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The publisher of a Harry Potter encyclopedia says a copyright infringement case against him “was based on a complete misunderstanding” of its content. But Roger Rapaport of RDR Books in Muskegon, Mich., has agreed to delay publication of the “Harry Potter Lexicon” until a judge rules on whether it violates the copyrights of Warner Bros. and author J.K. Rowling.
“We feel certain that we have not violated any of Rowling’s rights and that the court will agree that we were acting and producing this book in accord with the well established doctrine of ‘fair use,'” Rapaport says in a statement on his website. The book, he adds, is no more than “a scholarly and critical discussion of the materials which have previously been on the Lexicon website.”
As we reported earlier this week, Rowling and Warners, which is responsible for the movie versions of the Potter books, allege “Lexicon” is “in direct contravention to Ms. Rowling’s repeatedly stated intention to publish her own companion books to the series and donate proceeds of such books to charity.” A Manhattan judge issued a temporary order Thursday enjoining RDR from “completing the typesetting of the book” and publishing it in any form. The order remains in effect until U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson rules on a motion for a preliminary injunction, which he is scheduled to hear Feb. 6, 2008.
On her website, Rowling says she takes “no pleasure” in delaying publication of “Lexicon.” “On the contrary,” she continues, “I feel massively disappointed that this matter had to come to court at all. Despite repeated requests, the publishers have refused to even countenance making any changes to the book to ensure that it does not infringe my rights.”
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