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Allen v. Scholastic Inc.
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
2011 WL 43448 (2011)
In 1987, Adrian Jacobs authored a book called The Adventures of Willy the Wizard—No 1 Livid Land (Livid Land). The 16-page illustrated book told the story of a wizard named Willy who competed in a wizards’ contest for the chance to win life in Stellar Land, a dream retirement community for wizards. In 2000, Scholastic, Inc. (defendant) published author J. K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (The Goblet of Fire). Rowling’s book was the fourth of a seven-book series about a 14-year-old Wizard named Harry who competed in a school tournament against rival magic houses. The 734-page book contained a few illustrations above the title of every new chapter. Paul Gregory Allen (plaintiff), as trustee of Jacobs’s estate, brought suit against Scholastic for copyright infringement based on the two books. Scholastic moved to dismiss the suit on the grounds that no reasonable juror could find substantial similarity between the two books.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scheindlin, J.)
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