BCM 112
Comment 1

Tanya Grotter and the International Order of Copyright

Above is a small reading by me, from the first chapter of Tanya Grotter and the Magic Double Bass, only available in Russia and surrounding European countries.

Dmitri Yemeta’s novel is reportedly inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, a claim made by Time Warner protecting its copyright.  However, Yemeta’s publisher challenged the “copyright myth” (Collins 2008), and in true Russian fashion wrote 13 more books. So in 2008, Time Warner scored a tiny win: the Dutch courts banned the distribution of the Dutch translation of the Tanya Grotter series, ruling that Yemeta did not create a sufficiently new and independent work of art (Mar & Twining 2015). But, if it weren’t for this comic legal action, a person isolated in the Bavarian Mountains would never have heard of Harry Potter and the 7 book series, and I would never have heard of Tanya Grotter and the 14 book series. Therefore, while the Dutch translation is banned in Holland, I feel comfortable, under fair use, recording part of the unauthorised English translation, and making it accessible to the English speaking world.

A link to the full translated novel can be found here, on Scribd.


Collins, S 2008, Recovering Fair Use, M/C Media Culture, 11 (6), http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/viewArticle/105.

Mar MD & Twining W 2015, ‘Law’s Fictions, Legal Fictions and Copyright Law’, Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice, p 177.


1 Comment

  1. it’s interesting, and sort of funny really that when a company or a brand become known world wide and achieve a level of success like J.K Rowling with Harry Potter, they become extremely aware and paranoid of content that may be similar. I do not think that it is just simply about money or revenue loss, it’s about controlling the content trying to remain “number 1” in regards to status. This was a great post and i really enjoyed your podcast; very informative

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