<p>LONDON, June 15 /PRNewswire/ --
<p> - With Photo
<p> The estate of the English children's writer Adrian Jacobs has today
issued proceedings in the High Court of England against Bloomsbury Publishing
Plc, the publishers of J.K Rowling's "Harry Potter" series for copyright
<p> The Estate, acting through its trustee Paul Allen, claims that
in writing the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling copied
substantial parts of the work of the late Adrian Jacobs, "The Adventures of
Willy the Wizard-No 1 Livid Land", and that Bloomsbury in selling the books
have infringed the Estate's copyright.
<p> "The Estate is also seeking a Court order against JK Rowling
herself for pre-action disclosure in order to determine whether to join her
as a defendant to the..action"
<p> 1987 Adrian Jacobs wrote the book "The Adventures of Willy the Wizard-No
1 Livid Land", which describes the adventures of a wizard named Willy. The
copyright allegation argues that the plot of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of
Fire", published in 2000 and one of J.K.Rowling's best-selling books, is a
copy of that to be found in Jacobs' book. Both books describe the adventures
of a main character, "Willy" in Jacobs' book and "Harry Potter" in Rowling's,
who are wizards, who compete in a wizard contest which they ultimately win.
Both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main
task of the contest which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues
from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by
a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures, "the merpeople" in
Harry Potter. Many other similarities are described in the Claim filed by the
Estate, which include the idea of wizards travelling on trains, famously
referred to in Harry Potter as the Hogwarts Express. It is alleged that all
of these are concepts first created by Adrian Jacobs in Willy the Wizard,
some 10 years before JK Rowling first published any of the Harry Potter
novels and 13 years before Goblet of Fire was published.
<p> It is also alleged that, at the time in trying to get his work
published, Mr Jacobs sought the services of a literary agent, Christopher
Little, who also later became Ms Rowling's literary agent in the Harry Potter
<p> Mr Jacobs' book was ultimately published by Bachman and Turner
in 1987. However, following a stock market crash, Jacobs became bankrupt and
died penniless in a London hospice in 1997. By contrast, today the Potter
Brand is a multibillion dollar global entertainment phenomenon.
<p> In the action, the Estate is seeking an injunction to prevent further
sales of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and either damages or a share
in the profits made by Bloomsbury Plc in selling books that are alleged to
infringe Adrian Jacob's copyright.
<p> Mr Paul Allen, the trustee of the estate, said ... "Because it
is not right for the Estate to comment upon matters proceeding before the
Court, all we would say is that Adrian Jacobs did not live long enough to see
the massive success of the Harry Potter books and films. If he had he would
have sought the proper recognition of his contribution to this success story.
He cannot fight this battle personally so his estate is bringing this action
to ensure that his voice is heard. The action, if proved, will ensure the
rights of authors everywhere, even posthumously."
<p> Notes to Editors
<p> A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA Photowire.
It can be downloaded from http://www.pa-mediapoint.press.net or viewed at
http://www.mediapoint.press.net or http://www.prnewswire.co.uk.
<p> Extracts from Adrian Jacobs' book can be viewed on the web at
<p> For further information and interviews please contact Max
Markson on UK +44(0)7710-067-299 or Australia +614-12-501-601 or email