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I still don't get it...

...why anyone is listening to this woman. Apparently this picture is of two of the characters she claims J.K. Rowling "stole" from her. Now, if you looked at this picture, not knowing who it's supposed to be, would *you* say "oh, it must be *Harry* Potter"? 'Cause I wouldn't. Who did this art, anyway? (I'll refrain from making gagging noises here, but assume they're implied...)
And again... you CAN'T COPYRIGHT NAMES!

She says she has proof of Rowling being a US citizen. The basis of this is that she says that Rowling says she couldn't have read her books, because she's always been a citizen of Great Britain. Stouffer says "I heard she was from Scotland" in one place, and "I heard she was from Wales" in another. I don't know if she's just confused, or she really did hear both, but... consistency, people! As far as I know, Rowling is *not* a US citizen, but even if she is... So bloody what?
Stouffer says that if she *is*, this blows out of the water any claims Rowling has made that she's never heard of the other Muggles books. By her reasoning, if Rowling *did* live in the States, she couldn't possibly have avoided reading them...

*snicker* Right. Sure. I just *bet*. Just out of curiosity, has anyone out there (I'm looking specifically at people in the Eastern US, but anyone else too) ever heard of N.K. Stouffer either? Or "The Legend of Rah and the Muggles"? 'Cause I never have.

I'm finished now. For today, at least. This woman just really annoys me...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 16th, 2002 03:43 pm (UTC)
Not even getting into how derivitive Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is -- Roald Dahl, for example, and even the initial The Books of Magic miniseries from Vertigo -- I have one thing to say:

This woman is on something good, and I think we ought to hunt her down and make her share.

For one thing, I can think of several times prior to the publication of Rowlings's book that the word 'muggle' was used -- a slang term for... some form of drug, I don't rememember what offhand -- in 1950s Beat subculture jargon, and as a shortened form of the old Massachuset word mugquomp,' or 'muggumquomp' -- it means 'war leader' -- (which in English morphed into 'mugwump') to describe the radicals who bolted from the Republican party in 1884. The longer version has been retained in English -- 'mugwump' is now a catchall phrase for political independant, though obscure -- and the shorter version fell out of use, but still.

My point is, I guess, that you can't really sue over the word. Nor the concept either. The concept of the muggle is so universal it's laughable -- we've been telling stories that seperate the Elect from the Uninitiated about as long as we've been telling stories. It's really the height of arrogance to pretend you've invented something so basic to human storytelling.

I think, really, this is a case of sour grapes. The woman has noticed the superficial similarities -- and I don't know the laws of her home country (I think I remember your saying she was Canadian or British, though even if she was American I wouldn't know; I only know the very basics of copyright law) but this strikes me as the sort of thing those people who do know what they're talking about call a nuisance suit.

Sour grapes. Wah wah. *grins* Anyway. That's pretty much what I wanted to say, so....
Mar. 17th, 2002 12:16 am (UTC)
True. You can't copyright names. However, they are trademarkable.

To use Bob Ingersoll's example in his latest The Law Is A Ass (http://www.wfcomics.com/law/) column, you could reprint a Tarzan story because it'd be out of copyright, but you couldn't use the name Tarzan because a trademark is renewed each time it's used.

This lady still doesn't have a leg to stand on.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Chandri MacLeod

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