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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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4024 Points

That’s terrible :(

But HP DH 4th most borrowed book! SQUEAL!

7239 Points

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!

Posted by Confederate Lady [CL, Rawwrrrr] on March 30, 2009, 05:11 PM report to moderator
580 Points

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!!!

Posted by weasleyalltheway(rrooaarr!) on March 30, 2009, 06:40 PM report to moderator
872 Points

That’s rediculous!

Posted by Heavenly_Horcrux on March 30, 2009, 07:40 PM report to moderator
13596 Points

I really hate the practice of stealing intellectual property.

Posted by Garden State Geek on March 31, 2009, 12:20 PM report to moderator
2105 Points

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.

Posted by Agrippa1 on March 31, 2009, 02:33 PM report to moderator
45 Points

illegal? how did those bafoons even get those? well they are illegal. just wondering who they are

Posted by Viettt on March 31, 2009, 09:23 PM report to moderator
266 Points

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! :x

Posted by iceymoon [Cygnus] on April 17, 2009, 04:48 AM report to moderator
770 Points

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.

Posted by crazyforSeverus on August 13, 2009, 10:40 AM report to moderator
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