Copyright Duel: JK Rowling Vs. eBay India
As the world eagerly awaits the final Harry Potter book, eBay India is charging Harry's creator with harassment. This is the latest battle in an ongoing war over the presence of pirated e-book versions of the Potter series that have appeared on the popular auction site.
With just over six weeks to go for the launch of the seventh book in the Harry Potter series, author J K Rowling is facing charges of causing “humiliation and harassment” to web trade company eBay, formerly Bazee.com Pvt Ltd.
The website has accused Rowling of using the media to spread “misinformation” about an ongoing row between the two in High Court.
In an application filed before Justice A K Sikri, the web trader states, “J K Rowling and her representatives are spreading misinformation about two (High Court) stay orders… The distorted manner in which wide publicity is given in the media — print and electronic — has caused immense harassment and humiliation to eBay and also damaged its goodwill and reputation.”
The spat dates back to 2004 when Rowling’s agent spotted advertisements showing the Potter series up for sale on www.bazee.com, an Internet auction site owned by eBay.
According to the author’s agent and Warner Bros, a joint owner of intellectual property rights of print and movie adaptations of the Potter works, this was in “complete violation” of Rowling’s copyright over her creation.
In 2004, Rowling and Warner Bros, through their India representatives, moved the High Court to check “display, sale and distribution” of pirated versions of Potter series on the website.