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Friday, 16 March, 2001, 11:48 GMT
Larry Potter returns to print
Larry Potter versus Harry Potter
Spot the difference: Larry Potter (l) Vs Harry Potter (r)
The US author who is suing the writer and publishers of the Harry Potter stories for allegedly plagiarising her work is to reissue her own books.

Nancy Stouffer of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania claims that JK Rowling lifted ideas for Harry Potter from her 1984 book, The Legend of Rah and the Muggles.

Now, with the court case on-going, Stouffer's books - which were out of print before the JK Rowling books appeared - will be reissued by US publisher Thurman House in May.

Author JK Rowling
JK Rowling received an OBE earlier in the year
Stouffer hopes to establish her credentials as the Potter creator.

"I have been accused of stealing; some children believe I am the one that followed JK Rowling," said Stouffer.

British author Rowling has become a cult figure among Harry Potter fans and a movie is being made from her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

In Stouffer's Rah and the Muggles, which features a character named Larry Potter, the muggles are little people who care for two orphaned boys who magically turn their dark homeland into a happy place.

In Rowling's books muggles is the word wizards use for non-magical humans.

There is also a character called Lilly in both books.

In Rowling's books Lily - with one l - is Harry's mother whereas in Stouffer's story Lilly is Harry's best friend.

In addition Stouffer says the Rowling books use similar illustrations.


But Rowling's publishers are not convinced by the argument.

"This is all absurd," said Judy Corman for Harry Potter's US publisher Scholastic about the plans to republish the Larry Potter books.

The Potter comparison
Muggle: what wizards call non-magic humans (Rowling); little people who care for orphans (Stouffer)
Lily Potter (Rowling); Lilly Potter (Stouffer)
Keeper of the Keys (Rowling); Keeper of the Gardens (Stouffer)
Nimbus: a broomstick (Rowling); character who rides through the air on a horse (Stouffer)

"Anyone even vaguely familiar with the Harry Potter books and the use of the term muggle to describe any person who does not have magical powers, will recognise the absurdity of Ms Stouffer's claims," she added.

Stouffer is the author of 13 books, which she said were created with the idea of licensing the characters until her original publisher went bankrupt in 1987.

Ms Stouffer filed a lawsuit in March last year against Rowling and Scholastic Inc., the US publisher of the Harry Potter books.

Her lawsuit also names Time Warner Entertainment Co., which owns the film rights to two of Rowling's Potter books, and Mattel and Hasbro, which have the merchandising licences.

Then Scholastic, Rowling and Time Warner filed their own lawsuit in New York, asking a judge to rule that the Harry Potter books do not violate Stouffer's trademark and copyright.

Rowling issued two Harry Potter spin-off books this week which will be sold in aid of Comic Relief.

See also:

12 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Potter magic helps charity
06 Jul 00 | Entertainment
A Muggle's guide to Harry Potter
17 Oct 99 | Education
Harry Potter fights back
01 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Magical Potter teaser revealed
07 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Harry Potter's magician
17 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Harry Potter books 'plagiarised'
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