View Full Version : Larry Potter
09-19-2002, 10:27 PM
Sheesh, the parasites these days:
"A federal judge has rejected a writer's claims that she was plagiarized by "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling and in turn fined her $50,000, saying she "perpetuated a fraud."
"Stouffer has said she wrote several books in the 1980s, including "The Legend of Rah and the Muggles," and a series of "Larry Potter" stories. On her web site (http://www.realmuggles.com), she said each title had a first printing of 100,000, and all sold out within a week."
Ok, if a book sells 100,000 copies in a week, it gets reprinted and reprinted and we all would have heard about it. It gets funnier:
"Schwartz [the judge] also questioned whether she created the "Larry Potter" character before Rowling's series debuted. A title page and other materials supposedly dating back to the 1980s used technology not in existence at the time, he ruled."
Heh. Here's the article:
09-19-2002, 10:37 PM
Whatever. If this was fraud, good stuff. But this rankled me...
"We never had any doubt that Harry Potter and his world came from the rich and extraordinary imagination of J.K. Rowling," Scholastic president Barbara Marcus said in a statement Wednesday.
Uh-huh. Harry is a straight ripoff of Tim Hunter, a DC Vertigo character who's been around for more than a decade. The theft is complete, right down to the glasses and owl. Rowling might have come up with the concept completely on her own, and of course there are some significant differences between Harry and Tim, but if Tim Hunter's creator Neil Gaiman ever took this to court, he'd have a damn good chance of walking away with a good chunk of the Harry Potter megafranchise. I think that Gaiman's already commented on this, however, and said that he isn't interested in any sort of legal action. A bit of a shame, really, as the resulting court case would be entertaining to follow.
I love the Potter books, and Rowling herself is no doubt a talented writer, but it's absurd for that Scholastic Books president to act like the character was created in a vacuum.
This lady mailed me 2 years ago. We had her on POE, described her site as - Muggles are dumb little ugly creatures that are involved in all kinds of lawsuits.
She took offense to that and was very upset we wouldn't take the side of the little guy. I think Brian Koontz may have found a girlfriend.
09-20-2002, 06:43 AM
There was a bad 80's movie called "Troll." No, it wasn't a prophetic book about internet posters, but rather a fantasy movie about a troll trying to come over from whatever elf-infested world he was living in to ours. The troll steals a young boy's little sister, and he has to learn about wizards to get her back. The main character was a kid named Harry Potter Jr., and a lot of the other characters seemed to have similarities to the Rowling characters. It's been way to long for me to remember if Hogwart or Dumbledore were names int he movie, tho. The plot itself didn't follow the same lines as the Harry Potter books, either.
Like I said, a bad flick, but I think Rowling might have taken her inspiration from lots of places, just like most authors.
09-20-2002, 07:34 AM
Harry is a straight ripoff of Tim Hunter, a DC Vertigo character who's been around for more than a decade. The theft is complete, right down to the glasses and owl. Rowling might have come up with the concept completely on her own, and of course there are some significant differences between Harry and Tim, but if Tim Hunter's creator Neil Gaiman ever took this to court, he'd have a damn good chance of walking away with a good chunk of the Harry Potter megafranchise.
I agree, he probably would win (strikingly similar). But fortunately Neil Gaiman doesn't agree with you Brett. He disavowed any accusation that she took anything from him and pointed out that he ripped most of it off from "The Once & Future King." (Look at the Disney movie version. Glasses? Check. Brown hair? Check. Owl? Check!)
The point people miss regarding this lady is: why would JK Rowling steal from a self-published author from Pennsylvania? How did she even hear of this person's work over there in... Scotland? The fact that most of her proof of her creation died in a fire some years ago only weakens her case.
09-20-2002, 07:41 AM
This Larry Potter woman is obviously a moron. The lawyer who represented her should be penalized too.
09-20-2002, 07:50 AM
As I recall (Salon covered it from the start) this controversy did net her a contract with a real publisher to publish these little books of hers. Now, though, I wonder if Rowling's people could prevent her from using Larry Potter and Muggle. She probably could have sued for the right to continue using those terms. That would have been more reasonable... but her accusing Rowling of stealing and her attempt to get a peice of the pie, that was just shameful.
09-20-2002, 08:41 AM
I'm just surprised that Harlan Ellison hasn't found a way to sue for copyright infringement in all of this.
09-20-2002, 10:44 PM
Or Art Buchwald
09-21-2002, 07:22 AM
As I recall (Salon covered it from the start) this controversy did net her a contract with a real publisher to publish these little books of hers.
Wow. I read excerpts from her "books" on a website somewhere...it was strictly fourth-grade level writing, and that's an insult to intelligent, coherent fourth-graders everywhere. If you edited it, there'd be nothing left but stray commas, a few faint drool spots (author's) and the page numbers.
Note On Neil Gaiman: I tried, if only for Ben Sones, to read "American Gods" last week. Got to about page 102 before flinging it across the room in disgust (didn't throw it too hard, it *was* a library book). Oh well, I tried. :roll:
09-21-2002, 08:22 AM
Note On Neil Gaiman: I tried, if only for Ben Sones, to read "American Gods" last week. Got to about page 102 before flinging it across the room in disgust (didn't throw it too hard, it *was* a library book). Oh well, I tried.
DOH! Damn, I was gonna give that book a shot. How come you no likey, Sparky? I liked Sandman back in de day, but I haven't tried reading one of his novels, for fear of being mistaken for a Gaiman-Worshipping Goth Chick. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
09-21-2002, 08:23 AM
Oops--above post was mine. Forgot to log in.
Though astute Q23 readers should have gleaned from "de day" that I was role-playing as Gambit in that post.
09-21-2002, 10:04 AM
How come you no likey, Sparky? I liked Sandman back in de day, but I haven't tried reading one of his novels, for fear of being mistaken for a Gaiman-Worshipping Goth Chick.
Well, I'm just biased against Gaiman, and not because I am often mistaken for a Goth Chick (it's probably the black clothes, fuschia hair, and rat-skull accessories). I find his writing very high-school English class: entire chapters of He did this. He did that. He saw the thing. He went over there. I think he describes broken glass as "diamonds" and blood drops as "rubies" at least twice in the first 100 pages. The "gods need humans to believe in them else they don't exist" story's been done many times before, but he doesn't add anything original to it. I think *he* believes he's being clever and subtle. Maybe it is, if you've never read another fantasy/sci fi book before.
For example, the reader's supposed to be discovering that the main character, Shadow Moon (groan -- Gaiman's AWFUL with names, they're all teenagers' Hotmail addresses) is meeting up with gods. The first one we meet is named "Wednesday". Is it not PAINFULLY clear who this is going to be? Didn't we all learn the origins of days of the week in elementary school? Oh, and then there's the guy named Mr. Czernobog. Yes, he's the god o' death, Czernobog. Oh, sorry, I forgot to preface that one with "Spoiler". And Czernobog tells us he worked in a slaughterhouse. HA! HA! Why not make Satan shoveling coal in a boiler room! That would be clever! I flung the book aside at the point Shadow has a dream of someone giving him a coin -- and HE WAKES UP WITH THE COIN IN HIS HAND. For Morrissey's sake, is that not the oldest fantasy book cliche ever? I'm too old for this.
2D characters, the same old (ahem, archetypal) themes, names like Shadow Moon -- all work fine in comic books. I prefer my comic books with pictures in them. But I think many people like Gaiman's work because it's such familiar ground, in the same way that many people like oldskool D&D-style fantasy even though the settings and characters are so similar. It's just not my thing.
09-21-2002, 10:15 AM
Thanks a lot Sparky. :roll: I was going to read American Gods and your description makes it sound dreadful. :P Ben needs to swoop in and point out where you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
OTOH, I am reading Tad Williams' Otherland and within the first 25 pages a WW I soldier wakes up from what he assumed is a dream about a castle in the sky and a birdwoman in a cage only to find...<insert ominous organ riff>......a feather on his person. AS the next chapter jumps ahead a century or so, I am going to stick with it unless you are going to tell me it only gets worse, too, thereby furthering my disenchantment with every used book purchase I have made in the last month or so. :wink:
09-21-2002, 10:23 AM
Thanks a lot Sparky. :roll: I was going to read American Gods and your description makes it sound dreadful.
Well, don't let me stop you. Just borrow it or get it from the library so you don't give that hack Gaiman any more money. :twisted: But seriously, I'd like to hear Ben's perspective on the book -- not that I'd read it again, but maybe there were some saving graces after the coin/dream part?
09-21-2002, 11:09 AM
I agree with Sparky, but I'm still talking about Neverwhere. I haven't read American Gods yet. I did buy Coraline though, because it's a children's book. Since I agree with Sparky that Gaiman isn't a very... um... mature storyteller (he's stuck on things that work well in comics but don't work well in prose), I think a children's book is something he'd handle well. I don't mean that as an insult, unless you figure being lumped in with Lewis Carroll, EB White, and Roald Dahl is insulting.
I haven't read Coraline yet though, Chabon came out with a children's book too.
09-24-2002, 07:37 AM
Just thought I'd point out that "Harold Potter" was a character in a Monthy Python sketch back in the 70's. ;)
09-24-2002, 11:34 AM
The first one we meet is named "Wednesday". Is it not PAINFULLY clear who this is going to be? Didn't we all learn the origins of days of the week in elementary school?
I'm not sure anymore. Most of the people here, sure. Do they mention these things in school anymore? My HS daughter hasn't a clue about Pecos Bill and "kinda sorta" heard of John Henry.
I'd take the blame, but I'm a step-parent, so you can't pin lack of early American mythos on me. Well, ok you can.. I haven't made her read any of it yet (or watch the Disney videos.)
09-26-2002, 01:56 PM
Neverwhere and Stardust were both good.. at least I remember them that way.
I'll second (or whatever we're up to) the negative opinion of American Gods. It just wasn't interesting. Read Guy Gaveriel Kay or something instead.
Coraline - .. didn't live up to the hype for me. I didn't find it chilling or frightening. Children would probably enjoy it. There much less jaded than the rest of us. :)
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