please tell me I don’t have to boycott Harry Potter….

Yes, I happily admit that I’m a Harry Potter fan. I think it’s a great series, incredibly imaginative, reasonably well-written, and the movies aren’t bad.

It goes without saying that J. K. Rowling has become one of the most famous authors in the world, her books have sold millions in dozens of languages, academics are studying them and writing about them, along with other famous writers firmly established in the western canon. Tolkien comes to mind; they are similarly famous, in related genres, and both have had blockbuster movies made within the past decade.

But, J.K. Rowling has gone over the top. Apparently, she is suing a publisher for having the audacity to publish a reference book about the Harry Potter universe.

Rowling’s argument is clear, albeit misguided:

It is not reasonable, or legal, for anybody, fan or otherwise, to take an author’s hard work, re-organize their characters and plots, and sell them for their own commercial gain. However much an individual claims to love somebody else’s work, it does not become theirs to sell.

If this argument were sound, then there would be no reference books at all for any copyrighted work, apart from reference books published by the original copyright holders of the material.

No Cliffs Notes.

No reference books on Lord of The Rings.

No reference books on Narnia.

No reference books on Star Wars.

No reference books on the His Dark Materials trilogy.

And curiously enough, no Harry Potter reference books, dozens of which have already been published.

I truly hope that J. K. Rowling isn’t vain enough to actually believe that she, the richest woman in the UK, richer than even the Queen, should exclusively profit from the hard work of other people, in this case people who compile the reference materials.

If she does, well. It’s too late to boycott since my family already owns all 7 books.

Which brings up another point: does Rowling truly believe that people are going to buy these reference books INSTEAD fo the original novels? That there will be ANYONE who buys this reference book who doesn’t already own all 7 books, probably in both paperback and hardcover, all the DVDs from the movies made, and at least a dozen tickets to each movie in the theater?

Reality check. J.K. Rowling is often portrayed as a hardworking mom who struck big with an imaginative idea. That may have once been true; but if she really believes this then she is now nothing more than a fabulously wealthy node in the corporate network.

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