The Power of Potter: Copyright Law and its Influence on Sequels and Parodies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


When used as a weapon by an author, copyright serves to protect the rights to his or her creation. Through an analysis of Utilitarian and Natural Rights theories, it can however be seen that the broader goals underpinning copyright law lie essentially in the encouragement of learning; that is, copyright encourages the creation of new works for the overall benefit of society, not necessarily through an expansionist view of copyright, but by limiting the rights of the author. This issue is reflected in infringement action against secondary authors of sequels and parodies. The many recent cases involving the Harry Potter books are a good example of a hugely successful author exercising her legal rights to the detriment of literature, learning and scholarship, and specifically to the future development and existence of valuable literary forms such as sequels and parodies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercqs065
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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