Warner Brothers Asks UNH To Change 'Harry Potter' Class To Avoid Confusion

Nov 6, 2013

James Krasner, professor of English, teaches “Harry Potter as Storytelling: An Online Adventure for the Young Fan."
Credit University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire has received a cease and desist letter from Warner Brothers regarding a new online course centered on the series of Harry Potter books.

Michelle Gluck, special counsel for the University System of New Hampshire, says Warner Brothers sent the letter because they were concerned people would think they had sponsored the course.

“WB demanded that UNH not use any trademarked Harry Potter properties in the course design or advertising, while acknowledging that educational use of the books themselves is entirely appropriate,” Gluck says.

Click here to view the letter from Warner Brothers, sent Aug. 30.

The online course, “Harry Potter as Storytelling: An Online Adventure for the Young Fan,” was launched this past summer and had an enrollment of 72 students.

The course focuses on grammar and literature for children entering grades 4 through 8, and uses the Harry Potter books as teaching materials.

Gluck says UNH did not admit of any of the allegations made by Warners Brothers and does not believe there was any possibility of confusion.

However, in response to concerns raised in the letter, Gluck says university officials will be changing the name of the course, but have not yet decided on a new name.

Click here to view the response from the University of New Hampshire.