RDR Books Withdraws Appeal, Prepares To Publish Revised Lexicon

Last week, RDR Books withdrew its appeal of Judge Patterson's ruling that The Harry Potter Lexicon infringed J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.'s copyrights in the Harry Potter books and movies.  RDR Books also announced that it will soon publish a revised version of The Lexicon, which author Steve Vander Ark has revamped to ameliorate concerns expressed by J.K. Rowling at trial and by Judge Patterson in his detailed decision finding that the original Lexicon was not a fair use.   

Roger Rapoport of RDR Books told the Associated Press that the biggest difference between the two versions is that the revision contains "a lot more critical commentary, which means more analysis."  This is somewhat curious, given that Judge Patterson did not fault the previous Lexicon for lack of analysis, but for taking more of Rowling's original expression than was necessary to achieve its purpose as a reference guide.  In any event, Vander Ark also apparently removed "plot spoilers" and no doubt addressed Rowling's concern that he was plundering all of the “plums in [her] cake.” 

The revised cover (shown above at the right) contains a new subtitle -- "An Unauthorized Guide to Harry Potter Fiction and Related Materials" -- and a full paragraph disclaiming any affiliation with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or anyone else who might have trademark rights in the novels.  According to the Muskegon Chronicle, the parties negotiated the content of the new cover in order to avoid a separate trademark lawsuit.   

While there is no formal settlement agreement between the parties with regard to copyright claims, Rowling's agents issued a statement indicating that they "are delighted that this matter is finally and favorably resolved." 

For background information and links to court documents, please see our database entry, Rowling v. RDR Books

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