Can Willy the Wizard pass the “Goblet of Fire” test?
The Adventures of Willy the Wizard No 1: Livid Land, is apparently a small book, under 40 pages long. The author, Adrian Jacobs, is long deceased. This has not deterred his estate from suing JK Rowling for copyright infringement in the United Kingdom. It is claimed that Willy the Wizard has been incorporated into Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Whilst proceedings were commenced last year against Ms Rowling’s publisher, Bloomsbury Publishing, Ms Rowling has only now been joined personally this week.
Some, including Ms Rowling, might speculate that the litigation is opportunistic. She has certainly issued a heated denial of wrong-doing, or even knowledge of the book. There is talk of a summary dismissal application. We will not ourselves make any judgment about the statement of Max Markson, representing the estate, who is reported in the Guardian on 18 February 2010 as stating: “I estimate it’s a billion dollar case.”
Instead, our intrepid IP Whiteboard team is engaging in its own research. Having incurred the $12 plus $10 postage and handling fee (ed: not without some reservations), we are awaiting our own edition of Willy the Wizard. We will then proceed to analyse the book and inform you of the results. Stay tuned for our in depth analysis.