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Harry Potter hit by pesky pirates

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The latest Harry Potter tome was not released as an ebook because of fears over piracy - a plan as cunning as any of Baldrick's.

Unfortunately some committed fans/pesky pirates immediately scanned the book on its release last weekend and used optical recognition software to digitise the text. Copies were then proof-read, not very well from the bits we've seen, before being released. Who'd have thought it?

Podcasts, or audio versions, are also available.

A spokesman for JK Rowling's literary agents Christoper Little told us by email: "I am sure there are many reasons why people turn to pirate copies. However, in other walks of life most people accept if something is not legitimately available then they can't have it."

The spokesman would not be drawn as to whether the lack of an official ebook had an impact on dodgy downloads.

He also said: "Our aim is to protect our clients' rights but also (and this is key here to us) the innocent fans (many of whom may be young kids) who might stumble upon a file believing it to be genuine and perhaps official only to find that it contains or inappropriate material or a virus etc etc." The spokesman noted that "most, if not all, kids authors haven't yet licensed ebook rights."

The book has broken publishing records across the globe: in the US it sold a staggering 6.9m copies in 24 hours and in South Africa it sold over 40,000 copies in a day or 40 times the usual weekly total for a bestseller. In the UK we bought over two million copies.

More details on this ebook blog TeleRead here.®

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