Potter Publisher Sues Book-Leaking Plot Spoilers

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-07-19 Print this article Print

The final installment of "Harry Potter" has been phished, file-shared and prematurely distributed, causing the author and publisher to plead for plot secrecy.

The publisher of J.K. Rowlings "Harry Potter" series is suing over the final installment having been leaked ahead of the July 21 publication date. Thus far in the plot-spoilage plot, text files for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" were allegedly stolen from systems belonging to the publishing companys employees through a phishing scam. The "hacktivists," who claimed that they had stolen the text, also published what they claimed were the books major plot points, thereby spoiling the read in an effort to squash sales of what they considered to be, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, a "neo-paganist" tract. Since then, the text, apparently in the form of photographed novel pages, has also been bitten into chunks and broadcast on file-sharing services.
The third and latest affront has been made by the distributor Levy Home Entertainment and the shipper DeepDiscount.com. "Potter" publisher Scholastic claims the companies breached a sales agreement by sending out copies of the book through the mail beginning July 17.
To read more about Harry Potter and the plot spoiling phishing scam, click here. Scholastic has published a statement saying that it is taking "immediate legal action" against DeepDiscount and Levy Home Entertainment, which shipped 1/100th of 1 percent of the total number of U.S. copies to go on sale at 12:01 a.m. July 21, according to Scholastics statement. Both Scholastic and Rowling are pleading that Harry Potter fans whove bought books before the July 21 deadline not spoil the surprise and instead "keep the packages hidden until midnight." "The fans themselves have made it abundantly clear that they are looking forward to going to the midnight parties, receiving their very own copy of the book and finally getting to read the book they have so anxiously awaited," Scholastic said in its statement. For her part, Rowling posted a plea on her Web site asking that premature readers hold their tongues. "As launch night looms, lets all, please, ignore the misinformation popping up on the Web and in the press on the plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Id like to ask everyone who calls themselves a Potter fan to help preserve the secrecy of the plot for all those who are looking forward to reading the book at the same time on publication day. In a very short time you will know EVERYTHING!" Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEKs Security Watch blog.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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