Harry Potter a Rip-Off??
In the table below, I've lifted the top cell and first two columns of the "Infringment Examples Chart" at Nancy Stouffer's site (all text in black). I'd heard the story of this lady and the supposed infringement JK Rowland had done to her book, and wanted to check it out after reading the first four of the Harry Potter series. So here are my thoughts (right) at reading Stouffer's charges...
|J. K. ROWLING BOOKS||N. K. STOUFFER BOOKS||What this reader sees...|
|Rowling's books I'd open up to include ages 9-99. Stouffer's book illustrations would lead me to believe ages 6 to 9, not 6 to 12. I mean seriously, if I were 12 years old again (in 7th grade) I wouldn't be caught with a book illustrated like this.|
|MYTHICAL PLACE||MYTHICAL PLACE||"Mythical Place?" C'mon, aren't children's tales often "mythical?"|
|ORPHAN BOYS||TWIN ORPHAN BOYS||Orphans. Another common theme, Oliver! (Good thing a basket theme wasn't included too...)|
|SORCERER'S STONE||WORRY STONE||Two stones, different names... uhhh sure...|
FULL SIZE PEOPLE
here's the first "real" thing I'd consider, a "muggle."
I mean it's a "cutesy" name that I'm sure many people have
come up with, but still, maaaybe JK could of copied it...
Looking at JK's use of the word, I'd guess it came from "muddle," as in the people who muddle things up (Harry's parents). Looking at Stouffer's use I'd guess it came from "huggable," as in the cutesy appearance of her illustrations (which instantly reminded me of alien Teletubbies with rabbit kinda faces).
|MUGGLE FAMILIES||MUGGLE FAMILIES||Families... alike? Ooh... no families allowed huh?|
|MUGGLE VILLAGE||MUGGLE VILLAGE||A village? This too?? Wooow.|
"HAPPY, HAPPY DAY"
"OH WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY"
|Hey, good thing Ren & Stimpy didn't get pissed... Rowland's is much closer to "Happy Happy Joy Joy."|
|MUGGLES PLAY SOCCER-LIKE
|MUGGLES PLAY CROQUET-LIKE GAME||Oh my gosh! Two completely different games!!! Ahh, but that's right, maybe JK copied the idea of playing a game though! I see now...|
|NEVILLE||NEVILS||What's this? A French translation? How sly!|
|NEVILLE LOOSES THINGS CRIES AND WHINES||NEVILS CLUMSY AND NERVOUS AND COMPLAIN||Looses things, cries & whines. Yeah, I can see the point... reminds me of someone...|
|NEVILLE BODY CHANGES BECOME BLISTERED WITH BOILS||NEVILS BODIES CHANGE BECOME DEFORMED/SKIN ROUGH||Let's see, boils & blisters compared to deformed lizard skin is it? Yes well, both sound like they'd qualify as legitimate childhood fears, and fear does seem to tend to be a part of childrens tales...|
|HARRY POTTER||LARRY POTTER||Ok, now here's the second real thing I'd consider. These are quite simular. Strange though... how JK Rowlings had to depend upon someone else to come up with the creativity for a regular old name.|
|LILY POTTER||LILLY POTTER||Lily? Oh, Harry's mom? Again, such a difficult name to have one's creativity come up with!|
|NIMBUS 2000 BROOM FLYS THROUGH THE SKY||NIMBUS MYTHICAL WARRIOR FLYS THROUGH THE SKY||Jeez... nimbus, cumulo-nimbus... aren't those things that scurry about the sky? How unnatural to come up with a name like that for something which flys!|
|A MIRRORED LAKE||A MIRRORED LAKE||A mirrored lake, a mirrored lake. Yes not very common now, is it? 'Course JK's lake was "smooth as glass," but 'spose we can't be deducting points for that now... close enough!|
|FLEET OF BOATS||FLEET OF BOATS||A fleet of boats... Oooh JK, you shoulda said "a school of boats," or "a flock of boats..."|
|BOATS AWAIT BY LAKE||BOATS AWAIT BY INLET||Yes yes, boats awaiting... perhaps they should've been awaiting along the road, or perched in the tops of trees? Yes, that wouldn't of infringed now, would it?|
|BOATS TRAVEL ACROSS LAKE||BOATS TRAVEL DOWN INLET TO LAKE||Oh my! Boats traveling across a lake of all things... definitely a faux-pas!|
| VISITORS TRAVEL BY BOAT
TRAVEL BY BOAT
|Yes, what a point, this is so very unique... How do we get to castles? Across a river by bridge or boat, or walk the high road over moat. (Harry's taken carriages and flown there once too. S'pose two outta three ain't bad!)|
|IVY VEGETATION SURROUNDS THE BOAT PASSENGERS||TROPICAL VEGETATION SURROUNDS THE BOAT PASSENGERS||Oh Gosh! Vegetation!! JK used vegetation!! We should definitely clip her for that one now!|
|CASTLE ON CLIFF||CASTLE ON CLIFF||Yes, I was wondering about that too... first JK said it was on a mountain, next page she says a cliff. Perhaps she couldn't remember what another author put, so included both to give satisfaction? (Jeez, a castle on a cliff? Ever heard of such a place for a castle??)|
|DARK SECRET PATH||DARK SECRET PATH||Yes yes, secret paths, secret gardens, secret passageways... who'd ever come up with the uniqueness of these?|
| ENTRANCE TO CASTLE
"FLIGHT OF STONE STEPS THAT LEAD TO A HUGE OAK DOORS"
"FLIGHT OF STONE STEPS THAT LEAD TO A HUGE WOODEN DOOR"
|Yes JK should've used an elevator here. Surely she should've known using "stone steps" up to a castle with a "huge" oak door would've been ideas "belonging" to someone else!|
| KNOCK THREE TIMES ON
| KNOCK THREE
TIMES ON THE
|Oh and another very unique item! Shoulda said "twice," or "four times." Definitely a risk of plagerism here!|
|RECEIVING HALL||RECEIVING HALL||Uh huh, one of those... she shoulda said "Grande Foyer" or something.|
|FLAGSTONE FLOORS||CHECKERBOARD STONE FLOOR||Yes, stone floors in everybodies castle but Rowlands... ya know, we shoulda stayed away from "stone" in a castle, of all places!!|
|GREAT HALL||GREAT HALL||Maybe JK shoulda said "great, BIG, hall." That woulda been kosher now, wouldn't it?|
|SEATS IN GREAT HALL||SEATS IN GREAT HALL||Mmm hmm. There shouldn't a been any seats in it now either... somebody'd surely already thought of that!|
|FOUR HOUSES||FIVE COLONIES||Uh oh, trouble here. Four doesn't equal five, and houses don't equal colonies. We're gonna have to deduct points for this one now, Ms. Stouffer...|
|VISITOR CEREMONY||VISITOR CEREMONY||A ceremony in a castle? What a very rare thing... JK did you copy this???|
| VISITORS PREPARED FOR
|Visitors preparing for questions... have you ever heard of something so unnatural?|
| QUESTIONS ASKED BEFORE
OTHERS ALREADY THERE
OTHERS ALREADY THERE
|Well, we might as well milk it for what it's worth!|
|HOUSE CUP HONOR CRYSTAL GOBLET||HONOR CUP OF DESIRE CRYSTAL GOBLET||Yes, why should JK have bothered to honor guests by bringing out the crystal?|
|DRINK SORCERERS STONE ELIXIR||DRINK WATER FROM THE WELL OF DESIRE||Oooo, a magic potion vs. the wishing well! Yes yes yes, much too simular!|
|CHARACTER DRESSED IN TIGHTS||CHARACTERS IN TIGHTS||A rather tight spot we're in here... Of all the characters... in suits, robes, pajamas, why did JK have to mention "tights!?" She must be looking for trouble...|
|VANISHING STEPS||VANISHING STEPS||The idea of steps, vanishing into the distance or dark. Now where would we see that!|
|QUILL PENS AND PARCHMENT||QUILL PEN AND PARCHMENT||Oh, could this be outright infringement? Whoever heard of using such items in a magical castle, of all places! (Pardon me Harry, but you wouldn't happen to have a Mont Blanc now, would you?)|
|POISONOUS FUNGUS ALLERGIC REACTION||POISONOUS MOSS ALLERGIC REACTION||Fungus... moss... good thing she didn't take a lichen to it!|
|HERBS AND FUNGI||BORDONIAN MOSS||Lichening different things again...?|
|GOVERNOR||FRIAR||Hmm. Well, she shoulda stayed away from any kind of "leader" now, shouldn't she've? No, we can't have leaders in children's books...|
| UNDERGROUND CAVES
|Uhp uhp! We can't have any of these things now JK... (Haven't you read "The Hobbit"?)|
|THE BOOK OF MONSTERS||THE ANCIENT BOOK OF TALES||Well yes, who gave JK the right to use a "book" in her tale, of all things... a book!!!|
|KEEPER OF THE KEYS|| KEEPER OF
KEEPER OF THE GARDENS
KEEPER OF THE MILLS
KEEPER OF THE CHILDREN
KEEPER OF THE FOOD
KEEPER OF THE LIGHT
|Let's see, you've got six items listed there Ms. Stouffer... but I'm gonna have to give infringement rights on this one to "GhostBusters," since they've already used "keeper of the keys." Sorry!|
Ms. Stouffer's page goes on to say...
according to Stouffer's table, JK Rowlands is "infringing"