1. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Did JK Rowling plagiarise?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by madhoca, Feb 18, 2010.

    Just been reading in The Times about the lawsuit against JK brought by the estate of Adrian Jacob for alleged plagiarism. Thing is, when I checked out the website for Adrian Jacob, the writing looked pretty terrible--bad enough to make it a chore to plough through--and the ideas didn't seem strikingly original. How can it be plagiarism to have written about a wizard school? It's been done before anyway, hasn't it?
     
  2. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, the ideas are ancient. It's the words that are important, and I highly doubt that J.K. Rowling would have used that many of someone else's words. Her writing isn't brilliant, in my opinion (admittedly, an opinion that's largely based on the fact that she owns a Gaelic island), but she's not an idiot. And reading through some of the work that Jacob did, it's not that spectacular.
     
  3. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Were they published writings?
    You cant legally plagiarize an idea, ever... or an invention or fomula if it hasnt been patented.

    Besides, if the ideas werent original, then he doesnt have much of a case. I dont think you can ever plagiarize an idea. There'd be a lawsuit against every song about unrequited love...

    I've never heard of Adrian Jacob, but I have heard of other lawsuits against Rowling for plagiarism. I imagine whoever this Jacob guy is, it's probably someone trying to get a buck out of her...
     
  4. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    An awfully long time to wait to file a lawsuit anyway. Unless he just now heard about Harry Potter... This seems unlikely.
     
  5. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    I believe Mr. Jacob is dead, it's his son who is doing it. Not certain though.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The term is "frivolous lawsuit." You waste someone's time and money with a lawsuit that has no merit, in the hopes that a quick setlement will be made just to avoid the nuisance.
     
  7. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I assume this lawsuit is in British courts. What are the UK laws regarding frivilous lawsuits? Any recourse?
     
  8. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Basically, she's a multi-millionairess, and some bozo wants a piece.

    She's been challenged over the term 'muggles' before aswell. I'm not sure if the accuser won the case or not, but if they did, it was purely for monetry gain.
     
  9. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    There would be an application for summary judgement by the defence, and if it's successful then the claimant would have to pay costs. The courts don't want cases with no chance of success getting to trial.
     
  10. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just for the record, there are no differences in Scottish law worth noting (I assume Rowling still lives up here?).

    The main complaint by the Jacobs household, by the way, appears to be this:

    They'll have to sue every stag party in Maidstone.
     
  11. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Seriously?
    Over that?
     
  12. LordKyleOfEarth
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    QFT






    Wizards on trains doesn't hold water for me either. Is he next going to sue someone because their story has people wearing pants or driving cars? Oh I know lets sue over Jurassic Park. It has dinosaurs on an island, and my grandfather once told me a story about dinosaurs on an island.
     
  13. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I should probably point out, that at this point all that has happened is a lawsuit has been filed. It hasn't been reviewed by any court yet. Rowling's lawyers are petitioning for the case to be dismissed, and from what I've read so far, the first judge who reviews it will grant the petition and dismiss the case.


    Or maybe the claimant will present more compelling evidence than we know about. At any rate, it's all just conjecture until it actually goes to court.
     
  14. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep, those stag parties are insane ;)

    But, that's actually one of the main reasons, according to the Telegraph. The others are the fact that there's a wizard school, and a wizard duel.
     
  15. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    The latest I read on this was that they were also thinking of suing the new Harry Potter theme park owners :D
     
  16. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Watch out - they'll sue you over your screen name next! :eek:
     
  17. Furbie
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    Furbie New Member

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    I've never heard of Adrian Jacob, but there are a lot of similarities between Eva Ibbotson's book The Secret of Platform 13 and Harry Potter.
     
  18. MelissaL
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    MelissaL Member

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    JK Rowling Plagirism lawsuit. What do you think?

    Ok from what I heard JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter, is being sued for plagirism. I was just wondering do any of you think that the people suing her have a case? Well for one thing these people are most likely gold-diggers considering the fact the author they say she stole from has been dead since 1997 and its his estate that is suing her. However they claim she stole ideas from a book called Willy the Wizard, taking the idea of wizarding contests and putting it in the Goblet of Fire. It may sound crazy but it seems kind of scary how some people can use little things like this against other writers. How easy is it for a successful author to be sued for plagirism? What if you have an idea that someone else wrote about but you had never seen it before? After all its bound to happen quite often. I don't know what are your thoughts about this?
     
  19. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    Lots of big name authors have been accused of plagiarizing. I suspect that nothing will come of this. Mostly it's people looking to capitalize. Rarely, I would think, that an author like Rowling stole all this information and created seven books out of it. Like has been said, everything has been written before, but most authors create their own form of story/plot.
     
  20. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just someone trying to make money. From the information about why she is being sued just seems so stupid. Take your example, the Wizarding Contest from Goblet of Fire. I mean its not like the concept is anything new. I am sure there are countless upon countless stories involving groups of people gathering together and competing. In the case of Goblet of Fire, it doesn't seem much different then a Track Meet. A bunch of schools get together and compete in various track releated activities(I have no idea what they are lol)

    Only difference is the contestants are 1 from each school and the competitions are well more magical and dangerous. How is this somehow an original idea by any of the 2 authors?

    I find it disturbing that you can get sued over altering and expanding on concepts to fit your setting.

    There is an episode of South Park that I think gives a good lesson to all writers. The episode was about Butters trying to do something the Simpsons haven't. Each attempt he finds that the Simpsons have already done it. The lesson is that, everything has already been done.

    Hopefully this guy gets laughed out of the courtroom.
     
  21. Moggle
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    Moggle Member

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    You can't plagiarize ideas.
     
  22. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    Of course you can...that's why there are patents. Different subject matter though.
     

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