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Achtung! Harry Potter copyright breakensung

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Impatient German fans of the Harry Potter series of books have got into hot water with the book's German publishers. The latest one in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, appeared in English about two months ago but is not due to be released in German until 14 October.

This delay was too much for Potter fans, who promptly started translating chapters and posting the results on the Internet. The first six were up on www.harry-auf-deutsch.de, nine more are on their way and the remaining 22 have been distributed to university students for translation.

Unsurprisingly, the German publisher Carlsen Verlag had something to say about this and promptly issued the site with a court order. If the man behind it, Bernd Kolemann, continues to dish out the chapters, he faces two years in jail or a £130,000 fine.

Which, if you think about it, is fair enough. ®

PS As German reader Bret has pointed out, our headline is wrong and should in fact read "Achtung! Harry Potter Urheberrecht gebrochen"

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