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"PLAGIARISM" and Harry Potter

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"PLAGIARISM" and Harry Potter

Old 12-14-01, 03:05 AM
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PLAGIARISM and Harry Potter

I had heard a (very) little about a lawsuit brought against Scholastic (publisher) and Rowling (author) for her having lifted many of her story ideas from another series of books.

But it wasn't until seeing benedict's post in this thread (Do many adults read Harry Potter?) that I knew what they were talking about.

Originally posted by benedict
I've not read it, although I hope to make time some day! But I may see the film first!!

Apparently, at least one (less successful) author thinks that JK Rowling read her book first!
Larry Potter <img src=">
http://www.realmuggles.com/news/compare.html
http://www.realmuggles.com/interview.html
Now aside from the rather ambiguous question of there only being 5 real stories in the world and everyone's just rewriting them, this site has a list of similarities between the two books (see the link above that has the word "compare" in it).

Going through it, it seems to me the only real leg this guy has to stand on is the name Potter and word muggles. And it even sounds like he used the word differently than she did.

Thoughts?

-David
Old 12-14-01, 10:05 AM
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IMHO, that lady doesn't have a leg to stand on. Her books didn't sell that well, and they were out of print by like 1987 or somewhere around there. I'm sure Rowling wasn't out there looking for obscure children's books to rip words off from. Besides the name Potter and Muggles (which ISN'T used the same way - you're right, Blade), all the other "similarities" are laughable. "A Mirrored lake"? "Boats travel across lake"?! I can probably name 20 books that have that scene in it. Crazy.

X
Old 12-14-01, 10:19 AM
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It's obvious that the N.K. Stouffer, author of the other book (which was a failure) was angry that about the success of the Harry Potter books, noticed coincidence of the use of the last name "Potter" and the word "Muggle" and decided to cash in by claiming plagiarism. It is highly doubtful that Rowling ever read the books, since they were only published in the US and a limited print at that.

Of course, to see how laughable this really is, look at some of the "similarities":

CHILDREN'S FABLE AGES 9-12 -- whoa! Case closed! Stouffer surely invented this genre!

Mythical Place -- mythical places have been in literature since the beginning of time.

Orphan Boys -- perhaps Dickens should be suing instead?

Indeed, most of the comparisons are things that exist in all fantasy literature. The other points are similiar names, but that means nothing, especially when you are talking a common last name like Potter. Some of them make no sense like the "Governor/Friar" comparison?

One of the curses of success is those who try to capitalize on it by suing you.
Old 06-01-02, 07:09 PM
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Harry Potter story a rip-off?

Seems to me that the first book is an AWFUL lot like Star Wars.

1. Each boy lives with his aunt and uncle.
2. Each family knows the boy has special powers but they dont want to tell him.
3. Someone special "hagrid/ben" comes to tell him of his special powers.
4. they prepare for a journey but they must travel to town to buy supplies
5. luke has a light saber, harry has a broom.


hmmmmm
Old 06-01-02, 08:57 PM
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You can draw similarities between any two stories if you try hard enough.
Old 06-02-02, 06:33 AM
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Archetypes?

Quidditch/Pod racing?

Rowling/Pratchett/LeGuin


<small>ISBN: 0-691-01784-0</small>
Old 06-02-02, 01:34 PM
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That's silly, I could draw a list like that up between any number of other books that have nothing to do with one another. Heck, look at Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series and Terry Brooks' Sword of Truth series.

~Scheherazade
Old 06-02-02, 01:53 PM
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Harry Potter also shares a few similarities with Tim Hunter, of DC/Vertigo Comics' "Books of Magic" series, which existed before Harry.

It's generally more common to see comics readers pointing this out than the creators of Tim Hunter, though. Neil Gaiman (Tim Hunter's original creator) believes Tim and Harry are similar archetypes, but nothing more. And he's not averse to filing lawsuits when he believes his rights have been violated. Just ask Todd McFarlaine about that.

Of course Neil doesn't actually own the rights to Tim Hunter, but he doesn't seem concerned about it at all.

Actually, the "Larry Potter by N. K. Stouffer" almost sounds like a joke, doesn't it? I mean, when I first read about it, I thought it was a joke.
Old 06-03-02, 06:20 AM
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There were a couple of points I found interesting about the affair and which are encapsulated within the following quote from Stouffer's site:
HOW WELL DID YOUR BOOKS SELL? The books sold very well. We distributed over 100,000 copies of each title printed for distribution throughout the east coast and other sites across the United States, and all were sold within a week. Requests from distributors and the public for the books, prompted Warner to offer me four different contracts for the books.
Now, looking through the site as a whole, I have to say that I thought the lady comes across as something of a loon and I have to take her various claims with a sizeable pinch of salt: elsewhere I read that the re-issued series of books have yet to reach five-figure sales and it seems that, for some reason, Nancy re-styled herself as "NK" !
Originally posted by Josh-da-man
Actually, the "Larry Potter by N. K. Stouffer" almost sounds like a joke, doesn't it? I mean, when I first read about it, I thought it was a joke.
It is certainly funny peculiar.

Here is what seems to be an unbiased review of her book: link

.... her list of "similarities" is nicely/wittily addressed here
Old 06-03-02, 10:10 AM
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If this weren't so sadly an example of our litigious society, it would be funny.
Old 06-03-02, 12:50 PM
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You mean I am not the only one who noticed the similarities between The Books of Magic and Harry Potter? Cool. Thought I was going nuts for a while.
Old 06-03-02, 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by Verminaard
You mean I am not the only one who noticed the similarities between The Books of Magic and Harry Potter? Cool. Thought I was going nuts for a while.
Heh. Now keep in mind that I've never actually read "Books of Magic," though I am aware of it and Tim Hunter from my familiarity with Vertigo comics.

A few years back, when Harry Potter was just starting to take off, he was on the cover Newsweek or something. Never having heard of Harry Potter before, at first blush, I thought it was Tim Hunter.
Old 06-04-02, 06:33 PM
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not to mention the similarity with star wars (which was probably plagerized from somewhere)
one of the broom scenes during that game: looked just like luke against the scout trooper on the speeder bikes in ROTJ
aunt and uncle hide the truth from the son of a wizard: luke son of a jedi, truth hid by aunt and uncle
I noticed some others last night when I saw the movie
Old 06-05-02, 03:27 AM
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mikehunt did you see namrufnot's recent post?

I've even seen a suggestion that there are parallels between the Harry Potter books and WW2 Britain!

<small>If you put the ISBN I cited into Google, likely as not you'll find the "source" for the Star Wars story.... and most everything else!</small>
Old 06-05-02, 04:50 PM
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and word muggles. And it even sounds like he used the word differently than she did.
Neither of them can really put a claim to that word. Why? Because it's been around longer than either of them. "Muggles" was a term which was initially used in the 20's and 30's for describing marijuana. And it was around for that same usage much longer before that (it just became popular then because of all the jazz musicians who were smoking it).

Gage, tea, muggles, reefers, and a dozen more names for marijuana, were common parlance among jazz musicians in the 20's and 30's.

Louis Armstrong even had a hit song about it called "Muggles".

Looks like you're original assessment that there are only about 5 original stories is about right and neither of these ladies can make claim here. (Although it did make me wonder when I first saw the real meaning of the word).
Old 06-05-02, 08:43 PM
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I was in a hurry and only skimmed the thread
at least I wasn't alone in my thinking though

Originally posted by benedict
mikehunt did you see namrufnot's recent post?

I've even seen a suggestion that there are parallels between the Harry Potter books and WW2 Britain!

<small>If you put the ISBN I cited into Google, likely as not you'll find the "source" for the Star Wars story.... and most everything else!</small>
Old 06-10-02, 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by mikehunt
not to mention the similarity with star wars (which was probably plagerized from somewhere)
one of the broom scenes during that game: looked just like luke against the scout trooper on the speeder bikes in ROTJ
aunt and uncle hide the truth from the son of a wizard: luke son of a jedi, truth hid by aunt and uncle
I noticed some others last night when I saw the movie
Heh.... it could easily be said that Lucas ripped a lot of his ideas straight out of the old Flash Gordon serials.

Everything comes from somewhere... its just how well the author/director manages to disguise and/or distance themselves from the original. I guarantee that there aren't many people that have rewatched the original Flash Gordon's recently and would notice the similarities between the events of Star Wars.

jay
Old 06-11-02, 04:42 PM
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I'm sure Lucas got ideas from somewhere, but some of the scenes in Potter were just too close to SW scenes for me to not comment
Old 06-12-02, 03:37 PM
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Don't forget that Ben Kenobi pretty much IS Gandalf.
Old 06-13-02, 12:46 AM
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Of course.

Luke is Frodo.
Ben is Gandalf.
Han is Strider.
Vader is the Witch King of Angmar.
Emporer is Sauron.

Parallel scenes:

1) The scene where Obi Wan gives Luke Anakin's lightsaber is reminiscent of the meeting between Frodo and Gandalf, discussing the ring.

2) The scene where Obi Wan and Luke meet Han in the cantina is likewise reminiscent of the Prancing Pony chapters.

3) Obi Wan sacrificing himself so the "fellowship" could escape is very similar to the bridge of Khazad-Dum with the Balrog.

Darth Vader's could be said to be inspired by the Nazgul. He dresses in black, face hidden, heavy breathing, and was a fallen man of great power corrupted by evil.

The Emporer, unseen in ANH, is thus similar to Sauron. He sends out Vader (Witch King) and an army of stormtroopers (orcs) to do his bidding.

DO NOT READ THE SPOLIER IF YOU ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE ENDING OF "LORD OF THE RINGS BOOK III - RETURN OF THE KING.

Spoiler:

The scene at the end of ROTJ, where Vader throws the Emporer down the shaft to save the defeated Luke is also similar to the end of the Return of the King, when Frodo is ultimately corrupted by the ring at the cracks of doom and Gollum snatches away the ring and falls into the cracks, destroying the ring and himself in the process.
Old 07-27-09, 03:20 AM
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From Dave Langford's "Ansible" [Google for free access to his extensive site]

.... J.K. Rowling allegedly plagiarized an obscure 1987 children's book called Willy the Wizard in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Its author Adrian Jacobs died in 1997; his estate (or rather its trustee Paul Allen) announced that it's suing Bloomsbury and also wants a court order to interrogate Rowling in 'pre-action disclosure'. Her gigantic borrowings from Jacobs's 36-page text are said to include 'a wizard contest' and 'the idea of wizards traveling on trains'. (Reuters, 15 June) I'm sure no one had ever imagined a wizard contest before, but did Jacobs nick the train concept from Susan Cooper's Silver on the Tree (1977)? Yawn.
http://www.reuters.com/article/enter...55E6HZ20090615
Old 07-27-09, 08:36 AM
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Re: From Dave Langford's "Ansible" [Google for free access to his extensive site]

Here we go again. It's laughable. Unsuccessful authors (or their estates) trying to cash in on the success of someone who can actually write.
Old 07-27-09, 08:50 AM
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Re: "PLAGIARISM" and Harry Potter

The Dan Brown thing had more merit than this, and wasn't that laughed out of court?
Old 07-27-09, 02:19 PM
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Re: "PLAGIARISM" and Harry Potter

Hell, I don't know what this woman is complaining about. Everybody who knows anything about lit knows that Rowling's entire premise is about the most tired concept in fantasy. "Wizard school" was such a cliche that long before Potter ever came out, lots of publishers wouldn't even look at a manuscript that included it.

I'd say that Rowling didn't plagerize. She just wrote unoriginal, derivative garbage.
Old 07-28-09, 02:55 AM
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YHBT/judging "art"

Let's try to neutralise the, er, contentious post before anyone bites:

Garbage
[....]
3a Worthless or nonsensical matter; rubbish:
[....]
3b Inferior or offensive literary or artistic material.

Bestseller
A product, such as a book, that is among those sold in the largest numbers

The two are not mutually exclusive but if the product falling under second definition is described using the first definition then, clearly, it will offend a greater number of people than, say, a "masterpiece" that sells one copy.

Originally Posted by TheDilbertBlog
People think art is subjective. Sometimes you hear opinions such as this:

ďThose Harry Potter books suck.Ē

Logically, if you donít personally like Harry Potter books, knowing full well that a quarter of a BILLION people do, itís an indication that you might be abnormal, and not necessarily in a good way. Yet no one ever says, ďI donít enjoy Harry Potter books because, evidently, thereís something disturbingly abnormal about my brain. Although scientists say human and chimp DNA only differs by 2%, with me, itís probably a lot less.Ē

Weíre funny that way. We assume our personal preferences are the standard by which all art should be judged. I think the best way to judge the quality of art is by how well the artist achieves his objectives, whatever those might be.

Take the Garfield comic strip, for example. The creator, Jim Davis, set out years ago to create a massively popular comic strip. That was the goal of his art. He has succeeded for decades. When art achieves its goal, it has to be considered great. Sure, Garfield doesnít make you dance or cry or fall in love. It doesnít even amuse most adult males. So what? You canít judge art against objectives it never held. If you judge it against the standard it seeks to achieve, itís every bit the equal of the Mona Lisa. Likewise for the movie Borat and the TV show South Park.

Now consider the movie Titanic. It was a huge commercial success, but I have a hard time imagining the directorís artistic goal was to make the viewers feel as if someone put their dogs to sleep. Yet thatís what it did. As a business venture, Titanic was brilliant. It sold a lot of tickets. From the perspective of art, I doubt the artistís objectives and the result lined up, unless they were sadists.

Thatís how I judge art. Your mileage may vary.
I've never yet read an HP book but I do know that it doesn't take place in a franchised universe, it isn't a cynical publishing venture that simply cashes in on a popular film/tv series, and it originally achieved publication in competition with the many other novels that were submitted alongside it.

Essentially, the opinions of those that dislike JKR's work are no more "valid" than the opinions of those that do. Let's move on.

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