Derivative Work

Posted: 4 Jun 2010

See all articles by Douglas Lichtman

Douglas Lichtman

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: September 8, 2009


Last year, RDR books endeavored to publish an unauthorized encyclopedia of all things Harry Potter. Warner Brothers filed suit, and the resulting litigation turned out to be a fascinating fight over the precise contours of copyright law’s “derivative work” right. In this podcast from, we look back at that now-settled case, using it as a launching point from which to consider not only the scope of the derivative work right, but also some practical questions about when and whether a copyright holder ought to enforce such a right as against fan-produced materials. Guests include Warner Brothers’ Senior Vice President Jeremy Williams, and opposing counsel from the RDR case, Anthony Falzone of the Stanford Fair Use Project. UCLA law professor Doug Lichtman hosts. (You can listen to the podcast for free at Just check the archive.)

Keywords: copyright, derivative work, copyright infringement, intellectual property, Harry Potter

JEL Classification: K00, K11, O34

Suggested Citation

Lichtman, Douglas Gary, Derivative Work (September 8, 2009). Available at SSRN:

Douglas Gary Lichtman (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-267-4617 (Phone)

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