Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fairey v. AP: Harry Potter redux?

Ross Todd at the Am Law Litigation Daily has an interesting factoid about the counsel in Shepard Fairey's declaratory judgment suit over the "Obama Hope" poster:
The case will be a rematch for Fairey's counsel--former Bingham McCutchen partner Anthony Falzone, who's now executive director of Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project--and AP lawyer Dale Cendali of O'Melveny & Myers. Last spring the two were on opposite sides of a trial involving a Harry Potter fan's attempt to publish a Potter lexicon. (Cendali, representing Potter author J.K. Rowling, successfully blocked publication.)

This time around Falzone will also have Stanford Law professor Mark Lemley (of the newly formed IP litigation boutique Durie Tangri Lemley Roberts & Kent) with him. O'Melveny partner Claudia Ray is working with Cendali.
In the interest of full (though probably unnecessary) disclosure: I used to work at O'Melveny, and Mark Lemley taught my Intro to IP class in law school. So I am hopelessly biased in favor of both sides.



    In your post you mention the case of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. vs. RDR Books in the matter of The Lexicon by Steve Vander Ark. You indicate that publication of this book was stopped. This is not true.

    Since January 16 over 37,000 copies of the Steve Vander Ark's Lexicon have been shipped to RDR Books customers in the United States and England and through Al Terre Editions to readers in Canada. Dutch rights have been sold. Publication of the book has been the subject of extensive coverage by the Associated Press, the London Observer and Telegraph, and the British Press Association. A very accurate account of the publication of the book and a statement from Rowling's attorneys on the matter appeared in Publisher's Weekly at:


    More details are also available at www.rdrbooks.com.

  2. Just to be clear, the District Court *did* enjoin publication of the original book. See the last page here:


    The Publishers Weekly story to which Mr. Rapoport linked indicates that he has dropped his appeal of the District Court's decision and has now released a "new book [that] 'has a new focus and purpose, mindful of the guidelines of the [District] court.'"


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