08 May 2008

Orson Scott Card Criticizes Rowling

Orson Scott Card has his say about the J.K.Rowling's copyright trial against Steven Vander Ark.

Interesting point he makes about Rowling's borrowings, from his own work and others as well.

This is his comparison to Ender's Game:

A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to be exceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends and gains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world.

What's also interesting are the links provided by Orson Scott Card about Rowling's other "borrowings"

Cases of other possible copyright infringement from Rowling's side here.

He makes a strong argument about scholarly comment. Check out the full article here.

I must say I agree with him.

There can be ridiculous boundaries drawn by some such as Rowling, presumably for monetary reasons.

If you wanted to put the Rowling Spin on author's rights, perhaps creators of Lost should pay royalties to descendants of author of the Robinson Crusoe?

Or every single story or game that contains a halfling character should pay out to Tolkien's family?

Geniuses behind Batman should track down Bram Stoker's next of kin - Batman was batty and hung around in a cave, Bruce Wayne was looking to harness the fear of bats. No wait, that's called creative licensing.

Frankenstein's monster wouldn't be the gooey, green, bolt in head mute fella that he is today if derivative writing had been hindered. One of my university lecturers had marveled at this example of human creativity, where fiction took a life of its own and years later, the "parentless" monster finally ended up with the scientist's name.

It would be a bad day for publishing if Rowling wins her case.

Would any scholarly commentary written for purpose of analyzing previous works be affected by it? If a college professor wanted to write an exploratory work about Jane Eyre, is that going be labelled as a crime against creative brains?