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more from Jo

Jo updated the news on her site again yesterday about the situation with the book. Here’s part of what she said:

“I take no pleasure in the fact that publication has been prevented for the present. On the contrary, I feel massively disappointed that this matter had to come to court at all. Despite repeated requests, the publishers have refused to even countenance making any changes to the book to ensure that it does not infringe my rights.”

It’s very hard to know what to write. For one thing, everything I write these days — everything I’ve ever written or said, in fact — is being dissected and analyzed to make me sound like a fool or a liar or an arrogant jerk (as I’m sure this will be as well). People who know me and have talked with me know that this isn’t the case. In fact, I think Jo and I are pretty much in the same place here. We’re both terribly sad and disappointed that we’re in this situation. Who could have imagined that we would ever find ourselves being portrayed as enemies fighting each other in court?

Anyone who knows me knows that I have always been a huge supporter of Jo and her work. I have spent years of my life writing about Harry Potter. The Lexicon is the product of thousands of hours of scholarship and love for the books and for the delightful world Jo has created. I have stood up against groups of people threatening to ban the books. I have discovered background information and connections and written thousands of words of commentary. I have shared my enthusiasm for Harry Potter at conventions.

Through it all, I have worked dilligently with everyone associated with the books to make sure we don’t violate copyright. There have been a number of times when I have talked with Jo’s people and held back information they didn’t want published or modified material on the Lexicon to make sure they approve. I got specific permission from Warner Bros. to use film images and the illustrations from the books. I have been just as dilligent with the rights of fans who have allowed me to use their writing and artwork. In each case I have listed the copyright owner and made sure that they were credited and that they retained their copyright.

Why in the world would I suddenly change my entire personality, my standards? To read some of what I’ve seen online, fans have decided that I am just trying to make huge amounts of money or that I have no respect for Jo. Some fans, along with WB, have speculated that I took the material they graciously allowed the Lexicon to use and slapped it into a book without permission. Some have jumped to the conclusion that I blatantly ignored demands that I not create a book from material on the Lexicon. That just isn’t who I am. I would never, never do something like that.

I’ve also read some very unkind things written about Jo. I’m not even going to repeat those things here. What I will ask is why in the world anyone would think that SHE would suddenly change her entire personality? We have respected her for years and loved her writing and the fact that she will interact with fans on her website and during personal appearances. She has encouraged our creativity and been thrilled to share her world with us.

One question that gets asked of me over and over is if I have ever met Jo or talked to her. The answer is no, I haven’t. I have always wished for that chance, but it’s never happened. There is a crazy part of me that believes that if she and I could just sit down and chat about this, we could get it all sorted out and put this miserable incident behind us.

Maybe then all of us could put it behind us and just get back to enjoying Harry Potter together.

Steve
still Jo’s man, through and through

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Original page date 9 June 2011; Last page update 14 June 2011 SVA