Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Online pirates pounce on new Harry Potter book

Filed under

The sixth book in the Harry Potter series, the fastest-selling book of all time, has become among the quickest to fall prey to Internet piracy, with illicit copies available online within hours of its release.

Tech-savvy fans of the boy wizard teamed up to scan the entire 607 page book into digital form, with unauthorized e-book copies appearing online less than 12 hours after "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" went on sale on Saturday.

Copies of the audio version of the book were also widespread on file-trading networks such as BitTorrent.

A lawyer for author J.K. Rowling's agents, Christopher Little, said his firm was working to combat the piracy but admitted that some illicit copies would probably slip through.

"We have put in place some countermeasures but I can't disclose the specifics," said Neil Blair. "We have sent takedown notices (against Web sites hosting the illicit copies) but we haven't filed any lawsuits."

Even thousands of illicit downloads would be no more than a drop in the ocean for a book that sold 8.9 million copies in 24 hours. But the Potter piracy is likely to add to media companies' fears that online file-trading is a threat to nearly every aspect of their businesses.

In recent months the hottest movie of the summer, "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," and one of the hottest records, Coldplay's "X&Y," were both leaked online immediately after their release.

Rowling has yet to make a deal to publish her books in a downloadable format, even as Audible Inc and Apple's iTunes Music Store have used the popularity of portable music devices like the iPod to make downloadable audiobooks one of the fastest growing parts of the overall audiobook sector.

Rowling has railed against unauthorized "Harry Potter" e-books on her Web site in the past.

"You should NEVER trust any Harry Potter e-books offered for download from the internet or on P2P/file-trading networks," she wrote in January, warning they may also expose users to computer viruses or fraud.

Hard-copy piracy has also spread to India, where street vendors have been seen hawking illegal copies of "Half-Blood Prince" at steep discounts.


More in Tux Machines

Science on Android

I have covered a lot of different scientific packages that are available under Linux in this space, but the focus has been on Linux running on desktop machines. This has been rather short-sighted, however, as lots of other platforms have Linux available and shouldn't be neglected. So in this article, I start looking at the type of science you can do on the Android platform. For my next several articles, I plan to include occasional Android applications that you may find useful. Read more

Linksys WRT router gains faster SoC, more RAM, OpenWrt

Linksys has launched a “WRT1900ACS” router that updates the AC version with a faster dual-core, 1.6GHz SoC, twice the RAM (at 512MB), and OpenWrt support. In early 2014 when Linksys resurrected the hackable Linksys WRT54G WiFi router in a new WRT1900AC model, the Belkin subsidiary said the the Linux-based router would also support the lightweight, networking-focused OpenWrt Linux distribution. With the new WRT1900ACS, Linksys is making life easier for OpenWrt lovers by providing full, open source OpenWrt support out of the box. Read more

New Renesas SoCs offer 1.5GHz, 1080p, GbE, USB 3.0, PCIe

The RZ/G updates the Renesas Electronics RZ line of system-on-chips, which includes the Linux-ready RZ/A1 line of single-core, 400MHz Cortex-A9 SoCs, as well as an RZ/T line that runs an RTOS on a Cortex-M4 microcontroller. The new devices are aimed at a wide range of Linux- and Android embedded products including hand-held medical devices, digital signage, and industrial, home appliance, and office equipment devices that use a human-machine interface (HMI), says the Japanese semiconductor firm. Read more

Fedora OpenID issues resolved

It is very likely that you have seen the issues we had with logging in to Fedora Infrastructure services, or other websites that use Fedora OpenID to authenticate you. Read more