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Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 21:08 GMT
Harry Potter fan's website row
Owen Rickards
Computer wizard Owen Rickards set up the website
The magic of Harry Potter has touched children across the world but a teenager from north Wales found himself "spellbound" by movie giant Warner Brothers.

Owen Rickards, from Gwynedd, paid 100 to buy a Harry Potter domain name for the internet so he could set up his own fan website.

But the Hollywood owners of the Harry Potter image told him they own the rights and that Owen would have to sign his creation over to them, Hogwarts and all.

Owen's Harry Potter website
The website which has upset Warner Bros.

Like Harry Potter - a young wizard who learns some clever tricks for dealing with difficult adults - Owen thinks his idea could only help the film company.

He said: "Warner Bros is big company, what harm is a website fan club going to do to them, if not boost their income from the film and the books?"

The young computer whizz, who is potty about books, is now in negotiations with Warners over keeping his website, as long as he promises not to use it to make a profit.

Owen and his family are still waiting for Warners to spell out exactly what they want him to do now.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros have decided the best philosophy is stoney silence.

J.K. Rowling
Chepstow-educated JK Rowling wrote the first book on a train

The copyright jink has come just days after it emerged that Welsh versions of the Harry Potter books could be hitting the shelves soon thanks to a deal with JK Rowling.

The author has sold the Welsh-language rights to Bloomsbury, which has published the English editions.

The company is expected to confirm a translator for the titles, of which there have been four, in the next few weeks.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Robert Thomas reports
"He insists he has no intention of disappearning into cyberspace."

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See also:

19 Nov 01 | Wales
04 Jan 01 | UK
13 Nov 01 | Wales
04 Oct 99 | Wales
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