Thursday, February 18, 2010
Harry Potter Plagiarism Again?
J. K. Rowling has once again been slapped with a plagiarism lawsuit. I fully expect that it will be summarily dismissed based on a comment on this description of the legal action. "The plagiarism allegation concerned the story plot rather than the words." But what is copyrighted in every case is the words, their placement and usage, their accumulation into a work. You cannot copyright an idea, not even an idea like an entire plot. If not, then we would lose a substantial part of the world of the Romance Novelists--there are limited permutations and combinations of events and incidents. Plots--a wizard challenge (for example) are the structural backbone of writing, but I'm willing to bet if one went to the Index of Folklore and mythology, such a challenge of witches and wizards would be a fairly common theme.