The Harry Potter Lexicon and the World of Fandom: Fan Fiction, Outsider Works, and Copyright
40 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2008
Date Written: September 26, 2008
Fan fiction, long a nearly invisible form of outsider art, has grown exponentially in volume and legal importance in the past decade. Because of its nature, authorship, and underground status, fan fiction stands at an intersection of issues of property, sexuality, and gender. This article examines three disputes over fan writings, concluding with the recent dispute between J.K. Rowling and Steven Vander Ark over the Harry Potter Lexicon, which Rowling once praised and more recently succeeded in suppressing. The article builds on and adds to the emerging body of scholarship on fan fiction, concluding that much fan fiction is fair use under 17 U.S.C. section 107. But much is not, as well.
Keywords: copyright, fair use, Harry Potter, fan fiction, slash fiction, intellectual property, law and literature
JEL Classification: K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation