About the Site


Most of the Harry Potter content that is now on this site was originally launched on the Internet in January 2000 on the now defunct Claire's Cabin; the response was immense. Most of the hits were solely from people globally wishing to view that Harry Potter content and wanting to discuss the books on the Cabin's small forum.

In July 2000, coinciding with the release of the 4th Harry Potter book, an Interactive Fan Club was set up on Claire's Cabin with the aim to last until September. It did and was a meeting point for mainly young Harry Potter fans across the world to discuss the books, earn points for their houses through various means and ways and generally have fun over the summer months. Its closure in September was greeted with sadness.

By the end of September 2000, the sheer popularity of the Harry Potter section led to the decision to remove the Harry Potter section and move it to its own domain name. The hunt began for a suitable new home. Just under a fortnight later, the domain name harrypotterguide.co.uk was registered to become A guide to . . . Harry Potter's new home on the Internet.

The site was launched on that domain name on October 11th, 2000, under the new name "Harry Potter Guide." The visitors on the site grew and grew, surpassing the overall hit counter that Claire's Cabin had built up in 1 1/2 years in just a few short months. However, there was a reason for this.

On December 2nd, 2000, a letter was received from Warner Bros which said:

At this time, I was just fifteen years old and the impact of that letter understandably left feelings of worry about the future of the site. I didn't want the domain name to be given up but what could possibly be done against a company as big as WB? After discussing the matter with my family, I decided to fight for my site. On Friday 8th December, 2000, my story was run in British tabloid paper, The Mirror. The response on the site's guestbook and by e-mail was amazing, thousands of visitors offered their support.

The story about the site went up on several Internet sites that weekend and on the night of Monday 11th December, 2000, I travelled down to London to appear on The Big Breakfast. That night in the hotel, I had a phone call. My interview had been axed from the show for 'legal reasons.'

Negotiations started between my father and myself with Barbara Brogliatti, a US WB spokesperson. Possibilities such as I maintain the website but WB own the domain name were mentioned and that my site could become "Official" for agreeing to this. I wanted to keep my independence though; I wanted it to still be my site, not with anyone else controlling it and having power over me.

One week after The Mirror article, another article was run. It said that "Hollywood moviemakers have dropped their legal threat ..." but this was not the case. The negotiations soon broke down on the disovery of a Hollywood Reporter article dated December 8th, that said "According to Warner Bros. spokeswoman Barbara Brogliatti, the studio sent United Kingdom teenager Claire Field a letter simply asking her to clarify the intent of her site" but nowhere in the letter, did it ask this. After pointing this out to Brogliatti, negotiations stopped after been accused of manipulating the media and the case was handed over to WB's lawyers.

Support was still been offered for the site to continue and we appointed our own lawyer, Matthew Rippon of Prettys, Ipswich. With Matthew came my PR Manager, Emma Swinyard-Alston. Discussions took place shortly after Christmas and a few weeks into the New Year about what could be done to strengthen our case. One of the first things that reluctantly had to be done was to change the site name and register a back-up URL. I opted for "The Boy Who Lived" and registered theboywholived.co.uk to go with it.

At the time of all this, articles were still been run about the site generating more support. A support website site was set up by Alistair Alexander called PotterWar, as well as other similar Harry Potter related domain name cases coming forward. Correspondence was also exchanged between my lawyers and WB's lawyers. WB were still adamant that the domain name should be signed over to them.

By mid February, it seemed likely that the matter would go to court. Press packs were released and I took part in a week long publicity campaign doing many global newspaper, radio, TV and Internet interviews for the BBC, Sky News, ITV, The Guardian, The Mail, The Telegraph, The Mitch Albom Show and many more. It felt however that the domain name would be handed over to WB, despite the publicity.

On Friday 9th March, 2001, 3 months after the situation began, it ended because WB backed down and were "prepared now to rely on good faith and assurance that there were no plans other than to continue present non-commercial use of the domain name." The story was picked up again by the media.

Throughout the 3 months, many things were misquoted about me, many things happened that I didn't agree with and it was a very stressful time for all concerned in the matter; perseverance got the result in the end. I could now continue with the site, fearless of its future.

In April 2001, the site swapped its smaller forum for a new one which soon became a popular community forum for Harry Potter fans globally. The site appeared in .Net Magazine and was still been mentioned in the media.

The Boy Who Lived celebrated its 1st birthday on October 11th with a redesign. It generated around 1000 visitors a day at that time with the clock counter reading an impressive 294000 visitors in 16 months. It is made using Raw HTML in Notepad with the graphics been made using Bannershop GIF Animator 3.0.

In December 2001, the site appeared twice in The Sunday Times, scooping The Sunday Times Doors Awards 2001 - Heroine of the Resistance award and in The Mirror again. In July 2002, it was mentioned in the book The Incredible Internet by Michael Cox and was also mentioned in the book J.K Rowling's Harry Potter Novels: A Readers Guide by Phillip Nel.

On October 11th, 2002, the second birthday was celebrated and a few weeks later the counter reached the half a million visitors milestone. The million marker was hit in September 2004 and the counter continues to increase daily.

I made the promise that whilst ever there are the Harry Potter books - there will be The Boy Who Lived at harrypotterguide.co.uk - and even now after the publication of the final instalment of the Harry Potter series, the site will remain as a tribute to The Boy Who Lived and J.K Rowling's wonderful creation.

I would like to thank everyone for all their messages and support over the past seven years, but some in particular. Firstly, J.K Rowling for her magical stories and for inspiring this webmistress. Secondly, all those who helped and supported the legal issues of this site. I still get e-mails of support even now, and fear that I am forever immortalised as a fifteen year old, at least on the internet! Thirdly, I would like to thank all the visitors to the site, especially the users of TBWL forum for their loyalty, support and friendship over the years. You guys are amazing and so talented. Thank you one and all!


"You can see one reason Warner Bros have got the jitters about Claire's site - it's vastly better than their rather poor harrypotter.com effort." - The Mirror, December 2000

"Claire's site isn't a rip-off or an attempt to make money from the Harry Potter books, it's a huge resource of information for the fans." - .Net, April 2001

"Comprehensive, well-thought-out and arguably the best Potter site on the net." - The Mirror, November 2001

"Claire'site has become a cornerstone on which many Harry Potter fanatics rely." - Prettys, 2001

"The Boy Who Lived (harrypotterguide.co.uk), run by Claire Field, is a superb example of passionate home-grown fandom." - The Sunday Times, December 2001