On November 8, RDR Books proposed an order to the New York Federal Court agreeing to temporarily withhold publication of its planned title The Harry Potter Lexicon by Steve Vander Ark. Judge Robert Patterson accepted the order to delay publication of the book until he can determine the merits of a lawsuit filed on October 31 by Potter author J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. which claims that the Lexicon violates Rowling’s copyright. RDR Books denies the allegation.
Upon filing the suit, Rowling stressed that the Lexicon would interfere with her own Harry Potter encyclopedia, a work in progress, and would hurt her efforts to give proceeds from the book to children’s charities.
In a statement, RDR Books publisher Roger Rapoport characterized the legal proceedings as a “David and Goliath battle,” noting that Rowling has previously praised Vander Ark’s Web site, on which his book is based. Further, Rapoport urged that Rowling, in the name of “literary freedom and free expression,” drop “her complaint against a book we are confident she would enjoy reading.”
Rowling and Warner Bros. must provide support for their request for a preliminary injunction by January 7; RDR Books’s response must be received by January 22, with a hearing on the preliminary injunction set for February 6.
The Lexicon suit has not been not the only Potter buzz of the week, either. In a likely hoax, an Australian site reported that a new Web site—"harry potter book 8 secret test marketing"—was counting down the days to a project called James Potter and the Hall of Elder's Crossing, rumored to be an eighth Harry Potter novel. Warner Bros., neither confirmed nor denied involvement with the rumored project, but a studio spokesperson offered this comment on the site: "Many fans believe that James Potter and the Hall of Elder's Crossing may be the eighth book of the series—but written by someone other than author J.K. Rowling."
A Scholastic spokesperson said, "This is clearly not an eighth book in the Harry Potter series."
An update: on Friday, in addition to Scholastic, Potter fan site hpana.com was fast out of the gate to spread the—not surprising—news that Rowling's agents and Warner Bros. confirmed that the Web site promoting an eighth book has no official connection to the Harry Potter series. "Jo has not written an eighth book in the series and is not doing so," Rowling's agent Neil Blair told HPANA. "So no James Potter book I'm afraid."