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Something I had to do…


Two days ago I did something I’ve never done before. I sicced my lawyer on someone.

Believe me, this is not the way I like to operate. People steal material from the Lexicon all the time. Contributors for Wikipedia are famous for it. Yeah, it bothers me. Stealing is wrong. At least three published books have plagiarized quite shamelessly and never even given credit to the Lexicon. It bothers me a lot.

I send emails asking things to be removed and usually that’s the end of the matter. So when I found out about this guy, I just sort of shook my head and figured I’d send my usual gentle insistence that he stop stealing.

Except this one’s different. This fellow is basically out to scam fans out of money as fast as he can before book seven comes out. He’s written a book which he wants to sell and in order to sweeten the deal, he offers bonus material. This bonus material is all from the Lexicon, from Accio Quote, and from Jo’s website. I’m sorry, but that’s where I draw the line. I will not stand for someone stealing my material and using it to scam fans out of money.

So my lawyer sent him a cease and desist letter two days ago. We’re asking that he stop what he’s doing and that he return money to anyone who bought his book.

His response? He sent a jokey email to the people on his email list about being sued. He’s still merrily doing business. Perhaps he thinks we’re bluffing. He’s never met my lawyer.

I don’t like to do things like this. But this leech is not a true fan. He’s an opportunist who sees a chance to make some quick money by playing on fans’ enthusiasm leading up to book seven. I won’t mention him or his site by name because I don’t want to send traffic his way. I also don’t want to generate a storm of nasty emails from other fans or anything like that. We’ll let the legal process do what it’s supposed to do.


Pensieve (Comments)

  • guest

    Good luck for the process, I hope you can stop him. What a __________!(Fill in your favorite swearword)

  • Malene

    That’s just awful! Hope you’ll stop him!

  • Michele

    You’re right Steve, you’re doing the right thing.. These people have to learn what’s respect..

  • Krishna Majmudar

    You’re doing the right thing, man. People like this bastard vex me like crazy. Same goes for pirates of video games and movies. Hopefully this dumb @#$% will be stopped.

  • pam

    Looks like you have your own “Gilderoy Lockhart” … good luck and thanks for taking the effort to stop idiots like him.

  • Starling

    I’ve seen his scammy website. I hope he loses LOTS of money.

  • Dapylil

    Go get em, Steve!

  • Tiffany

    Good job on fighting for your hard work! Hope you sue the pants off him.

  • Good luck!!
    And update w/ details on it.

  • Big_Kelpie

    you are doing the right thing. Good luck

  • sstabeler

    it’s the right thing to do, sending a lawyer after this guy. you politely asked him to stop, and he refused. in other words, you were reasonable, so good luck.

  • LMB

    Steve – Can you tell us who he is so we can avoid him?

  • magnoliasouth

    LMB: Just don’t purchase anything that makes outrageous claims (EVER), such as what this man is saying.

  • Ginevra Potter

    Thank you for all you do for us. I am sorry for all you have to do to keep people from stealing your hard work and great information.

  • Mrs. prongs

    Sometimes I don’t understand people…Who would do such a thing?

    Good luck Steve!

  • Tunnza

    We all know how hard you and the staff work to give us this goldmine, Steve. Good luck on knocking this claim jumper for a loop.

  • Finn

    Good luck Steve! And as somebody who edits Wikipedia but is a devoted Lexicon fan and forum poster, let me tell you how much I despise your work being plagiarized over there and how hard I work to try and remove it, if I had the time. Hope you can still appreciate some of Wikipedia’s better aspects.

  • Summersky

    It needed to be done. Wonder if Jo knows….

  • Go Steve!!! Beat him into submission!

  • Aramina

    Good for you! People like this make my skin crawl. Making money off of other people’s work is lower than low.

  • Adam The Red

    I hope you slam him hard in court. We had a few people get expelled from university this semester for plagiarism. It was all over the campus newspaper.

  • MarauderMeg

    I know the scammy site you’re talking about, too. I sent the guy a rather scathing email, and got a glib reply.

    I hope that “customers” can get their money back, and if there’s anything extra, or if people don’t claim their refunds, that anything else goes to Jo’s favorite charities. πŸ™‚ That would be pretty fitting.

  • Mistral

    Good luck Steve! I do hope you will be able to win this case. The work you have done for “our Harry Potter Lexicon” is just so awesome!!! Where do we fans go when we want to know something explicit? We don’t have a portkey – but a certain “key” on our PC – which brings us right into “Potterworld” where we have all the facts, written down with so much loving details and beautiful Artwork! Never forget Steve -wherever we fans live in the world – we wholly appreciate your terrific work πŸ™‚ Keep my fingers crossed that your lawyer is able to stop this “thief”!!! A devoted fan of your Website. Love from Switzerland

  • sstabeler

    maybe dropping JKR a note might help as well, after all, she was plagarised as well.

  • Char

    You shouldn’t feel you have to justify your actions, Steve. You have poured copious amounts of time and energy into building the Lexicon into what it is today; A reliable source of information about the Harry Potter world.
    It is just so easy for people to take credit for other people’s work; the guy needs to learn a hard lesson.

    Good luck… and I’ll sign (and I’m sure others would too)a petition supporting you if needed!

  • Lynn

    Steve, you are doing the right thing! In support of you and the Lexicon I have made an extra donation to help with legal fees or anything else the Lexicon needs. Lynn

  • topknot

    BRAVO, go on

    please keep us informed




  • Melissabeth

    Well, it looks like any moron can “write” a book these days. Not sure if you want to take it this far Steve, but when if you really wanted to ruin this guys life (and I think you should), you should contact the Better Buisness Bureau, because after all this twit is scamming money out of people all over the country.

    Either way Steve, I hope your lawyer is one of the sleeze lawyers that goes for the throat type of thing, because that would be better for this guy than to be ripped a new one. We’re all cheering for you!

  • Pat Pat

    Steve, you have nothing to explain or apologize for. What aggravates me the most about this situation is that children are going to be one of the biggest victims of his scam. Nothing gets under my skin like that. You are absolutely doing the right thing. You tried going about it in a nice, private way, but this man obviously feels that he is untouchable. I hope you prove him wrong. Please let us know what we can do to help.

  • Geri

    atta boy steve!

  • Bible Spice

    Starlight and I are going to kick in 10 bucks. Use it for the lawyers or whatever. We have not until now spent enough time in the Potternet to realize just how distinctive HPL is in service to the enthusiast. Give ’em he**, Steve.

  • Bible Spice

    Well, I just bragged about donating money, but I can’t figure out how to do it. Are you set up to do accept donations? Is it more trouble than its worth?

  • Steve, I’m 100% with you. We’ve also been victim of plagiarism by several sites, and also Wikipedia. I just hope none will make a book in French based on our stuff (so, your stuff translated in French) and not mentioning it. I’m with you Steve, and in that kind of case you never have to justify.

  • I mean, to justify yourself. πŸ˜‰

  • Domoor

    You’re right Steve. Good luck.

  • hpboy13

    These people tick me off like there’s no tomorrow! You spent countless dozens of hours workign on this site, and this guy just ups and makes money from your work! I am behind you 1000% Steve!

  • Cricket

    GO GET THE SCUM. I love reading all the essays and the worst thing I ever do is send a link. But to steal someone else’s work? What, he’s afraid of people finding out his IQ
    is two points above a carrot?


  • Is it possible that I heard something like this in the news?! Because I did, but I don’t know whether it was this guy exactly. Well anyway, this is so outrageous!!! And I really hope you win the case! Good luck.
    Much love and support from Germany.

  • Naazju

    I agree with everyone. I commend you for trying to take care of it privately, but kudos for having the guts to do something like get a lawyer on his case.
    Please let us know if there is a petition or letter that we, the fans of J K Rowling and all your hard work, can sign to show our support.
    Good luck.

  • MagicD

    I just had to chime in. I’m a retired lawyer, and this is the kind of thing that we SHOULD be using the legal process: to assert your legitimate right, and to stop a wrong. You go!

    MagicD. sending you my best vibes.

  • Hope your lawyer gets him! Taking money out of people in such a disdainful way is terrible…
    Steve, by the way, Potterish.com sent an e-mail to you (several months ago, I believe) exactly to prevent any kind of unauthorized use of your material, but, according to my webmaster, we never received a reply. Hope you read it, because we’re doing something for fans, that’s never been released in Portuguese before, but we don’t pretend to steal anything. Thanks for the attention!

  • journeymom

    Get him, Steve!

    MagicD beat me to it. This isn’t a frivolous law suit, this is exactly what lawyers are for.

  • Antonia Fenech

    It’s very good what your doing and I hope he really gets the full force of the law and karma gets him as well. I’d use swear words but I don’t swear.

  • Marina

    Go get him!

  • William Givens

    Excellent move, Steve. Show that thieving, greedy loser that the law is not on his side! He deserves a good talking-to!

  • Scott

    I agree. Please could you tell us his site?

  • jim

    i agree with scott, please give the site address – also where did starling get it from

  • Time Turner

    Good job steve! your doing the right thing. I hope he gets what he deserves!

  • Mistouflon

    A thought: considering that this guy steals your work and make money with it, he is stealing from Mrs Rowling too.

    Your lawyer should contact hers…

  • Susan

    Your site is by far the most comprehensive HP site I’ve found on the Web – or in books about HP(JK said so!) and I do think you have the right to defend that property!

    I sometimes think Harry Potter for Dummies should be written, but then the contents would only be one link… to your site! So good luck.

    I think you’re dealing with this very appropriately, also by not mentioning the site (even though I’m burning with curiosity right now).

    Is there a disclaimer on your site, like, where people can find out what to do if they want to quote things on your site?

    Susan from The Netherlands

  • Lynn

    Bible Spice asked how to donate. Go to this page,
    http://www.hp-lexicon.org/index-2.html and towards the bottom on the right hand side you will see a link to Pay Pal. Lynn

  • Mikkel Larsen

    Good luck. I, like many others, have laughed about the american system of suing everybody all the time but this seems to be necessary. Thank you for having the best Potter resource anywhere and for letting us use it for free.

  • Antoon

    Well said, Mikkel.

    I understand that the first reaction of some people would be to send this man horrible mail, but I think we should be above this. Steve is right. Sending this guy a massive stream of abusive mail seems to be medieval somehow, and in a way very unfair as well. Letting the lawyer do his work seems to be much better.

    Steve, you will keep us informed, wonÒ€ℒt you?

  • severusisn’tevil

    Good job. Really. I love the Lexicon and plagarizing from it for personal gain is disgusting. All you guys work hard on this stuff. You obssess over it, and go crazy. This guy had no right at all to steal material. Way to go!

  • Bella

    I’ve been to the page and it’s not even worth visiting. I have also seen his myspace page and I think it’s funny because in one of is blog posts he rants about people being dishonest and breaking the law.

  • You are doing just what you should be doing,

    Good Luck to you,

  • Bridget

    Has the book already been published and for sale? I would hope not. That would mean for alot of tedious work for alot of ppl for him screw up!!! Sue his pants off!!!

  • Maddee

    Good that you’re telling him to stop, he shouldn’t copy of the Lexicon, my favourite HP-site. I LOVE THE LEXICON.

  • pam

    I’ve been reading you for years and greatly appreciate all your hard work. Go get him and put him out of business if you can.

  • Deboshire

    I was going to buy package, including an e-book, after I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but I ended up buying and reading it now just in case.

    I do not know whether it is the person in question… (his initials are JM).

  • NiGHTS

    Steve, you have always run this amazing site with the kind of integrity you could only expect from a true gentleman. You have offered this cockroach an opportunity to desist his outright theft, with a great deal more honour than he deserves; I hope you know that you have the wholehearted support of the legions of ‘true’ Potter fans, who frequent your site, in your pursuit of justice; we know who the good guys are πŸ˜‰

  • Annoyence

    tell you his e-mail and he’ll get loads of spam

  • Mike Smith

    Steve – I’m behind you all the way…

    Your site is the most informative I’ve found. Don’t let this scumbag rip off your hard work.