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“Harry Potter” author may face plagiarism trial. What is the precise meaning of plagiarism?

This week a British judge refused to dismiss a plagiarism lawsuit against best-selling author J.K. Rowling. The claims against the wildly successful creator of “Harry Potter” say that she stole ideas from an obscure fantasy book. The judge said that a proper hearing should be held to consider the matter.

Is plagiarism simply copying words? Or is it more complicated than that?

The dictionary defines plagiarism as “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.”

(Before we leave “Harry Potter” behind, have you ever wondered if there really is something called a “hallow,” and why they might be “deathly?” Click here to learn what “hallow” means in the real world. Also, what’s the non-“Potter” source of “muggle?”)

Plagiarism, then, is not just lifting sentences from another writer’s work and claiming them as your own. If a writer duplicates the ideas of another, it too may fall under the definition of the dreaded “P Word.” Plagiarism can be avoided if writers dutifully credit their sources.

The word comes from the Latin plagiarius, which means “kidnapper.”

The Roman poet Martial first used the word in the context of stealing another’s literary work. He claimed that another poet had “kidnapped his verses.” (“Kidnap” has nothing to do with taking a nap. Check out where the “nap” in “kidnap” comes from, here.

Interestingly, up until the 18th century, plagiarism in Europe was not considered fraudulent behavior. In fact, copying the masters was encouraged, and originality was rarely considered praiseworthy.

198 Comments

  1. Stan -  September 6, 2016 - 2:09 am

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  2. That Homie Fred Is Back Yall -  June 23, 2016 - 7:27 am

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    Reply
  3. Ciera -  January 24, 2015 - 1:27 am

    YOU GUYS ARE ALL WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on guys you guys are not getting the copied book right!

    Really, it’s the Tara Duncan books that are rumored to be copied!

    However, J. K. Rowling was in Portugal when the author of Tara Duncan was in France! And the book was never printed.

    J. K. ROWLING DID NOT COPY.

    And the real Tara Duncan series which is published is not one bit similar to Harry Potter because it was fixed because of HP.

    J. K. ROWLING DID NOT COPY.

    Don’t be jealous of HP and its more-than-eight-million-fans-on-its-website!

    And like we learn in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, false rumors are punished severely.

    Reply
  4. Jane -  August 16, 2014 - 10:26 pm

    But my writing teacher always said people always do that. Authors don’t create ideas, they steal them! Then, what about the other books? Like Percy Jackson? I know Cedric Diggory came from Narnia, Bagshot came from the Lord of the rings, however, then people should be called trials for copying out of Greek Mythology, Alchemy and other things! She read a lot of books and used them well in her writing! It’s a honor! And people can think same ideas without seeing things that other people created. THIS IS MOST INJUST (says Madam Maxime) (and me too)
    P.S. I am not commenting this only because I am a Harry Potter lover. Well, there you go! People love it. J. K. Rowling made people happy. What’s wrong with that?!

    Reply
  5. Greg Simcock, the "Original Creator of Harry Potter" -  December 14, 2011 - 9:14 pm

    Thank you Francis for your belief in what I have said. It is all true from my point of view and only a tiny amount of it that can be said.

    I have posted the facts for those who would like to know more of this unknown author. Me! I am Gregory Ronald Simcock, the true creator of the Harry Potter story. I am the young, the older, and old Philosopher in that story.

    Plagiarism I have written about but some thing of the original creator of the Harry Potter stories concepts, and also Willy the Willy concept and cover-page art of the booklet, is for your reading leisure at;

    artifacts.yolasite.com
    mylord.amplify.com/The_True_Origins_Of_Harry_Potter
    gregsimcock.amplify.com

    Reply
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  8. Francis -  April 14, 2011 - 1:29 pm

    I have read it and *GASP* I think that J.K.R stole her ideas.

    Reply
  9. Francis -  April 14, 2011 - 1:25 pm

    @Mylord, you have given us an extraordinarily amount of information to chew on. Anaways, since I am an avid Harry Potter fan, I will read it.

    Reply
  10. Mylord -  November 15, 2010 - 11:12 am

    It’s all very well to believe what you have been told, but ‘the true origins of Harry Potter’ are not known to you, your friends, or your mind! Hello reader, my name is Gregory. Let me tell you something you don’t know. The information you will read may seem untrue, or upsetting, but it is true and upsetting for the real creator of The Harry Potter story to have to tell this information as it is told here. The true author of the Harry Potter story has not been credited for his stories. Using the name Mylord, this unknown author, on amplify.com, has an article for you to read, titled; ‘The-True-Origins-Of-Harry-Potter. You may have read claims of origin of the Harry Potter concept, but you have never read or heard the truth, if the source of the information was from J K Rowling, as the truth would indicate an Australian man designed the Harry Potter story.

    On the mentioned site, be sure to read; ‘The Slimy Blood-Worm’. It is a short story that this unknown author envisioned while distressed in thought, after reading some of the outlandish claims of the origin of the Harry Potter story concept. The short story is written as it was envisioned, and so it will let you see something wonderful has been created, but the deviation in the story may surprise you. If you continue to think the Harry Potter story fell into Joanne K Rowling’s head, fully informed, then perhaps you might believe she was on a delayed train too! You have been mislead by the person you think of as the creator of the Harry Potter concept. The real creator has not been given any credit for the original story-boarded story concept design material. It is I who created the concept of Harry Potter, and done so over many years. Many years designing and building it.

    The author wants the reader to be aware of the lies you know and have been told throughout the length of time the Harry Potter stories have been transformed from the story-boards the original creator had designed and then the publications and productions that subsequently appeared without the original creator having any input in the publications or productions. All without the creator being aware of the story-boards, that formed the stories, were noticed to be missing, as they were on an extended vacation, from the creators home! The original design art has not returned to this authors home, but the films, on DVD’s, and books, have been a welcome form, as the authors stories have been able to be reviewed. Mylord is not the authors real name, but it is used in good faith, and sure beats the name of plagiarist!

    The story; ‘The Goblet of Fire’, is a story this unknown author designed. It was in the form of a story-board set of graphic designs. It has an ending that is a favorite of Joanne K Rowling’s, but it is not of her creation! It was one of my story-boards that depicted the ending sequence of flying horses towing a chariot past the bridge and the sailing ship plunging into the watery depths of the loch. If the reader senses the author of this message is trying to hold back information, then you are right to think so. It is because this author is the original creator of the Harry Potter stories that had been under construction since 1978, and there is so much you don’t know on the true origins of the Harry Potter stories.

    An Australian soldier began the construction of the wizard stories, after screening to preschoolers in RMC, Duntroon, Military College, ACT Canberra, Australia. The cinema trade and its operations set the environment in which the author worked that enabled him to form and develop many stories over his nine years in the trade as a projectionist. One theme was of a film that would teach children and adults in an enjoyable way that was entertaining. One of the authors tasks was to disassemble an SLR rifle, then reassemble it. It was taught that the best tool was the real item, but often the item or subject was not available or was too big, and so the next best thing was a film. Using this knowledge this author designed stories for all age groups. One story concept consisted of children and adults in a creepy castle. Over time, in years, this concept transformed into the Harry Potter stories, of which were given seven titles. The titles, that went astray from this authors home, were the same as the seven titles that have been published by J K Rowling! The unknown author created many stories and many stories have been removed from this authors home. The Harry Potter stories are but one set of stories that have been stolen, produced, loved by the public, credited to the wrong author.

    For over ~10 years this author has been distressed over the loss of the stories artwork and composition materials and written notes and technical design drawings. How the Harry Potter stories have been compiled into books and then published by Joanne K Rowling is obvious, but how she managed to produce stories with the entire character, creature, and feature list, as were in this authors story-board designs, is not yet fully known, but the truth must become known somehow, at some time, and so the original creator of the Harry Potter stories concepts has begun to reveal the information that will undoubtedly cast a shadow on J K Rowling’s claims of the origins she has told of the Harry Potter story concept. It sure as hell didn’t hit her in the head, but she admits the story came to her fully formed! You can believe that, because it was almost ready to publish when it was taken from my home in Western Australia. Being the true and original creator of the stories concepts, I am aware that many of the features, creatures, and characters, that I designed, named, and set into scenes, have appeared in the stories published by Joanne K Rowling.

    I designed most of the characters, creatures, and their names, as used in the Harry Potter stories, NOT Joanne K Rowling! The story of; How ‘Harry Potter fell into Joanne K Rowling’s head’, ‘fully formed’, in ‘four hours’, while on a ‘Delayed train’, is not anywhere near true, as any intelligent person would realize, but the repetitive claim of origin has been told, by Joanne K Rowling, so often, that the people who have heard the story have come to accept the published authors claims. If you ever thought the story of origin sounded too unusual or unrealistic, then you were being told by your mind ‘not accepting the lies’, but you went along and ignored your inner thoughts. There are many people, the world over, who have trained their mind to simply believe in the story, because it is easier to believe in it than to continue to disbelieve it. I am telling here that I have a good reason to believe her claims are not true.

    The truth is, the stories were being developed , by the unknown author, by the addition of graphic images and notes over many years, until the time of the theft of many designs that formed the story-boards for the making of films about the wizard attending Hogwarts school for wizards and witches. A publication about the stories appeared subsequent to the original designing of the story-boards that graphically displayed to a reader the stories that have appeared in the films. A few of the things in the story-boards that have appeared in the films are mentioned here;

    Dobby, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Hermione, Harry, Buckbeak, Mad-eye, Voldemort, Malfoy, The Flying Anglia 105E car, Hogwarts Express Train, Hogwarts Castle, The Flying Snitch, Polly Juice, Quidditch, The Mirror of Erised, Sirius Black, Moaning Myrtle, Spiders, Serpent, Hedwig, and others, were all designed by this unknown author – the real creator of the story-boards that flew, like magic, to Scotland, and became a publication, one after the other, in short time, and these stories were made into films in succession, as were the books.

    The years of the Harry Potter stories development have not been wasted, because the stories were designed to entice children into reading, while creating an atmosphere that would excite the readers sense of imagination and cause it to flourish, so much, that they would go on an adventure in their own mind. The idea that a car, a ball, a horse, could fly, was designed to speediate the reader into the unknown, a mystery land or world they would only see if they went along on the ride, whichever medium took them. It is the many technical elements, such as these, and gillyweed, the talking hat, that the stories have been well liked. These are all of the mind of an inventor – Me.

    The films have been great to see, especially the early films. The reader may have noticed a change in the theme and story structures between films. The reason for this is believed to be because, while the first few films were being built, drawing by drawing, the first film was more advanced than the other titles. Each story-board drawing showed a key scene or feature in the story. As I was a projectionist for 9 years I designed my stories in the form of many drawings. This is why the director has been able to make the films the way I had intended them to appear in film, because of the imagery I designed in my story-boards, and it would have been a simple task to write the books, using my story-boards as the grounding for the publications on Harry Potter. I have been very lost without my design drawings for the years I have missed them. The many characters, children, animals, were my families. I felt I had been raped when I realized my art had been stolen, and I broke down and cried , real tears. I am 54 years of age at the time of writing this message. My whole working life went into my designs and inventions and there were about 3000 drawings, 350+ stories, and ~1000 inventions designs stolen. I feel a great loss over and above the Harry Potter stories. Even the book of short stories; ‘The Tales Of Beedle The Bard’ are of my original creation.

    I see myself as a Philosopher, so I began to form the films first title name with; ‘The Philosopher’. The name was too short, so I thought of alternate words for the title. At some time later, the drawing file, that kept safe and together many stories design art, fell onto the authors toes. The result was that the toe bleed, just like it would have if a stone had been kicked. The many stories and invention designs were what formed the stone, so the word; ‘Stone’, was added to the title name, thus forming the title; The Philosopher’s Stone’. These were my diamonds in the rough – my key’s to success. The boy’s name; ‘Harry Potter’, was added as a prefix to the stories titles shortly afterward.

    Each scene in the films was originally shown in a story-board drawing. For instance; Hermione was drawn, then Harry was drawn. This author used an old shaving mirror to sketch one’s profile, the body, and the round glasses. It was early in the morning, so the author went to bed. The drawing was finished after a sleep. Many hours went into drawings and many drawings were from a technical origin, so the story-boards were often mysterious or weird things. The Snitch, for instance, is one weird thing. Its origin was the focal point on a drawing page. As the Snitch was on the drawing page with both Harry & Hermione, it became a scene which this author called the game of Quidditch.

    The name, Quidditch, has a special meaning that is not what Joanne K Rowling has claimed it to be! If you are curious as to how this author knows about these things, the reason is because this author is the bona fide original creator of the Harry Potter stories. They were formed with numerous drawings that were designed as story-boards for making a series of films or books, toys and other things. All of the original design drawings were stolen some years ago. The story was well designed and the story became published by someone who took possession of the story in one form or another. In no way did the Harry Potter story fall into Joanne K Rowling’s head, fully formed, in four hours, on a delayed train! I formed that sequence of words that formed an unusual story of origin, in answer to a person who had asked me a series of questions about my story-board designs that formed the Harry Potter stories. There are four components to the claims of origin. This is because I use number four, or its equivalent, as a code marker. You may find number ’4′ on the end of the left front root on the cover of a book of short stories; The Tales Of Beedle The Bard, Special edition, the one with the leafy vine on the cover, surrounding a tree stump.

    I do hope you find the truth in my message here and on mylord.amplify.com. If you have read this article and find it of interest, then you might find the article; ‘The-True-Origins-Of-Harry-Potter’ of interest as well.

    Happy Day’s
    Mylord

    Reply
  11. Ferret -  November 8, 2010 - 9:31 pm

    Although I believe J. K. Rowling in this instance, I must inform many people that just because her books are enjoyable is not any sort of evidence against plagiarism. Has anyone ever hear of Todd Goldman? He’s the head of David and Goliath, Inc. Surely everyone has heard of him! His company makes hundreds and thousands of t-shirts with poular, funny and rude slogans. He is also under fire for hundreds of possible plagiarism cases, the biggest of which went to court but was settled out of court (the other artist dislikes attention, so he wanted to settle it out of court to avoid the public eye. However, he won, so to speak, because Goldman gave him the money he made on the sales). Many internet artists are in a vehement, unbridled rage, but the fact remains that his clothes and art were still popular. So keep in mind that popularity is not evidence against plagiarism.

    Reply
  12. BUTTER -  November 2, 2010 - 1:13 pm

    OMG…REALLY I♥ THOSE BOOKS AND MOVIES!!!!

    Reply
  13. bjf -  October 28, 2010 - 9:14 pm

    Christopher Little her publisher gave her the Willy the Wizard book well before she supposedly wrote her book. After all Christopher Little was Adrian Jacobs literary agent also and failed to disclose this in court.He has been found out by the court. As they say, don’t believe all you see or hear in the press.

    Reply
  14. Waldo Pepper -  October 26, 2010 - 5:15 pm

    Hmm, and I was deleted for posting that JKR stole most of her idea from a 1986 fantasy film called TROLL, about a boy wizard who is actually named HARRY POTTER. Very interesting.

    Reply
  15. Freddie -  October 26, 2010 - 2:43 pm

    Oh my. Seriously guys? You can’t be genuinely having this conversation.

    Half of you automatically believe whatever you read, and I am just going to point out that she might never have even heard of the books, nothing is original anymore, and how many of you, who claim to be writers, can genuinely claim that your ideas are completely and utterly new, never even thought of before? I thought not. And someone said that this isn’t the first time she’s been accused. No, it’s not, but it was all by DIFFERENT people, on DIFFERENT claims for DIFFERENT parts of the book. And yes, I have just said what everyone else has said. Sue me.

    And then the other half, who automatically defend her. You haven’t even considered that she might have copied anything, you’ve just said ‘oh no, she’d never do that!’, just because you like the books. Think before you comment please, and if it’s not useful don’t say it, because I’ve just had to scroll through I don’t know how many comments of complete repetitive tosh to get to the comments box.

    I’m not saying she didn’t copy, but has anyone thought that it might NOT have been intentional? Maybe she was INSPIRED by something she read, hm? I think I’ve seen about five people who actually gave an unbiased comment.

    Oh, and I thought this was supposed to be a friendly debate? Stop picking on people. And Tracie, really? ‘Emily, do you EVER think about what you say before you say it? Try it sometime, people might think you more intelligent than what you appear’? Low blow, and besides, I think your grammer speaks for itself. Irony if I ever saw it.

    Reply
  16. Bookworm -  October 26, 2010 - 1:21 pm

    In response to the post by RSK, I think R.S.K. is missing an important point about the series with the comment that the author plagiarized “throughout the books” for words and spells.

    Rowling has discussed in interviews how she draws from science, nature, history, myth, folklore, and anything and everything that catches her attention. The name Snape is actually a town in Suffolk, for example. I personally think this is part of what makes the books so special. She is clearly very creative and well read and she has a knack for turning things on end to create a fantasy spin on our real world– like the Ministry of Magic — come on, that’s not plagiarism, that’s being incredibly clever and making a funny turn about real life.

    Regarding the concerns of the bigger ideas that are in question for plagiarism, I have no comment since I have no idea about the details. I think that Rowling is a wonderful collector of bits and pieces of interesting real-life oddities and weaves them together beautifully in her books.

    Reply
    • Fwooper -  August 16, 2014 - 10:29 pm

      Totally agreed! And I really like your nickname too…

      Reply
  17. Karyn -  October 26, 2010 - 12:46 pm

    I think that the claim to plagiarism is either out of date or false. First of all it is ridiculous that her books have been out for so long and its only now that someone decides she stole her ideas from another book?! J.K. Rowling’s books are a work of art, she creates an entire new world just from her words! Despite all of that, there is just no way that the court can find any specific and RELEVANT evidence in which to find J.K. Rowling guilty of plagiarism.

    Reply
  18. Rinnah -  October 26, 2010 - 8:21 am

    I’ve never read any of her books, and i don’t intend to, ever, but it makes me angry when people criticize people without thinking one whit first.I mean, try thinking about what it’d be like to be her.

    Reply
  19. Knightwing -  October 25, 2010 - 12:49 pm

    *Sigh* Why are people complaining about plagerism these days? Common, if you are so worried about copying ideas why didn’t you sue so-and-so earlier. I hate it when people cry plagerism because a popular series has the same thing as one that is practically unknown series. I mean, think of it this way, someone took your idea *Larry Potter* and made it better. So stop your jealousy and get it over with!

    Reply
  20. 23 -  October 25, 2010 - 12:40 am

    ..this may be late..but what is written is unbelievable!!i’ve been reading Harry Potter since it came out with it’s 1st book and it’s really amazing,i am big fan of H.P and i grow up admiring and loving the book,the story itself as well as all the people behind it,following it to cinemas and even magazines..J.K Rowling has a wide and great imagination,,if ever she copy(w/c is not true!)well she made it to the top!..whoever you are..get a life!!!

    Reply
  21. Curly -  October 24, 2010 - 10:09 am

    “There is nothing new under the sun” is from Ecclesiastes, for all those who were wondering. I was thinking of that exact quote when reading this, and it just so happened that others thought of it as well. We must all be plagiarizing each other! Gasp!

    Reply
  22. Mylord -  October 23, 2010 - 11:12 am

    The original creator of the Harry Potter story concept is a man. It’s all very hush-hush but here is some truth you don’t know, as you were never told this in any of J K Rowling’s interviews before now; The story-boards, that pictorially showed the Harry Potter story, that had been developed over many years, since 1978, were stolen from the original authors home, in Australia, some years ago, and suddenly a woman has claimed the story just fell into her head, fully formed, while on a delayed train. She has said the same words so often and you have been hearing a lie. The reader must use some common sense now, as I am the original creator and I want you to know the truth. The seven titles, many nicely drawn creatures, were originally set in story-boards and J K Rowling has published the stories, with the same named titles that were written on the original creators material that clearly defined the outline of the stories, involving the same named characters, such as; Harry Potter, Hagrid, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Buckbeak, Dobby, and others.

    Read more at; mylord.amplify.com/ The True Origins of Harry Potter.
    While you’re there, Read; ‘The Slimy Blood-Worm’.
    You will learn how Dobby got his name, and more.
    J K Rowling has stated, in an interview (I believe it was said to be the first web interview), that was published on a web site several years ago, that she once thought she was a plagiarist, but the further she got into the story the less she did!

    The transcript of the interview was seen on the web about two weeks ago, but I cannot relocate it. If you know of this article’s location URL then please blog the article to mylord.amplify.com

    Reply
  23. Spawn -  October 22, 2010 - 12:48 pm

    I’m amazed at the lack of spell check on the comments, especially for people who spend so much time on a dictionary site.

    Reply
  24. Saf -  October 21, 2010 - 8:55 am

    Mace, I made a similar comment, and it was also deleted.

    Good to know that someone else realizes this. Interestingly, Time Warner owns the rights to both Harry Potter and The Books of Magic. Gaiman probably doesn’t have much of a choice on the issue.

    Reply
  25. Mace -  October 20, 2010 - 8:27 pm

    WTH!!!! Why was my post deleted?!? I posted it on the 17th. It was still on here yesterday and now it’s gone!

    All I did was list the similarities between “Harry Potter” and Neil Gaimans “Timothy Hunter” from the Vertigo Comic “The Books Of Magic”. Did I hit on a touchy subject with the you moderators on this site or what? Apparently there was some other discussion about it because I still see one post mentioning it.

    There is NO WAY that the similarities between the two characters are coincindence. Rowling obviously used “Timothy Hunter” as a blue print for “Harry potter”. There is no way around that. Here is a google link to articles discussing this. Do some research and learn the truth for yourself.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=timothy+hunter+harry+potter+&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GWYE

    Reply
  26. bcullen -  October 20, 2010 - 6:33 pm

    Whatever they think and say, it wouldn’t make any difference to me, I still love HP.I’m 30 years old now, and started reading those books when i was 17.I have read them a million times, and it always brings out the kid in me.Makes me feel better..and I’m still waiting for my letter, telling me I’ve been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! hehehe….

    Reply
  27. bcullen -  October 20, 2010 - 6:32 pm

    Whatever they think and say, it wouldn’t make any difference to me, I still love HP.I’m 30 years old now, and started reading those books when i was 17.I have read them a million times, and it always brings out the kid in me.Makes me feel better..and I’m still waiting for my letter, telling me I’ve been accepted to Hogwarts School of Wizardry! hehehe….

    Reply
  28. Drae's Bar&Grill -  October 20, 2010 - 5:05 pm

    “Obscure” fantasy book? Hmm, maybe, maybe not. Some fans claim to be Lindsey Lohan’s cousin, someone says JK Rowling stole words for HP? Is this person just crazy? Hmm, i really dont know…

    Reply
  29. Diane D. -  October 18, 2010 - 1:34 pm

    Many authors now choose to avoid reading ANYONE else’s work in the genre they write (and presumably long enjoyed reading!) for fear of being subconsciously influenced by themes, etc., they may come across. This especially includes not reading UNPUBLISHED works, which many neophyte authors send unsolicited to their literary heroes in hopes of receiving constructive criticism and/or publication advice/assistance, because there is a far greater chance of the “name” author’s winding up in a plagiarism lawsuit in such circumstances. I feel a bit sorry for both sides!
    Specifically regarding Rowling – I’m sure she did not CONSCIOUSLY plagiarize. Although she may in fact have encountered that little out-of-print fantasy before she ever became a published writer, her stories and characters are her own deeply developed creations, and a few trivial similarities are not worth a lawsuit. Regarding the supposed “non-originality” of many of the spells, races, etc. — Hasn’t anyone read the many analyses of the deliberate linguistic and cultural allusions Rowling uses to enrich Harry’s fictional world? What’s wrong with that?! (N.B. I was interested to follow Dictionary.com’s link re. “muggle”, and learn it comes from 1920′s slang for “a common person, esp. one who is ignorant or has no skills” — That’s NOT copyrightable!)

    Reply
  30. RHK -  October 18, 2010 - 10:36 am

    Get it straight people: The lawsuit is NOT for “Larry Potter,” a long out-of-print American book – that suit was dismissed nine years ago. The suit is another one, almost as old, that’s being re-pressed by the estate of a bankrupt dead author who wrote “Willy the Wizard,” something so ridiculously unreadable as to make the case a joke. See NYT: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/british-judge-refuses-to-throw-out-suit-accusing-rowling-of-plagiarism/
    It has nothing to do with plagiarism; it’s pathetic greed.

    Reply
  31. Motcha -  October 18, 2010 - 10:34 am

    I own some of the Larry Potter books. There is no similarity between the characters or plots whatsoever. Incidentally, has anyone noticed that the date of that news clip is March of 2001? This is old, dead news. It has already been proven that there is only a tenuous connection between those two series of books. Some of the names are similar, that is all.

    Reply
  32. Saf -  October 18, 2010 - 9:25 am

    As a preemptive aside to those Rowling-centric readers who don’t seem to have any frame of reference: Neil Gaiman is not some obscure pulp writer who Rowling was likely to be unaware of when conceptualizing Harry Potter… he is a creative juggernaut in modern fantasy, has written best-selling novels, comic books, and has directed some movies that you’ve probably seen (and some that you probably haven’t).

    Reply
  33. Morrigan -  October 18, 2010 - 7:42 am

    There really isn’t a “new” idea, theme or story anymore. All the stories that detail human (or non-human) experience have been explored in some way, in some place.

    I think I read somewhere that every year the U.S. publishes around 50,000 books per year, and of those only 10 or 15 are “top” sellers. There are one million books published throughout the world in any given year. That’s a lot of books!

    The chances that a new author would NOT duplicate an idea, a story-line, a host of characters or a theme, in some way, is amazingly small. Perhaps even non-existant.

    I mean, you don’t think it’s possible that a new author could read all the books in the world and say “OK, now I have to write a book that doesn’t copy any of these books in any way,” do you?

    I think all of us have an inkling that “justice” and “truth” are not the same things, as much as we hope it is. (Just because Rowling has been charged with plagiarism doesn’t mean she’s guilty of it.) I will be very interested to hear the judge’s verdict on this plagiarism charge. I am pleased the judge has chosen not to ignore this claim – it can be settled once and for all.

    Reply
  34. AH -  October 18, 2010 - 1:18 am

    So….if there is truly “nothing new under the sun” then everything everywhere is plagiarism? There has to be a limit to what defines plagiarism…..it seems here (and often in other cases) that the definition of plagiarism is “when someone makes bucketloads off an idea, when it might be vaguely similar to something written by someone greedy and/or jealous but which wasn’t good enough to make it.”

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  35. super vee -  October 17, 2010 - 6:19 pm

    I totally agee with what Emily posted. It’s really funny how to set borders for this “P” word when it can really happen that people who’ve never interacted could have similar and sometimes exact ideas. It happened to me. I have not been charged of plagiarism but I had this thought even wrote in my journal and I was just caught surprised that I’ve read exactly the same words written by a popular author and I just nodded, caught in surprise, sorta. Great to know that that author and I have the same wave of mind on that point. That’s not my first and last time to experienced such. We can not really judge one has plagiarized just so one’s ideas similar with what you have encountered. Then, if so, would have totally varying ideas on every thought that man create. How’s that? We live in a common ground and it’s not far from impossibility to have similar experiences and realizations. I’m not trying to defend J.K. coz I’m not into HP that much, just thinks that I’d side on her though. I think there has to be concrete and certain borders to set the definition of PLAGIARISM.

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  36. Nadine -  October 17, 2010 - 5:28 pm

    Shakespeare plagiarized everything he wrote.

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  37. Slightly Cynical -  October 16, 2010 - 9:57 pm

    @Mikey

    I was just thinking the same things. Apparently one thing J.K. Rowling’s books did not do was leave its readers with a rudimentary grasp of English.

    My own opinion on the matter: Ms. Rowling very well may have gleaned her ideas from other sources; the Harry Potter series was her first, and I would be surprised if she did not borrow at least a little from other fantasy books in order to give herself a firm footing on the shaky ground that is genre fiction.
    However, after reading the allegedly plagiarized excerpts of “Willy The Wizard”, I can only say the comparisons are silly at best, and only slightly imitative at worst. I think there are no grounds for a lawsuit there.

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  38. Ferret -  October 16, 2010 - 9:45 pm

    R.S.K:
    Yes, the “red howler” is a real animal, but if mentioning the name of a preexisting animal in a book is plagiarism, E.B. White will get some major lawsuits for a book with animals such as “pigs” “spiders” “rats” “sheep” “geese” etc. Writiing an animal into a book is not plagiarism.

    If you want to see more lion crests like Gryffindor’s lion and Aslan from Narnia’s crest, look at some ancient crests from Great Britain and other countries. I do believe Aslan’s crest and Gryffindor’s crest are based off of other old coat-of-arms:
    -http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/06/16/article-1287006-0A0EA4AC000005DC-103_468x557.jpg
    -http://www.nemzetijelkepek.hu/pictures/onkormanyzat/Hegyhatsal.jpg
    -http://lolpics.se/5232-retarded-lion
    So if you’re going to whine about plagiarism there, it’s both of them copying off of an idea thousands of years old. But because it is so old, and there is not patent on the idea, it isn’t plagiarism.

    Also, if you’re going to be upset about J.K. Rowling using latin words to make up spells then you’re going to be very upset to know that MANY AUTHORS DO. Luckily, that IS NOT PLAGIARISM!!! She is creating new words in the same way that many older words were created, by using legitimate origins in an old language (such as latin). Copying of dictionary words?! Almost every word in the human language is in the dictionary, so in that sense, EVERY SINGLE AUTHOR plagiarizes the dictionary. It’s not plagiarism.

    I like J.K. Rowling, I really do. But I would admit that she plagiarized if she clearly did. But using words that exist in the dictionary, creating a coat of arms using traditional ideas, and mentioning real animals is not plagiarism. I suggest you research your theories before you point any fingers. Perhaps an article describing exactly what plagiarism is might do us all some good.

    However, I am very curious and open to hearing about other theories- not that I’m eager to shoot them down, but I enjoy researching to see where her ideas sprout from. In other words, if you think there is somewhere else she plagiarised from I’d like to hear it.

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  39. bookbunni -  October 16, 2010 - 9:44 pm

    I agree with Mikey, Observer, and BookBex…But I think Speller was a little harsh. A 12 year old can have an opinion as much as anyone, and of course she will mature and grow and maybe her opinion will change. But I think JKR will definitely last just as long as Austen and anyone else has (and I have read all the classics so I can have my say) because of popularity and brilliance of writing. I do not wish to believe JKR plagiarized but I am sure they will figure it out in court. It is true that there are hardly any new ideas out there which makes it very challenging for writers. In any case, I will continue to enjoy her books as complex tales that inspire others to read.

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  40. Irritated academic -  October 16, 2010 - 9:41 pm

    To everyone angrily exclaiming that there are millions of ideas out there and that JK Rowling could have just coincidentally invented something similar, I feel it is worth pointing out that you can, in fact, “accidentally” plagiarize. That is to say, you can independently come up with an idea that another author has had first. However, it is the duty of responsible authors (and, more importantly editors and publishers), to check and make sure that this hasn’t happened, and to make changes if needed. While this tends to be more of an issue in academia, where I believe it’s considered a form of academic misconduct, it’s still valid even in fiction.

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  41. anonynymous -  October 16, 2010 - 9:24 pm

    It’s not a secret that Rowling borrowed ideas from other tales (including King Arthur, Greek mythology, and others). She made each of these tales her own, alluding to some great works such as Tales of Narnia. Is the allusion too explicit, so the fear of plagiarism exists? It’s okay to borrow, but not to steal. Plagiarism includes the latter, not the former. Rowling, I think, assumes her readers know the stories from which she borrowed and didn’t feel the need to cite them.

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  42. Just another observer -  October 16, 2010 - 9:02 pm

    This one is @ Just an observer. I just want to put it out there that you are the one of the few here who has put up a sound response to the article. This is in marked contrast to the many who have just jumped to conclusions before any substantial proof has been given.

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  43. Mikey -  October 16, 2010 - 8:48 pm

    People posting comments to a blog on dictionary.com, with damn near every one of them completely butchering the English language in the process…

    plagharized?
    compassionette?
    evidences?
    complete sentences?
    punctuation?
    Even the Rowling fans can’t spell “Gryffindor” correctly?

    Apparently the hot word for tomorrow should be “irony.”

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  44. karen -  October 16, 2010 - 8:43 pm

    Hmm, hey guys, just dnt believe all this so easily. Maybe J.K Rowling plagirised, maybe she didn’t. Who knows. She’ll probably deny it. But yeah, anyways, let’s just enjoy the series of “her” 7 novels. xx

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  45. J.K. FAN -  October 16, 2010 - 8:21 pm

    Wow. This is so outrageous. This guys who’s suing Joanne is just a jealous idiot hoping to scramble about and gain money from Joanne opposed to seriously trying to write something, or do something, more than writing a 32 page book for second graders. This is completely riddikulus. (Boggart suddenly dissappears!) Wizards live on! Your NEVER too old for this kind of brilliance! :)

    For the book that this upset is all about go to the link below:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=5UUIAAAACAAJ&dq=willy+the+wizard&hl=en&ei=Zmq6TKvZEIH6lweF5cDVDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA

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  46. Nathan -  October 16, 2010 - 7:59 pm

    I totally agree with you Cupcakefaerie. While you were one the subject of dragons, you could have also mentioned vampires. Do you know how cliche that has gotten lately? There should like be a huge sueing frenzy of books, movies, and TV shows that has anything to do with humans falling in love with vampires and stuff like that. Geez. Ok, this is my last post. I honestly don’t know where I would be right now without J.K Rowling’s books. Probably in jail. Not kidding.

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  47. hehe -  October 16, 2010 - 7:44 pm

    hehe-hehe-hehe-hehe-hehe-hehe-hehe-hehe-hehe

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  48. chuchu -  October 16, 2010 - 7:43 pm

    WHAT?!

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  49. lala -  October 16, 2010 - 7:43 pm

    la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!!

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  50. God -  October 16, 2010 - 7:33 pm

    you are all taking this too seriously. For example R.S.K: a flag with a lion on it inst plagarism, and red howler is used in a completely different context in harry potter.

    I don’t know whether half of you are joking or just attempting nerd rage and failing miserably…

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  51. hades' kid -  October 16, 2010 - 7:20 pm

    Dear white bishop,
    First of all, how do you know they haven’t done any research?
    for all we know one of them could be the judge!
    but other than that i agree with you, everyone is overreacting (except O and O)
    rowling will be fine, its like somebody else already said, she probably doesn’t even know the other book exists.

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  52. Headslap -  October 16, 2010 - 7:15 pm

    @Ammar: Sure moves borrow from movies all the time, but c’mon James, “Avatar” might as well be “Pocahontas In Space.”
    And why not accuse him of plagiarism instead of our beloved J.K. Rowling.

    Because the story in Pocahontas is based on real life history, and the basic premise is so prevalent that James Cameron could plop out half a dozen examples without trying very hard. Including The Terminator.

    Anyway I see a lot of folks leaping to J.K. Rowling’s defense (including one person who didn’t know she was a woman), and some getting all upset that somebody would dare to do this.

    But you know what? I suggest not getting so upset. If your love for the Harry Potter books is so great that it’s a foundation of your world, I have only one recommendation for you:

    Read some OTHER books. There are plenty of excellent works in fiction which you can use to broaden your horizons so that you don’t rely on one particular work as the keystone of your universe.

    And for those who are just hysterically attacking Rowling, well, I suggest a little more moderation too. You are certainly welcome to consider her a terrible hack of a writer, but you don’t need to hate her over it. There’s much better things to protest out there. Even some writers who aren’t even half as good as she is.

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  53. Sev -  October 16, 2010 - 7:07 pm

    I absolutely, positively refuse to believe that jkr stole hp from somewhere else(s). if that were true my heart would be crushed. harry introduced me to the world of literature and mythology. how am i supposed to be exited about the upcoming publication of my book if the one who inspired me to be an author in the first place committed the literary equivalent of grand auto theft? even the inner turmoil of professor snape could not match the hurtful questioning that has begun to stir inside me, and the temporary depression that is sure to follow if the proves to be true.

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  54. Harry Potter -  October 16, 2010 - 6:56 pm

    As if!!!!!!!!! This is a completely ridiculous accusation, J.K Rowling is a God in literature and there is no way she would plagiarize! the books have been out for what… 12 year?? and now some nutter is deciding to accuse her of plagiarism, sounds to me like some one wants some attention and money

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  55. Jen1210 -  October 16, 2010 - 6:28 pm

    This is probably the 32nd time J.K Rowling has been accused of plagiarism. People just jump on the bandwagon because the books are so hugely successful. About 80% of the cases are over stupid things, like having characters named Harry, Ron and Hermione. I think what it really comes down to is coincidence. I very much doubt J.K Rowling would steal others ideas, and I’m almost certain this case will be over very quickly.

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  56. Rydrer Storm -  October 16, 2010 - 6:16 pm

    If you don’t know there is a Lary Potter book out just out like her’s. The people sueing her have every right to do so! Some of the claims are just ridiculous though. It’s like your sueing the English language for using latin roots. The book have been out forever 1000000000000000000000 people have sued her but now it is on dictonary.com everyone is heart broken. I practacly knew Hary Potter as an eight year old didn’t we all? Just because you use the word plagerised(I know I spelled this wrong) is used doesn’t mean peopleare using it official meaning or whatever people have a basic idea of it right? There are tons of books out so you can find one simialiar to another pretty easily. Everyone know what Hary Potter is …………………………………..but now that it is poular and stuff everyone wants to sue her. If some other random book was poular this artical would be about that. Just PLZ look up Lary Potter and know the truth spread the word! (By the way I tried submitting this once and it didn’t work so I hope there is no other Ryder Storm)

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  57. Mykeljon -  October 16, 2010 - 6:10 pm

    Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? It is not surprising that someone is trying to make money or fame by accusing someone really famous. What also surprises me is the number of people disputing the definition of plagiarism. Putting someone elses ideas in your own words IS plagiarism whether you want it to be or not.

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  58. saul ramirez -  October 16, 2010 - 6:05 pm

    well, if plagiarism is put in to such an extreme sense of small detail, than of course it’s plagiarism; but then again, every other story might just be plagiarized as well. I mean, honestly, how many people can come up with a truly original story without even a hint of a word that might belong to some other story. Even from a dictionary! Dear God, this is childish. I’m sure all authors have used words belonging to the dictionary as I am now. I really don’t see how any of the words or plots she uses are plagiarized; and if so, then I see every story to be plagiarized!

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  59. Ryder -  October 16, 2010 - 5:59 pm

    Just look up lary potter!!!! See all the results! I think they have all rights to sue her but some claims are just ridiculous!!! What they make a book called a howler and people get angry at her?? It’s like sueing the english languge for using words from latin. These people should have brought up their claims earlier! Some of you people talk about being crushed and lossing hope! I mean come on a million people have sued her if you don’t know. Just read LOTR and youll love it. I forgot about Hary Potter. Just lookup Lary Potter PLZ!!!!!!!!!!!GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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  60. haley stites -  October 16, 2010 - 5:55 pm

    JK Rowlin did not steal or copyright. you guys are idiots if you believe it! she is one of the nest people this world has so yet seen.

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  61. Jazz -  October 16, 2010 - 5:54 pm

    I believe that she copied some characters from the lord of the rings… dobby, dumbledore ect.

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  62. Marie -  October 16, 2010 - 5:46 pm

    This is a ridiculous claim. The author charging Jo wrote that book AGES ago- and “Goblet” (the book he is claiming has a similar plot) isn’t that new either! Why come out about it now? I thought this case was dismissed months ago! Jo is a delightful person and the Potter books changed my life. She does not deserve this!

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  63. some guy -  October 16, 2010 - 5:34 pm

    I really doubt she copied someone else’s ideas. Because, there are hundreds of book about magic, and it might be just a coincidence.

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  64. Empyrean -  October 16, 2010 - 5:12 pm

    @White bishop: You’re not taking sides? I beg to differ. By disagreeing with people and agreeing with others, that’s TAKING SIDES. I personally don’t care if there was plagiarism or not, they’re still excellent books, and I’ve never heard of the book she so-called copied from. I’ll be skeptical until I see it myself. ^^

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  65. madison -  October 16, 2010 - 5:03 pm

    i think it’s dum i dont think a kids book talk about that much death and the idea of magic is some thing you can steal

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  66. Jane Doe -  October 16, 2010 - 4:59 pm

    Originality is when you mix two things that have not been mixed before. What if I were to make some great chili, using a combination of ingredients in various amounts? Would you tell me that my chili is PLAGIARIZED because I was not, personally, the first person to ever use a tomato? I mean, there are only so many “ingredients” in the world; what your brain does with those ingredients is what makes original ideas.

    Creation does not exist in a vacuum. The specific scene Rowling is being accused of plagiarizing is pretty ridiculous. How common does this scenario sound: (posted by Chris on this thread on Oct 16)::

    “‘Both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main task of the contest which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures.” (plaintiff description)

    I mean, is it REALLY a terribly uncommon idea to have half-human creatures hold a human hostage? Is it really that terribly uncommon to have someone figure out a problem with help from others? Is it really that uncommon to have them figure out the problem in a bathroom? I mean, there are only so many rooms in a house people! Rowling just PICKED a room. I’m sure there are many different stories in which characters figure things out in a bathroom….there are many stories about half-human creatures holding humans hostage…

    I highly doubt Rowling honestly read that insignificant book and thought “Oh wow! Having someone figure out a task in a bathroom, now there’s an idea!” As for the similar names in the two books….my name is Jane…do you know how many “Jane”s exist in the world? It’s a NAME. It’s not a piece of property. My guess would be that both Rowling and this other author were inspired by the same sorts of things, and that is it.

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  67. Shay -  October 16, 2010 - 4:38 pm

    Oh dear. JK Rowling has copied…nothing! Seriously! What is with this childish behaviour! “I looked up to her but now i don’t! Wah! Wah! i don’t even know what’s going on but wah wah anyway!” Seriously, people. Ideas come from everything! So what if JK Rowling got a little help from other books? There’s even a large possiblity that she didn’t in the first place! I don’t understand why everyone is making mountains out of mole holes. JK Rowling still wrote the book. She still made the characters. She still put together a world of magic and creativity! I would ask all of you who don’t support Rowling to write a seven book series from scratch. You aren’t allowed to use any ideas from other books – that is a strict no no. You can’t use latin words as your spells – that is a no no as well. You can’t do this – you can’t do that.
    It’s tough – no, it’s harder than tough, it’s impossible. You can’t write a book without backup! I have firsthand experience – though i haven’t yet publsihed a book, i strive to since i am still writing it. I know that there is lots of research. I know that there is lots of time. i know that it is entirely impossible to come up with names for certain things without using material that has already been written in other novels: take for example the use of silver. In many novels, silver is a material that can affect magical beings. If i use silver in my novel in this way, will it be considered plagiarism? Am i copying someone’s “idea”? I surely hope not.

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  68. Dave -  October 16, 2010 - 4:37 pm

    She also ripped off that movie “troll”

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  69. Speller -  October 16, 2010 - 4:28 pm

    Laurel who is 12, coming up to 13 writes: “ok first she is the best author ever and i mean ever.”
    Dear Laurel, when you have ‘eaten paper and drunk ink’ to the extent that some of us, who are much older than you, have, consuming the great Russian, French, German and English writers, to say nothing of the South Americans, the Mexicans, the Spanish and the Asian writers, you may just find yourself equipped to make resounding statements like that. I hope by the time you reach a sufficiently mature age to have worked your way through the truly great writers, you will laugh at your little 12-year-old self and be properly ashamed to have made such a bald and silly statement in public. Rowling is a fairly decent writer for children; comparisons with the greats of literature put her somewhere about 5000th or lower. If she is still being read as Jane Austen, for instance, or Rene LeSage or Benvenuto Cellini are, anywhere from two hundred to nearly five hundred years later, we might then consider her one of the ‘greats’ but it is most unlikely she will survive as they have.

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  70. BookBex -  October 16, 2010 - 4:26 pm

    This is certainly not the first time that Rowling has been accused of plagiarism. When the books were first hitting shelves another author sued her for the very idea of Harry Potter. The similarities were striking. Whilst the case ended in Rowling’s favour, many were shocked to see a boy that looked like Harry complete with lightning bolted forehead. The book had been written years before the Harry Potter series was written. “The Legend of Rah and the Muggles” was a little know series by a US author. Rowling claimed that it was absurd that her Harry was based on these books, but many began to question if the Harry Potter series was purely from her imagination http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1224264.stm. It was later discovered that the author provided false documents and made changes to her book which was from the 1980′s. She was fined and even though she appealed, her appeal was denied.
    There have been a few other cases all ending favourably for Rowling. Rowling herself openly talks of many inspiring stories including “Macbeth”, “the Wind in the Willows”, “the Chonicles of Narnia” and others. I would hope that at this point a judge would allow an investigation, not to attack Rowling, but to keep all writers honest and promote original thought and creativity.

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  71. erin -  October 16, 2010 - 4:21 pm

    Some of you all are crazy.. she hasn’t been pronounced guilty or anything. We aren’t even positive that she plagiarized anything. Of course, as is the case with every good book, there is some sort of inspiration from other things, no matter how minor that inspiration is. Besides, what she did with her books is amazing and the fact that she came up with the whole concept while on a train ride through the country is mind boggling. J.K. Rowling is talented no matter where her ideas came from, and that’s all there is to it.

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  72. Aspiring Writer -  October 16, 2010 - 4:17 pm

    In the desire not to appear slanted, I have to say that writing isn’t something pulled from the inner depth of the mind. Ideas are spawned from inspiration, and that is in turn borne from experiences, including a book read or a movie seen.

    If plagiarism is as such seen, then who’s not to say that every creator of one thing or another is a plagiarizer? Was Suzanne Collins plagiarizing Koushun Takami’s “Battle Royale” when she wrote The Hunger Games? Both those books have to do with children killing each other for survival. Was Mark Twain plagiarizing Harriet Beecher Stowe when he wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? After all, both those books grapple with the issue of racism.

    The world is vast, filled with people crawling on it as small and as many as ants beneath a stone. Who’s to say that one can’t concieve an idea in Japan and another spawn a similar one in the United States without knowing of the first?

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  73. José Peña -  October 16, 2010 - 4:15 pm

    I learned how to speak and write by imitating what other people spoke and wrote. Does that make me guilty of plagiarism?
    However, if she did obtain some ideas and inspiration from other author´s original works etc. she should at least give them credit for it.

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  74. eric -  October 16, 2010 - 3:59 pm

    I love the H.P. series (I waited in line at midnight to get the last two books) and always will. J.K.R. has created a fantastic world but one that has drawn upon many, many literary sources. It is obvious to any mildly read person. Take the “Death-Eaters” for example. An origional idea for sure? Not quite. Read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s (incidently the best author from J.K.R.’s home country Scotland) THE VALLEY OF FEAR, you’ll get the idea.

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  75. Mad Hatter -  October 16, 2010 - 3:42 pm

    This is ridiculous. Is it not possible for two people to have the same idea? (Duh, it’s possible). She probably hasn’t even heard of the author- I know I haven’t.

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  76. PotterFan -  October 16, 2010 - 3:41 pm

    Yes. I agree with the last post. It’s funny how most of the people posting already have formed opinions on whether or not Ms. Rowling is guilty. Yes, I have read and do love her books, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have taken ideas from some other source and not properly have given them credit. I can see how it could have been tied up in court and this is just the first we have heard about it. I hope that if these ideas were someone else’s ideas then they should be properly compensated. I think that if she is such a good writer then she probably has read hundreds of similar books, and maybe she did read some of these ideas somewhere else and forget about it. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe she is completely innocent. I don’t believe that we have all the facts yet. Just because she is a good writer doesn’t automatically make her innocent or guilty. I do think that the proper people deserve credit for their ideas, though.

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  77. Angie -  October 16, 2010 - 3:41 pm

    So…what…Stephenie Meyer has to credit Shakespeare now? All kinds of greats have been inspired by others, in all kinds of areas including music. I’m not taking sides, but seriously, where is the line between inspiration and plagiarism?

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  78. Lee -  October 16, 2010 - 3:35 pm

    To Ammar:
    Avatar did remind me of Pocahontas a little bit, but more so of Ferngully. It is a fairly old movie, but definitely worth watching.

    To Just an Observer:
    I absolutely agree with you. It’s nice to know that there are some people who can step back and look at a situation from a different perspective.

    To the accuser: So if I repeat a story a friend or family member told me, is that plagiarism? I hope they won’t sue me. Being an author is a difficult career; you should not accuse another person of plagiarism just because their story is more successful than yours. A few vague similarities are unavoidable in this society, especially in writings of the same genre. I’m not saying that there can be no more new ideas, but they will likely be similar to old ones. Remember, every author goes through hard times, with little or no success. They are people too, and may make mistakes, but I don’t think that Rowling copied (if she even did) on purpose. It is presumptious to assume this. Authors should support each other.

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  79. Really -  October 16, 2010 - 3:32 pm

    Plaigarism laws are so incredibly murky and stupid, and mostly just exsist for people that want to exploit others. It is impossible to really know what went on in J.K.Rowling’s head when she wrote that book, and even if she did read a funny little book about “larry potter, and the wizard school”, she took that and transformed it into a 7 book epic series, not some soppy little piece of crap. Not only that, but I don’t even believe she did take inspiration from that book (assuming it exists). What the accuser’s want to happen in this case, is for you to read in the paper “judge’s could not dismiss this case” and start to get a seed of doubt in your mind, a very typical lawyer tactic. When the reality is that due process states that judges MUST take on all cases, as long as they arn’t 100% fabricated. So that leaves us with knowing that this is possibly 1-99% lies. I’m going for the high 80-90, sure she read a book that had some small elements of her story in it, a boy with glasses maybe, and the character’s name, but I think that is where it will end. These countless other cases spilling forward are just people jumping on a bandwagon.

    And using the name of a character from a book you’ve read in the past isn’t plaigerism, especially some small crappy book with say under 10,000 copies in print. If you’re stuck thinking for a name to a character, what do you do, you think of names of things in movies/tv/BOOKS that might work. The fact that she is now famous, and this is a huge deal, doesn’t change that.

    tl;dr: don’t jump to conclusions

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  80. hopey -  October 16, 2010 - 3:27 pm

    Anne Rice stole THE MUMMY from Wm. Henry Warner’s THE BRIDGE ACROSS TIME. Warner’s book was written in 1913 and is scarce. But his entire book is so close to the first part of Rice’s book it’s creepy. Including a philosophical conclusion which the mummy utters.
    Definite plagiarism here.

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  81. America -  October 16, 2010 - 3:04 pm

    Thats all well and good, but how are you supposed to know if you’re plagiarizing something if you’ve never even heard of it before? Someone may have had a similar idea to what you did before you, and you may never have known it. This is where I think plagiarism claims get ridiculous and upsetting. If you think about plagiarism as simply black and white like that, it’ll turn out that EVERYTHING may be plagiarized. Does it still count as plagiarism if you have no idea that a similar idea exists? It’s ridiculous to think that two people who’ve never interacted at all can’t have similar ideas on a subject. I don’t understand how a court of law intends to actaully be able to prove anything in this case.

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  82. gokan -  October 16, 2010 - 2:32 pm

    this is just ridiculous! Now after all this time they accuse her now? When her books were out for who knows how many years! Lies!

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  83. J.K. Rowling -  October 16, 2010 - 2:20 pm

    I never plagherized a thing, but rather though of an idea and wrote it. I’ve never heard of “Willy the Wizard” throughout my entire life. Please don’t believe such things.

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  84. Nicole -  October 16, 2010 - 2:05 pm

    Ok so this person has had over ten years to say hey, that was my idea, but they didn’t so now they want attention because her idea sold better I never even heard if Willy the Wizard. Beside everything comes from something think of how many movies and books are around that have been previosly done as something else. As both are wizarding books they are bound to have the same elements, I have noticed similarities between Harry Potter and the Chrestomanci Chronicles by Diana Wynne Jones (Another awesome series) and you know why, because it is about wizards!!

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  85. rebekah -  October 16, 2010 - 1:55 pm

    Okay, really Britain?!?!?! Besides, in the Bible, a disciple of God(having a name blank, but I think it was Mark…) says that there is NOTHING new under the sun. So obviously, it IS plagurized, but not in the illigal way! I mean, if it was, we`d have know about it sooner!

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  86. Natalia -  October 16, 2010 - 1:40 pm

    well, i think plagiarism is HORRIBLE, and sorry im making random coments,so heres one more,I LOVE WORDS AND BOOKS!!!sorry but i really do!

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  87. Kit -  October 16, 2010 - 1:21 pm

    Stealing ideas? Most books use ideas from other books, which used ideas from other books, and so on. The popularity of Twilight spurred a rise in young teen vampire romance novels, but those books did not plagarize Twilight. The public just wants more books of that type.

    The very concept of the cliche (repetitive ideas) makes me doubt the truth of this claim. The fantasy adventure genre is riddled with cliches. No one fantasy book explicitly stole an idea from another. Ideas are tweaked, reborn, and given new twists that later become cliches themselves. It is the execution of the idea and how skilled the author is that distinguishes one book from another.

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  88. white bishop -  October 16, 2010 - 1:08 pm

    Other then Osiris and Observer,I find all of these views unbeliveably biased. I can hardly believe that you all breathe the same air I do. None of you know any of the facts and there are judges for a reason. The Judge will look over the facts and decide that she either did or didn’t and hand his judgement down, I feel i can safely assume that he or she has alot better understanding of such a thing. As for miss
    Bhakti Lata, here is a grain of salt. How would you like someone to do that to you?Not so good if the shoe was on the other foot huh? and Laurel? Seriously? Just you grew up reading her books doesn’t make her a good person nor an honest one. Though I am not taking any sides these are my veiws. Kudos for Osiris and Observer.

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  89. Hamneggz -  October 16, 2010 - 1:06 pm

    Rowling is not accused of plagiarizing all of Harry Potter, just one or two ideas in one book. Since HP as a whole has hundreds and hundreds of ideas it would not amount to much. It’s possible that it was independent creation – the people filing the suit have to prove she had access to the original work and the plot lines have to be very similar. Rowling may have read the book and then forgotten it and then dredged the idea up from her subconscious without realizing where it came from. Fantasy is essentially incestuous – there are a limited number of ideas that get reformed into different stories – Elfland, Dragon, Knight, Troll, Centaur, Magic Lamp – someone somewhere had to be able to find a story that matched part of the HP saga – it’s so long and so many things happen. Someone wrote a book with a magical tournament and a device that teleports you somewhere – that is enough to charge plagiarism. I’m sure they are hoping she will settle out of court for several thousand pounds.

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  90. Forester -  October 16, 2010 - 1:04 pm

    Obviously, J.K. did what alot of writers did; they took it from mythical history and so most of the people have the “write” to take this information, not necessarily calling their own since they don’t say it is all made up in their head! People are blind to see that this author is not bestselling for taking from other works and calling it her own, but taking ideas she knows and writing it expertly.

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  91. jeremy -  October 16, 2010 - 1:01 pm

    honestly welcome to over 10 thousand years of human history, everything is copied, usually without knowing. Harry Potter is the best saga of the decade and could be top 5 of all time and you think she copied it. Who hasnt though of a wizard school and going to one? Its not super common but millions have thought of it and its not copying. A flag is copied wow from narnia I didn’t see any picture of a flag in the book oh wait because thats the movie. Those are different things alltogether. Furthermore for you guys stating shes copying words from the dictonary and giving new meanings? honestly what is wrong with you the is in the dictonary oh can they not use that? people should think before they comment.

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  92. Natalia -  October 16, 2010 - 12:54 pm

    um well, i haven’t exactly read the magnificent hp books, but to hear that jk rowling is getting sued for plagiarism!!! for some reason it blows my mind away!

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  93. Rachel -  October 16, 2010 - 12:53 pm

    Stealing words from a dictionary is not plagarizing. It may be a book, but a book designed to inform citizens about words. You can’t “steal” a word.

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  94. jamie -  October 16, 2010 - 12:44 pm

    For those of you who’s “dreams have been crushed” by this article, um, calm down.
    JK Rowling probably did nothing wrong, she probably has never heard of this book. And so don’t lose faith in a role model for being accused of somthing.
    The accuser isnt some evil person. Maybe just an old man that had a bad day. Or some unsuccesful writer hoping to push for some copies to be sold.
    And the judge? Someone said the judge was being “mean” and was “just jealous” that they weren’t “famous”? HA. Don’t we want fair judges? We don’t want judges that bend the law for famous authors.
    Holy moly, people.

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  95. Ammar -  October 16, 2010 - 12:39 pm

    James Cameron worked on “Avatar” for over a decade. That makes sense. It takes a long time to create the technology needed and to completely RIP OFF Disney’s “Pocahontas.” Sure moves borrow from movies all the time, but c’mon James, “Avatar” might as well be “Pocahontas In Space.”
    And why not accuse him of plagiarism instead of our beloved J.K. Rowling.

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  96. Duncan -  October 16, 2010 - 12:38 pm

    i don’t think what she writes would even be considered plagiarism. i mean nobody cares that she is writing about wizard or dragons or mandrake roots. those aren’t all original ideas, just common folk lore.

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  97. Nathan -  October 16, 2010 - 12:37 pm

    There are probably thousands of books exactly like J.K. Rowling’s and plenty more with Stepene Meyer books. Wizards and Vampire are so cliche. Sometimes, I think sueing is the most waste of time ever.

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  98. Brandon -  October 16, 2010 - 12:10 pm

    People never fail to disappoint me with their inability to make their own minds and draw their own conclusions. So many of you, even fans, are all too eager to turn on the author on the sole basis that one person believes she has plagiarized the work of another. Let us keep an open mind. Mrs. Rowling likely was never even aware of the book she allegedly plagiarized and if she had been, the odds that two people may share a similar idea are very high.

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  99. Daphne -  October 16, 2010 - 11:52 am

    Plagiarism is the use of someone elses words or ideas and calling them your own. A previous comment from n/a stated that, “Plagiarism mean that to copy word by word from something else not using your own words. You can paraphrase it.” (n/a, 2010)

    This, sadly, is not entirely correct. If you use another persons words or ideas without citing them in the text, you are guilty of plagiarism. The only time you do not have to cite the source of the words or ideas, is if you use your own words. Paraphrasing means simply changing a few words around. Using your own words means exactly that.

    Just saying. :)

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  100. Clarein -  October 16, 2010 - 11:49 am

    What ever she “plagharized” must just be a coquencedance. They don’t really have to make such a fuss over this.

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  101. Sara -  October 16, 2010 - 11:41 am

    People are only making such a big deal out of this case because the prosecuted (Rowling) is so famous. Many people are accused of plagiarism each year, and no one ever hears about them.

    On that note, it’s true that writers are constantly taking inspiration from their surroundings. If a writer has an idea that is close to another author’s, that isn’t necessarily plagiarism, just similar inspiration. Popular ideas such as wizards and magic are bound to have many coincidences because so many people are thinking about them.

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  102. E.S.N -  October 16, 2010 - 11:40 am

    I honestly don’t understand what all this is about. J.K. is a talented writer who has a brilliant imagination. She has been my role model for as long as I can remember. It isn’t possible that she plagarized anything. Even if she did nothing has been said against her until now, correct? Anyway, she probably had no idea whatsoever about ant story that was like hers. This is all complete rubbish and there should be no further arguments! There have already been six movies made and they’re almost finished with the first half of the seventh, Which I believe will be amazing! I can’t wait to see it and then I will be looking forward to the final one. Honestly though people, we should have nothing against J.K. Rowling at all, she has brought us another world through her books! A world that made me shiver whenever I read about it! Why can’t you just remain faithfull? These kinds of things make absolutely no sense and they make me angry enough to want to go to that court myself and take a stand for J.K. If you are really, true fans of her, you wouldn’t stop loving her and her books just because she’s been accused of something! She might have plagarized but not while knowing it! There’s no point in pursuing something pointless! I adore J.K. Rowling, she’s a true hero to me, giving me faith throughout my years, letting me know anything can be possible.

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  103. Mitchell -  October 16, 2010 - 11:19 am

    I have my MA in children’s lit, and I think that JK Rowling has done more for the genre thanany writer in history. The fact that in the process she has become immensely wealthy was bound to nettle some other writers; jealousy is rampant amongst writers. But Rowling has not been found guilty yet and I doubt she will. It is 13 years since the Potter series débuted — where has this loser been up till now?
    Daphne Du Maurier was sued for plagiarism by more than one writer who was jealous of “Rebecca ” — one of them was Brazilian, and Du Maurier did not speak or read Portuguese. She was, rightly, cleared. However, even if a writer does appropriate an idea from someone else — and, after all, there is nothing new under the sun — surely what he or she does with the concept is what counts. As Igor Stravinsky said — “Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.”

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  104. Justin -  October 16, 2010 - 11:19 am

    Maddy said,

    Wow, i looked up to her. what a jerk. i knew no one could think of that on their own. she totally crushed my dreams

    I just hope you’re joking. Of course someone could think of that on their own! WHOEVER SHE PLAGIARIZED IT FROM THOUGHT OF IT ON THEIR OWN! If nobody could think of it on their own, then how could it have ever been thought of in the first place? Where do you think stories and ideas and stuff come from? God? Nope, they come from people, who think of them on their own.

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  105. lala -  October 16, 2010 - 10:56 am

    JK Rowling is awesome and i dont believe that she would do that

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  106. Blaine -  October 16, 2010 - 10:47 am

    This is probably just another person looking to get money by suing a famous author, and they won’t get any, they’ll get fined for false accusations, and make a mockery of themselves.

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  107. Cupcakefaerie -  October 16, 2010 - 10:45 am

    As a writer, the thought of someone stealing my ideas is abhorrent!!! I have however noticed that almost every book/story/song/tv show/ movie run on the same thematic principals:

    A. Guy meets girl. Guy likes girl but acts stupid. Guy loses girl. Guy does something to win girl back. Guy and girl end up together.

    B. Bad person does horrible thing to good child. Good child grows up to become great person despite early trauma. Good person hunts down bad person for revenge/retribution. Good person finds bad person, has a show down and wins.

    Ofcourse there are dozens of other scenarios I could list, but for the sake of space I’ll just deal with these two. How many stories/movies can you name with just the scenario of A alone? Aren’t they then plagiarizing each other? Or are they all just stealing from the original bardic story this came from in the shadows of history? If I write a story about dragons- am I plagiarizing the guy who wrote about St. George? What about space flight? If all I know about it is what I’ve read from Roddenberry and Asimov- aren’t I just stealing their ideas? Or am I stealing from the researchers who are predicting what the future is going to be like?

    All in all it can get pretty sticky if you really want to think about it. I believe that if it is quoted word for word, if the names are the same, if ONLY the names are different- that constitutes plagiarism. If someone else wrote it and you claim it- that’s plagiarism. Vague similarities that MAY occur- too difficult to prosecute.

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  108. Nancy Thomson -  October 16, 2010 - 10:42 am

    There is little doubt in my mind that the reason this suit has been filed in strictly financial. They no doubt think they’ll get a settlement out of court and some notarity in the bargin. What a cheap shot. I’m sure JK was influenced by plenty of other authors – as is anyone who reads! These guys are just trying to make a buck off of someone else’s creativity.

    People should not just accept because there is an accusation that something is true. Plenty of law suits have been filed that have no substance whatsoever – just done for the publicity and the money. So, think for yourself. Don’t fall for it.

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  109. Steve -  October 16, 2010 - 10:11 am

    Ever heard of inspiration? Maybe that’s what everything was for her. She didn’t plagiarize anything. She didn’t copying anything word for word or take a story and make it her own. I really don’t know what to say. This retarded and i don’t even read Harry Potter books anymore. Haha

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  110. Adam Hardy -  October 16, 2010 - 9:55 am

    I believe the claims against the nation’s best-selling author, J.K. Rowling, are preposterously dismissable, my arguement is two-fold.

    First of all, the person making these accusations against Ms Rowling disgust me, they obviously have convinced themselves that they are entitled to a large portion of her books’ incoming, which, in my opinion, is extremely pathetic. How obsessed with money do you have to be to challenge the nation’s most beloved author only for personal gain?

    Secondly, yes she probably is guilty of plagerism in some way but isn’t that true of every author in the world? If you look through any novel, indeed, any non-fiction book, you will always find an idea, a symbol, a concept that isn’t completely new to you as an individual because all of the ideas and points floating around in the world. Out of all of these, none of them are brand new, someone somewhere will have published, written or even just spoken the entirety of the subject matter in which you are researching. Just because she uses certain pre-existing segments from the world today, she is not trying to evoke that she owns those things entirely. For example, the animalistic symbol for Gryffindor is a lion, she is not saying that she invented the concept of lions, there were lions before ‘Happy Potter’, were there not? She may even have had the inspiration for using a lion in this way whilst she was watching ‘Noa’s Ark’, what the accusers are implying is that some of her royalties should go to the people who made the film ‘Noa’s Ark’ and the Bible just for featuring lions in these stories. Have you ever heard the utterance, ‘there are only 9 stories, every tale is just another version of one, or more, of these stories’? This remark convicts Shakespeare, Dickens and Hardy of plagerism, and we all hold them in very high standng in the world of literature and fiction, do we not? Does this mean that the contents of their books/playwrights are meaningless?

    Take again, for example, ‘Toy Story’, these are a trilogy of highly successful movies, are they not? The person patented the idea for toys coming to life, probably got the idea from watching his son or daughter playing eith their toys, does this mean that the children can sue this man for plagerism?

    Returning to my original point, do not sue J.K. for plagerism you ignorant fools, or you will have her entire folowing on your hands.a

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  111. Michael Dadona -  October 16, 2010 - 9:48 am

    When the copied more popular than original, then comes the plagiarism issue. This is the bad thing from the natural ‘Cause and Effect’ of being popular in the world of popularity.

    But, how bout the meaning of innovation? Innovation categorized into four; create new, doing extension to the existing, duplication, and synthesize.

    In J.K. Rowling’s case, I think he was doing extension to the existing.

    Similarly with the word for ‘discovery’, found thing which is already exist. It’s not a new creation.

    If J.K. Rowling not making huge sum of money, I don’t think so anyone will put claim on him with plagiarism issue.

    So what else to say? J.K. Rowling has to cut his cake into little pieces and share it with claimers just because of one term for ‘new extension’, having said, to be fair and square.

    Finally, this issue will be making J.K. Rowling more popular.

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  112. talli -  October 16, 2010 - 9:44 am

    For those of you just assuming that Rowling is guilty, shame on you. And, to point out, even if there are some similarities, she wrote 7 books, all hundreds of pages long (I’d guesstimate at least over 3,000 pages altogether, probably even close to 5,000 pages) with finely threaded, subtle story lines and clues for the overall story masterfully written in.

    I highly doubt she’d read Willy the Wizard at the time she started writing Harry Potter, but even if she had, who cares? Maybe she read the book and was inspired to write a much more involved, completely different story that happened to have some similarities to the book that originally inspired her. It’s even possible that she read this years before writing Harry Potter and didn’t even make the connection, but the latent knowledge of some of the book’s aspects made their way into Harry Potter.

    Now, I haven’t read The Adventures of Willy the Wizard, and maybe there are just too many glaringly obvious similarities, specifics and otherwise, but even then, that doesn’t make Rowling a sham. She’s written 6 other books that are creative and original on their own.

    Besides, where do you draw the line? Everything is a version of some story that’s already been told. “Fallen” is “Twilight” with angels, while “Twilight” is “Romeo and Juliet” with vampires. There are some themes, mythologies, etc that are just accepted as common use.

    Give Rowling a break and realize that all this outcry is because she’s rich and famous and people want a piece of that.

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  113. Tricia -  October 16, 2010 - 9:41 am

    Sounds like to me someone is trying to ride on the successful skirt tails of J.K. Rowling. She is a terrific writer, why would she need to copy works from other writers? Doesn’t add up.

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  114. Tilley88 -  October 16, 2010 - 9:40 am

    I wouldn’t consider this plagiarism at all. Shakespeare only came up with two (I believe, maybe 3) of his plots, the rest he took and made better, changing the story however he saw fit.

    Measure for Measure is based closely of a Roman play by the comedian Plautus.

    That’s the thing, creativity, unlike today’s modern bias, is not the creation of something from nothing (like the Bible says God created the world), but the using of existing materials to create your own, individual work.

    Obviously, even though I do not like J.K Rowling, her work was far superior to the original and that is why her books are loved.

    Let it alone, and all you kids don’t think less of J.K. Rowling, her books are still as good as before– whether some non-literary judge decides her books are plagiarism or not.

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  115. Steph -  October 16, 2010 - 9:36 am

    Dear J.K Rowling,
    I truly am on your side. I love your books and they even help me with my literature. ;) So even if you are copying, I still will love your books no matter what. :) Your books are terrific and they help me feel happy. First, I am :( then when I read your books, :) You are a very talented writer. :) I have read all of your books hundreds of times and I never get tired of them. What is it like being famous? Do you like the movies? :( / :) I love them, but they miss TONS of parts sometimes, which makes me angry. You a big role model to me! :) And so please, prove them wrong! This could really end almost everything if you are sent to jail! :( (Or maybe more people will want to buy it. . . .) Anyway, I’m not just talking about your prices and the number of books people buy. ;) I’m talking about the people who could let go of you in their heart. And THAT would be a very big tragedy for them and you. So do your best and fight for your rights! :) You will turn out well in the end, I can just feel it. Thank you for your time. :)

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  116. Steph -  October 16, 2010 - 9:33 am

    Dear J.K Rowling,
    I truly am on your side. I love your books and they even help me with my literature. ;) So even if you are copying, I still will love your books no matter what. :) Your books are terrific and they help me feel happy. First, I am :( then when I read your books, :) You are a very talented writer. :) I have read all of your books hundreds of times and I never get tired of them. What is it like being famous? Do you like the movies? :(/:) I love them, but they miss TONS of parts sometimes, which makes me angry. You a big role model to me! :) And so please, prove them wrong! This could really end almost everything if you are sent to jail! :( (Or maybe more people will want to buy it. . . .) Anyway, I’m not just talking about your prices and the number of books people buy. ;) I’m talking about the people who could let go of you in their heart. And THAT would be a very big tragedy for them and you. So do your best and fight for your rights! :) You will turn out well in the end, I can just feel it. Thank you for your time. :)

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  117. Steph -  October 16, 2010 - 9:23 am

    Come on, live a little, J.K. Rowling! I love writing books but I haven’t copied. (Well, I least I don’t think so. . . .) LIVE A LITTLE!!! :) Come on! Wahoo! ;) Oh, who am I kidding? :(

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  118. jollyguy998 -  October 16, 2010 - 9:20 am

    @ Just an observer

    I can’t agree more. Anything else to add would just diminish your meaning or plagiarize your statements.

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  119. Steph -  October 16, 2010 - 9:18 am

    No way! That cannot be true! J.K Rowling ROCKS! I bet the other author is just trying to dish some dirt on her because the person is jealous. Ugh! She is awesome! She would never do that . . . would she? I mean, she can’t POSSIBLY do that, right? J.K. Rowling, hear me out, you are confusing me! Tell the truth! I am just super confused because I never imagined she would EVER do that. :(

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  120. citizen1 -  October 16, 2010 - 9:09 am

    There can be intentional and unintentional plagiarism. Either way it is a problem.There is nothing wrong in using others ideas in your own work as long as you give credit for it. Whether JK Rowling plagiarized or not is yet to be determined.What happened to the American process of “innocent until proven guilty?” This could be a frivolous lawsuit by a jealous writer who is just trying to claim some of Rowling’s money and success.

    In my opinion the judge made the right decision. The judge didn’t find her guilty, only came to the decision that more investigation needs to be done.

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  121. Jerry7 -  October 16, 2010 - 9:04 am

    Using a dictionary word is not plagiarism! It is using the English language! How many books or stories are there right now that don’t use animal names (like Red Howler) for something else? This is not plagiarism, this it being creative and using the English language (and Latin for the spells, which again is not plagiarism)! J.K. ROWLING DID NOT PLAGIARIZE!!!!!

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  122. ChinaBoy -  October 16, 2010 - 8:59 am

    Hey Emily,

    I accuse you of “plagiarism” for I have the very same questions about this “crime” too. :-)

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  123. Gabrie -  October 16, 2010 - 8:52 am

    Just an observer, I say as Osiris did, you took the words out of my mouth; I hope I’m not sued for plagiarism!!!!

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  124. Little_Monkey -  October 16, 2010 - 8:35 am

    I may not like Harry Potter, but copying ? I don’t think she would have done that. If she had copied every single little think some people says here, they’re wouldn’t have been a movie, neither more books. Narnia is a popular serie, if she would have copied from that book, there would have been a reaction sooner. And before saying you can prove she copied, maybe you should do some thinking. Of course an author has to do some research, she can’t know every single magical creature like that. Like someone’s gonna say she plagued on using a unicorn in her books, seriously.

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  125. Raegan Keith -  October 16, 2010 - 8:29 am

    All of you saying you’ve lost all respect for J.K. Rowling, I have lost respect for you. Did you ever think that she never heard of the book she so called plagerised off of? NO you didnt you should be ashamed you should support her if your truly love her and her books. I will defend her and say she did not plagerize. The definition of plagerize to copy and pass off (the expression of ideas or words of another) as one’s own
    you can however refrase a sentence and it would not be plaigerism. How can Rowling have commited such a crim if she had never heard of the book in the first place?

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  126. Sam -  October 16, 2010 - 8:14 am

    @Just an observer
    WOW, I don’t know how anyone could get it more right. Really people, you are all going to get all worked up the SECOND someone accuses somebody of doing something without even doing a little research? Well, I can say that I’ve definitely heard and read LOTS of books over the years and yes, I actually have SIMILAR opinions about the topics… THAT’S WHY I READ THEM!

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  127. laurel -  October 16, 2010 - 8:08 am

    ok first she is the best author ever and i mean ever i dont beilive this for a minute if u do u will never be a true fan i mean i am 12 turning 13 this year i grew up with harry potter the first book came out the year i was born i am completely in love with anything harry potter she is as great as any true fan would dont even beilive that she would do that!!!!!!! the person that says she copied their book well they should have brought it up earlier when the goblet of fire came out not now!!!! the person just wants money and doesnt care if he hurts her or her devoted fans or the hopes and dreams of her most devoted fans i hope they’re happy but dont lose faith in j.k.rlowing she is awesome and always will be she is the best and the case will be droped sooon trust me i <3 harry potter sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!x 100000000000000000000000000000000 him and her stay true to jkr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    STOP HATING HER SHE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE GREATEST THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTS WRITER EVER NOTHING WILL EVER TOP HARRY POTTER AOR HER LEARN IT LOVE IT LIVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  128. Alicia -  October 16, 2010 - 8:04 am

    Apparently the book she supposedly plagarized is so obscure that the internet doesn’t even know what it is. I think that it is therefore safe to assume that J.K.Rowling didn’t know what it was either.

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  129. BIGGEST HP fan ever -  October 16, 2010 - 8:03 am

    C’mon, guys. Seriously, J.K. Rowling has writen some amazing books, making her the richest woman in England: any depressed migic author can suddenly decide that their two works were somewhat the same, so that their book can get a bit more fame, and that Joanne Rowling wouldn’t. Jelous much? What if you read one of Oprah’s books, and deciding that you two both had the same views, opinoins, and thoughts, accused her of plagerism: its not fair to her. Just because they both had the same ideas, doesn’t mean J,K, Rowling stole it, it means she wrote it better than that author. And that’s THEIR fault.

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  130. Blasphamy -  October 16, 2010 - 7:58 am

    Well, this is just ridiculous. I’ve just read up on the subject, and sure, there could be some parallels, but I doubt it was done on purpose, or “stolen”, perhaps she read the books at some point, and without realizing it, put a few VAGUE ideas from those books, into hers, without realizing that it was a very VAGUE idea already published. And, that’s besides the point. The authors of books that accused her of plagiarizing, should be proud that their ideas stuck in her mind. Imitation is the best form of flattery!

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  131. Mary -  October 16, 2010 - 7:52 am

    “Wow, i looked up to her. what a jerk. i knew no one could think of that on their own. she totally crushed my dreams” (Comment above by Maddy)
    I completely disagree with this approach to the issue. She has not been found guilty of anything. The accuser is simply getting their day in court as they may deserve as well as Rowling’s to clear her name. Of course, anyone of us has the ability to come up with amazing work in our own area just like Rowling’s has. She is one who is using her special gift that has impacted so many lives giving them the interest in reading. Not to be critical but those dreams couldn’t have been to strong if they were crushed so easily. Everyone has wonderful gifts and talents’ it is just how and if they choose to use them. I hope for Rowling’s sake she was aware of the laws from the beginning I doubt anyone would chance plagiarism when having such a great success and the income to have everything checked out before publishing. I see this as someone possibly jealous of the success and wanting some of the financial reward Rowling’s talent gave her.

    Reply
  132. Liz -  October 16, 2010 - 7:47 am

    Harry Potter is basically based on “Beowulf”, anyways. I highly doubt that J.K. Rowling plagiarized from that random, obscure little book. The books basically match “Beowulf”–probably not that random book. And plenty of authors have based their books off of “Beowulf”; she’s not the first. So, I wouldn’t be so quick to say that she did indeed plagiarize that book (something like “Willy the Wizard” or something–which is 13-pages long).

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  133. flor -  October 16, 2010 - 7:45 am

    I would have NEVER thought J.K Rowling would copy someone’s work!I mean come on!do you think J.K Rowling would do that!!I myself am a Harry Potter fan.Iv’e read the whole series.I’m waiting to see the movie!!By the way,what book did J.K Rowling copy from??!!!!!I want answers people! Flor age 12

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  134. Bhakti lata -  October 16, 2010 - 7:39 am

    “Good writers borrow; great writers steal.” Come on, people, you know Shakespeare swiped all of his plots, boldly retelling stories someone else had written. He even filched a phrase here and there. If anyone noticed they hardly cared. His brilliant inventiveness so blinded them that they received a whole new vision.

    So kudos to J.K. Rowling. I only think her the more fantastic.

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  135. Colleen -  October 16, 2010 - 7:35 am

    Some people are very gulible
    don’t believe everything you read
    also the article did say she plagerized it just said she was accused and the judge didn’t dismiss the case
    nothing has been decided so don’t go believeing that JK stole someones ideas because she is an amazing writer and I don’t believe she ever would
    also she has been accused of plagerizism before but it was just some stupid people trying to get money from her
    Just an observer is right don’t instantly believe the accuser

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  136. Emily -  October 16, 2010 - 7:28 am

    How can anyone accuse her of plagerism? It’s an increadible accusation. She took bits of ideas from different stories (if even she did do so as there is no actual proof) and quilted it into an amazing story of her OWN. People just want to find something wrong with her work, and take the word plagiarism to the extreme. What does anyone gain by that?

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  137. Kevin -  October 16, 2010 - 7:17 am

    what the heck she better not get charged

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  138. Nolan -  October 16, 2010 - 7:11 am

    Sounds like a “Gentlemen Broncos” scenario to me.

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  139. AnnMarie -  October 16, 2010 - 7:09 am

    It would help to tell us what book, y’know? I wanna see it. BTW, I’m just advertising averagewizard.com if that shows up. It’s a Harry Potter site that is AMAZING!

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  140. Gaw -  October 16, 2010 - 7:01 am

    The accusation probably DID go in at the time of release. Courts and lawsuits involve lengthy processes, especially when money of the sort that Rowling sits on is involved. I love her work, and am extremely sceptical of this case. You take influence from all around as a writer, sometimes sub-conciously. I’m sure that this case is either an innocent coincidence, or else an attempt to get mucky hands on well earned money. I’m siding with Rowling.

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  141. Ninz -  October 16, 2010 - 6:35 am

    I love her books and don’t believe that she stole from another book or books. I believe that her works are from her own mind and not from words printed on a page.

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  142. Talastra -  October 16, 2010 - 6:30 am

    Someone asked, “How can you plagiarize something you’ve never read.” That’s exactly a part of a plagiarism trial. From a legal standpoint, plagiarism is more than just the dictionary definition. It would not be enough to prove that a passage resembles another book, even in many particulars. It also has to be proven that the plagiarizer has been likely to have had contact with the person in some way.

    In this case, finding a copy of Willy the Wizard in the trunk of Rowling’s car would be very bad for her. If her children testified that she’d read it to them would be very bad for her. She’s not likely to admit it herself, if she did.

    But unless the text itself follows practically verbatim the original, there is hardly any ground for the suit. Most plagiarism concerns the words, not the ideas. Obviously, ideas (even in a particular configuration of these characters in that sequence) can occur coincidentally.

    It is a shame that copyright forces authors to pretend to deny their points of inspiration. T. S. Eliot said: beginning poets borrow, mature poets steal. Copyright hasn’t changed this, but only that authors are supposed to keep up a fatuous pretense of being “original”.

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  143. Talastra -  October 16, 2010 - 6:29 am

    Someone asked, “How can you plagiarize something you’ve never read.” That’s exactly a part of a plagiarism trial. From a legal standpoint, plagiarism is more than just the dictionary definition. It would not be enough to prove that a passage resembles another book, even in many particulars. It also has to be proven that the plagiarizer has been likely to have had contact with the person in some way.

    In this case, finding a copy of Willy the Wizard in the trunk of Rowling’s car would be very bad for her. If her children testified that she’d read it to them would be very bad for her. She’s not likely to admit it herself, if she did.

    But unless the text itself follows practically verbatim the original, there is hardly any ground for the suit. Most plagiarism concerns the words, not the ideas. Obviously, ideas (even in a particular configuration of these characters in that sequence) can occur coincidentally.

    It is a shame that copyright forces authors to pretend to deny their points of inspiration. T. S. Eliot said: beginning poets borrow, mature peots steal. Copyright hasn’t changed this, but only that authors are supposed to keep up a fatuous pretense of being “original”.

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  144. dog cat owl -  October 16, 2010 - 6:28 am

    I take that mastery of the originals had brought up the original masterpieces up till the 18th century, that is a sense of originality was possible. The age of flaudulence in plagiarizing tells us that we are living in the time that being original is impossible, which I am not so sure of.

    That is presumably parallel to deposition of the absolutism, the abolitionism and the momentum of bourgeoisie–that idea just occurred to me.

    Who is the guy who won acclaim by copying exactly a Picasso piece? He also directed a couple movies. Commercial success needs to be an artisan to begin with rather than an artist.

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  145. Cheesehead17 -  October 16, 2010 - 6:21 am

    Six billion people on the planet, millions of authors in history. If plagiarism is now defined as loosely matching the previous concept of another book, or coincidentally naming an object or person, art is in deep trouble.

    Does Anne Rice have a right to sue the Twilight series because both used vampires? Probably not, since she wasn’t the person who invented vampire novels. She was another who wrote them successfully.

    Shame on this author who is suing J.K. Rowling. Earn your living, sir, and don’t try and steal the coattails of others. Harry Potter is a complex, nearly one-million word series. To say it is plagiarized is absurd at the highest level.

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  146. T -  October 16, 2010 - 6:14 am

    But the hallows aren’t ‘deadly’, they’re ‘deathly’.

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  147. Speller -  October 16, 2010 - 5:52 am

    It is astonishing that the people commenting here can actually read. I don’t know when I have seen such shockingly bad spelling. Whatever they are doing when they are reading, it’s certainly not paying attention to the spelling used by good writers. I would never waste my time reading Rowling’s books but I assume she does know how to spell at the very least. I hope all the dreadful spellers here are about seven, an appropriate age for being enthusiastic about a series such as Harry Potter, but if they are adults then most of them should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

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  148. Gordon -  October 16, 2010 - 5:49 am

    Pff…whoever this writer is they are obviously a whiny unsuccessful credit stealer. Every idea has been done, South Park had an episode dedicated to this fact. For instance, i myself am writing a novel with animal characters that will inevitably be compared to Watership Down, Duncton Wood, Redwall, The Welkin Weasels, The Animals of Farthing Wood and probably many others.

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  149. Emily -  October 16, 2010 - 5:44 am

    Seriously, Just and Observer, yours was the first sensible comment on this post! And for the rest of you, she’s being accused of plagiarizing a few ideas or terms, not the whole series! Don’t you think that might have been a bit obvious? I think the lines of plagiarism are especially murky with fantasy literature because a part of the genre is based on a legendary or mythological world (dragons, trolls, etc.) that can’t be plagiarized because it doesn’t belong to anyone, and then authors throughout the years add their own interpretations to this. Also, it’s interesting to consider where influence stops and stealing begins.

    Whether she plagiarized anything or not (who knows, maybe she was over-influenced at some point on one plot aspect or so) there’s no denying the immense creativity of the world she created.

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  150. Nate -  October 16, 2010 - 5:25 am

    Take that wizard weirdos

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  151. Lynn -  October 16, 2010 - 5:23 am

    Nathan,

    In regards to your post concerning Stephenie Meyers, if you ever read the sookie stackhouse series (True Blood Series on HBO) you will see very obvious similarities in things..Im honestly surprised she hasnt gotten hit with plagiarism yet….

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  152. Gary -  October 16, 2010 - 5:23 am

    this is just a load of nonsense harry potter and JK rowling herself have been the biggest and greatest thing that has ever happened in the world thereofore if I were you lot i would’nt bother listening a word to this idiot

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  153. Team Rowling -  October 16, 2010 - 5:11 am

    The judge must be daft as a brick..Go team Rowling…

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  154. Ziggy -  October 16, 2010 - 4:44 am

    I’ve been plagiarized three times, one was verbatim, and the other two simply took the unique scene I came up with and slightly twisted and used in the same exact context. In no way is it “flattering” to be plagiarized. Needless to say, I was quite furious, but handled the situation professionally, and all three individuals either changed their work, or deleted the story entirely off the website once caught.

    However, no idea is entirely unique. How many zombie movies are out there, written and directed by different people? Or movies where guy meets girl, girl is beautiful but out of his league, guy tries to prove himself, guy wins girl in the end. What about video games that share similar story lines or subplots? What about songs that share the same title? Are these instances considered plagiarism?

    One person cannot solely claim rights to an idea such as this. Ideas are forever recycled and reused, twisted slightly by each user to create a work of their own. Unless an author pulls something completely farfetched out of their minds that makes absolutely no sense, then of course there will be similarities between various works and the individuals who created said works. The idea of wizards and witches have been around for centuries, and through each century new stories will continue to sprout and take form. It’s all a matter of how an idea is used and truly how similar it is to the work in question.

    I do not believe that J.K Rowling plagiarized another author’s work. Her imagination is vastly impressive, and she has proved this with each book that she has written. “Harry Potter” is such an imaginative and fascinating series all its own, that I feel that she had absolutely no need to steal from another.

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  155. Cheryle Gagnon Artist -  October 16, 2010 - 4:08 am

    As an artist and a writer I find it impossible to communicate with my
    viewers using images and words they won’t understand. In an abstract painting, originality is guaranteed. I create the colours, texture, and
    positioning of geometrical shapes that can be found in Nature. There is no harm in this.
    Words however are handed down through generations as a means of expressing thoughts, feelings, and describing the internal and external body and soul of a human being. No writer or artist can use pure original words in the 21st Century unless that person only makes up and uses his or her own jargon. A new discovery in science is an example.
    Otherwise, we all share the meanings of words in common. There is no ownership of them. They are a part of the free domain. Any law that prohibits the use of common words needs to be changed.
    “Kidnapping” someone else’s work would be erasing the name of the author and replacing it with another name. This is stealing and is morally and ethicly wrong.
    Ideas can be found in the “Collective Conscious.” This is where problems and solutions are worked on. Many ideas pass from one generation to the next without finding a solution. Others are used as reminders for what can happen in our present day or in the future if we are not careful.
    Ideas are communicated from one human to another often in dreams or during quiet times. Most artists and writers enjoy this time. It has a magic feeling of discovery even though the idea is generated somewhere else.
    Some less talented people try to attach themselves to a popular artist or writer by finding fault with their work. If it serves no higher purpose than critisism, it should be to educate. Perhaps there is a better word that can be used instead. Making note of these words can help the writer and reader communicate more effectively. Otherwise,
    the work of art should stand as is.
    Our courts are designed to find the facts. If the facts prove that there is wrongdoing, then the wrongdoing will be exposed by the facts, not feelings. Jealousy and revenge are motives for distorting facts. Getting undeserved fame, or MONEY from the popular work of an artist or writer is equal to “holding them up for personal profit.”
    The intention of Ms. Rowling was to help make reading interesting and fun for young readers. She is successful for the right reasons.
    All humans borrow words and ideas from each other. If we can use these to shed light on problems and solutions “for the greater good of all” then we serve a more noble cause than the complaint suggests. If we become better human beings because of these words or images then we can accredit it to “Divine Timing” which happens naturally.
    One only needs to look to Nature to learn about “Divine Timing” and the lessons it teaches.

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  156. Patrick Callahan -  October 16, 2010 - 3:43 am

    The amount of intelligence lacking in the vast majority of these posts amazes me. Especially the one claiming she plagiarized the “Howler” from an animal. Using something in life in your books isn’t plagiarism … it’s called writing. Not to mention, it’s incredibly obvious the letter is simply called that because of what it does and has nothing to do with the prime ape… It’s stupid she’s even being accused of this, completely idiotic. The ideas are her own, regardless of the fact there MIGHT have been some no name author to write something, somewhat, similar before she wrote what she did. If we’re going to go off of this then here ya go, just about any fantasy story that involves an underdog hero that is forced to destroy a specific item to defeat the ultimate bad guy (and there are a million of them) all plagiarized “The Lord of the rings.” The Chronicles of Narnia that Rowling supposedly “stole her flag idea from” (you’re an idiot by the way for thinking that) is well known to be based on and around the bible, imitating it in many parts. So I guess there is a law suit there as well Hmm? Either way, all of this is completely rubbish and makes no sense what so ever, it’s just some loser of an author trying to get some money because his crappy book barely sold.

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  157. Meh -  October 16, 2010 - 3:12 am

    That dude just wants attention >.> hes so stupid and evil to try to accuse jk rowling of sumthing

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  158. abhishek -  October 16, 2010 - 2:51 am

    how can geting ideas from other peaces of work be plagiarism. i am a fanfiction writer and i write all the time. hell even some of the books i read before have inspiered me and my own story i may use sinarieos but this my own twist not a copy of things writen by others.

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  159. Daydream -  October 16, 2010 - 2:20 am

    How can I look at any of your comments and find you trustworthy sources of information? Almost all of you have spelled something wrong or used some sort of grammar wrong. How can people so bad with English even know anything about writing?
    P.S.
    I love the Harry Potter books from the bottom of my heart. I also love most of the major and minor fantasy books out there, by masters and not. Almost all of them have spun off of some previous fantasy book, myth, legend or lore they have read or heard before; though it is more like they have been inspired. There is nothing new under the sun.

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  160. Junfan Mantovani -  October 16, 2010 - 1:33 am

    Can you use a magic wand in court?

    No….?…..Really?

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  161. Z. Dash -  October 16, 2010 - 1:31 am

    “Plagiarism can be avoided if writers dutifully credit their sources.”

    Utter, complete, nonsense!!! Crediting one’s sources and then going on to steal their work is one of the oldest tricks in the book that plagiarists use to (pretend to) cover their backsides while still taking credit for someone else’s creation.

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  162. Perked Brow -  October 16, 2010 - 1:24 am

    Seems interesting…

    No idea is original. That is the key in all books. Its how it is written, the characters used, and the plotline that matter. The outside of the book, the simple parts can be similar to a ton of books. But this gives people variety. I read a lot of Paranormal Detective books but that doesn’t make every one of them plagiarized.

    Though not widely public, there was a problem with a similar issue earlier this year. A large budget Hollywood movie was released known as: RepoMen. It was about a futuristic world where organs were leased and if you couldn’t pay on time, they were taken back. Only a few years prior did Repo! the Genetic Opera hit it big in the underground communities.

    As an avid fan of Repo! The Genetic Opera, at first I was puzzled, then worried about this possible infringement, but kept up with the news from the very active writers of Repo!. Turns out the movie had been on the table some time, and even before Repo! was released [though Repo! has a copyright dating several years prior] on DVD. It turns out beside the general plot line of: futuristic world where organs are leased and if you couldn’t pay on time they were taken back…they didn’t have much in common.

    One was darker, a true rock opera. While one was big budget and a comedy with a lot of gore and a totally different storyline.

    Needless to say, most people call copyright on the little vague details, which really is stupid. If that happened..we’d probably only have a grand total of…100 or so books in the world. I’d love to know what book they are calling copyright on to see just how deep it goes. However, I highly doubt it goes much deeper then a vague plot line that is nothing a like.

    I say this as an avid reader..but I have never gotten past book or movie 4.

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  163. Albert -  October 16, 2010 - 12:44 am

    What’s so sad, after brawsing these posts, is that most of the illitterates posting negative or disparaging comments about JKR have obviously done little or no research as to whether she did or didn’t plagiarise. Nobody has yet mentioned any paragraphs or concepts that are mirrored from one to the other. Some evidence please, especially from those of you that seemed to hold her in high regard. Decisions made from hearsay are never worth considering.

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  164. Tracie -  October 16, 2010 - 12:37 am

    “Plagiarism mean that to copy word by word from something else not using your own words. You can paraphrase it.”

    Another ignoramus! Plagiarism is NOT the act of stealing “word for word.” Plagiarism is, in fact, the very act of paraphrasing. Just because you twist a few words around or change them altogether, doesn’t give anyone the right to claim someone’s idea as their own.

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  165. mindy -  October 16, 2010 - 12:28 am

    Nooooooo! I am an enormous fan of Harry Potter; I would hate to see its’ reputation of uniqueness apprehended:( Don’t you people look over your responses? Goodness, I’ve never seen so many grammer issues and overall lack of spelling knowledge. I agree with Emily up there, plagiarism accusations have been taken too far. I don’t mean let’s all disreguard crediting the right people for their ideas, but come on, its undeniable that we advance as a society from building off one another. Ideas are kind of like inventions; they evolve to satisfy current society’s demands. For instance, like this blog, I’ve read some of your inputs on this issue, synthesized that information, and then formed my own opinion on the matter. True, some of what I am saying is restated, like Emily’s opinion, but I pointed her out and gave her credit for speaking out my feelings before I had the chance to. You should also notice, I am, in some ways, shedding a new light on the subject. Maybe you all haven’t noticed, but with the current pace of entertainment, fresh ideas are scarce to come by. Remixes of songs and refurbishing old movies are becoming more common. Obviously it didn’t matter to this guy until millions of dollars later “his original idea” was taken and enhanced, so it’s not about him getting the credit, but about the money because Harry Potter has been around for a while, the seventh movie is about to come out, there’s a Harry Potter section at Islands of Adventure for christ’s sake; he would have had to live under a rock to have not heard of Harry Potter until now. I’m not buying it. So sorry mister that you didn’t have enough faith in your idea to run with it to nearly a dozen publishers and make something so magical of it like Rowling did. Surely, you should know if you sit back and wait for success, it will pass you by. Hopefully you all have enjoyed my input as I have yours. Good day, and good luck J.K. Rowling!

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  166. Tracie -  October 16, 2010 - 12:16 am

    “Does it still count as plagiarism if you have no idea that a similar idea exists?”

    How the hell can you even consider publishing a book without knowing the market for your genre? It’s your job as a writer to know what has already been done in the way of storylines. Every writer is supposed to know this.
    Plagiarism is NOT simple, and certainly it’s elements reach a lot further than being black & white.
    Emily, do you EVER think about what you say before you say it? Try it sometime, people might think you more intelligent than what you appear.

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  167. Kate -  October 16, 2010 - 12:14 am

    I think that this ‘suit’ is ridiculous. J.K. Rowling used many creatures and ideas that are a part of our and others’ cultures. Should she get sued for using Centaurs? Phoenixes? Elves? Wizards?!?!?! It is obvious that some words, especially spells and curses, were derived from other languages. Should the English language be sued for deriving words from Latin, German, Italian, etc.? Jacobs’ family (whose book is being said to been plagiarized, who is dead) claims that the ideas of a wizard competition, train and prison. However they cannot identify any material which has been paraphrased. Not to mention the fact that the claim has been made 7 years after publication. Also it should be noted that this is not the first time J.K. Rowling has been sued for plagiarism and it is not the first time someone has sued a successful author for plagiarism. I hope that this does not tarnish J.K. Rowling’s name for others unless this claim is proven true (which I, Bloomsbury and many others do not think will happen).

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  168. Chris -  October 16, 2010 - 12:12 am

    The book that she’s being accused of plagiarizing bears very little resemblance to “The Goblet of Fire” (the book she’s accused of plagiarizing material for).
    The whole suit literally hinges on one scene: “‘Both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main task of the contest which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures.” (Description put forth by the plaintiffs).
    This is not so much a case of “we want justice” as it is “we have found someone incredibly wealthy that we can try to get money out of.” The book that Rowling is accused of plagiarizing, “The Adventures of Willy the Wizard,” has been out of print for some time, I believe, and did not sell very many copies. The similarity is somewhat troubling, but the problem with it is that both scenarios are very vague.
    I’m not even that big a fan of the “Harry Potter” series, but I do believe that it is important to clear things up. This whole suit is just about people who want money and must target a well-known author to get it.

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  169. Tracie -  October 16, 2010 - 12:06 am

    “Wait… what book did she copy the idea from? Obviously not a very popular one!”

    Emily, are you insane?! You don’t think people would have noticed A LOT sooner had she stolen stuff from Stephen King or M. Night Shyamalan? Duuh! Of course she took it from a lesser known book.
    Ok, so the book didn’t do as well as the HP books, that justifies stealing someone’s work?
    What world do you live in?

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  170. Mr. Ryan Galloway -  October 15, 2010 - 11:39 pm

    Out of all demographics, why do the readers commenting on The Hot Word articles have such atrocious writing skills?

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  171. Leffron -  October 15, 2010 - 11:27 pm

    @Emily

    As the definition clearly states: “[plagiarism is defined to be] the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author [or both] AND the representation of them as one’s own original work.”

    Of course if we took the “close imitation” by itself the situation may fall under the category of “sharing similar ideas with someone else”, not necessarily someone you may have even met let alone copy from; while “the unauthorized use” again by itself, simply covers the situation where there is illegal use of someone’s work.

    But either of the above must also meet the “representation as one’s own original work” which clearly indicates that this is an attempt to do so with full knowledge of the material you copy or borrow from.

    For if you had no former knowledge of their work you would not be trying to REPRESENT THEIR work; for it would BE YOUR work, simply similar on certain points. Having said this, I also feel that the definition is somehow lacking overall, but I do not find that the situation you describe could possibly fall under this category.

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  172. Samantha Li -  October 15, 2010 - 11:20 pm

    No way would J.K. Rowling plagarize her books! Her books are, by no doubt, amazing. I mean, what’s wrong with a little creativity? She didn’t plagarize (especially after 12 years?) I assure you.

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  173. Tiffany -  October 15, 2010 - 11:18 pm

    Part of the reason that I like the Harry Potter books so much is because they’re “plagiarized”. I love picking apart the origins of the names and spells. For instance, Sirius Black (one of the easier examples). Sirius, the dog star; Sirius turns into a dog. And obviously, as a dog, he is black. Or, my favourite, Remus Lupin. Remus as in Romulus and Remus, who were reared by a she-wolf, and Lupin as in – well, wolf.
    But if she’s using ideas from another author (ESPECIALLY an unpopular one) then that’s something else.

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  174. Leffron -  October 15, 2010 - 11:14 pm

    @Nathan No one cares about Rowling. This is about the word “plagiarism”. If you have something constructive to say about the word, please begin by attempting to copy it over correctly.

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  175. Lia -  October 15, 2010 - 11:12 pm

    All this is just a bunch of claptrap, really.

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  176. Osiris -  October 15, 2010 - 10:48 pm

    @Just an observer

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    Really, and some of you claim to be such avid supporters of Rowling. So little faith…

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  177. derek cornelius -  October 15, 2010 - 10:39 pm

    i was under the impression she stole the ideas from a 80′s movie called Troll. if you haven’t seen it, watch it and you’ll know what i mean

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  178. Diana -  October 15, 2010 - 10:35 pm

    I’m pretty sure R.S.K was being Ironic. lol.

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  179. Just an observer -  October 15, 2010 - 9:48 pm

    I don’t see why everyone instantly believes the accuser.
    The judge refused to “dismiss” the case, meaning he/she won’t ignore it.
    That doesn’t meant he/she has decided J.K. Rowling really did plagiarize from another author.
    J.K. Rowling is most definitely not the first author to write about wizards/witches and their schools, and I’m willing to bet this accuser isn’t either.
    I agree with the people who brought up timing; why choose now to bring up the plagiarism charges, why not right when The Goblet of Fire came out?
    Also, the objects, spell incantations, and symbols aren’t plagiarized. The letter is called a howler because it howls. Regardless, using the “howler” from “howler monkey” isn’t plagiarism, because it’s not claiming another’s work as one’s own. The spell incantations are based on predefined words (mostly of Latin origin) because that makes the spells self-explanatory (the incantation refers to the effect of the spell). Finally, the Gryffindor symbol isn’t a plagiarism of Aslan. The Gryffindor symbol is just a lion. Lions existed long before C.S. Lewis wrote his novels.
    Plagiarism is murky water because most of the time, it’s very difficult to tell if anything was actually plagiarized. With such a high-profile author involved though, I’d imagine it’s just a disgruntled author trying to make a quick buck off of J.K. Rowling’s success.
    Very good blog post, it’s unfortunate that the reactions are so premature though…

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  180. devashri -  October 15, 2010 - 9:48 pm

    Nicely dealt on the word…but it’s really shocking to hear that J.K.Rowling has plagiarized her works,… has she really done that…??

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  181. Richard -  October 15, 2010 - 9:41 pm

    Plagiarism is the act or instance of plagiarize: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

    Reply
  182. Biff -  October 15, 2010 - 9:03 pm

    Sorry, hit “Submit” too early. She took it from Larry Potter. If you look at that link, you’ll see some incredible similarities in her work compared to the ‘original’.

    Reply
  183. Menu -  October 15, 2010 - 8:47 pm

    Shut up jucge! you’re just mad cuz JK Rowling is a best sellef and famous, unlike you!

    Reply
  184. Jocantha Telsey -  October 15, 2010 - 8:19 pm

    Also, the Hot Word blog is getting better with every new article it produces. It used to never be specific or clear. Good job Dictionary.com

    Reply
  185. Jocantha Telsey -  October 15, 2010 - 8:13 pm

    If this is true I have lost ALL respect for JK Rowling. I think of her as a role model in literature.

    Reply
  186. Suji -  October 15, 2010 - 7:53 pm

    After all the famous “Harry Potter” was stolen idea…? I could not belive it…
    Nowadays, anything can possible.

    Acutally,the last paragraph is very interesting.

    Reply
  187. Maddy -  October 15, 2010 - 7:27 pm

    Wow, i looked up to her. what a jerk. i knew no one could think of that on their own. she totally crushed my dreams

    Reply
  188. moe -  October 15, 2010 - 7:24 pm

    I can not believe that I feel compassionette for J.K. Rowling she must be going through alot, and I love all her books my sister introduced them to me and could’nt wait to get my hands on them. I practically grew up with Harry Potter, and I can’t go one week without doing something that has to do with Harry Potter, like watching a movie, reading some of a book, just saying a spell, or pretending to be a wizard.

    THANK YOU J.K. FOR OPENING MY EYES TO READING! :) :) :)

    Reply
  189. n/a -  October 15, 2010 - 7:03 pm

    Plagiarism mean that to copy word by word from something else not using your own words. You can paraphrase it.

    EXAMPLE: Daniel was at the prom and he ate some pie and candy. He was so full after eating it. AH!

    Daniel was at the prom eating some pie and candy. Afterwards, he was so full that he fainted. AH! Maybe it was a dream. Sigh!!! =)

    Reply
  190. R.S.K -  October 15, 2010 - 6:43 pm

    dear author,
    your words are enlightening. i also have many evidences of her plagiarisms. For the most suitable exapmle she has quoted “Red Howler” as a letter in the books, but its a kind of animal resembling a monkey
    the flag od Grifindor is a clear “KIDNAP” from the flad of “aslan” from the chronicles of narnia.
    in fact may spells she claims to be her original works are vivid copying of dictionary words.
    but its a fact that none can replace the fantasy world created by the great author. i am a true fan of her. still its painful to realise the truth that she has accomplished plagiarism throughout the book. :(

    Reply
  191. Nathan -  October 15, 2010 - 6:36 pm

    Did some research and found out the may have plagharized form the fantasy novelist Adrian Jacobs’s 1987 book “The Adventures of Willy the Wizard.” Apparently it has to relate to the Goblet of Fire. Why choose now the sue her? And I guess this isn’t the first time this happened. I kind of think that this kind of thing will happen more and more often as more and more new ideas get though of and published.

    Reply
  192. Nathan -  October 15, 2010 - 6:32 pm

    I like it, excpet for the fact that I want to know what book she “plagharized” from. If I am correct, the same thing happened to Stephen Meyer. I kind of wonder what took so long for her to be plagharized. Seriously. Her books has been out for, what, 12 years?

    Reply
  193. Grace -  October 15, 2010 - 6:30 pm

    No way…I am a huge HP fan. J.K rowling is talented that person just want attention.

    Reply
  194. Emily -  October 15, 2010 - 6:27 pm

    Thats all well and good, but how are you supposed to know if you’re plagiarizing something if you’ve never even heard of it before? Someone may have had a similar idea to what you did before you, and you may never have known it. This is where I think plagiarism claims get ridiculous and upsetting. If you think about plagiarism as simply black and white like that, it’ll turn out that EVERYTHING may be plagiarized. Does it still count as plagiarism if you have no idea that a similar idea exists? It’s ridiculous to think that two people who’ve never interacted at all can’t have similar ideas on a subject. I don’t understand how a court of law intends to actaully be able to prove anything in this case.

    Reply
  195. Emily -  October 15, 2010 - 6:12 pm

    Wait… what book did she copy the idea from? Obviously not a very popular one!

    Reply

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