Harry Potter fan videos are nothing new to the internet. And "A Very Harry Potter Musical" is no exception. It's been a YouTube hit, garnering millions of views, since 2009. I've seen the first clip, which features a very catchy opening number, but I hadn't bothered to watch the rest. Last night, an ambitious group of teens and my local playhouse launched a one-night performance of this unauthorized fan-fiction show. It was silly, surprisingly long, and especially amusing to anyone who has read the entire series. The kids who put the event together invited everyone for free, but sold snacks and merchandise, donating the proceeds to charity. All in all, it was a clever and successful fund-raising idea.
Of course, that opens a can of copyright worms, doesn't it? The Harry Potter musical isn't condoned by J. K. Rowling, so does the show's songwriter and star Darren Criss have any sort of intellectual property rights to prevent other colleges and theaters from using his material? I think as long as it's a spoof and the proceeds go to a worthy cause, there's no need for legal grievances. But keep in mind, I teach literature not law!
If you have already seen the Hogwartsian musical but you are craving more, check out A Very Potter Sequel.