Quidditch on sale: can J.K. Rowling sue?

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by spiffyone, May 4, 2009.

  1. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    Quidditch

    Now, from my understanding, the rules of a game or sport are not subject to copyright. However, anything tied into a fictional work is obviously subject.

    Rowling or any company who she has granted rights to obviously holds copyright over the term "Quidditch", so the developer probably has to change the title ASAP.

    But what of the game itself?

    The game was introduced in the fictional world of Harry Potter, and the rules therein are tied to the Harry Potter fictional "world". The iTouch/Phone game's description alludes to casting spells as power ups, and the names of the spells are those found in Rowling's work (Expecto patronus, etc.). The description also states "beware of the dementors", dementors being characters in the book created by Rowling.

    So...is this subject to lawsuit? I mean...copyright doesn't extend to the rules of a sport...but quidditch as expressed in Rowling's books are so tied with the Harry Potter "world" that I question how one can create a game using the rules of quidditch and NOT step into the copyrighted material.

    Any ideas?

    (btw, I don't know if this is the "wrong board" for this topic, so I'll let the mods decide where it goes).
     
  2. Zwilnik

    Zwilnik Well-Known Member

    Can and more than likely will. Rowling is *very* protective when it comes to copyright.
     
  3. Swordplay

    Swordplay Well-Known Member

    Apr 15, 2009
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    She would be a total bitch if she sued, She's a billionaire! No need to be a greedy.
     
  4. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

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    It is more likely the developer will receive a cease & desist letter.
     
  5. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    No need for name calling, particularly based on gender.

    And protection of copyright doesn't mean greed.

    Writers are very protective of copyright historically (since the inception of copyright laws) for very good reasons. She has rights over her work, and we should not disparage her for exercising said rights if she wishes to do so. So let's put the class warfare aside.
     
  6. NotYou

    NotYou Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    It would never hold up in court. If they stole a character, she could sue and win easily, but the game is just an idea, not a real game.

    There's already a Quidditch game out(I just looked it up), but this app store one still doesn't use character or names from the books. I guess it's possible that they could be guilty of copywrite infringement, but I still doubt it.
     
  7. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

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    But the first copyright law specified a duration of 14 years. Currently copyright in Canada is life + 50 years and in the US it is life + 70 years! I came across this chart that illustrates just how copyright has gotten out of hand:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    I don't think it's gotten out of hand. The duration of 14 years was far too short, particularly for authors that live on for quite some, and particularly for their beneficiaries.

    I mean...if your father built a house, he could leave it to you, but if he wrote a book he couldn't leave you the copyright over the work with the original law as it only lasted 14 years. That's not really fair.

    And books are re-published all the time, decades after originally published. Should the creators of said works and their beneficiaries not be entitled to compensation? How about in cases where the original work is adapted to other mediums (stage, tv, movies)? Those are rather lucrative rights, and if not for copyright law as it stands now, creators and their beneficiaries would not be able to benefit financially off of the adaptations.

    I think copyright law is unfortunately seen as a way for corporations to "get away with things" and "control" art, but, really, as written it has benefited writers quite a great deal. It is their power card. That large corporations are using it doesn't mean that the law is wrong but that they are gaming the system, in which case creator's rights should be supported, and one need not be anti-copyright in order to support creator's rights because, tbqh, copyright law itself would give power to the original creators.
     
  9. Vester

    Vester Well-Known Member

    +1 shes richer than the queen of england!!!! i dont think she minds it but she definately could sue
     
  10. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2008
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    Fair enough. Can I also point out that a patent (in the US,) according to FreeAdvice.com, lasts 14-20 years:

    Of course I take issue with patent laws (patenting gene sequences, for example) but my point is that hype doesn't last even 14 years. If intellectual property generates income at all, it is within a few years. Rowling managed to drag that out by publishing an extended series. But still, 14 years later and the kids are into Twilight or whatever anyway. If copyright laws had not changed, Rowling would still be able to sell her work after 14 years had elapsed. In fact, she would even have the advantage of words like "official" or "endorsed by" or "forward by" that come in handy to make a publication stand out from the sea of generic or public domain material. Don't underestimate the power of branding: her name could sell anything (copyright laws have nothing to do with reputation.)

    I am of the mind that a healthy public domain is a good thing. I am not concerned with the promotion of carbon copies (which you will find,) but rather, a foundation (or pool) of socially relevant ideas free for the picking and modification (counterintuitively, so stick with me here) allowing for diverse creativity to flourish. Look at youtube.com: grass roots originality like we have never seen, yet could never be produced via traditional avenues.
     
  11. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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  12. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

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    Why is an idea more valuable than labour? My dad is an Engineer: will I get Engineer money 50 years after he is gone. If Ms. Rowling wants her kids to have some money, maybe she shouldn't ask to be buried with all her money. Or she could look into life insurance. It seems as though you assume my little opinions exist inside a vacuum but they do not. I feel a balance should bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots (all of them; not just the occasional creative.) The amount she would make, should fair conditions exist, would not be laughable (like it is now.) She can live luxuriously while some can't even live comfortably. Where there is a surplus, there is a deficit somewhere else.

    For the record, I am not anti-Rowling. She is involved with some noble charities. This is really more a systemic dysfunction I take issue with.

    Anyway; you are not going to change my mind and I am not going to change yours. I have to head out now. Nice sparring with you spiffy. Ciao.
     
  13. iGame

    iGame Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    Meh, no one's gonna buy this anyways so who cares?
     
  14. The Bat Outta Hell

    The Bat Outta Hell Moderator
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    Eh it looks pretty awful too. Like all of it was drawn in a few hours on paint
     
  15. supg328911

    supg328911 Well-Known Member

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    pro ping pong player!!!!
    USA BABY
    wow this looks like crap lol....
     
  16. Crypton

    Crypton Well-Known Member

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    As already mentioned here, Rowling is pretty protective about her work. She does not have anything against free fan websites or such things, but I heard of a case where a Harry Potter encyclopedia was drawn back, because she sued. She had nothing against the same encylcopedia while it was free on the web, but as soon as the guy behind it tried to make some money of it, her lawyers got busy.
     
  17. brewstermax

    brewstermax Well-Known Member

    Agreed. If anything, the copyright times should be longer. 150 years should do it.
     
  18. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    Well, I never stated it was "more valuable". Rather, I stated that they hold value. YOU are the one comparing here, not I.

    But I'll bite: ideas often generate more revenue. Ideas live on far longer than labor does. Just sayin'....

    If he invented something, I believe you should. I believe that the laws for patents and copyright should be more alike than they are currently, erring to the side of protecting the rights of the individual creators.

    I think it's pretty clear that your ideas are based on classic class war ideas, tbqh. The terms that you're using make that abundantly clear.

    She's asking to be buried with her money? I mean...honestly now.

    She made money. We live in a capitalist society, and she made money in that society because she produced something that generates revenue. We should fault her for that?

    Boo hoo.

    Seriously.

    Under your ideals she should willingly give up the rights to her work that she herself created sooner rather than later for the benefit of those that have not created anything. That's silly.

    There will ALWAYS be haves and have nots. There will ALWAYS be a deficit somewhere else. ALWAYS. NOTHING will change that fact. And, FYI, she was a have not at one time too. Should she not benefit and get as much as she rightfully can because of illogical dislike of those who have "made it"?

    One need not disparage those exercising their rights over their work. Especially when one is apparently fighting "for equality". You wanna fight for equality? Then fight for the equality of ALL creators, regardless of industry. Don't need to be anti-copyright to be for creator's rights, after all.

    The system, however, in regard to copyright, is not really dysfunctional (at least over here in the States, as ours differs slightly from yours), IMHO. It was dysfunctional before copyright law, as before copyright creator's had no real rights over their works. Now they do. They have a bargaining chip, a very lucrative one, and I will not hate on those who choose to exercise their rights.

    She's made money. Bravo for her.
     
  19. starjimstar

    starjimstar Well-Known Member

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    You are taking this way too seriously spiff. And don't put words in my mouth: that will not accomplish anything.
     
  20. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    Not taking anything way too seriously. Just chiming in with my opinions, which run counter to yours.

    And I would advise that you take your own advice. Pot kettle black and all that ;)
     

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