Monday, November 16, 2009

"Harry Potter" Author wins copyright claim

The issue in the article is regarding the publishing of a Harry Potter encyclopedia that violates the copyright of the original story book “Happy Potter” author J.K Rowling. In this issue, the plagiarism of the “Harry Potter Lexicon” could cause damage to J.K Rowling’s career. For that reason, J.K Rowling took legal actions on Ark to avoid any further publication on the copyrighted book. Eventually, Rowling won the case against Ark.

Figure 1: Harry Potter's author J.K Rowling posing with her book.

According to the article, Vander Ark has a passion for the “Harry Potter” book since 1999 which he then operates the popular Harry Potter Lexiron Web site which draws almost 1.5 million visitors per month with their contribution from all over the world. The internet have create opportunities for internet users to interact with one another to share their views and opinions (Nielson 1997).

On the other hand, the disadvantage of Internet has created a whole new method for people to cheat, in another word, plagiarism. According to Nielsen and Morkes (1997) stated that credibility of information is important for users to act as repayment of expression of thanks. In addition, the information that is used by any users have to be referenced and attributed accurate and correctly.

However, Reep (2006) also stated that reliable website should provide link to legal warnings, privacy information or copyright statements. Despite the information that was provided in the Harry Potter Lexiron book through the contribution of people all around the world, the book should be referenced and credited to the origin author J.K Rowling.

In my opinion, it is important that Vander Ark to give credit to the main author, J.K Rowling. The Harry Potter Lexicon website should provide descriptions of individual names, place, spells and creature from Harry Potter stories. However, it is also important for the design of the website to be well structure. As Nielsen stated that web users usually do not read word by word as they scan the page to pick out on individual words and sentences. A well structured web page should include highlighted keywords, meaningful sub headings, bulleted list, one idea per paragraph and half the word count. (Nielsen ,1997)


CBSNews 2008, "Harry Potter" Author wins copyright claim, CBSNews, retrieved 16 November 2009,

Morkes, J & Nielsen, J 1997, 'Concise, Scannable and Objective: How To Write For The Web',, viewed on 16 November 2009,

Nielsen, J 1997, How Users Read on the Web, Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, retrieved 16 November 2009,

Reep, Diana C. 2006, ‘Chp 4: Principles of Document Design,’ in Technical Writing, 6th ed., Pearson Edu, Inc., New York, p.173-190.

Schirato, T. & Yell, S. 1996, Chapter 1: Communication as social practice, Allen & Unwin, St. Leonards, Australia

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