Will There be a Sequel to Harry Potter in Court?

harry_potter_1-7 Earlier this year a New York Federal Judge ruled that Steven Vander Ark’s Harry Potter reference book was a violation of J.K. Rowling’s copyright.  This main argument of the case was over what is fair use.  Although I had mixed feelings over the case as it was going on I have hope that the results could still be positive. Instead of continuing the fight in appeals court Steven Vander Ark rewrote the Harry Potter reference book using what he learned from the trial on what is fair use.

"We learned a lot at the trial about what was acceptable, what would follow the fair use guidelines," said Vander Ark, 50. "That was not clear before. There was no law on the books that made it clear what was acceptable and what wasn't. (via AP)

The new book contains a lot more critical commentary.  This will have to be seen in application.  If the entries consisted of clips of actual Potter text on the topics then of course it was copyright infringement but if the entries was just facts on the subject then it was not plagiarism.  Did they require him to put in a lot of opinion into a reference that has the expectation of facts.  If that is the result of the case then a great injustice has been done to a society that already has issues differentiating between fact and opinion.

Steven Vander Ark also removed the plot spoilers from the new book.  I’m not a fan of spoilers being used carelessly but a reference book comes with an expectation that it would contain a reasonable degree of spoilers.  Once again this will have to be seen in application before I let my ire build but it concerns me.  I would understand removing major spoilers from the text but some spoilers would have to happen because they are tied into the facts and should be included.

On the plus side it appears that this Harry Potter reference book will make it to publication since a lawyer for Rowling’s Literary Agency is “Pleased to hear that rather than continue to litigate, RDR have themselves decided to publish a different book prepared with reference to Judge Patterson's decision."

Transformers Rocks!

Just got back from watching the new live-action Transformers flick.  OMG, it was better than I could have imagined. We got to the theater minutes before the film started.  The lights dimmed shortly after we took our seats.  The previews started and... the film burned through!  It actually burned through, ripped, and the lights went up.  The horrid commercial slide show started up again and we had to wait...  after about five minutes, they switched the reels up and the films preroll trailers began.

The movie opens with Optimus Prime explaining the origin of the Allspark, and the fate of Cybertron.

The pace was fast and furious from the destruction of a US air base in Katar, and the search for answers.  Amazingly for a modern film, there was only one reference to how the events were like something out of a comic book.  Other than that, the story was treated seriously, as a proper action film.  The intensity of the opening was continued into the events that followed, with the exception of a brief interspersion of comedic scenes to introduce Sam Witwicky and his family history that connected him to the Allspark.

The FX are amazing.  ILM out did themselves in the quality and integration of the titanic robots into their real world setting.  The only scene that felt CG was when Optimus and the other autobots were talking under a bridge.  A brief interruption of an otherwise seamless film.

I cannot imagine the work ILM put into the last 45 minutes of the films.  A nearly constant series of fight scenes through the city.  Devestator and Starscream were amazing.  Megatron's menacing appearance and voice made me wince as he spoke.

Ironhide, Jazz, Bumblebee, and Ratchet were very well played.  I particularly liked the update of Jazz into a more urban character.

DO NOT LEAVE TOO SOON, there are some further scenes cut into the credits.

A great movie that will blow you away.  I highly recommend it.  I cannot wait to own it.  I really want to see it again.

J.R.R. Tolkein Born

In 1892, J.R.R Tolkein, the master of Mythopeia was born.  I have mixed feelings about Tolkein since the Peter Jackson films came out. Ok, I admit that I  am a bit of a fanboy, but I am getting tired of all of the Lord of the Rings pop culture references.  I admit that the Family Guy poltergeist episode was hilarious, but LoTR used to mean something to me.  Now it is nothing more than a trilogy on the self.  I read the Silmarillion again recently, and pray that they don't make a film out of it.

These words are not going to be welcomed by a lot of people, but I have to say it: Sometimes the movies corrupt the books.  I am burned out on LoTR for now.  I can't wait of the day when the pop culture forgets about Tolkein and for his legacy to be returned to the people who care about the books, not the money.