14 July 2005

Harry Potter

by Anton Piatek

I have not finished the fourth book yet, but saw something rather bizarre in The Times yesterday.

Apparently, a shop in Canada put the books on the shelves slightly early (they are supposed to be on sale on saturday) and several people bought copies before the shop manager realised.

The interesting part is that the publisher has now won a court injucntion preventing anyone from reading the book which they legally purchased. Before I start whining about how unfair this is, it is worth pointing out that the case was a John Doe case, implying that they do not know who bought the books. So unless they read it in a newspaper, the consumers probably have no idea that they can be fined for telling anyone details about the book, or in fact for simply opening it and reading it.

I cannot understand how any country can have laws that allow someone to purchase a book, with the intention of reading it, and then make a blanket case which makes it illegal for them to read the book which they bought!

It is rediculous to assume that the poor people who bought the books even know that this case has been to court and that they are not allowed to read the book. However, at the same time. The publisher does not know who bought the book, so an anonymous blogger account is all they need to spill the beans about the story contained in it. One would have to be careful though, as the lawsuit makes it illegal to even mention the name of any new characters in the book!

The world is strange, and the law is rather f*cked up if you ask me.