"Harry Potter" Judge Rules Rowling's Magic Was Her Own

By Greg Wilson
|  Friday, Jan 7, 2011  |  Updated 9:45 AM EDT
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J.K. Rowling didn't rely on any black magic in penning the fourth book in her classic "Harry Potter" series, a U.S. judge ruled.

The federal judge tossed out a lawsuit accusing Rowling of copying the work of a now-deceased author when writing "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

The estate of Adrian Jacobs claimed the plot of the book was lifted from his book "Willy the Wizard," including a wizard contest, and that Rowling stole the idea of wizards traveling on trains.

Rowling's publisher, Scholastic, hailed the decision by judge Shira Scheindlin, quoting the judge as saying "...the contrast between the total concept and feel of the works is so stark that any serious comparison of the two strains credulity."

In October, a British judge overseeing a similar plagiarism case said Jacobs' estate's claims were "improbable," though he refused to dismiss the case.

According to his estate, Jacobs, who wrote his book a decade before Rowling's first Potter book, had once tried to hire point sought the services of literary agent Christopher Little, who later became Rowling's agent. That apparently was the connection that might have allowed Rowling to know about his book.

Rowling's attorney said the now-billionaire author had never heard of Jacobs's book before the copyright claim was first made in 2004.

Selected Reading: Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, Daily Mail.

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