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Old 07-12-2005, 03:16 AM   #1
Colin Dunstan
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New Harry Potter book "accidentally" leaked

Rowling's sixth novel about the young wizard is not scheduled to be released until Saturday, but a Vancouver grocery store accidentally sold 15 copies of the book last week, reports CBC. Raincoast Books, who distributes the books in Canada, managed to win a court injunction barring the buyers of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from disclosing the plot and also ordering them to return all copies to Raincoast:

Quote:
"It is not the intention of Raincoast to penalize the small group of fans who have innocently purchased a book in good faith. We look to them to ensure that the excitement and mystery of the story is preserved for fans around the world until July 16th by cooperating with us and observing the terms of the court injunction."
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:47 AM   #2
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So people have legitimately purchased the book, yet now face violation of a court order if they fail to return it immediately, discuss it, or do anything else with the book? Please tell me this court order is a joke!
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:02 AM   #3
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I can see how they are fighting to help the marketing blitz to succeed, but it's hard to argue that discussing the book ruins the experience of Harry Potter readers and fans. After all, when the book is released aren't people going to talk about it?!!

I think the bookstore should be held responsible, and they should ask all those things of the customers as a favor. I can't believe the courts are involved with the customer. If it's that important treat those poor guys with a trip to visit the author or something if they cooperate. (Of course you can't be too nice or you have people doing it again next release!)

Anyway, I agree Alex. It seems rediculous. Maybe the bookseller was considered only an agent for the publisher and they didn't own the book, so it was not in fact legitimately sold?

I wonder what would happen if, say, a coin shop sold the wrong coin, a very valuable one, by mistake. One would hope that the buyer would return to make it right out of kindness. But does he have a legal repsonsibility to do that. I doubt it.

But of course there's a really good reason I'm not a lawyer... I know nothing about the law!!!
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:25 PM   #4
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<obligatory>Where's the pirated e-book at?</obligatory>
Sorry... Couldn't help myself. Just kidding, of course.

Personally I plan to purchase a copy when it comes out, or shortly after. Harry Potter are a good series of books, if a bit unusual in how long they are between releases. Although I suppose writing 700-page books (with a length increase every book...) takes time...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
So people have legitimately purchased the book, yet now face violation of a court order if they fail to return it immediately, discuss it, or do anything else with the book? Please tell me this court order is a joke!
I agree. The consumer cannot be held responsible in any way, as far as my limited legal knowledge goes... It's either the store carrying the book or no-one in my mind...

Addition: As one who lives in BC, I am ashamed of the way the Supreme Court of British Columbia (I didn't even realize we had a "local" one...but that's beside the point..) handled this... It's rather amazing the idiocy of some people...
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:33 PM   #5
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So much for "the customer is always right." Careful what you buy, you might get a court order! (I know, that's a bit of a slippery-slope).

We have one coming from Amazon.com. I bought it on paper because it is the only medium offered. (sigh) Anybody who wants it on ebook WILL find it within the month (including me). The fact that the publishers don't want to make a few bucks from the ebook-savy is a real shame.

I used to have an awful lot of pirated MP3s until iTunes came out. Now 90% of my selection is legal. I can't be the only one.

- Jim
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:53 PM   #6
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I suppose the court order is legitimate, but just let them try to enforce it. What are the penalties for one who does not return the book? Will the purchaser be arrested? Suppose the purchaser has already read the book and passed it on? And if payment was in cash, how will the store know the identity of the purchaser? I am sure the order was issued ex parte (without any purchaser present), but it does seem ridiculous that the contract violator (the seller) winds up with the remedy. I think Raincoast had to do this to show the publisher that it was putting in its best efforts to correct its error. Philippe Radley
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:37 PM   #7
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It's a joke, a bad one at that, and a major annoyance.

If they made a mistake like that, and then went out and put a court order out on ME? I'd ( 1 ) counter-sue (based on the court order). ( 2 ) they'd lose my patronage, and that of my friends because sure as all get-out, THEY would know too! ( 3 ) I'd get the public papers involved, and explain what's going on from a consumer point of view. A bad rap like that in the papers can really hurt a seller. They don't like to see their screwups in print, especially multiple times in print.

What a joke. I'm glad I don't have them as an option for a book seller. Even if I did, they'd now be off of my list.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macrotor
I used to have an awful lot of pirated MP3s until iTunes came out. Now 90% of my selection is legal. I can't be the only one.

- Jim

Nope, sorry Jim. You're the only one. Thanks for ruining it for the rest of us.

It's crazy how people can't even discuss it. Hardcore fans are going to buy the book anyway when it comes out, regardless of if they "know" what's going to happen. Publishers are going to get their money from these people. (I suppose posting parts online would be malicious, but to make just conversating about it a crime is a bit much.)

Non-hardcore fans (or even non-interested people, like me) could not care less and the publishers weren't going to get money from us anyway.

They'd have better luck trying to shut down those illegal overseas operations that pirate he idea of Harry Potter and put out ficticious books ("Harry Potter and the Jade Dragon of Mongolian Double Happiness") then they would in trying to keep people from taking about the books.
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:40 AM   #9
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No, no, it's VERY important that people don't hear any spoilers before buying the book, or they'll lose sales! Seriously, when I heard that Anakin was going to BECOME DARTH VADER, I figured there was no point in watching the movie. ;-)

This really is silly. Personally, I think Philippe Radley nailed the truth: the bookstore is just expressing effort to "right its wrongs" in order to save face for its error. I do hope this is just a show of force, and that they don't actually try to prosecute a fan. That would be truly ugly.

- Jim
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:05 PM   #10
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Regardless, anyone who now does business with Raincoast Books would have to wonder: Am I next for buying this book from them?

In my opinion, they aren't worth having around.

Like some of the signs say: Shop Lifters will be beaten, punched, kicked and stabbed. Survivors will be prosecuted.

Now they should also read: Both Shoplifters AND Lawful Purchasers will now be prosecuted, at our whim.
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