Monday, July 11, 2005

The more we find, the less we see

It's sad, really, to see this kind of heavy-handed overreach in the exceptionally petty cause of preventing spoilers. Vancouver — Harry Potter's Canadian publisher has obtained a court injunction barring anyone from leaking the plot of the latest chapter in the mega best-selling book series on the eve of its publication. Raincoast Books of Vancouver, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC of Britain and author J.K. Rowling were granted a so-called “John and Jane Dow” injunction Saturday in B.C. Supreme Court. It restrains anyone who has directly or indirectly received a copy or any other form of disclosure of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from disclosing all or any information from the book before 12:01 a.m. next Saturday. The book's authorized publicity machine is, of course, exempted. The court order also calls for anyone who's received unauthorized material from the book, sixth in the series, to turn it in to the publishers and delete any electronic copies. One word: Ha. I predict that details will be leaked regardless, and likely in a distributed or anonymous fashion that'll make it nigh-impossible for the publishers to press for damages. In fact, I hope that leaks happen purely to frustrate such inane PR micromanagement; I don't really care, myself. Sure, I'll read the new one, but I haven't been sitting on my hands just waiting for its release. But that's beside the point. The significant thing is, if there's information to be had, the hard-core fans will find out; it's only those in the general public, who might not care unless hearing interesting pre-release buzz in non-niche media, that'll be affected. What contempt, for both loyal and casual customers of the franchise alike.

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