Harry…Willy… They don’t even sound the same!
The estate of the late British author Adrian Jacobs is suing US publisher Scholastic for breach of copyright with regard to J.K Rowling’s fourth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is the latest in a stream of legal attacks from the estate, which targeted the British publisher Bloomsbury in 2009 and Rowling herself earlier this year.
The estate claims that Rowling copied a substantial part of Jacobs’ children’s tale, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard. Amongst other parallels, both stories feature a young wizard who is to take part in an international ‘wizarding’ contest. Goblet was published by Scholastic thirteen years after Jacobs’ work hit our shelves. The case against the publisher is aggravated by the fact that both authors shared the same literary agent Christopher Little, who now oversees the Harry Potter brand. The estate ultimately aims to seize all profits from Rowling’s fourth book. With the record-breaking series totalling sales of 400 million copies worldwide and proving a huge international box office success, this is no small ask.
While arguments rage that Jacobs, who died in 1997, should get the recognition he deserves, Rowling protests that she has never heard of nor read his book. A news conference is to be held later today outlining the latest developments in this ongoing saga.