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 What is going on with JK Rowling?
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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  12:13:54  Show Profile Send diricawl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It seems that in the last few weeks she's gone out of her way to alienate most of the people who stood by her in the past. First she outs Dubledore as gay, thus shutting out nearly every conservative Christian who ever supported her. Then she targets a Hindu religious festival for infringing on her copyright, even though it was compltely non-profit, thus undermining her overseas fanbse. Then she decides to sue the one person who arguably has done more to promote her work on the web than any other.

I'm a cynic, and the cynic in me is saying that she waited until the last book was out and the money was made to begin burning her bridges. But I still buy into the JK Rowling I see in interviews; the one who gets abused children out of care homes; I just can't see her as that mean-spirited.

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"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory

Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  12:53:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've noticed it too. Don't forget the fans who were disappointed by a seeming lack of enthusiasm for her subject with DH. They have felt alienated since June.

I understand that she has to protect her characters. If she doesn't she loses legal control of them. But lately there seems to be a resurgence of that spirit that sent WB after kids with fansites after the first movie-- only this time it involves her personally.

JKR said (in the article I posted about Beedle the Bard) the people she offended with her comment about Dumbledore, weren't her fanbase. I don't agree. I know of at least one fansite that was closed by the owner over the Dumbledore issue.

Deliberatley causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class.
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  13:21:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't think she cares what people think and if I were in her shoes I would do the same. She has millions of fans and millions of people who have "expectations" of her and her work. If she tries to live up to all that, she'll collapse under the weight of it. The only response to that level of pressure on a person is for her to go her own way and do what she thinks is right, not what is politically expedient or "nice" seeming.

I recently heard on another board of someone who walked out on a Springsteen concert because he wasn't playing his greatest hits. I understand their perspective - they came to hear "Born to Run" but Bruce came as a still-active musician to play his current music. If you try to meet other people's ideas of who you are, you stagnate. An artist needs to follow their own path if they want to continue to thrive artistically, even if it loses them fans in the process.


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Like never before, like never before.


Edited by - AMC on 11/01/2007 13:21:43
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  15:36:59  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AMC

I don't think she cares what people think and if I were in her shoes I would do the same. She has millions of fans and millions of people who have "expectations" of her and her work. If she tries to live up to all that, she'll collapse under the weight of it. The only response to that level of pressure on a person is for her to go her own way and do what she thinks is right, not what is politically expedient or "nice" seeming.

I would agree with this if Rowling hadn't milked public acclaim to such a high extent previously and benefited so strongly by it. She set up her website to interact with fans, praised other fan sites, and did tons of interviews that put her much in the public. I don't know whether she had withdrawal or something, but she would be in much better shape if she just let her work speak for itself at this point. Obviously she can't please everybody, but she should have enough public relations savvy to know that what she is doing is not going to help her in the long run. As much as I wish she hadn't made her revelation about Dumbledore, I think suing over a book that merely collects what she has already published--when she allowed similar things already--is the most problematical thing I've heard of. And saying she wants her book to benefit charity almost makes it worse.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  13:10:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would imagine that Steve Vander Ark feels as though he's been stabbed in the back and most people familiar with the Lexicon probably sympathize with him. He's not some oportunist trying to make a quick buck on the HP name. The man has devoted YEARS to HP and his work is of the highest caliber. Clearly he cares and takes HP very seriously. Shouldn't he be allowed to reap some benefit from all his hard work? I can't believe this is about money. JKR already has more than she could ever spend and she wants it to all go to charity anyway.

No, this is about control. I understand the issue of copyright. Obviously, JKR couldn't allow her characters to be used in other fiction. But when it comes to compendiums and encyclopedias, where is the harm in letting go the vise grip? To phrase this in computer terms, no one's trying to steal her operating system. They just want an open architecture they can build on which will be mutually beneficial to all.

But JKR is a bit of a control freak and she loves the limelight. Between her website and interviews, she's managed to doll out carefully controled dribs and drabs of information for years - and had millions of people hanging on every word. That kind of power has to be an incredible rush and she's now on the verge of losing it. On the heels of finishing HP, which was tantamount to having an only child leave home, this has to be a blow. Suddenly overnight, her baby is all grown up and mum has become irrelevant. Many fans no longer care about her opinions. Now that we have all of HP, we no longer need her.

I think that both the revelation of DD's sexual orientation and the lawsuit against the Lexicon are symptoms of JKR's desire to retain a control that is rapidly slipping through her fingers. She needs to go away on a long holiday and put HP completely out of her mind. She needs to find new work or a new hobby, because she can't continue to live through HP. Just as the parent of an adult child must learn to let that child live his own life, so too, JKR must let HP stand on it's own. For her own sake as well as her fans' sanity, she needs to move on.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 11/02/2007 13:18:12
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  15:09:06  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
Suddenly overnight, her baby is all grown up and mum has become irrelevant. Many fans no longer care about her opinions. Now that we have all of HP, we no longer need her.

I think that both the revelation of DD's sexual orientation and the lawsuit against the Lexicon are symptoms of JKR's desire to retain a control that is rapidly slipping through her fingers. She needs to go away on a long holiday and put HP completely out of her mind. She needs to find new work or a new hobby, because she can't continue to live through HP. Just as the parent of an adult child must learn to let that child live his own life, so too, JKR must let HP stand on it's own. For her own sake as well as her fans' sanity, she needs to move on.

I think this is a very intriguing analysis, Theo, and I think you're hit the nail on the head. She has gotten used to us hanging on every word because we were trying to figure out the clues to the end of the story. Well, now we know the end and we aren't hanging on every word (or we're getting irritated at those words ). If she really is a control freak, it must be hard to leave the interpretation of her work in the hands of the readers now. She will want to dictate how we feel about what she wrote. Heaven forbid that people don't recognize how slimy Snape really is or how wonderful Lily is or whatever.

But I agree with Diri that suing Steve Vander Ark doesn't make much sense from what it seemed her character was. It makes one wonder if she is bipolar or has really bad legal advisers.

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Jokelly
Barking

USA
1509 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  23:06:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From reading comments at Leaky a lot of people aren't happy with JKR. From her nonchallant outing of Dumbledore to the "Indian Incident" and the Lexicon Lawsuit and now to the ****tease exclusive publishing of Beedle the Bard, she has angered a portion of her fans. Technically, she's in the right on all these issues, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily good. I really have no opinion one way or the other, but it's interesting to read all the news.

And to think we thought everything would be dead quiet now that HP is over and done with.

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n/a
deleted

1483 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2007 :  22:23:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
JKR's legal advisers may very well be excellent, her PR advisers seem to be asleep at the wheel. And if she doesn't have any PR advisers, she needs them. She's a bonafide celebrity now, and her every move will be examined under a microscope. And like Theowyn said, she loves to use the media to her own ends. I wonder if she's basked in the adoration of her fans for so long that she takes it for granted? She wouldn't be the first famous person to fall into that trap.

Edited by - n/a on 11/04/2007 22:24:11
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2007 :  15:35:41  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Pesky Pixie

JKR's legal advisers may very well be excellent, her PR advisers seem to be asleep at the wheel. And if she doesn't have any PR advisers, she needs them. She's a bonafide celebrity now, and her every move will be examined under a microscope. And like Theowyn said, she loves to use the media to her own ends. I wonder if she's basked in the adoration of her fans for so long that she takes it for granted? She wouldn't be the first famous person to fall into that trap.

Good point about the PR advisors. They are a different breed than lawyers, and as you say, I bet Jo is reeling right now with the negative response when she has primarily experienced positive responses. It will be interesting to see how things play out and if she changes her approach to things.

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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2007 :  17:22:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not happy with Jo (although I see her point), but I'm not delirious about Steve either (although I see his point too). Thing is, we don't actually know what's going on, since no-one is allowed to talk about anything. We'll have to see what happens.

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Myf
Confunded

571 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2007 :  22:38:45  Show Profile  Visit Myf's Homepage  Click to see Myf's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Hello chaps, thought I'd duck by to see what you all thought of this Lexicon furore.

I'm really surprised by some of your responses. I can't quite understand why anyone thinks Steve Vanderark should be supported in his quest. It is very much one thing to be a fan, to make it a labour of love to the extent that you CHOOSE to create a time-consuming and popular website. But to then ignore the creator of that information to go ahead and publish it because you think you 'own' the material is just ridiculous.

He/his publishers come across and terribly naive and only digging themselves deeper. They seem not to understand that just because the 7 books are publicly available that means they're in the public domain. They're not in the least, and just because the series has ended doesn't change the issue one whit. Jo created something, she allowed fansites to go ahead and she even pointed out some she enjoyed. But when you take what she created and try to use it as though you created it, you're crossing a number of legal and moral boundaries.

HP isn't ours. We've gained enjoyment, and we've made JKR rich as Croesus, but that doesn't mean we own any part of it. To assert that just because she's finished, and just because she's rich, she doesn't have the same rights as another, lesser known author, is completely wrong-headed.

You might not like the way she's gone about it (though personally I don't see the problem - SVA asked JKR if she'd like to collaborate a while ago, as I understand it, and she refused. Why is he continuing with this? He even admitted that to try to publish the Lexicon would lead to a world of trouble with JKR's lawyers) but she's well within her rights to stop SVA doing what he's trying to do.

I think what clarifies it for me was your remark, Theowyn, about her grasping to keep ahold of what is slipping through her fingers. Of course she should grasp, as hard as she can, to keep control of her property. It is not SVA's right, nor anyone else's, to try to wrest control from her, and the law is right there to back her up. I'm sorry if he feels hard done by, but that's very much the reality of the world and he's a bit of a fool if he thought that he'd be exempt from it just because he's a. well known and b. been endorsed by JKR when it was a not-for-profit website.

The whole thing seems rather ridiculous. Apparently SVA himself or his publishers are still touting his book, even in amongst all this hooha!

Anyway, hope you've all been well. *waves*

If you're looking for trouble you found it.
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2007 :  01:34:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree, Myf - I have perhaps a bit more sympathy with Steve's ambitions than you do, but I do agree JKR is well within her rights and then some to shut them down.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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diricawl
Looney

United Kingdom
1078 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2007 :  11:26:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Of course the Harry Potter books are not in the public domain, but Jo doesn't really have the right to block a book if all it consists of is commentary. There have been dozens of books written about Harry Potter; everything from Magical Worlds of Harry Potter to Harry Potter and the Bible, the Menace Behind the Magick. Now, if I read the suit correctly, and this is simply going to be a print facsimile of the site, then yes, that would violate copyright. But a book that consted solely of, say, the maps of Hogwarts or the Lexicon's essays really shouldn't be a problem. If Jo is blocking the book because it violates her copyright, than that's fine, but if she's blocking the book simply because she doesn't want another Harry Potter encyclopedia on the market when she releases her own, that's not only unfair, it's also silly. No true Harry Potter fan is going to pass up a work by the author herself for a print copy of information they can already get on the web for free.

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As to the avatar, well, if you girls can all have Alan Rickman...

"They don't want the Easter Bunny's power; The children in our generation want Harry's power, and they're getting it." - Laura Mallory

Edited by - diricawl on 11/07/2007 11:28:19
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2007 :  11:39:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Exactly. That's why I don't see the point in publishing a copy of the Lexicon. Why would we bother buying it?

SVA aside, JKR does seem to be more anxious to suppress HP companion books than in the past. The Leaky Lounge's Book 7 predictions was originally supposed to be published and all the proceeds donated to charity, but JKR's camp refused to allow it even though that book was no different in its use of JKR's work than the book on Snape's loyalties that I bought at Phoenix Rising.

Now, if SVA's proposed book is a blatant plagerization of canon, that's different of course. But at least in the case of LL, I know for a fact that the HP camp is tightening down on works that used to be permitted.

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s.i.n.e. qua non

"Always"

Edited by - Theowyn on 11/07/2007 11:39:39
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