Attorneys for JKR Continuing Battle Against Piracy of Harry Potter Books in China


Aug 19, 2007

Posted by SueTLC

Piracy of the Harry Potter novels continue to be a high priority issue for attorneys representing author J.K. Rowling, as Scotland on Sunday reports major efforts are at hand to try and stem the tide of fake and many illegal copies of the Harry Potter novels in the country of China. The paper details how widespread the problem is in China, noting how a group of students “working round the clock and eating nothing but instant noodles managed to get Deathly Hallows translated and online within hours of the English-language edition appearing in the shops.”

Also of concern are the many various versions of the Harry Potters being sold illegally on the streets, using creative writing to make a book such as “Harry Potter And The Chinese Empire. The novel blends Hogwarts characters, a bit of JRR Tolkien, and sheer imagination to create the impression it is a genuine Potter novel.”

The ‘Chinese Empire’ blends feverish writing by an unknown author, bits of martial arts epics, extracts from other fantasy works such as Lord Of The Rings, and random characters from Chinese literature with the Hogwarts characters.

The volumes are printed and bound and then sold by street-sellers at prices way below the authorised translated Harry Potter titles available in regular Chinese bookshops. The illegal copies have convincing-looking covers which can lure the unwary into thinking they are buying the real thing.

The real books sell in China for about £4, much cheaper than the equivalent price of a volume in the West, but still steep in a country where average annual incomes hover around the £900 mark.

Neil Blair, Rowling’s legal adviser, said: “We are aware of this one and we are taking action both through the local courts and by negotiating with the authorities in China to prevent violation of copyright. We are very pleased with the co-operation we are receiving from the authorities there.”

Readers will remember only last week a case was dismissed against a young teen fan in France who had posted online an illegal translation in French of the novel, and while that case was not pursued due to findings the fan was not motivated by financial concerns, the larger issue of copyright infringement involving these types of cases does remain for authors everywhere.

Mark Lambert, the chief executive officer of the Scottish Book Trust, said: “It’s not actually an issue of money, in this case, but it’s an issue of intellectual copyright and theft of the idea and using JK Rowling’s name in this way. And she is right to be concerned about this and to be taking action.

“This kind of thing, unauthorised sequels, has been happening before now. For example Star Trek fans write their own episodes online, as a tribute to the series. But this is very different, these volumes are being sold on the streets in order to profit from the name.”

14 Responses to Attorneys for JKR Continuing Battle Against Piracy of Harry Potter Books in China

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The NY Times had an piece last week with synopsis and excerpts of various fake Chinese Harry Potter books:

Some of them are (unintentionally) hilarious!

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Bah. I hate people who do stuff like that. Don’t mention the New York Times. Their the scumbags who thought it would be fine to write a review of DH before it was released. On the plus side, we only have to wait soon to a few centuries and China will likely plunge into a civil war. That’s what’s happened for a long while in history. Every few centuries the government is overthrown, flourishes, corrupts, plunges into civil unrest, and then overthrown again. That’s the impression I got from watching a few shows about China on the History Channel anyways. I think they might be heading into the corrupt phase….of course, I’m just stating my view from what I know.

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In this case, they must be punished, not the poor french dude!

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in the words of michelle taner from full house


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Quote:For example Star Trek fans write their own episodes online, as a tribute to the series./Quote

What! What are we Harry Potter fan fic writers? Chopped chomping cabbages!

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China has had a HUGE copyright/pirating problem ever since I can remember. I’m not at all surprised that this kind of thing has happened, considering the popularity of Harry Potter. I just wish JK’s lawyers the best, and by the way, the french kid’s case was dismissed. He wasn’t punished, since his purpose wasn’t for financial gain. China’s purpose IS finanical gain, as it usually is in copyright/pirating cases.

Again, I’m just stating my opinion. I could be wrong, so do take everything stated with a grain of salt.

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First of all who could do that to a harry potter book and second who in their write mind would buy a book entitled “Harry Potter and the chinese empire” i hate people who take an awesome book and go and do something like that. They should be punished. where would we be if someone couldn’t wait for a peice of writing to come out and went and made something up

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eek.. people like that make me sick blahhh in the case of that french guy i think he just wanted the story to be translated in french. i dont think he was a real threat. i hope that since the book is outnow everywhere that people can see the difference between the book and furthur more if the book is being sold on the street for 4 euros than it will be a fake. save ur money and buy a real one

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ahhhhhhh….Harry Potter and the Chinese Empire….I’m REALLY MAD AT WHO EVER MADE THAT UP!!!!! That is horrible to do that to the hard work that Jo has done!!!!!!!!!!

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RRRRRR these people are soooooooo annoying! Harry Potter and the Chinese Empire is the most stupid title ever…. Harry Potter is British! These people are taking what Jo has created and killing it for profit.

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I live in China and this place is very very poor. If I had a choice between feeding my child, selling her, or selling a book, I’d sell the book. Most people here (especially selling on the streets) only have a vague idea of our laws. Someone comes up and offers them a way to make some money you bet they are going to take it. Maybe after a day they can afford a straw mat to cover their dirt floor back in their one room home. The best thing copyright holders can do (and I am one) is just pretend China doesn’t exist from a profit point of view and be happy your work is helping some people who are in deep poverty.

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It is those people that give us more retrictions and our freedoms r desendgrating as mirva says Tsk tsk

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To Canadian in China, This is cruel sounding, however if commercial laws are not respected it is almost impossible to build the economy of a country so people can be anything but dirt poor and starving. I remember a friend who lived in India telling me that because of “bagheesh”, (bribery tradition for all public officials) that she remembered that ALL the money for public works projects, like transportation, tended to disappear and the vital infrastructure could NOT be built. Ethics is necessary to build wealth. I used to work with fools that called honest people ‘sheep’, they of course thought of themselves as ‘foxes’. I think that they never understood systems analysis and ultimately are destructive of anything that they touch. As Nabokov termed them, Persian Princesses. Anything they touch in their garden dies. Better to be the poorest in an honest law-abiding country than the richest in a corrupt society, anyway that is my opinion. I know this is small comfort to a poor Chinese person but the folks there with wealth should figure out a better distribution, similar to FDR who built the American middle-class of consumers.

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Guys, give China a break okay! I went over for 2 onths this summer and I really kinda liked the place. AND I was taken around by a college student who participated in the translation, a really nice fella actually, who said the group of people did it because they TOTALLY love HP and since the Chinese version wouldn’t be out til Dec something, they wanted to share the ending before that. I really don’t think it’ll bother with the sells there since even the translators say they’re gonna get published copies as soon as they come out. Pirating IS a MAJOR problem in China, but only a COUPLA people are doing it. It kinda sucks to see how they’re polluting the entire view of the country. Civil war? (snickers) probably someday in the future, but not anytime soon. people there are just too BUSY worying ‘bout the coming Olympics & the air pollution

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