Harry Potter publisher denies plagiarism claim

Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:30pm EDT
 

By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Bloomsbury Publishing Plc on Monday denied allegations that author J.K. Rowling copied "substantial parts" of a book by another children's author when she wrote "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

The book, published in 2000, was the fourth installment of the hugely successful boy wizard Harry Potter series that has sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and been turned into a multi-billion-dollar film franchise.

"The allegations of plagiarism made today, Monday 15 June 2009, by the Estate of Adrian Jacobs are unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue," said a statement from Bloomsbury, which publishes Harry Potter in Britain.

"This claim is without merit and will be defended vigorously."

In an earlier statement, Jacobs' estate said that it had issued proceedings at London's High Court against Bloomsbury Publishing Plc for copyright infringement.

"The Estate is also seeking a court order against J.K. Rowling herself for pre-action disclosure in order to determine whether to join her as a defendant to the ... action," the statement read.

It named the estate's trustee as Paul Allen, and said that Rowling had copied "substantial parts" of "The Adventures of Willy the Wizard -- No 1 Livid Land" written by Jacobs in 1987.

It added that the plot of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire copied elements of the plot of Willy the Wizard, including a wizard contest, and that the Potter series borrowed the idea of wizards traveling on trains.   Continued...

 
<p>J.K. Rowling's novel,"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", is shown in this file photo. REUTERS/HO Old</p>