Ok maybe not a sex tape, but equally as disasterous for Scholastic Publishing, who seem to have applied the same ill-conceived approach to dealing with it.
Michael Arrington has just received a letter from laywers acting on behalf of Scholastic (JK Rowling‘s publisher), demanding that he take down a recent post about the leak of the final Harry Potter book via Bit Torrent. Let’s be clear here kids – he didn’t distribute the pirated book, one of his boys just blogged about it. In doing so, lawyers deemed that Techcrunch may have been “liable of contributory infringement”. That’s bullshit. Ok so it was pretty stupid of the guy to write “For educational purposes only, the Harry Potter book can be found by searching The Pirate Bay“*, but do you want to know who’s really guilty of contributory infringement? The bloody lawyers!
Let me spell it out for you. Once something appears online, it’s there to stay. Try as you might there is nothing you can do about it – just ask Pam & Tommy Lee, or my own personal favourite – AOL (see here for the background on that one). The only way you can make it go away is by not drawing people’s attention to it with dick moves like this!
You’d think Scholastic’s legal team would have cottoned on to this by now, but then again maybe they have. Lawyers don’t get paid to advise publishers how to minimise their losses due to copyright infringement – they get paid to send out threatening letters and sue people who don’t have any money. This move has done nothing to mitigate the situation, and I’d argue that it’s probably worsened things immeasurably.
So with that in mind here’s a little more Harry Potter lunacy, courtesy of our friends at The Onion…
J.K. Rowling Hints At Harry Potter Date Rape
Calling the final Harry Potter book her “darkest yet,” J.K. Rowling confirmed one of the characters in it will be date raped.
June 4, 2007 | Issue 43•29
J.K. Rowling Ends Harry Potter Series After Discovering Boys
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—J.K. Rowling announced that she has no time to write because she has become obsessed with cute boys.
June 16, 2004 | Issue 40•24 News
New Harry Potter Film Turns Children On To Magic Of Not Reading
LOS ANGELES—Around the world, children are being turned on to the magic of not reading by the blockbuster film Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone. “My daughter Julia never liked to sit passively and stare at a screen, but this new movie has really locked the power of her imagination,” said
November 28, 2001 | Issue 37•43 News in Brief
Children, Creepy Middle-Aged Weirdos Swept Up In Harry Potter Craze
HOLLYWOOD, CA—The fantastical universe created by J.K. Rowling speaks to the child in all of us, whether young or way too old.
December 5, 2001 | Issue 37•44 News
*I know it’s pretty rich of me to say he was stupid to allude to the Torrent’s location when I actually linked to it, but: 1. I don’t have anywhere near the audience Techcrunch does; 2. This is my blog and I’ll say what I like. If you don’t like it you can fuck off.