Willie Gets His Day in Court

May 24, 2011 by J-Wire
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Willie the Wizard and the Lawyer from Wagga was published by J-Wire last year outlining how high-profile publicist Max Markson was spearheading a court action in the UK against J.K. Rowling, the originator of fictional giant Harry Potter. The action makes claims that Rowling’s work could have been sourced from a character Willie the Wizard written by a Markson family friend Adrian Jacobs….and now Willie will get his day in court.

Max Markson

The Trustee of the Estate of late English author Adrian Jacobs announced he has now met the order of the English Court of Appeal , paying 50,000 sterling into court, enabling the appeal and “Adventures of Willy The Wizard” copyright breach lawsuit against JK Rowling and her publishers Bloomsbury to go ahead .

The full trial is scheduled for February 2012.

In October 2010 the High Court rejected JK Rowling’s application to strike out the case against her . The High Court was concerned that despite requests JK Rowling had refused to disclose her original manuscripts and notebooks which she claimed showed the genesis of Harry Potter .

The Court held that until she disclosed her manuscripts, the Estate could not evaluate the strength of the case against her. Rather than disclosing documents JK Rowling’s lawyers obtained a court order forcing the tiny Estate to pay the billionairess author and her publishers over 1.4 million sterling as security .

In April The Trustee appealed arguing that this vast sum would “stifle” the lawsuit.

“Why has JK Rowling persistently refused to produce her first Harry Potter manuscripts and famous crammed notebooks?,” asks Mr Allen.

“ Her lawyers even claimed they no longer exist, and ignored a court deadline to exchange a list of documents . We have been asking JK Rowling for sight of these crucial documents for many years”.

The case alleges that JK Rowling used Adrian Jacobs’ visionary 1987 work “The Adventures of Willy the Wizard” to develop her Harry Potter series, copying many new expressions of ideas from Jacobs’ work, including Wizard Chess, Wizard Trains & Hospitals, Wizard Gambling and Newspapers and copied Jacobs’ 1987 storyline concept “The year of wizard contests” when writing Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire published in 2000.

The dispute casts doubt on JK Rowling’s account of creating Harry Potter on a train. Her literary agent Chris Little claims the first draft chapters of Harry Potter came from J.K.Rowling in 1995 but the Estate maintains the manuscript was in his hands at least a year earlier in 1994 .

The Estate claims that Little was also Jacobs literary agent .

In July 2011 The Trustee will also ask the Court of Appeal to order the return of costs spent by the Estate successfully contesting J.K Rowling’s failed attempt to strike out the case .

Paul Allen says “We welcome the opportunity to prove our case at trial next February and exposing the inconsistencies in the account of how J.K Rowling came to write the Harry Potter books.” says Allen

Markson was asked to aid the family after Jacobs died. He brought an action using barrister Peter Foley who needed a solicitor to instruct him…enter brother Kevin based in Wagga…and so began the saga of Willie the Wizard and the lawyer from Wagga.


One Response to “Willie Gets His Day in Court”
  1. William Hardy says:

    To answer their ‘coincidence’, Rowling used the fundamentals of fiction writing and there are million of other possibilities that Rowling could have used for her books.

    To answer your international competition “idea similarities”, there are other possibilities that Rowling could have gotten this idea from. Uh, what is that real life international competition that will happen in London in the year 2012? Oh yeah… The Olympics. I wonder why Paul Allen haven’t attack or sued the Olympics for having ‘international competition’? What about the World Cup?

    For the half-human and half-creature ‘idea similarities’, both creatures in both works resemble dragons in mythology, and what dragons in mythology literature do? Well, they capture maidens or hold people hostage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8Jrt7Wr8lc&feature=related, http://www.angelfire.com/dragon2/reddragonlady/dragons.html and http://rachelannhanley.blogspot.com/2011/04/dragon-champion.html.

    For the ‘parallel worlds” similarity idea, many of other works have done this such as the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Spirited Away, Inuyasha and many other examples on http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DownTheRabbitHole. So the Willy the Wizard team’s whining about Rowling stealing this idea is just and idea, not an expression of an idea.

    For the “Brewery” similarity idea, breweries are also from real life, dating back all the way from the 12th century. For the gambling” similarities idea, have you guys ever heard of Las Vegas or Monaco? Very likely not. When you have a genre, like wizards for an example, very likely the writer will stick to that genre and then add a lot of elements, such as brewery and gambling.
    Another idea that astounded me the most is the idea where the protagonist relies on help from others. This ‘idea’ is one of the most basic rules in fiction writing, by the protagonist relying help from friends and others (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkHBoCzNo70 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW7dlsNPUPM&feature=related). This idea have been used in Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Jason and the Argonauts, Robin Hood, Power Rangers, Rurouni Kenshin and many more examples on http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FiveManBand.

    You Frank and the rest of the Willy the Wizard team knows nothing about fiction writing. Even amateur in fiction writing knows so much more about fiction writing than Frank Persol and Willy the Wizard team. Not only you’re very likely to lose but you are just going to embarrass yourselves and I am going to enjoy it, as well the millions.

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