Will the Harry Potter Leak Bring the Deathly Hallows to Book Sales?
Okay, I have no idea what “the deathly hallows” means but I’m guessing if deployed correctly by the right (no doubt) nefarious hands, they could have a detrimental effect on book sales.
The New York Times reported yesterday that sightings of the seventh and final Harry Potter epic, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, were beginning to pop up around the Internet in the form of a collection of photographs of every single page of the seven hundred and something page novel.
The leak is even more widespread today, as might be expected, as file sharing service BitTorrent has become a platform to share the novel. Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing reports that not only is the book becoming widely available, but the novel was translated into German in a mere 45 hours.
As a side note, I’m surprised that Boing Boing would openly link to a site where Deathly Hallows torrents are available, in a sense supporting the illegal distribution of the as yet not-for-sale book. I’m not familiar with Boing Boing’s or Doctorow’s stance on intellectual property, so perhaps it complies with some kind of overarching policy of theirs.
In any event, the question is whether or not it will hurt book sales. Bruce Schneier thinks that people who are willing to read photographs of a novel are the same people who will later go out and purchase it. Don Park counter argues â€“ and I think he has a very interesting point here â€“ that getting something for free can be habit-forming.