- A trans artist in Canada is re-reading JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books.
- The books are sold with a new black and gold cover, without Rowling’s name.
- The artist sells the complete set on his online store for 1,600 Canadian dollars, or $1,191.
A Canadian trans artist rips JK Rowling’s name from the “Harry Potter” books and replaces the cover for fans who prefer to have the book without the author’s name on it.
The artist said in a January 4 TikTok video that he was a “trans artist and bookbinder.” The video showcases Flom’s book binding process. This involves the cover and a page with Rowling’s name being ripped out and replaced.
The artist is also posting book reveal videos on TikTok, which show off a black and gold hardcover, along with new end pages.
A January 2022 video showed an early iteration of the project, where Flom removed the case and several pages bearing Rowling’s name from a copy of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
Flom is selling the complete set of seven “Harry Potter” books for 1,600 Canadian dollars, or $1,191. People can buy a single book in the series for 230 Canadian dollars. A set of “Harry Potter” hardcover books sold on Amazon costs around $200.
Flom also offers a service where people can have their own copies proofread.
The artist says a project started out of ‘contempt’ and ‘boredom’ has snowballed into something bigger
In February 2022, Flom said on TikTok that his goal with this project was to “critically engage and give an option to people who still want to enjoy Harry Potter without supporting JK Rowling”.
“A lot of people have asked me what the point of this is or what does anyone actually gain from me taking their name off the books. And honestly, originally this project had no point or what let it be really deep.” they added.
The artist also said they started the bookbinding project “out of spite and boredom.”
“But with this platform, and with people’s interest in books, it’s become something that draws attention to the work of a trans Jewish artist, and will eventually lead to donations to trans charities. “, they said.
Rowling has come under fire for her transphobic remarks from activists and fans of the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise. In June 2020, Rowling wrote an essay on her website about her views on gender by invoking an anti-trans myth about trans people and bathrooms.
Rowling in 2020 promoted a store selling anti-trans products saying “trans women are men”. That same year, Rowling went on a Twitter rant about how she felt transgender activism hurts women and lesbians — which led to her being accused of being a “TERF,” or a transexclusive radical feminist.
The bookbinder may be operating in a gray area of trademark laws
UCLA Law School professor Mark McKenna said Insider Flom’s work does not violate any copyright laws. But there could be a trademark claim – although McKenna says it would be “difficult” for Rowling to prove it.
“The Supreme Court’s Dastar decision prohibits claims based on confusion as to the origin of the book as a work of authorship,” McKenna said.
“If they’re binding and selling physical books, there’s an argument that the claim is about the origin of the physical books,” McKenna said.
“But Rowling should show that the use of her name is not just a statement of authorship, but a trademark, and it’s not a slam dunk,” he added.
Rowling and Flom did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.