Just in: After four months of deliberating, Judge Robert Patterson has ruled
that the Sarah and the castle of witchcraft and wizardry game infringes J.K.
Rowling’s copyright in the Harry Potter series.
According to the AP, Judge Patterson granted an injunction, ruling that
Rowling had proven that PCS Game’s “Sarah and the castle of witchcraft and
wizardry” would cause her irreparable harm as a writer.
The suit, filed late last year against PCS Games, an independent game
developing company in Michigan, alleged that plans by Michigan-based game
developer PCS Games to sell a game, Sarah and the castle of witchcraft and
wizardry, who's Web site that serves as a rather daunting compendium of all
games for the blind, violated Warner and Rowling’s copyright and takes away
the future market for a similar game that Rowling and Electronic Arts plans
Here’s the opinion.
Judge Patterson ruled in Rowling’s favor because the “Sarah game"
appropriates too much of Rowling’s creative work for its purposes.” He also
wrote that, “While the Sarah game, in its current state, is not a fair use
of the Harry Potter works, games that share the Sarah game’s purpose of
aiding blind game players of being able to play a Harry Potter game
generally should be encouraged rather than stifled.”
Ethan Horwitz, an IP lawyer at King & Spalding, told the Law Blog: “What
Judge Patterson is saying is that when you look at fair use, one of the
dominant issues is, are you providing commentary or taking the value of the
work and selling it as your own? He decided that the value of the work was
being taken, that [Rowling] had the ability to develop the kind of game that
PCS Games was putting out, and that she’d indicated an intent to do so.”
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