Who'd be Willy the Wizard?
It'll cost you a downpayment of £1.5 million to find out if Harry would. According to the Daily Mail today, the man claiming that one of JK Rowling's Harry Potter books was lifted from another work has been ordered to pay more than £1.5 million into court as security for the costs of the author and her publisher - or the case will be struck out.
The order was made by Mr Justice Kitchin at a hearing in the Chancery Division of the High Court. The claim has been brought by Paul Allen, trustee of the estate of the late Adrian Jacobs, who died in 1997, who alleges that the fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was plagiarised from Mr Jacobs' book, Willy the Wizard.
Mr Allen is suing Ms Rowling and her publisher, Bloomsbury, for some £5 million.
Mr Justice Kitchen last year rejected an application by Ms Rowling and Bloomsbury to strike the case out - although he said it had only an 'improbable' chance of success.
Now he has ordered Mr Allen to make a series of staged payments into court as security for 65 per cent of the costs faced by Ms Rowling and Bloomsbury.
He said Mr Allen should pay £322.691 for Bloomsbury's costs and £571,613 for Ms Rowling's costs by April 21, with a further £24,650 for Bloomsbury's costs and £178,441 for Ms Rowling's costs to follow by August 5.
The final payments - £129,373 for Bloomsbury's costs and £318,975 for Ms Rowling's - must be made by November 11. The judge said failure to make any of the payments into court by the specified time would lead to the claim being struck out and Mr Allen being ordered to pay all the defendants' costs of the action.
Ms Rowling had described the claim that her book was copied from Willy the Wizard as 'not only unfounded but absurd', and said she had never even seen the book until the claim was launched in 2004.
26/1/2021 07:30:06 am
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