A Harry Potter fan broke down on the stand in court yesterday during the trial for the case brought against him and RDR Books by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling over a published version of a Harry Potter lexicon. According to this AP piece over on Yahoo about the trial, Steven Vander Ark, a devoted (some might say slightly obsessed) fan of the Harry Potter series, got turned onto all-things-Harry while working as a children's librarian at a Christian school; since then, the now 50-year-old fan has devoted countless hours to building and maintaining the onlineHarry Potter Lexicon, one of the most popular web sites for fans of the series.
Of course, we've all been following this story for a while now. Rowling never took issue with the website, which included lists compiling all the characters, creatures and spells from the massive and hugely successful series. The trouble started when RDR contacted Vander Ark about doing a print version of the Lexicon. Vander Ark was smart enough to get a clause in his contract that specified the publisher would be responsible for legal expenses if they got sued for copyright infringement -- bet he's glad now he thought ahead about that.