Sue, Ignore, or Invite to Dinner?

So, if you become a famous author and make more money than you can make sense of, and one of your fans gets carried away a writes books about your fictional universe, would you sue or shrug?

(This question, by the way, is inspired by the case in London between JK Rowling and a fan.)

7 thoughts on “Sue, Ignore, or Invite to Dinner?

  1. Honestly? In general, I don’t believe in suing so I guess I wouldn’t sue.

    I had the opportunity to sue at one point in my life and didn’t do it, and my refusal to participate in a lawsuit caused a rift in my family. I’m sure you mean this question to be about literary ownership but I’m seeing it through a different lens.

    What’s your answer, Marta?

  2. This illustrates the heavy black line that delineates the person from the industry. It’s not JK the person, you see, it is JK the industry. When you become an industry, the stakes are much higher. The stakes are always higher when billions have already been made. It happened to McDonald’s too.

  3. Shelli, not being able to imagine suing isn’t really a problem.

    SBW, I wouldn’t sue either. I don’t entirely mean the question to be about literary ownership–to me suing seems to be about the community we live in. (Sorry to hear such a question caused a rift in the family, but who knows—if you’d participated in the lawsuit there still may have been a rift. Money does that.)

    Karen, may we never become an industry. I much prefer being a person.

  4. telecommutingtruths

    I may have the unpopular point of view here but I think I would sue. I would definatly do as JK is now. I’d testify to try to keep it from happening. Why should others make a living from her hard work. It isnt fair. I cant imagine it feels good to have someone come along, after you’ve worked for years on something, rearrange you work and make money from it. Arg!

  5. telecommutingtruths, I don’t think your view is unpopular, and even if it is, it is still welcomed. I just generally wouldn’t want to be bothered with the mess of a lawsuit, but it would depend on the situation. Some things I think are worth shrugging off and a few things are worth the mess. For me it would depend on intent and such.

    I think of the novel Wicked and am glad Gregory Maguire wasn’t sued by the Baum estate. There’s outright theft–bad–and inspiration–good.

    Anyway, thanks for your view. It is good to hear.

  6. I’d shrug. There are so many other things I’d rather spend my time doing than worrying about that guy’s book. Especially if I had the money JK has.

    But I’m probably not best qualified to answer, since I’ve never read any of her books. I figure I’ll be reading them when my kid(s) get older, so I’m waiting for that.

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