Rowling v. RDR Books: Fair Use Is Like Gumbo

Derek Bambauer at Info/Law has an excellent post on the Harry Potter Lexicon lawsuit, Rowling v. RDR Books. Bambauer analyzes Rowling's copyright claim and RDR Book's fair use defense and concludes that the celebrity author will likely prevail. While reasonable minds differ on this point (see, e.g., Tim Wu's article in Slate), everyone should be able to appreciate Bambauer's use of figurative language:

Fair use is like gumbo: you dump everything in together, mix it, simmer, and see how it tastes in the end.

An apt description -- it captures colorfully the inherent difficulty in predicting the outcome of a court's fair use analysis. The district judge handling the case has decided to combine the previously scheduled preliminary injunction hearing with a trial on the merits, which is set to begin April 14. We're looking forward to a good meal.


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