Willy the Wizard flies into NY with lawsuit aimed at Scholastic

Willy the Wizard flies into NY with lawsuit aimed at Scholastic

<p><em>Willy the Wizard</em> has returned again adding a third target&mdash;US publisher Scholastic&mdash;to a lawsuit that centres on the Harry Potter books.<br /><br />Having previously filed lawsuits in the UK first against Bloomsbury, and then later against <em>Harry Potter</em> author J K Rowling, the estate of the deceased author Adrian Jacobs has now pitched up in the US where, according to a press release, a news conference is to be held later today (14th July) outlining the latest developments in what appears to be a litigation tour.</p><p>The lawsuit, to be filed in a federal court in New York, claims that the company&rsquo;s <em>Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire</em> is &quot;substantially similar&quot; to Jacob&#39;s 1987 book <em>The Adventures of Willy the Wizard</em>, a book largely unknown before last year. The suit calls for Scholastic to recall the<em> Goblet</em> books and pay the estate all profit from it.<br /><br />According to the press statement, the estate also now claims that Rowling and Jacobs were represented by the same literary agent, Christopher Little, who had copies of Jacobs&rsquo;s book before<em> Goblet</em> was published. In its 2009 claim against Bloomsbury the estate claimed that Jacobs had &quot;sought the services of a literary agent, Christopher Little&quot;, who later became Rowling&#39;s literary agent. Little has yet to comment on the claim that he was &quot;Jacobs&#39; agent&quot;.<br /><br />It is not immediately clear where this leaves the UK lawsuits, but a press statement put out by the trustee of the estate Paul Allen gives some clues as to the reasons for the US relocation. &quot;We&rsquo;ve taken comprehensive legal advice and have a strong case,&quot; it said. &quot;The USA being the world&rsquo;s largest market for Potter books means that our first overseas action is brought here in America.&quot; According to Allen, further lawsuits will be brought in key territories worldwide.<br /><br />Bloomsbury, the original target of the estate&#39;s lawyers, dismissed the allegations when they were made in June 2009, indicating that a similar claim on behalf of the Jacobs&#39; estate was made in 2004, but never progressed. </p><p>Bloomsbury stated at the time that J K Rowling had never heard of Adrian Jacobs nor seen, read or heard of his book <em>Willy the Wizard</em> until this claim was first made in 2004. Bloomsbury added that <em>Willy the Wizard</em> was a &quot;very insubstantial booklet running to 36 pages which had very limited distribution&quot; and was of a &quot;very poor quality&quot;. Rowling was added to the lawsuit in February this year at which point she described the accusation &quot;as not only unfounded but absurd&quot;.</p><p><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-13/scholastic-sued-by-author-s-est... target="_blank">Scholastic told Bloomberg: &quot;We have not been served yet, and we wouldn&rsquo;t comment on pending litigation.&quot;</a><br /><br />In 2002 Rowling successfully defended herself against a plagiarism claim made by children&#39;s author Nancy Stouffer. In that case the judge fined Stouffer $50,000 for making the claim saying she committed a fraud.</p>