Harry Potter: Who really won?

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Neither would-be Harry Potter lexicographer Steve Vander Ark nor his publisher, RDR books, seem very crushed by the court ruling against them and in favor of Potter series author J.K. Rowling.

A New York District Court judge handed down a ruling earlier this week quashing the "Harry Potter Lexicon" that Vander Ark wrote and RDR was slated to publish this November. Vander Ark, a former school librarian and major Harry Potter fan, took too much material directly from Rowling's books, ruled Judge Robert Patterson. Publication of the book is banned.

But according to theage.com, as of yesterday RDR was still listing the book among its titles, and called it "the most famous yet-to-be-published" book in children's literature. RDR also says that it is considering an appeal of the decision.

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In the meantime, Vander Ark, who says he bears no ill will to J.K. Rowling, is reported to be in England. He's busy researching his next book: a guide to Harry Potter-significant sites in the UK. Presumably, this time he will be very careful about taking any words directly from the Harry Potter books.

But his is now a name associated worldwide with the Potter series. And RDR Books (whose other titles include works like "A Consumer's Guide to Dental Implants") is getting its 15 minutes of celebrity as well.

Rowling declares herself very content with the decision. But it's hard not to wonder, in the long run, if Vander Ark didn't do quite nicely for himself as well.

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