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.
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!"
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