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'Potter Lexicon would hurt fans'

A fan's attempt at trying to publish an unauthorised reference work on Potter has not gone down well with author JK Rowling.
AP | By HT Correspondent, New York
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2008 08:58 PM IST

As the creator of the Harry Potter books sees it, her kindness to fans might come back to haunt her. In papers filed for a lawsuit in Manhattan, JK Rowling says she feels betrayed by a fan, Steven Vander Ark, for his role in trying to publish an unauthorised reference work, Harry Potter Lexicon.

Ark is editor of a website containing a fan-created collection of essays and encyclopedic material on the Potter universe, including lists of spells and potions found in the books, a catalogue of magical creatures and a who's who in the wizarding world.

Rowling said she was especially irked that the site's owner and the lexicon's would-be publisher, RDR Books, continued to insist that her acceptance of free, fan-based Web sites justified the efforts.

"I am deeply troubled by the portrayal of my efforts to protect and preserve the copyrights I have been granted in the Harry Potter books," she wrote in court papers filed Wednesday in a lawsuit she brought against the small Muskegon, Michigan, publisher.

She said she intends to publish her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopedia.

"If RDR's position is accepted, it will undoubtedly have a significant, negative impact on the freedoms enjoyed by genuine fans on the Internet," she said.

"Authors everywhere will be forced to protect their creations much more rigorously, which could mean denying well-meaning fans permission to pursue legitimate creative activities.

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