Harry Potter plagiarism case dismissed in U.S.

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters Life!) – A U.S. judge on Thursday
dismissed a lawsuit accusing “Harry Potter” author J.K.
Rowling with copying the work of another author when writing
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

The estate of late author Adrian Jacobs had said that the
plot of the book, the fourth of seven in the wildly successful
series that has been turned into a multi-billion-dollar film
franchise, copied parts of the plot of his book “Willy the
Wizard,” including a wizard contest, and that Rowling borrowed
the idea of wizards travelling on trains.

Scholastic Corp , the U.S. publisher of the books,
welcomed the move by judge Shira Scheindlin, quoting the judge
as saying “…the contrast between the total concept and feel
of the works is so stark that any serious comparison of the
two strains credulity.”

“The Court’s swift dismissal supports our position that
the case was completely without merit and that comparing Willy
the Wizard to the Harry Potter series was absurd,” the firm
said in a statement.

In October, a judge overseeing a similar plagiarism case
at London’s High Court said that the claims made by Paul
Allen, trustee of Jacobs’s estate, were “improbable,” though
he turned down an application by lawyers for Rowling and her
British publisher for an immediate judgment dismissing the case.

According to his estate Jacobs, who wrote “The Adventures
of Willy the Wizard — No 1 Livid Land” in 1987, had at one
point sought the services of literary agent Christopher
Little, who later became Rowling’s agent. It added that Jacobs
died “penniless” in a London hospice in 1997.

Bloomsbury said Rowling had never heard of Jacobs’s book
before the copyright claim was first made in 2004, almost
seven years after the publication of the first book in the
highly publicised Harry Potter series.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; editing by Daniel Magnowski)

Harry Potter plagiarism case dismissed in U.S.