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

Posted by: sue
March 29, 2009, 06:05 PM

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, 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.

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1863 Points

wow thats really something

Posted by Leander21[WBM] on March 29, 2009, 06:12 PM report to moderator
3463 Points

Why do people have to do stuff illegal? :/

Posted by BeAchL0veEr05 ☼ on March 29, 2009, 06:15 PM report to moderator
460 Points

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

Posted by grey_nightshirt on March 29, 2009, 06:16 PM report to moderator
534 Points

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.

Posted by Bell Dema [FTC!!!] on March 29, 2009, 06:29 PM report to moderator
1372 Points

Geez, what has the world come to these days?

Posted by elaphantluv34 on March 29, 2009, 06:29 PM report to moderator
3908 Points

That’s really horrible.

Posted by Imperiused! on March 29, 2009, 06:34 PM report to moderator

You think books should be free? That is one of the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

Posted by fifty50destroyer on March 29, 2009, 06:37 PM report to moderator
2588 Points

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.

Posted by phantomdave79 on March 29, 2009, 06:49 PM report to moderator
2873 Points

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?

Posted by Lunabelle7 on March 29, 2009, 06:56 PM report to moderator
3048 Points

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.

Posted by Kirk on March 29, 2009, 07:00 PM report to moderator
8256 Points

This is sad.

Posted by spicefan78 OoM1 {ROAR!} on March 29, 2009, 07:08 PM report to moderator
969 Points

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.

Posted by Discribble on March 29, 2009, 07:12 PM report to moderator
24135 Points

That’s terrible!

Posted by hermyone*ROAR* on March 29, 2009, 07:17 PM report to moderator
9765 Points

Ugh sickening. Bunch of Dungs, they are.

Posted by maera-kyrie on March 29, 2009, 07:18 PM report to moderator
2926 Points

It’s really horrible that such site excists…

Posted by Niphai on March 29, 2009, 07:32 PM report to moderator
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