The new Harry Potter novel -- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- has hit the Internet days before its publication. The publisher spent a reported $20 million on keeping the book secret. Was the money well-spent? As Bruce Schneier points out, the kind of person who downloads a series of photos of the pages of a giant novel is also the kind of person who'll line up and buy a copy the night it comes out.
Me, I'm just glad to finally know what happens who dies at the end of the final Harry Potter novel -- SPOILER ALERT! Select the text below to read it.
The publishing industry.
Seriously, though. With the last book, the publisher was so freaked out about ebook "piracy" that they refused to release an official electronic edition. The result? Fans made their own electronic text in 24 hours. And other fans translated the book into German in 45 hours.
That'a a lot of fan-energy, sitting out there, looking for ways to love these books. Surely there's a smarter way to deal with that kind of love than attempting to suppress it?
Four days before it hits bookstores, I've got a copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." I downloaded it from a link posted at the Bittorrent file-sharing site the Pirate Bay.
But hold on. It's not as sweet as it sounds. What I've got is not really the book but a series of photographs of the book -- someone has meticulously snapped shots of each page. Some who've discussed leaked copies say that they've seen only Pages 1 through 495. But the copy I have includes all the pages; I could, if I wanted to, tell you the very last line of the very last Harry Potter book right now.
Link to Deathly Hallows torrents on The Pirate Bay
(Via Boing Boing.)