Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
, the last book in the Harry Potter Series, has been downloadable on The Pirate Bay since at least Monday. Today, Scholastic the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter books, is sendng takedown notices to sites that have reported this news requesting that they take down the stories for infringement on IP rights of the author.
There is little to no legal foundation for Scholastics take down requests. The release of the Potter book on a file sharing site is very large news that should be protected speech.
Not only is this a bad legal tactic it is also an example of how out of date publishers are with the modern technology literate generation. Authors and Publishers need to start watching and listing to the current generation and stop threating them with baseless legal claims.
The book is on Pirate bay, SO WHAT:
Does this mean no one will buy the book... NO, in fact the publicity around the leek may create more interest in the book. I predict that it will have record sales that are not touched by the release on Pirate bay.
Does this mean that people who were going to buy the book will choose not to buy it? NO many people will download it and still buy the book. Fans want to support authors! Having the book online for free does not stop people from buying official copies of good books.
In fact putting a version of ones work up online for free is probably the best thing you can do to help spread publicity about your work. It opens up your work to people who might not have given it a try if they had to buy it originally. This allows for amazing viral marketing of authors. Link to an example of the take down letter at Tech Crunch
Labels: Fair Use, harry potter, IP, news, Pirate bay, tech crunch