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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Siobhan Posted - 03/03/2008 : 22:36:28
quote:
Diri (from the tea shop thread): I was really hoping JKR would take the moral high ground over Steve Vander Ark. You know, "Oh my, how could it have come to this! It's all so sad and depressing!" But no. She is clearly, very, very, very, pissed off about this. The gloves have come off.

http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/docs/rowlingfeb27.pdf

Ouch Jo. Ouch, Ouch, Ouch.

30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Siobhan Posted - 09/09/2008 : 10:40:50
I haven't bothered to verify it. Mad-Eye mentioned it Saturday and he usually does check such things as they have a bearing on his business.
Starling Posted - 09/09/2008 : 05:13:21
I tried Chrome and threw it straight off again. First of all, it didn't import my Firefox bookmarks, and secondly it doesn't block adverts and banners. I'm used to having nice, clean web pages!

I'm not sure about that clause, though. I wouldn't be surprised if that was a rumour spreaded by its rivals.
Siobhan Posted - 09/08/2008 : 23:12:49
The site is still accessible via its IP address (69.61.53.28).
There's a topic on the First Floor, Canon Obsessions, Philosopher to Hallows regarding this.

I can't say I'm surprised, really, that Lexicon lost.

On another note, has anyone looked into Google's web browser Chrome? If you do, read the use agreement very carefully. There is a clause in there that supposedly gives Google rights to anything posted while using their browser. How's that for a sticky situation?
diricawl Posted - 09/08/2008 : 17:53:18
The website certainly was mostly just a paraphrase of Rowling's work. There were plenty of essays and secondary work, but that made up perhaps 15 percent of the whole.
Starling Posted - 09/08/2008 : 17:02:05
That's about 3/4 of the "guides" out of the window then.

I still don't get it. The Lexicon website was (I really think it's dead now) anything but a copy and pasted guide, so why is the book? Steve is an idiot.
diricawl Posted - 09/08/2008 : 16:03:20
It means nobody can copy and paste words from an author's work and call it a guide.
Starling Posted - 09/08/2008 : 15:30:57
That's ridiculous. Does that mean nobody can write guides to books anymore?
diricawl Posted - 09/08/2008 : 15:22:34
The verdict's in: Rowling won. In retrospect it was something of a foregone conclusion. Not much more to report at this point, but I'll keep you posted
Siobhan Posted - 05/12/2008 : 22:31:12
OK, so what do I know?

n/a Posted - 05/12/2008 : 17:11:35
I'm afraid I agree with Starling -- it was an opinion piece more than anything, which relied heavily on straw man fallacies. In that way, it was just like the articles it criticized. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, including this blogger, but in the end it's the judge's opinion that counts.
Siobhan Posted - 05/12/2008 : 14:03:01
Diri, thank you for posting that link. I found it very informative and unbiased (difficult to come by these days).
Starling Posted - 05/12/2008 : 14:00:02
Hmm. I don't like it. It's a very biased piece of text. He/she isn't quoting "misconceptions" just things he/she doesn't agree with.
diricawl Posted - 05/01/2008 : 04:42:48
The judge said it would take him weeks to decide a verdict on this case. I don't envy him. His plea to settle out of court was from the heart, I'm sure.

Here's an excellent commentary on the case; an anonymous blogger who seems to have a better grasp of the legal issues in this case than the New Yorker.

http://gothamnights.wordpress.com/2008/05/11/j-k-rowling-copyright-trial/
Siobhan Posted - 04/30/2008 : 14:42:16
So what exactly is the status of the trial at this point? Is the case in the hands of the judge at this point or are they still hearing testimony?
I've seen that Leaky has three days worth of transcripts, but haven't time to read them at the moment.
n/a Posted - 04/30/2008 : 08:54:24
The difference this time is that her "passion" seems to be self-directed, rather than channeled toward helping others. I do think that her own recent behavior has hurt her far more than Steve VanderArk (sp?) ever could have. If she'd only foregone the nasty public statements and court testimony (which were completely unneccessary anyway), and taken the high road, she'd still be much better off. I've said it before -- the woman really should hire a good PR advisor.
diricawl Posted - 04/30/2008 : 03:22:50
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn



As to the whole diva business, you're right that the current legal mess probably just highlights personality traits that have always been there and which, alas, don't serve her well.



Life is complex. This behaviour is just another manifestation of a side of her personality that many of often praised in the past. That same fiery temper, in another context, would be called passion. That same rigid sense of right and wrong also helps her campaign for abused children. Remember the controversy she caused with her anorexia rant? This is no different.
Starling Posted - 04/29/2008 : 15:54:58
Wouldn't it be nice if one day she had a brain wave and wrote DH the way it should have been written? Ya know, continuing storylines she'd started, fewer silly mistakes, getting rid of that stupid "Voldemort=Peter Pan" stuff, things like that.
Theowyn Posted - 04/29/2008 : 13:20:08
Diri, you make excellent points here. By DH, JKR could have copied out the London phone book and Bloomsbury/Scholastic would have happily shipped it off to their printers knowing that 20 million people would buy it. That's understandable. Publishers are in the business of making money, not great literature. But that's why it is ultimately the author's responsibility to ensure the quality of their own work.

It's true that a writer cannot be entirely objective about their work, but a wise author knows this and compensates. If you know that your editor is seeing nothing but profit when he looks at your manuscript then you give it to a trusted friend, or better yet, hire your own independent editor to give you an honest evaluation.

Of course this presupposes that you want to be told where your work needs improvement and given what you've said about JKR's thin skin, I suspect she didn't. She dashed off DH in 12 months - by far her fasting writing pace. Had she taken an extra six months to read her previous books and really think about DH, it might have been a better book. Writers aren't completely devoid of objectivity, after all. But she was either too confident or too anxious to be done with the book and unfortunately this shows in the finished product.

As to the whole diva business, you're right that the current legal mess probably just highlights personality traits that have always been there and which, alas, don't serve her well.
diricawl Posted - 04/29/2008 : 04:31:10
Well, no author is truly capable of objectively reviewing his/her own work; that's what editors are for. Rowling's problem isn't that she's lost her ability to critique her own output, it's that her editors have no financial incentive to make her books better. Usually books are something of a losing proposition. No book sells spectacularly, and a lot of effort goes into crafting and shaping a manuscript to ensure that as many get sold as possible. Rowling's books don't work that way. People were going to buy them regardless of their quality. After PoA, the incentive shifted from making sure the books were good enough to sell to getting them out as quickly as possible.

Is she a diva? I dunno. She's always had this side to her character; she's always been touchy, always been opinionated, always had a fiery temper when she feels others are in the wrong, and always been, as she puts it, thin-skinned. It's just that now, in such a morally and legally ambiguous situation, it makes her seem worse than normal. I don't think money has changed this side of her. It's just made it more obvious because she's now in the public eye.
Theowyn Posted - 04/28/2008 : 15:58:35
quote:
Originally posted by Pesky Pixie

Yet JKR repeatedly tels us that DH is her favorite book of the series. (???)

She has said this about every book, though, so it seems that her favorite book is simply the last one she wrote. This, I think, shows JKR's inability to judge her own work objectively. Maybe if she goes back and reads her books in 10 years, she'll have more perspective, but right now she doesn't.

quote:
Originally posted by Pesky Pixie

Is this the same blindness that's caused her to be oblivious to her own diva-style behavior now? Or is she really such a diva as she seems? I guess it's her right, but I liked her and her work better before she was so wildly successful.
I think she is a diva. How could she not be when the world has been fawning over her for years? All the fame definitely went to her head which hurt her work and has made her a less pleasant person where any criticism of HP is concerned.
n/a Posted - 04/28/2008 : 15:10:38
Yet JKR repeatedly tels us that DH is her favorite book of the series. (???) I don't think she fully understands how the characters she created grew and developed over the first six books, and how joltingly regressive it was to force them back into her original plot ideas at the end. It simply didn't fit.

Is this the same blindness that's caused her to be oblivious to her own diva-style behavior now? Or is she really such a diva as she seems? I guess it's her right, but I liked her and her work better before she was so wildly successful.
Theowyn Posted - 04/28/2008 : 14:24:14
quote:
Originally posted by AMC
...So rather than being awed by her ability to plot so complicated a story, I have felt kind of scornful that she couldn't finish what she started. Unfair, I know - she's still more talented than many writers but my own overwhelming respect for her talent fell substantially with DH.
That is EXACTLY how I feel, AMC, and I don't believe it's unfair. How else should we judge an author than by their work. JKR's first six books were wonderful. They deserved to top the best-sellers list. DH didn't. It was genuinely sub-par and not just in the context of HP. I have never read any published work of fiction that was as poorly written. So I think scorn is perfectly appropriate, though I might mix in a bit of pity, too.

The woman spent nearly two decades working on HP and stumbled at the finish line. Sad. Though I must admit that all the ugliness going on in this lawsuit goes a long way to dampening my sympathy. As Siobhan said, she needs to grow up!
sunsethill Posted - 04/20/2008 : 20:36:37
quote:
Originally posted by AMC
I felt she let her long-planned resolution undermine the characters she built up. So rather than being awed by her ability to plot so complicated a story, I have felt kind of scornful that she couldn't finish what she started.
AMC, you phrased this beautifully. It says in a couple of sentences what I have been trying to put in words for a year. I still love the fanfiction that comes out of this world and the characters she created, and I find many of these stories are able to come up with plots that don't turn her characters into caricatures. I hope that this lawsuit doesn't cause her to get all upset with fanfiction. If her desire for control continues to grow--as it appears to be doing--then there could be some major negatives result for fanfiction.
Starling Posted - 04/20/2008 : 05:43:07
Well, the cat's out of the bag. Steve's wife posted on Leaky.

He is leaving her for a 23-year old who (surprise surprise) lives in London. Like I said, I've known this for ages, and I just want to kick him really hard where it hurts.
AMC Posted - 04/20/2008 : 02:15:48
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

I know I'm not all that keen on the side of her that has become so apparent since DH, and perhaps my disappointment with DH contributes to that, but really I just want to tell them all to "grow up."



You know Siobhan, you hit a chord - I realize I'm much less impressed or concerned about this lawsuit precisely because I'm less impressed and concerned about JKR than I was, say - last year. DH contributed pretty substantially that that detachment - you know, I didn't even re-read it? I read the book once and didn't read it again. Partly, I think, because I felt she let her long-planned resolution undermine the characters she built up. So rather than being awed by her ability to plot so complicated a story, I have felt kind of scornful that she couldn't finish what she started. Unfair, I know - she's still more talented than many writers but my own overwhelming respect for her talent fell substantially with DH.

I might buy her next book, if it gets good reviews (from you guys, not critics). But I might not. That's a far cry from my feelings several years ago when I was sure I'd be chomping at the bit to see what she produced after the HP series was complete.

JKRisSuperior Posted - 04/18/2008 : 17:58:12
I haven't heard any rumors. Could you please PM me?
Starling Posted - 04/18/2008 : 17:00:47
My (quite informed ) opinion:

I know why Steve moved to London, but I don't know how far the rumours have travelled, so I won't go into that (but do tell if you know, I just don't know how secret this stuff is anymore). I've known since this summer and it p*sses me off greatly.

Anyhoo, I don't understand why he murdered the Lexicon. The website has so much more than "regurgitation". It's got proper research. Why did he cut all that extra good stuff out? Do you know his dream was to work with Jo on her own encyclopedia? What the heck possessed him?

Anyway, Jo has done herself a lot of harm. I know people who refuse to buy another one of her books. And all this noise means that there are lots of people who know about Steve's book who would have otherwise not known about it (I mean, it's the "most read" article on the Times website!). So Jo will sell fewer books, Steve will sell more (if it gets published, which it should, even though it isn't very good at all).

Maybe it's some weird publicity stunt. *snort*
Siobhan Posted - 04/17/2008 : 22:51:13
I just read two articles on the trial to date.

One article has this to say:
quote:
US copyright law allows teachers, academics, journalists and critics to use excerpts of an author's work, but on a limited basis.-- Guardian
This is the first really clear statement of law I've heard so far. The "limited basis" is of course the important bit. From what I've read on the Lexicon, it seems the sky's the limit. Now if I'd been taking notes for my own personal guide that is probably what I would have done too. But given the scope of what is on the website, I'd say the claim that the "writing" was merely copy and paste has merit.

The judge really wants this settled out of court (and I agree). The whole thing has been handled boorishly and no one is going to come out of it any better off (with the exception of the lawyers). SVA/RDR should have done a more to appease the original author of the world they are cataloging. Jo should stop trying to pull at our heart strings regarding her "creativity." I know I'm not all that keen on the side of her that has become so apparent since DH, and perhaps my disappointment with DH contributes to that, but really I just want to tell them all to "grow up."
n/a Posted - 04/17/2008 : 14:35:22
Ridiculous is right. And unnecessarily nasty, and personal, and beside the legal point. At this point, I won't be buying any encyclopedias from either of them. So they both lose. *sigh*
AMC Posted - 04/17/2008 : 14:10:00
Apparently, another word should be used for "violently" and "purple", like "Aggressively dark violet". Would the over use of synonyms make the HPL any less of a reference to JKR's work and any personally more SVA's? Would it make it more original? I would say no to both. You can't write a compendium of information on a series of literature without using words from the books.

I hope whatever the settlement is, it's less than a full victory for either side - I think they're both being ridiculous.

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