release that predates both?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51W54KQJ0DL._SL500_AA240_.jpg


One of the best wizard duels ever. And before CGI, too. Heck, before the first computer mice. All that and Price, Karloff, and Lorre in the same movie.
:e2thud:

Sorry, forgot myself there.

Cyia
06-17-2009, 08:03 AM
Or even Disney's 60's Sword in the Stone...Madam Mim vs Merlin?

http://o-meon.com/images/reviews/2008/06-24_Sword/06-24_Sword-2.jpg




I *loved* this movie as a kid. Sadly I think it melted in the big box of useless VCR tapes in the garage. :(

(I think the House of Mouse is safe. There's not a bathroom to be seen in the whole film :D )

Vincent
06-17-2009, 08:13 AM
I *loved* this movie as a kid. Sadly I think it melted in the big box of useless VCR tapes in the garage. :(

Yeah me and my siblings wore that movie to the bone, we watched it so much. 'course, we only had, like, 3 videos, and we played them all to death.

Diana Hignutt
06-17-2009, 04:55 PM
I've always thought that DC Comics should have sued Rowling for her ripping off Tim Hunter in The Books of Magic. Potter looks almost exactly like Hunter, and their origins and stories are VERY similiar.

James D. Macdonald
06-25-2009, 09:13 AM
I never found out what happened in that lawsuit.

Thrown out of court with extreme prejudice when it turned out that the person who brought the suit had faked her evidence.

crazynance
06-26-2009, 12:22 AM
fofl! Willy vs Harry ... in the UK? roflmao! Wizards or Princes?


If Mr Jacobs had honour, he would have stopped writing. Try following the links in the first post and actually read the nausea inducing extract about solving the problem in the luxurious bathroom.

Reminds me of Rincewind's version of wizardry [kudos to Mr Pratchett]

AnneMarble
02-18-2010, 04:43 PM
There was more about this case in the Guardian today (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article7031718.ece). J. K. Rowling was added to the lawsuit once the plaintiff realized that the statute of limitations to sue her hadn't run out. Who is his lawyer if they just now figured this out?

Why is this case still alive? Why do newspapers still take it seriously? :rolleyes: Just because two stories are about wizard hospitals and wizard prisons, that doesn't mean it's plagiarism -- or even copyright infringement (which is what the case really seems to be claiming).

The article reveals that Willy the Wizard only sold 5,000 copies. The author lost everything in a stock market crash and died in poverty in a hospice. That's sad, but that doesn't mean that his relatives have a case.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-18-2010, 06:52 PM
There was more about this case in the Guardian today (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article7031718.ece). J. K. Rowling was added to the lawsuit once the plaintiff realized that the statute of limitations to sue her hadn't run out. Who is his lawyer if they just now figured this out?

Why is this case still alive? Why do newspapers still take it seriously? :rolleyes: Just because two stories are about wizard hospitals and wizard prisons, that doesn't mean it's plagiarism -- or even copyright infringement (which is what the case really seems to be claiming).

The article reveals that Willy the Wizard only sold 5,000 copies. The author lost everything in a stock market crash and died in poverty in a hospice. That's sad, but that doesn't mean that his relatives have a case.

Doesn't stop greedy people from trying though.

Kweei
02-18-2010, 08:01 PM
Wow, this is still going? That's a shame.

Jamesaritchie
02-18-2010, 09:11 PM
From what I've read and heard, this suit holds even less merit than the last one. But it could, unfortunately, make a bad book sell better, which is probably what the family has planned.

maestrowork
02-18-2010, 09:17 PM
Harry Willy and his Chocolate Pants.

IceCreamEmpress
02-18-2010, 09:39 PM
Why didn't the family do something to help him while he was alive? Bleagh.

ChristineR
02-19-2010, 12:23 AM
I suspect their real goal is to sell books, specifically enough books to make a profit that covers the cost of the suit and whatever fines the judge throws at them. It probably won't work though. That awful Legend of Ra and the Muggles was still a horrible, vanity published book even after it lost its lawsuit, and its target audience hated it even more for being an attack on Rowling.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-19-2010, 12:58 AM
Why didn't the family do something to help him while he was alive? Bleagh.

The same reason so many other people dump their elderly parents in hospices and nursing homes: they don't care. They don't want to be responsible for them, so they leave them somewhere that will. Clearly this family only cares about money, probably has the mentality of 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' and is hoping the attention will help booksales as others have said. They probably don't count on winning knowing they're drawing attention just by sueing someone like Rowling, but if they do...that would be pretty sad. Or they're hoping that if they drag this on long enough, Rowling will pay them a substantial sum just to make them go away.

Toothpaste
02-19-2010, 01:17 AM
Um ... not to take this too far off tangent, but some people don't "dump" their elderly relatives in nursing homes. Nor do they choose such places for their relatives because they don't care. Some people evaluate the situation, and realise that their elderly relative is isolating herself and thus getting very depressed. That what she needs interaction with other people, and also needs care that one might not be able to afford nor provide. There are some lovely nursing homes out there, with extremely happy residents, because they actually get a chance to be social again, and be very well taken care of.

Also it isn't like they are just dumped and forgotten about. Often the relatives visit several times a week.

And . . . back on tangent.

Jamesaritchie
02-19-2010, 02:40 AM
Um ... not to take this too far off tangent, but some people don't "dump" their elderly relatives in nursing homes. Nor do they choose such places for their relatives because they don't care. Some people evaluate the situation, and realise that their elderly relative is isolating herself and thus getting very depressed. That what she needs interaction with other people, and also needs care that one might not be able to afford nor provide. There are some lovely nursing homes out there, with extremely happy residents, because they actually get a chance to be social again, and be very well taken care of.

Also it isn't like they are just dumped and forgotten about. Often the relatives visit several times a week.

And . . . back on tangent.

Some people may not dump relatives, but most do. My wife works in two nursing homes, and fully 90% of the people there were dumped. And even many that came in with visting families soon wish the families would stop visiting.

The happiest residents are those glad to be away from their families.

Jamesaritchie
02-19-2010, 02:42 AM
Why didn't the family do something to help him while he was alive? Bleagh.

Now the family gets the money.

But it really comes down to the fact that the Jacob's family brought this up back in 2004, were given the chance, and couldn't point to a single line that was copied. Not one.

As usual, the lawyers will make money, and everyone else loses.

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-19-2010, 05:11 AM
Um ... not to take this too far off tangent, but some people don't "dump" their elderly relatives in nursing homes. Nor do they choose such places for their relatives because they don't care. Some people evaluate the situation, and realise that their elderly relative is isolating herself and thus getting very depressed. That what she needs interaction with other people, and also needs care that one might not be able to afford nor provide. There are some lovely nursing homes out there, with extremely happy residents, because they actually get a chance to be social again, and be very well taken care of.

Also it isn't like they are just dumped and forgotten about. Often the relatives visit several times a week.

And . . . back on tangent.

Oh I didn't mean to insinutate that that's what ALL people do. Nursing homes, hospices, assisted living are all great for those who really need them, my grandmother's in one. She suffers from dementia and we just aren't equipped to handle it (we did try, but she's just too fargone now). It's one of those nice places you mentioned. But she definitely wouldn't be there if she didn't need to be. But like James said there seem to be a lot of people out there who see their elderly parents as problems waiting to happen and put them in a nursing home when they don't actually need to be there. You would be amazed at how fast someone can degrade when they're put in a situation like that.



As usual, the lawyers will make money, and everyone else loses.


Is it just me, or does it seem like this is a good time to be a lawyer?

Jamesaritchie
02-19-2010, 06:45 PM
Is it just me, or does it seem like this is a good time to be a lawyer?

Isn't it always?

Claudia Gray
02-19-2010, 09:18 PM
I remember checking this out way back when -- the "evidence" is flimsy, pure wishful thinking, if I can even give the plaintiffs that much credit.

The Kidd
02-20-2010, 10:58 PM
This is going to make me go out and buy a Willy book. (rolleyes)

Thats exactly what they want. Just a big money-making scheme.

Jamesaritchie
02-20-2010, 11:07 PM
I've always thought that DC Comics should have sued Rowling for her ripping off Tim Hunter in The Books of Magic. Potter looks almost exactly like Hunter, and their origins and stories are VERY similiar.


You mean they both had black hair, both wore glasses, and were both skinny? Now there's a plagiarism suit.

Really, there's nothing at all close to plagiarism in comparing Hunter's work and Rowling's work. They're as different as night and day. If that's plagiarism, we'd all have to stop writing, and no new work would ever appear.

CaoPaux
02-22-2010, 11:07 PM
FYI, the discussion of this on http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/012205.html#012205 now includes 10% more sockpuppets. :popcorn:

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-22-2010, 11:08 PM
Pass that popcorn Cao, I love a good show.

Momento Mori
01-07-2011, 04:30 PM
The Willy the Wizard plagiarism lawsuit got thrown out today. There's a report on the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-12134288

My favourite quote is this:


"The contrast between the total concept and feel of the works is so stark that any serious comparison of the two strains credulity," Judge Sheindlin said in the 49-page ruling.

Guess Willy's taken an early bath ...

MM

Susan Littlefield
01-07-2011, 07:25 PM
I'm glad to read this.

swvaughn
01-07-2011, 09:50 PM
O hai, zombie thread! :D

Happy to see this "case" is toast. Shame it took so long - it should've been tossed long ago.

Momento Mori
03-22-2011, 03:48 PM
As an update to this, apparently the estate of Adrian Jacobs has been told they have to pay £1.5 million into court if they want to continue their law suit or it will be struck out.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368493/Author-claimed-JK-Rowling-stole-idea-Harry-Potter-ordered-pay-1-5m-security-plagiarism-case-starts.html

MM

Old Hack
03-22-2011, 11:30 PM
And, if I understand it correctly (there's a good chance I don't), if they don't provide that £1.5m they'll be found liable for all of JKR's costs so far. So either way they are going to have to hand over a significant amount of money.

Cyia
03-22-2011, 11:40 PM
Oh good. This is an old thread.

I saw the title in the index and cringed, thinking "not again!"

Momento Mori
03-23-2011, 02:06 AM
Cyia:
Oh good. This is an old thread.

Yeah - sorry. Figured the donkey deserved one more damned good beating. Grr!

MM

Soccer Mom
03-23-2011, 02:10 AM
:deadhorse


I thought the same thing when I saw the title. And I'm glad that this little publicity stunt is going to cost them. They never expected to prevail in this plagarism claim. It was only for the "free" publicity.

Torgo
03-23-2011, 02:13 AM
:deadhorse


I thought the same thing when I saw the title. And I'm glad that this little publicity stunt is going to cost them. They never expected to prevail in this plagarism claim. It was only for the "free" publicity.

Have seen the publicity argument in various places but is the book actually on sale anywhere? Can't see how the Jacobs estate (or indeed the spivs who have initiated this action) are making money out of it.

Soccer Mom
03-23-2011, 02:16 AM
Have seen the publicity argument in various places but is the book actually on sale anywhere? Can't see how the Jacobs estate (or indeed the spivs who have initiated this action) are making money out of it.

Yep. They offer it for sale on their website: http://www.willythewizard.com/

Torgo
03-23-2011, 02:26 AM
Yep. They offer it for sale on their website: http://www.willythewizard.com/

Ugh.

thothguard51
03-23-2011, 03:27 AM
Note to self,....check every agent submitted to and see if any of their authors have books with similar troupes and cliched themes as yours...(The writing is immaterial).

Moral, if you can't sell your damn book...sue someone who can.

Momento Mori
05-24-2011, 07:42 PM
Willy the Wizard is the trial that won't die. Contrary to expectations (and following an appeal), the plaintiff's lawyers have paid £50,000 into court. As a result, the trial will go ahead in February 2012 and the appeal in July 2012.

Full story here:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/willy-wizard-appeal-go-ahead-july.html

Personally, I can't see how this has a hope in hell of succeeding, but if you check out the comments, one person compares the dismissal in the US to the Kennedy assassination so at least there are LOLs to be had.

MM

agentpaper
05-24-2011, 07:53 PM
Oh for pity's sake.

Torgo
05-24-2011, 08:55 PM
Personally, I can't see how this has a hope in hell of succeeding, but if you check out the comments, one person compares the dismissal in the US to the Kennedy assassination so at least there are LOLs to be had.

MM

That's the very LOL-worthy Frank Persol, a sock puppet or crank who pops up regularly on any Willy the Wizard-related comment thread.

A fool and his money...

Libbie
05-24-2011, 09:00 PM
oh, god. You're KIDDING me! Do they really think they've got a chance in hell of grabbing some of Rowling's money?

Momento Mori
05-25-2011, 02:48 AM
Torgo:
That's the very LOL-worthy Frank Persol, a sock puppet or crank who pops up regularly on any Willy the Wizard-related comment thread.

Well he owes me a new keyboard. What a maroon ...

MM

shaldna
05-25-2011, 01:11 PM
You know, I feel kinda sorry for JKR. I mean, although she's not gonna loose, the whole process of court cases is stressful and time consuming, and can take it's toll in terms of stress and emotional drainage.

Libbie
05-25-2011, 04:42 PM
Yeah, I agree. It's really shitty when people try to go after authors' money even when they KNOW they've got no case. True cases of plagiarism do exist, but it seems the biggest authors who are challenged over plagiarism are never guilty of it. These scavengers just feel entitled to a chunk of their hard-earned money, and they don't care what toll it takes on anybody.

People really disgust me sometimes.

jimbro
05-25-2011, 05:51 PM
Willy should have filed for a patent on his plotlines:

http://www.plotpatents.com/

This is the next thing coming at us...

Bubastes
05-25-2011, 06:13 PM
Willy should have filed for a patent on his plotlines:

http://www.plotpatents.com/

This is the next thing coming at us...

Meh, I doubt it. For grins, I checked the status of the patent applications for his storyline "inventions," and he's been wrangling with the Patent Office for nearly 8 years. Besides, even if you could patent a storyline, plots like these (quoted from two of his patent applications) aren't even new:


1. A process of relaying a story having a timeline and a unique plot involving characters, comprising: indicating that a first character experiences dj vu to mask an actual event.


1. A process of relaying a story having a timeline and a unique plot involving characters, comprising:

indicating a character's desire at a first time in said timeline for at least one of the following:
a) to remain asleep or unconscious until a particular event occurs; and
b) to forget or be substantially unable to recall substantially all events during the time period from said first time until a particular event occurs;

indicating said character's substantial inability at a time after said occurrence of said particular event to recall substantially all events during the time period from said first time to said occurrence of said particular event; and

indicating that during said time period said character was an active participant in a plurality of events.


I think the guy's just doing this as an intellectual exercise. I sure don't take him seriously (which is a nice way of saying I think he's full of sh!t).

/end derail

Sirion
05-26-2011, 10:20 AM
*sigh*

Money-grubbing bastards.

I'd bet a very shiney penny that J.K. Rowling has never read (and probably never even heard of) "The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: No 1 Livid Land"... ugh, that title... ugh.

James D. Macdonald
05-27-2011, 11:29 PM
Willy the Wizard features a character named Willy who owns a chocolate factory. I wonder where that idea came from? And it has a character who has a single eye in the middle of his forehead. I wonder where that idea came from?

And so forth and so on. Not an original idea in it.

waylander
07-18-2011, 10:04 PM
The case has now been struck out as the Jacobs estate did not come up with the money to pay into the court.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14187849

Momento Mori
07-19-2011, 12:09 AM
Frank Persol provides more LOLs on The Bookseller:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/willy-wizard-claimant-loses-court-appeal.html

He suggests that it might go to the European Court of Human Rights (good luck with that one, hon) or that it'll start again in Australia. So this case may just turn into an Inferni ...

MM

Soccer Mom
07-19-2011, 06:07 PM
JKR needs to sic the dementors on this clown and be done with him once and for all.