Last week, a judge ruled in favor of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling in her copyright infringement lawsuit against Steve Vander Ark, a fan and website operator that was going to publish the “Harry Potter Lexicon” based off of the popular book series and his fan site. An article in the Detroit Free Press this week says that even after the judged ruled against him, Vander Ark is still determined to publish a book version of the popular Harry Potter Lexicon website.
As a writer myself, I can sympathize with Rowling. It takes a lot of time—years even–and effort to come up with your own original ideas (especially for a work of fiction) and it’s obvious that Vander Ark is trying to make some money by playing off the Harry Potter craze in this case.
In a statement, Rowling said, “The proposed book took an enormous amount of my work and added virtually no original commentary of its own…Many books have been published which offer original insights into the world of Harry Potter. The Lexicon is just not one of them.” (source: Chicago Tribune)
This month Tyndale published a book by the “Hogwarts Professor” John Granger called How Harry Cast His Spell: The Meaning Behind the Mania for J.K. Rowling’s Bestselling Books. Granger has written several books about Christian themes in Harry Potter and is one of the many books that offers “original insights into the world of Harry Potter.”
In an effort to explain why Harry Potter is so popular, Granger traces spiritual content and symbols throughout the entire series and uses his knowledge of classical literature, philosophy, and Christian tradition to explain why the books meet some of our deepest needs and longings. It’s ironic to think that so many Christians are against the Harry Potter series when Granger argues that it is the Christian themes within the books that draw people to them.