US judge dismisses JK Rowling plagiarism claim

Friday 07 January 2011 15:21

An American judge has dismissed a case alleging that Harry Potter author JK Rowling copied her ideas from another writer.

The claim, made by the estate of author Adrian Jacobs, alleged that the fourth Harry Potter book, Goblet Of Fire, was based on his work The Adventures Of Willy The Wizard.

But Judge Shira A Scheindlin ruled there were major differences between the two works.

Jacobs died in 1997 - three years before Rowling's book was published.

A spokesman for her US publisher Scholastic said they were "extremely pleased" with the decision.

He added: "The court's swift dismissal supports our position that the case was completely without merit and that comparing Willy The Wizard to the Harry Potter series was absurd. Judge Scheindlin clearly agreed, stating, 'The contrast between the total concept and feel of the works is so stark that any serious comparison of the two strains credulity'.

"Scholastic will continue to vigorously defend any such frivolous claims challenging the originality of Harry Potter and the brilliant imagination of its author, JK Rowling."

Rowling may still have to appear in a UK court after the High Court ruled in October the claim was "improbable" but still had a chance of success.

Mr Justice Kitchin refused applications by Rowling and her publishers, Bloomsbury, for an immediate judgment dismissing the case as having no chance of success.

But he ordered Paul Allen, the estate's trustee, to pay money into court as security for the costs of the case if it goes to trial.

The Harry Potter books have sold in their millions around the world and found even more fans through a series of films starring Daniel Radcliffe as the young wizard.

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