Harry Potter Book Notes: Illegal Copies of Half-Blood Prince on Scribd, More


Mar 29, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

Several pieces of news tonight relating to the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. The Times is reporting that free copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince were available on Scribd.com, a literary website where thousands of books and manuscripts are available for download online, often times without the consent or permission of the author. The Times spoke with legal representatives for JKR, and the paper reports “Neil Blair,
J. K. Rowling’s lawyer at the Christopher Little literary agency, said that
Scribd did not have permission “and what you have identified are infringing
listings which we were aware of and actioning.”

While the site is quite often used for legitimate purposes, the paper also notes:
Mindful of copyright concerns, Tammy Nam, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco
Scribd, says that it operates a “notice and takedown system”, where it
removes books if their publishers demand it. She said: “If we get a request
we usually respond in 24 hours.” This makes the site compliant with the US
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which means that the site is not held
liable for actions of its users of which it is not aware.

Critics say that this is not enough, because authors and publishers are not
always aware that people are uploading books illegally.” Other works from authors such as Ken Follett, John Grisham and Nick Hornby were also available seemingly without permission, with one publisher now investing the matter.

On a related book front, books that are made available quite legitimately in public libraries in Ireland are proving to be a source of financial windfall for many authors. In a separate article, The Times also reports that because of “Public Lending Remuneration scheme (PLR), introduced at the start of
this year, authors who register and who live in the European Economic Area
are entitled to a payment each time their works are borrowed.” The paper then states those who are slated to receive a financial reward “when
their books are loaned from public libraries include payments for such
bestselling international writers as J K Rowling and Francesca Simon of
Horrid Henry fame…There is expected to be a cap on payments at €8,000 a year while the minimum
payment may be set at €2. The Library Council has about €1m to cover
payments and administration.” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the fourth most popular book borrowed from the libraries in question.

39 Responses to Harry Potter Book Notes: Illegal Copies of Half-Blood Prince on Scribd, More

Avatar ImageLeander21 says: wow thats really somethingAvatar ImageBeAchL0veEr05 says: Why do people have to do stuff illegal? :/Avatar Imagegrey_nightshirt says: Scribd is very useful if you're looking for books that are out of print. I guess the site is happy about the publicity the Times' article gives them. *g*Avatar ImageBell Dema says: that are made available quite legitimately in public libraries in Ireland are proving to be a source of financial windfall for many authors Well, I can sympathize with the authors who try, in all their rights, to make their living out of their writing, but culture should be made free for all. Not everyone has the money to buy all the books you can read, and it's not fair that you shouldn't read what everyone is reading now because you can't pay for them. I really don't know much about book prices in Ireland or USA, but where I live, new books are incredibly expensive, even YA books sometimes cost way more than a teenager's week wages in a McDonald's. I have more than once gone without lunch for days and even weeks, saving that money for the book everyone was reading now. It's a problem that doesn't have an easy solution, or at least I can't think of one. I think we all wish we could just buy everything we wanted, but we can't, so we find other ways to get them. And really, doing illegal things to read books doesn't sound so terrible for me, especially when nobody's getting any money for it. Avatar Imageelaphantluv34 says: Geez, what has the world come to these days?Avatar ImageKatetheKeeper says: That's really horrible.Avatar Imagefifty50destroyer says: You think books should be free? That is one of the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.Avatar Imagephantomdave79 says: Wow. I don't understand how they can get a way with posting a book free online and its OK as long as they pull it down within 24 hours of a request to do so. There is some red tape that need to be taken down. Avatar ImageLunabelle7 says: Authors are paid every time thier book is borrowed from the library? I don't think I've ever heard of this before. I assumed that they were paid one time when the library purchaced the copy. Is this only in Ireland?Avatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: It is just absurd and audacious for anyone to willingly defy the author's rights and share a work in such a heinous fashion. I hope this problem is remedied properly.Avatar Imagespicefan1978 says: This is sad.Avatar Imagedianap00 says: I wonder at how the authors in Europe will be compensated for the lending frequency. It strikes me as a nice sort of idea, but makes me wonder.Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: That's terrible!Avatar Imagemaera-kyrie says: Ugh sickening. Bunch of Dungs, they are.Avatar ImageNiphai says: It's really horrible that such site excists...Avatar ImageMary11_hplvr4l says: the books in library thing confuses me... where does the $ come from?Avatar Imagestevenk12468 says: I hope the authors lawyers get together and sue the pants right off the company owners. This makes me very angry. Avatar Imagelinnie95 says: That is soo terrible!!!Avatar ImageCatherine says: wow! like Jo doesnt have enough to deal with...Avatar ImageHuddz says: I guess people do that sort of thing when they are completely broke. For example if someonestarted reading a book series and had no money to get the next in the series and know they won't be able to get the book within the next couple of months might think the only option is to do stuff illegally. I guarantee you wouldn't like it if you couldn't afford to get a book that you really wanted.Avatar Imagefloridianhp says: wow. thats....Avatar Imagecghambright says: JKR's lawyers should definitely win this one...that's so illegal. How could someone do that?! Just buy the freakin' book for goodness sake. I hope the other author's who's work is on that website take action too. Avatar ImageOldMrToad says: And yet, music is provided the same 'protection' as literary works, and it is very common to see p2p downloading of music (free) with no consideration of the composer or artists rights of renumeration. Something smells fishy here. OMTAvatar ImageBradyboy says: That's awful. With all the hard work JK put in, she deserves every penny she gets! Avatar ImageHGROSS44 says: HGROSS AUROR SAYS IT IS A SAD DAY WHEN THINGS ARE STOLEN SHAME ON THEM BUT THEY DON'T CARE. iT IS ABOUT MONEY SHAME ON THEM.Avatar ImageSidish_black6 says: Ok, who track all the record of library. . . . ?? Avatar Imagemoglet says: Books are available free to read for everyone, that is what public libraries are for. Incedentally the payment to authors in the UK is via the Public Lending Right, here is an extract from their website; "Public Lending Right (PLR) is the right for authors to receive payment under PLR legislation for the loans of their books by public libraries. To qualify for payment, applicants must apply to register their books with us. Payments are made annually on the basis of loans data collected from a sample of public libraries in the UK." Hope that helps.Avatar ImageJustSuperMione says: Why is the book still up there - surely the puplishers legal egals should have done something... I hope that JKR uses the libararies royality money for some charitible work - she usually does... That's one of the things I like about her - she was blessed to be a blessing and so she is..!Avatar ImageHermioneRon4ever says: thanks Moglet! I was wondering the same thing Avatar Imagemugglemom4 says: I still don't understand the libraries paying to loan the books. Where do they get the money to pay the authors? Avatar Imagex_Potter_Lover_Forever_x says: That's terrible :( But HP DH 4th most borrowed book! SQUEAL! Avatar Imagecallicott3 says: I agree with phantomdave79. Some red tape needs to be checked for leaks. This is ridiculous. I'm glad, too, that they sited some of the other authors being affected. JKR isn't the only one...how very sad, indeed!Avatar Imageweasleyalltheway says: thats scummy. they should never sell books without getting permission first! they'll take it down, sure. but if you don't have permission, you should never put it up in the first place!!!Avatar ImageHeavenly_Horcrux says: That's rediculous!Avatar ImageGarden State Geek says: I really hate the practice of stealing intellectual property. Avatar ImageAgrippa1 says: All of the Harry Potter books are still available for free download, some in PDF format and some in txt format, at other websites. I did a check last week and found all of them. I wanted them for my Kindle, since the publisher won't release them for Kindle (I've put in numerous requests). I've purchased American hardcover copies (more than one in the case of the deluxe issues and the anniversary SS), British hardcover copies, and paperback copies. As soon as the series is sold for my Kindle I'll buy them. But until then I went ahead and downloaded the free versions and out them on my Kindle so I can carry the books with me on the road (I travel a great deal). I'm not saying that it's right to put books up on the internet for free download - I'm just saying that as long as there's a demand for ebooks but no legal supply, there will be other avenues for supply. Sad but true.Avatar ImageViettt says: illegal? how did those bafoons even get those? well they are illegal. just wondering who they areAvatar Imageiceymoon says: i wonder who decides what books give royalties to the author when they're borrowed from libraries? because it seems to me that it does no good to anyone to give them to popular authors, who are not the ones affected by the library system. less popular and unknown authors, on the other hand, could really use that! :xAvatar ImagecrazyforSeverus says: I agree that it may be hard for some people to pay for books and it is unfair for them not to be able to read. One of the reasons Harry Potter has been praised is because it encourages reading. However, I don't see why this has to be done illegally, when you can get books legally from libraries or other sites. I do not blame the people who read this book online, after all, the website has legal and illegal books on it so it is hard to decide which is which. I criticize the website for illegally posting it. I know they took the book down upon request, but for the author's who don't know their books are on illegally, they are losing money.

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