In this Oct. 18, 2014, photo, students from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia wear costumes to attend an annual festival based on the Harry Potter fantasy series conceived by British author J.K. Rowling, including Dan Lemoine, second from right, dressed as the title character; Mollie Durkin, second from left, dressed as the character Hermione Granger; and John Spiewak Jr., left, dressed as the character Ron Weasley, as they arrive at the festival in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. In 2018, Warner Bros. notified organizers of Harry Potter fan festivals around the U.S. of new guidelines prohibiting any use of names, places or objects from the fantasy series, in an effort to crack down on unauthorized commercial activity at such events. (David Swanson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Warner Bros. crackdown puts Dark Mark over Potter festivals

June 16, 2018 - 2:36 pm

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Warner Bros. is cracking down on local Harry Potter fan festivals around the country, saying it's necessary to halt unauthorized commercial activity at such events. Fans, however, liken the move to greedy Dementors sucking the joy out of homegrown fun.

Festival directors say they'll transfigure the events into more general celebrations of magic.

Philip Dawson is the director of Chestnut Hill's business district in Philadelphia. He says Warner Bros. reached out to his group in May, letting them know that new guidelines have been put in place regarding such festivals that prohibit the use of any names, places or objects from the series.

Festival directors around the country, including in Aurora, Illinois, and Ithaca, New York, were also told that the new guidelines would prohibit much of the Potter-themed activities.

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