Friday, February 29, 2008

Battle of the Harry Potter Encyclopedias

Who could have ever thought encyclopedias could be so controversial? I keep following this story, though nothing new is happening yet. The man behind the Harry Potter Lexicon is trying to turn his Web site (which had the blessing of J.K. Rowing and was used by Warner Brothers) into a print encyclopedia that will be in paperback and cost about $25 from what I have read. WB and J.K. Rowling are suing the publisher for copyright infringement, and because she would feel "exploited." Furthermore, she plans to write the definitive HP encyclopedia I have used this Web site a number of times to prepare our Harry Potter Night. It contains nothing but references to the books. I personally do not understand how so many other books about Harry Potter, such as the Gospel According to Harry Potter, and The Magical World of Harry Potter can be alright if this encyclopedia is not? He had her blessing when it was a free Web site, but not for a print book that he would profit on... I believe he has already quit his job and lives on donations from the Web site. Again, what is the difference?

I suspect J.K. Rowling will lose this battle, and I think she should. I have read two or three editorials and each one is against her for different reasons. If he was trying to create a new story based on her characters, I could understand. I hear this is a rampant problem in China, so why doesn't she focus on them? As a big Harry Potter fan, I would probably buy the HP Lexicon encyclopedia, or get our library to buy it. But I am also holding my breath for J.K. Rowling's "definitive" encyclopedia... which I'm even more likely to buy for myself. They're not the same thing.

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