Steven Vander Ark’s Harry Potter lexicon has vanished and may never be seen again. The handy guide was not spirited away with the wave of a wand: it was, instead, banned with the bang of a gavel. In a ruling issued this morning, Judge Robert Patterson affirmed that Ark and his publisher had failed to demonstrate that the reference text fell within the scope of fair use.
Ark’s lexicon began as a web site (now down) and quickly gained popularity. Rowling herself was once a fan of the web site and has previously lavished it with praise, gave it an award in 2004, and even admitted to using it herself while she was writing some of the later books in the series. The trouble began, however, when Ark decided to turn the web site into a book which publisher RDR Books intended to sell for $24.95 per copy. When Rowling learned of Ark’s plans to publish, she launched a lawsuit against the author and successfully obtained an injunction against publication last year.