Orlando, Florida
23 May 2016
Reporter: Tammy Facey

INTA: Users not abusers


Adapting a series as popular as the Harry Potter books required Warner Brothers to be extra mindful of dedicated readers, heard attendees of the International Trademark Association (INTA) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Warner Brothers executive Diane Nelson, who has worked on the Harry Potter brand since her company acquired the majority of the rights to it in 1998, has had to balance the needs of readers, whose sense of ownership has driven its success, with those of Warner Brothers, which has seen Harry Potter become a global phenomenon.

From fan fiction to unendorsed games of Quidditch, Warner Brothers has had to take a step back and reevaluate what it considers to be infringement, particularly in the age of the internet, according to Nelson.

Nelson went on to discuss another fan favourite, DC Comics. Warner Brothers is embarking on a billion-dollar programme with the Justice League movies, attempting to replicate the popularity of the Marvel cinematic universe.

“[A kind of] fanaticism exists within DC Comics, in the great competition with Marvel: we constantly have to reinforce that Superman is ours, not theirs,” she said.

“Ubiquity in DC is our goal: we know fans feel an ownership of characters and we have to find a balance to respect that.”

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