Writing in Salon, the Machinist, aka Farhad Manjoo, gets all het up because J. K. Rowling, “the most well-remunerated writer in history,” dares to assert control over her creations by filing suit to stop Steve Vander Ark’s publication of a Harry Potter lexicon. Here’s the gist:
In her suit, Rowling, arguably the most well-remunerated writer in history, asserts complete and total control over the Harry Potter creative universe — a stance that, if affirmed by the court, would strike a deep blow to the legions of fans who have added immeasurably to her work online. Her attorneys claim that Vander Ark’s book will compete with Rowling’s own planned Potter encyclopedia; the lexicon, they say, is thus nothing more than an attempt to “make millions of dollars off the back of Ms. Rowling’s creativity.”
Manjoo seems to think that Vander Ark, who started a fan site, deserves to cash in on Rowling’s work, because he’s a scholar of Potter. And Rowling is greedy for not letting someone else glom onto her work.
Salon’s readers make all the right points:
The key point in your post, I think, was the part about the fans viewing Rowling as a rather amusing, and perhaps minor, player in their little universe. This is classic fandom.
Not only is he showing his true colors as a fan (“HP doesn’t belong to JK Rowling anymore, it belongs to us” – his words), but he is ruining things for all the other fans of all the other fandoms, by forcing JK to create a precedent.
Farhad Manjoo seems to have a problem with J K Rowling. This is the man who, just before the release of the Deathly Hallows book, wrote that Rowling and her publishers had, in this day and age, no right to be aggrieved at a copy of the book being leaked to the Internet prior to publication date. Manjoo then duly gave his readers pointers to the offending site and leaked some extracts himself.
The Machinist? He’s a tool.