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Harry Potter author wins victory in court

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J.K. Rowling shows off a copy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

J.K. Rowling, the author of the hugely successful Harry Potter series, got her wish today when a federal judge in New York permanently blocked the publication of a Harry Potter encyclopedia.

Steven Vander Ark, a Harry Potter fan, operates a website called “Harry Potter Lexicon.”  When Vander Ark and a Michigan based publishing company, RDR Books, attempted to publish a reference guide using material from the website, Rowling filed a copyright infringement lawsuit, last year.

Vander Ark and RDR Books argued “Harry Potter Lexicon” was protected under the “fair use” doctrine, which allows materials of critical works to be used in reference books.

However, U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson ruled Vander Ark’s book pulled too much material from Rowling’s creative works.

Also, the judge awarded Rowling $6,750 in statutory damages.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was published last year. It was number 7 and the final book in the series. The Harry Potter books have been published in 64 languages and so far have sold more than 400 million copies. A movie franchise based on the Harry Potter books has raked in at least $4 billion at the box office.

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