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Harry Potter: J.K. Rowling's publisher denies plagiarism in 'Goblet of Fire'

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, publisher of the hugely popular Harry Potter books, rejected claims today that Potter author J.K. Rowling plagiarized “substantial” parts of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Reuters reports. The estate of the late author Adrian Jacobs filed a claim with London’s High Court alleging that substantial portions of Rowling’s fourth novel in the boy-wizard series are similar to Jacobs’ 1987 booklet The Adventures of Willy the Wizard — No 1 Livid Land. The Jacobs estate claims that the notion of wizards traveling on trains was originally conceived by Jacobs, though the bulk of their argument seems to stem from Goblet of Fire‘s central plot element of a wizard tournament.

According to a statement from the estate: “Both Willy and Harry are required to work out the exact nature of the main task of the contest which they both achieve in a bathroom assisted by clues from helpers, in order to discover how to rescue human hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal fantasy creatures.” Bloomsbury released a statement of its own today, maintaining that, “this claim is without merit and will be defended vigorously.” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is estimated to have sold 400 million copies in addition to grossing hundreds of millions of dollars for the subsequent film.