RDR has the help of Lawrence Lessig's clinic at Stanford. This will be a very important test case on the parameters of fair use in American law.
“I feel as though my name and my works have been hijacked, against my wishes, for the personal gain and profit of others and diverted from the charities I intended to benefit,” she said in a declaration to the court.
And what perfidious act of “hijacking” has RDR Books committed? It planned to publish a book by Steven Vander Ark, who maintains a fansite called the Harry Potter Lexicon. The Lexicon publishes Harry Potter essays, finds Harry Potter mistakes, explains Harry Potter terminology, devises Harry Potter timelines and does a thousand other things aimed at people who can’t get enough Harry Potter. It’s a Harry Potter encyclopedia for obsessive fans.
It will be about the battle between those who believe in the evolution of culture through a large and liberal interpretation of the time honoured practice of fairly building upon what has come before and those, such as Ms Rowling and her agent, Mr. Neil Blair who says:
“There have been a huge number of companion books that have been published,” Mr. Blair said. “Ninety-nine percent have come to speak to us. In every case they have made changes to ensure compliance. They fall in line.” But, he added: “These guys refused to contact us. They refused to answer any questions. They refused to show us any details.”(emphasis added)
In other words, creativity v. control.
J.K. Rowling may be the most successful author in history in the financial sense. It's just too bad that she is using her money and power to control, stifle and "choke" the creativity of others.
PS - here's a great article by Tim Wu from January 10, 2008 Slate on why Rowling should lose her lawsuit.