More on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Leak: Will Rowling Send Out the Dementors?
During what should be the happiest and most triumphant moments of author JK Rowling’s career, there’s enough going on that she likely wouldn’t mind summoning her fictional dementors to wreck havoc on those who would challenge her wishes for the release of the seventh and final tome in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
First there was the news that copies of the book were leaked onto the Internet prior to its official sale date. In fact as of this moment you can illegally procure a copy of the novel in German from the Internet, but you can’t legally purchase a hardcover edition.
And what’s more, The New York Times has published an early review of Deathly Hallows, against Rowling’s wishes. And if that’s not enough, Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes that some dude already received his copy early from an eBay purchase, despite a $20 million effort to stifle leaks prior to the official sale date.
“I am staggered that some American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children,” she said.
The reality is that the era when artists could control the distribution of their work on a grand scale has ended. Overall, this is a good thing. Music companies and television companies and media companies don’t have the power to tightly control what people listen to, watch, and read anymore. The choices are too many, which has shifted the power of distribution to the content creators and consumers. And of course, when there’s great demand for intellectual property, it’s simply easy to hold back the floodgates once a single copy makes it onto the Internet.
But in some cases, it’s a little bit sad. The vast majority of Potter fans want to be able to pick up their legally purchased book, knowing that a massive adventure lies ahead for which they have no prior knowledge. And there’s a collective joy in knowing that thousands or even millions of others are doing the same.