Harry Potter and the Law

The Texas Wesleyan Law Review had an issue titled Harry Potter, Law, and Culture: Harry Potter and the Law (hat tip: History News Network). Overall, loads of fun to read. An overview of the review, as well as a discussion of why members of academe find so many relevant themes in the book(s) can be found in Positive Liberty (who’d written a paper, “Harry is a Hobbit”).

Perhaps the most enjoyable essays have been those written by Benjamin H. Barton. A freely-distributed compendium of his papers (five of them!) is titled “Harry Potter and the half-crazed bureaucracy”. Here it is:


You can read about the “legal scholarship boomlet” in Potter-related law stuff, in Info/Law (not just Barton, but economists, too!). Even Marxists in France got engrossed in all things Potter (see Gnostical Turpitude huffing about it). Normblog reproduces The moral and political philosophy of Harry Potter (by Linda Grant).

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  1. Hello, sir! Thanks for putting my old blog on your roll, but I have a new one–Critic After Dark. Hope you can update the link, thanks…

  2. as for Potter quotes, here are my favorites:

    “…and always we must keep fighting, for evil, though truly never eradicated, is kept at bay, with our constant vigilance…”

    “you have to choose Harry, between what is right and what is easy..”

    “It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” (and this one really suits our political scene)

    you won’t believe the volume of quotes I dug up when I searched “Harry Potter quotes” on the internet

  3. Dami nga Devils!

    sa quote garden pa lang,dami na.

    have you a manuscript of the next book,btw?

    just asking.

  4. no. i haven’t even read the book. my siblings, whom I asked to buy me a copy (while they were in Mla when it went out) didn’t do so bec. they were too lazy to go out and buy it!

    but i have the previous 6 books. and if you’re looking for digital copies for free, good luck. i know there are some floating around the web you can find with just a few diligence, but sorry, I don’t support piracy. well, not of those works which i view as instrumental in uplifting their genres into excellence. (you can pirate pro-Marcos books for all I care)

    • benj on August 11, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    It feels like one big private joke. Hehe. Not much of a Rowling fan here. :p

    • BrianB on August 12, 2007 at 1:32 am

    We’re wizards ruled by Muggles.

    • BrianB on August 12, 2007 at 1:40 am

    Great ending for the book. There’s a quick peek into the future of the Philippines toward the end where Harry, Hermione, Ginnie and Ron were bidding their kids farewell on the train. Voldemort’s dead, and the death eaters are either dead or in Azkaban, but life goes on as usual. History is history. My great ambition.

    • rego on August 12, 2007 at 3:25 am

    Noel Vera,

    I wonder why, Mumbaki and Guro (can’t remember the exact title, the one who stared Allesandar da Rosi) were not included in you list. I think they are good too. Then there was Bagets.

    Ano ba ang criteria mo?

  5. Yeah Devils,

    Good that you don’t support piracy,good for you,(nahiya 2loy ako bigla)I do have the first three books and an almost complete set of the movies… which are dvds as is dibidis baka ma raid pa ako ng mga tao ni Edu.But as per tagakotta de cebu ,they have not repealed the law of supply and demand yet.Baka ma sermonan pa ako tungkol sa mga sakit ng pinoy ng kapwa natin pinoy sa istoryahan nating ito.

  6. KG,

    lol. bumibili rin ako ng pirata. pero yung mga DVDs lang. at hollywood trash lang. indies, pinoy films, and OPMs are sacred cows for me. and of course, i support artists and films i like. as for books, i’ve never liked the idea of digital copies. masakit masyado sa mata if you’re going to read the entire copy sa PC. traditional books are still the best. and of course, im not just a voracious reader but a great book lover. you’d see all my books in good condition.

    a bit of trivia abt JK Rowling and Harry Potter. she wrote some parts of the book on scraps of papers and tissues if you would believe it.

    • BrianB on August 12, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    “a bit of trivia abt JK Rowling and Harry Potter. she wrote some parts of the book on scraps of papers and tissues if you would believe it.”

    Every writer has done it at least once.

    • Rom on August 13, 2007 at 12:29 am

    The English empire was built on the endeavors of the privateers – fancy names for pirates – and the Crown turned a blind eye as long as England benefited. Eventually, when there was something like parity between the fortunes of England and those of the Spanish empire, the prominence of privateers waned.

    We’re past those days when piracy of that kind were acceptable tools of statecraft. But what about the piracy of intellectual property? Naturally, I’m not talking of plagiarism here, but I hear my aunts and uncles talking about how it was before when they could photo-copy whole textbooks and get it for a fraction of the price of originals.

    Why don’t we do that anymore? It seems to make sense – especially when you’re shelling out anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000 pesos for textbooks. The money doesn’t go to Filipinos, right? And because we’re putting the books beyond the reach of ordinary folk, we’re skewing accessibility to good knowledge and information in favor of those who can afford it. And we’re not even really benefiting from being such goody-two-shoeses.

    I think we should distinguish, as far as IP protection is concerned. Protect works of art – novels, movies, etc., – but allow (or make it policy) for text books and such to be reprinted in the Philippines and sold here for a fraction of their original cost.

  7. Devils,
    Tama sI C Brian…dahil ayaw nila mawala ang train of thought o bigla mawala nag isang bright idea at atakihing bigla ng writer’s block,they do write pieces in scrap or tissue or even their hands.

    If that’s a rough draft,yung galing sa palad ang roughest draft.

    • Henry on August 13, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Just reading…

  8. For MLQ3 Very offtopic:


    I was assigned to do research on the Edsas. Can you suggest a good book about EdsaI, what do you suggest buy one good book or browse several books from several libraries.

    Thank you very much,


    Sorry if I sometimes go out of hand in your blog.pati na yung mga wrong grammar,inelloquent entries na pwede naman sanang pagandahin kung binigyan lang ng oras.

    • cvj on August 13, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Karl, if i may, you can look into one of the books that Manolo included recently in the Book of the Week section of his blog. Understanding Poverty by the Institute for People Power and Development. The book has a chapter titled If Things Are So Bad, Why Aren’t The People Out in the Streets>? which has some useful statistics on the EDSA’s (including EDSA1).

  9. Thanks CVJ!

    I really intended to search this blog and I was starting at the beginning and reading the 2004 articles,thanks for the headsup.Sa recent pala dapat magsimula

    • cvj on August 14, 2007 at 12:41 am

    Karl, you’re welcome. BTW, the data presented in the book is also available on the Pulse Asia website specifically in the ‘Pulse Asia’s October 2005 Ulat ng Bayan Survey Report: Media Release on People Power‘. Strange thing though is that it does not tally with the figures in the book.

  10. Thanks again,I will keep that in mind!

    Take care CVJ!

  11. Even if it does not matter;
    I apologize for the deadlink when clicking my name.
    I tried clicking my name and I was rerouted to a strange site. I forgot that when you delete your old blogger account,it is open for use.
    My next mistake was I created a blogger account with my last name spelled wrong and I have to change it again.

  12. Rom, photocopying of educational materials (books, magazines, pamphlets) aren’t really illegal. they only become illegal when someone makes a profit from it by selling copies of it. and as for your suggestion that we practice photocopying our textbooks and selling it at a much lower cost than the original, you’d be surprised to know we have long been doing that. ever passed the streets in front and near PRC? a lot of photocopied review books are out there. as for IP protection only for arts, well, i only practice selective piracy of the arts. anything not worthwhile and not uplifting for the arts should be pirated. and the opposite should be supported.
    Going back to Harry Potter, the reason for JK’s success is that her book transcended cultural, gender, and age classes. I know of a couple of fantasy writers better than her, but doesn’t enjoy the same popularity as hers. it’s probably bec they’re only known to hard core fantasy fans. but their books are excellent at social commentary as well. if not even better. Search the names Le Guin and George R.R Martin, and you’d come up with results that are icons in their genre. read their books and i’d doubt you’d look at JK with as much adulation as you do now. (if you read JK, that is)

    • Rom on August 14, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    devilsadvoc8:my proposal was to put in place a compulsory reprinting policy for textbooks. make it a law or something, like it used to be. as for photocopying being rampant, yes it is. and there are some really good quality shit out there. but that’s all underground economy, with de minimis benefits with no taxes paid. by sanctioning re-printing, we bring major printers into the fray – printers who pay taxes. sorry if i wasn’t so clear.

    • Rom on August 14, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    devilsadvoc8:maybe you were talking to me or maybe not, but i don’t adore rowling. as for ursula k. le guin, yeah I’ve read her. i liked the dispossessed. but my favorite writers are not all in that genre. check our the diamond age. jonathan strange and mr. norrel. and of course, if you need me, me and neil be hanging out with the dream king. neil says hi by the way.

    • Rom on August 14, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    devilsadvoc8:maybe you were talking to me or maybe not, but i don’t adore rowling. as for ursula k. le guin, yeah I’ve read her. i liked the dispossessed. but my favorite writers are not all in that genre. check out the diamond age (sf, i know, but not quite le guin, eh?), jonathan strange and mr. norrel, and of course, if you need me, me and neil’l be hanging out with the dream king. neil says hi by the way.

  13. Rom, oic. but that would mean getting permission and reprinting rights from the author or whoever owns the copyrights. but it sounds good. all in the name of making textbooks more affordable. as for JK, I haven’t read any comments you made abt her or Harry Potter so i thought it would’ve been quite obvious that i wasn’t talking to you directly but only to those who’ve read her in particular. of course my comment would’ve included you if you did read her, but automatically exclude you if you know other fantasy writers other than her (as people who only know her seem to think she’s all the rage.. well, she is, but — you know what i mean). as for Neil Gaiman, I haven’t read one book he wrote. His novels (graphic or paperback) are terribly expensive. Sussana Clarke (J Strange & Mr. Norrel) I have read. If you’re such a fan of fantasy or SF, then the writers you should watch out for are those who’ve won Hugo and Nebula awards. And Le Guin’s Dispossessed reads like chickenshit compared to her Earthsea cycle. To me, that work of fiction is the single, crowning glory of fantasy. George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire will also delight. It’s less abt magic but more abt intrigue, politics and kings and kingdoms. Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series astounded me before. But that was before I knew Le Guin and Martin. And now, his books pale in comparison. Robert Jordan’s still unfinished series Wheel of Time is a massive work as well. He might even die (he’s already terminally ill) w/o being able to finish the last book. L.E Modesitt ranks highly on my list as well. His Recluce series one of my favorites.
    If you don’t want to be wrong on fantasy, as long as TOR is the publishing house, you can’t go wrong.

    • Rom on August 15, 2007 at 1:13 am

    devilsadvoc8:thanks for the reading list. i’ve read earthsea, but that’s sword and sorcery, whereas the dispossessed was more social commentary in SF costume. so, i like them both equally but in different ways. i liked terry goodkind’s s&m treatment – but i forget which books he did that in – the one where the protagonist learns to ‘partition’ his mind. Never had the pleasure of reading Martin, though. You should really try to get a hold of American Gods by gaiman.

    • Rom on August 15, 2007 at 1:14 am

    oh, and stardust is showing soon. hope it doesn’t suck

  14. “i’ve read earthsea, but that’s sword and sorcery, whereas the dispossessed was more social commentary in SF costume.”

    Dispossed in SF costume, the same, Earthsea in Sword and Sorcery Costume. If you really want more social commentary, and you like SF more than fantasy, read The Moon is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. As for Gaiman, I’ll read him when his books are cheap enough for the lesser than snobbish to buy it. his genre’s goth though right? and if Mirrormask is any example of his work (i watched the terribly boring film adaptation, gaah!), i believe i’d rather borrow than spend lavishly on his books im not sure i will like. (im so over goth. goth was like, so HS) (yeah right. so now im being more mature by believing in magic and sorcery. yay right)

  15. and oh, mind-partitioning was book 1 of the Sword of Truth series. It was titled, Wizards’ First Rule. which was quite simple. People will often readily believe a lie more than they will the truth. The more blatant the lie, the more they will want to believe it. Truth hurts. And no one wants to hurt themselves voluntarily.

    • Rom on August 15, 2007 at 2:22 am

    devilsadvoca8: ah, well. de gustibus

    • BrianB on August 15, 2007 at 10:33 am

    “devilsadvoc8:thanks for the reading list.”

    I like the Foundation Series myself by Asimov. I like series that go on and on for millennia. Like the Marcos cases.

    • BrianB on August 15, 2007 at 10:36 am


    Sci-Fi will curdle your brain. Read Ayn Rand (hint: buildings are penises, and scientists are even bigger penises).

  16. Rom, well said. Brian, lessons cut across genres, and good stories are good stories no matter which genre they might belong in. As for Ayn Rand, I’ve long wanted to read her books, but too much to do, and so little time. As for Asimov, I only read one book of his, and that one I immensely liked.

    and jz finished reading HP 7. am not surprised i didn’t liked how JK ended it. i’ll write my own fanfiction and end it the way i want it, and the way it should end.

    poor Harry…

    • wysgal on August 16, 2007 at 11:26 am

    I loved this article in the NY Times about bootleg Harry Potter books making their way through China:


    • benj on August 17, 2007 at 3:11 am

    Are you sick? In handcuffs? hehe. No updates ah!

    • BrianB on August 17, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Politicians acting worse than Voldemort.


    Look at this. What did I tell you. They think they are kings. Frankly, I want to view politicians like glamorized bureaucrats.

    • BrianB on August 17, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Sorry. I mean. I want to view politicians like [Icelanders view politicians]… as glamorized bureaucrats.

  17. Good Day!

    My name is Jerome Herrera. Recently, I have decided to create a website named Espaniero, an Online Spanish Conversation Group for Filipinos. Espaniero will benefit learners and speakers of the Spanish language much. I was wondering if you are interested in a link exchange. A link exchange would definitely be a big help to our advocacies. Espaniero is located at http://www.espaniero.com

    If you are interested, email me at [email protected]

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