Shalom Life | February 01, 2015

J.K. Rowling in a Lawsuit Against Jewish Author's Estate

Harry Potter author named in a billion-dollar case.

By: Christal Gardiola

Published: March 1st, 2010 in Culture » Books » News

J.K. Rowling in a Lawsuit Against Jewish Author's Estate

It’s almost like a battle between Harry and Voldemort, except this one has nothing to do with wizardry.

The estate of late Jewish author Adrian Jacobs is accusing J.K. Rowling of plagiarism. On February 17, the lawyers for his estate added Rowling’s name in a lawsuit filed against Bloomsbury Publishing PLC for alleged copyright infringement. The suit claims Rowling copied parts of Jacobs’ 36-page children’s book, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: No. 1 Livid Land into her novel, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Independent company Backman and Turner published 5,000 copies of the Willy the Wizard story in 1987. But Jacobs, who was also an art collector, lawyer and accountant, died penniless 10 years later.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was the fourth book in the Harry Potter series, came out in 2000. Max Markson, a publicist representing the Jacobs estate, tells the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the similarities between the two novels are uncanny. He says, “It has the same plot line. Everything that’s in ‘Willy the Wizard’ is in ‘The Goblet of Fire.’”

Markson recalls how his suspicions began in 2003 after learning that Jacobs’ former agent, Christopher Little, was hired as Rowling’s agent. Little, however, denies that he represented Jacobs.

Rowling is estimated to be worth close to $770 million, according to the Sunday Times of London’s 2009 rich list. She calls the accusations “unfounded” and “absurd.” Rowling was quoted in an article in Daily Dispatch Online saying, “The fact is I had never heard of the author or the book before the first accusation by those connected to the author’s estate in 2004 I have certainly never read the book.”

Court proceedings are scheduled in May and Markson thinks the case has enough material to go favourably on the side of the Jacobs estate.

“If they win the case against Bloomsbury, it rolls around the world. Anything with Harry Potter -- films, games -- it becomes a domino effect,” he said to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “It’s a billion-dollar case, the books are an enormous franchise, it’s in the High Court of England. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.”

Woody Allen’s Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer is Called ‘Irrational Man’ Woody Allen’s Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer is Called ‘Irrational Man’ TrendingSteven Spielberg’s Daughter, Sasha, to Star in Snapchat Web Series Steven Spielberg’s Daughter, Sasha, to Star in Snapchat Web Series TrendingRoseanne Barr on Bill Cosby:” It Surprises Nobody” Roseanne Barr on Bill Cosby:” It Surprises Nobody” Trending
 

Israeli Startups Collectively Raised Over $900 Million Last Week

January 30, 2015 | By Viva Sarah Press
Israeli Startups Collectively Raised Over $900 Million Last Week

Various startups in Israel raised $910 million through acquisitions and funding rounds in a seven-day period

Read More

Woody Allen’s Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer is Called ‘Irrational Man’

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Woody Allen’s Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer is Called ‘Irrational Man’

Sony Pictures Classics have announced the name of Allen's upcoming film.

Read More

Steven Spielberg’s Daughter, Sasha, to Star in Snapchat Web Series

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Steven Spielberg’s Daughter, Sasha, to Star in Snapchat Web Series

Spielberg will co-star with John Goldwyn's daughter, Emily.

Read More

Roseanne Barr on Bill Cosby:” It Surprises Nobody”

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Roseanne Barr on Bill Cosby:” It Surprises Nobody”

The comedian believes Cosby should apologize.

Read More

Remembering Myra Kraft on Super Bowl Sunday

January 30, 2015 | By Jason Stverak, JNS.org
Remembering Myra Kraft on Super Bowl Sunday

What will be missing for the second time in recent New England Patriots' Super Bowl memory this Sunday is Myra Kraft sitting with her husband, owner Robert Kraft

Read More

Wounded Syrians Treated in Israel: Eliminate Hezbollah

January 30, 2015 | By Hassan Shaalan
Wounded Syrians Treated in Israel: Eliminate Hezbollah

"We were taught that Israel is the enemy of Syria and all Arab countries. Now that I stayed here, I believe the opposite is true; Israel is better than other Arab countries, which don't admit wounded people," says one injured Syrian

Read More

Jewish Hall Of Fame: Kenny Bernstein

January 30, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall Of Fame: Kenny Bernstein

The famous "King of Speed" is known as one of the most important figures in NASCAR history

Read More

Postcard from Einstein's Sole Trip to Israel Sells At Auction

January 30, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Postcard from Einstein's Sole Trip to Israel Sells At Auction

Almost a century after the physicist's trip to the Holy Land, postcard sells for $56,000

Read More

More Headlines