Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


J.K. Rowling is in New York this week, and we're a lot happier to have her here than we are to have Pope Palpatine en route.

Unfortunately, Jo is here to testify in a court case concerning a ripoff artist who's trying to profit off all her hard work on Harry Potter. This creature had a website which JKR approved of, something she now says she's bitterly unhappy about having done, and he and his cheap, crappy publisher thought they could make a few bucks by printing it up as "The Harry Potter Lexicon."

This is EXACTLY why I never gave anyone permission to do fannish ripoffs of my own Keltia stuff, and went after anyone who tried. Of course, Keltia and Harry Potter aren't remotely comparable in the success department, but the principle remains the same, and I'm very glad I held to mine.

Nobody has the right to take your creation and do whatever they please with it. Theft is theft. This guy claims he's just writing a concordance, just like all the Shakespeare ones you see around. Well, JKR says otherwise: in fact, she says that of over 2400 instances of Harry mention by this guy, over 2000 of them are directly plagiarized from her books.

She further deposes under oath that the commentary he boasts of is nonexistent and the scholarship is lousy. For ex: he attributes "Alohomora" to portmanteauing "aloha" and the Latin word "mora"; JKR says not so, it derives from a West African term to do with thievery or breaking and entering. And a bunch more stuff along those lines.

I find it difficult to believe that the defendant could have been so ingenuous as to think that taking great whacking chunks of JKR's work was "fair use." Last time I checked with a lawyer on fair use, I was told that it was all proportional: if a poem or letter, say, was 1000 words, could get away with 100 words in your fair usage. Shorter stuff would militate smaller percentages.

I also find it interesting that the defendant's original contract with this publisher contained an arrangement that the publisher, who assured him it was all okay, would be responsible for the costs of any plagiarism lawsuits.

Anyway, both plaintiff and defendant have wept on the stand. For different reasons, of course. I just hope that the judge who's ruling on this---it's not a jury trial---will be receptive to the rights of a creator and rule in JKR's favor.

Any other outcome would only be worthy of He Who Must Not Be Named.


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