Thanks to Mrs Rowling's insistance
not to release an electronic version of the new Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
, underground e-book pirates have already began to do the work for themselves.
Bookstores across the globe simultaneously flung open their doors at GMT 2301 on Friday night to allow Harry Potter fans all over the world to snatch up the latest volume of the boy-wizard's adventures. Some of them didn't start reading the paper book right away; instead, they went to the next scanning device and started running their OCR software on little Potter.
In a joint-effort the pirates are now meeting in dedicated IRC channels
with imaginative names such as #pottermania or #potterwork to spread the work of scanning and proofreading. As of right now, at least chapters 1-6, 8 and 12-13 have been scanned and proofread, and are already available for download on multiple (mostly Russia-based) web-servers (txt and html). My guess is that it will take at most another 24 hours for the entire e-book to leak to the Net.
I don't condone copyright piracy. But it should be clear, even to JK Rowling, that there's always going be piracy no matter what you do. The best way to minimize would be to release an official
e-book version. Maybe with Harry Potter Book 7?
Update: I've already received several private messages asking me for links to the illegal e-book. Please don't send me any more messages of this regard... I am sure Rowling's lawyers would not know mercy.
Update 2: It's done, the complete e-book has been fully scanned + proofread, in about 12 hours after the hardcover book had hit the stores.
Update 3: Pirates made available a net.radio audiobook version of the new Potter novel. Read more about it over at Teleread
Update 4: Copies of the e-book already spotted
on eBay. Tsk.