A judge in Britain has ordered the plaintiffs in an ongoing Harry Potter plagiarism lawsuit to pay a massive $2.4 million (£1.5 million) if they want to continue the case.
Paul Allen, the trustee of late writer Adrian Jacobs' estate, filed suit against Potter author J.K. Rowling and her U.K. publishers Bloomsbury back in 2009, alleging her 2000 novel Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire was based on Jacobs' Willy The Wizard stories.
Last year (10), High Court judge Justice David Kitchin refused a request from Rowling's lawyers to have the case dismissed, even though he admitted a victory for Allen would be "improbable".
Kitchin has now ordered Allen to pay 65 per cent of the court costs faced by Rowling and Bloomsbury if he wants to continue the case.
During a hearing at the Chancery Division of the High Court in London on Monday (21Mar11), Kitchin asked for the sum of more than $2.4 million (£1.5 million) to be paid in installments and warned that if any of the payments are missed, the case will be dismissed and Allen will be forced to cover all the defendants' court costs.
A spokesperson for Rowling says, "By his decision the judge recognised that the claimant's case only narrowly avoided being dismissed by him... The judge's findings support what J.K. Rowling has throughout the case maintained, that the claims made are not only unfounded but absurd."
Allen also filed suit against Rowling in America, targeting the author along with her U.S. publishers Scholastic, but the case was thrown out in January (11) after a judge found the two works to be "distinctly different in both substance and style".