J.K. RowlingI wish J.K. Rowling could hear the illegal but beautifully read net.radio performance of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince if she has not already. A TeleBlog reader directed me to the page, which also links to bootlegged copies of the billionaire Lud’s novel. Here’s what page looks like, and here’s an audio sample in .wav format. Is it original or just an unauthorized pick-up of a legal CD or cassette? I don’t know for sure, but strongly suspect “pick-up.”

The online performance of Book 6 had already started when I dropped by. I’d be shocked if someone didn’t distribute an audio file, not just a stream you need to capture. If so, then so much for the Wall Street Journal’s powers of prophesy. The WSJ headine: “Put Away the iPod: ‘Harry Potter’ Unlikely as a Download.”

Reader’s modest proposal

Meanwhile the reader tells me: “I think it’s more the shame that no one has set up a voluntary system to provide recompense for authors–build trust, get the ‘pirates’ to put a link in their materials, guarantee anonymonity for the ‘pirates,’ and again, maybe authors will change their minds when they get some residue income from free distribution.”

No, I’ll not reproduce the URL and, as noted, I do not approve of piracy. What’s more, my own solution to the problem would be different from the reader’s. Still, I certainly understand the frustration here and greatly appreciate the reader’s bringing me up to date.

Update, July 17, 12:50 p.m. EDT: Just added the audio sample.

Related: J.K. Rowling reads Harry Potter and Wild about Harry, videos from CBS News. You’ll probably need to scroll down; also, the links may have expired.


  1. […] Harry Potter 6 e-book already being pirated! Thanks to Mrs Rowling’s insistance not to release an electronic version of the new Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, underground e-book pirates have already began to do the work for themselves. Bookstores across the globe simultaneously flung open their doors at GMT 2301 on Friday night to allow Harry Potter fans all over the world to snatch up the latest volume of the boy-wizard’s adventures. Some of them didn’t start reading the paper book right away; instead, they went to the next scanning device and started running their OCR software on little Potter. In a joint-effort the pirates are now meeting in dedicated IRC channels with imaginative names such as #pottermania or #potterwork to spread the work of scanning and proofreading. As of right now, at least chapters 1-6, 8 and 12-13 have been scanned and proofread, and are already available for download on multiple (mostly Russia-based) web-servers (txt and html). My guess is that it will take at most another 24 hours for the entire e-book to leak to the Net. I don’t condone copyright piracy. But it should be clear, even to JK Rowling, that there’s always going be piracy no matter what you do. The best way to minimize would be to release an official e-book version. Maybe with Harry Potter Book 7? Update: I’ve already received several private messages asking me for links to the illegal e-book. Please don’t send me any more messages of this regard… I am sure Rowling’s lawyers would not know mercy. Update 2: It’s done, the complete e-book has been fully scanned + proofread, in about 12 hours after the hardcover book had hit the stores. Update 3: Pirates made available a net.radio audiobook version of the new Potter novel. Read more about it over at Teleread. __________________ If you

  2. […] Por si eso fuera poco también está disponible y circulando por redes de intercambios de archivos una versión en audio de libro, leido por un humano y no por un programa de texto a voz. […]

  3. […] Story for that. There’s also a pirate audio version floating around. You can hear a sample from it and loads of related links at this page. People are calling this inevitable, since the powers that be refused to release an official ebook version… for fear of piracy. And, the Pope thinks Harry Potter is evil because he’s a stupid tit; Harry Potter actually engages children, whereas the Church is so irrelevant it all seems like a big hilarious joke. […]

  4. […] En Fahrenheit 451, la estupenda novela de Ray Bradbury adaptada al cine por François Truffaut, los amantes de la cultura escrita se organizaban aprendiendo de memoria los textos más significativos de la literatura y la historia de la Humanidad, para que no se perdieran para siempre entre las llamas de la intolerancia y la barbarie. Así, cada persona no sólo se sabía el libro que le correspondía desde la primera hasta la última letra, sino que "era" el propio libro. De esa manera era transmitida la literatura de generación en generación y puesta al alcance de todo aquel que lo deseara. Esto a simple vista parece no sólo una buena idea sino un comportamiento que seguro muchos imitaríamos de encontrarnos en dicha situación de prohibición total de la literatura. Pero…hoy hacer esto, preservar la literatura mediante su puesta a disposición de todos es ilegal. Y lo es porque las circunstancias son diferentes: todo el mundo tiene acceso a ella, absolutamente todas las personas que habitan la Tierra pueden "pagar" por un libro. No se dejen engañar: esos niños que ven en las noticias y que viven en Africa o en Irak, en Brasil o en Cuba, y que no comen demasiado porque no quieren, pueden pagarse un libro perfectamente. Por eso, lo que acaba de ocurrir con la nueva aventura de Harry Potter es ILEGAL. A las 12 horas de su salida al mercado, ya existía en internet la version escaneada y corregida de la novela. Y no sólo eso sino que circulando por las redes p2p hay un archivo de audio en el cual un humano (no una máquina) lee el libro entero. Esto es ILEGAL porque la autora del libro necesita urgentemente el dinero que no han pagado quienes se han descargado el libro, y lo necesita porque pasa hambre, no hay más que ver lo flacucha que está. Esto es ILEGAL porque con las pocas ventas que va a tener el libro no dará para pipas ni al corrector de galeradas de la versión en japonés. Esto es ILEGAL porque de lo que se trata no es de que la gente (aka los niños) lean, sino que aprendan a pagar, después de todo es lo que hace funcionar al mundo. Esto es ILEGAL porque para leer gratis ya están Aristóteles, el Corán y la Biblia (de momento, hasta que la Iglesia reclame sus derechos legítimos). Esto es ILEGAL porque… […]

  5. Harry Potter y su pirateo, sexta parte

    Que se haya reproducido la sexta parte, tan rápido y en tantas versiones, no deja de dar señal de dos cosas: Que Harry Potter vende hasta en entornos en los que no hay ánimo de lucro, y que hoy por hoy, el intercambio de información en la red es un…

  6. Bojkot Harrego Pottera?

    Richard Stallman, “ojciec” ruchu wolnego oprogramowania nawołuje do bojkotu książek o Harrym Potterze. Wzburzył go fakt, że są zabronił uczciwym i niewinnym kupcom najnowszej książki o HP przeczytanie czegoś, co legalnie do nich …

  7. Najnowszy Harry Potter już online

    Wydawcy książek o Harrym Potterze zdecydowali, że nie wydadzą najnowszej książki w formie elektronicznej w obawie przez “piractwem”. A jak wiemy, wydaje im się, że potrafią zapanować nad dystrybucją książki, gdyż sąd w Kanad…

  8. You can be certain the Jim Dale version/reading of the audio book version of #6 of Harry Potter is being distributed around the world via the Bit Torrents method as I write this, since about Sunday. Finished downloading a whole copy of it last night. The sound on it is very good quality!

  9. […] Media companies are scared. And rightfully so. In a world of evolving technology, countries with differing laws, and anonymity on the net, pirates can quickly and accurately duplicate any bit of media in a matter of hours. Case in point, the new Harry Potter book. Within a day, pirates had scanned the book, converted it to text with Optical Character Recognition (OCR), proof-read it for accuracy, and posted it to the net. They did this as a collaborative effort via online conferences rooms called IRC. Some of them don’t even know each other. Couple this with an apparently “beautifully read” version of the new book having been made available online and you begin to understand that there is potentially 7 billion people willing to circumnavigate any copy protection available. And they are able to do it faster each day. It’s like trying to hold back the ocean with a cup. Eventually the media companies may need to give up on DRM as too expensive for too little return. […]

  10. […] – Apple’s Podcasting Support SUCKS! – Costco doesn’t suck! – The Ionic Breeze: Bullshit! – Harry Potter #6 – Cracked in 24 hours! – Promo: Skepticality – Global Frequency – WoW Hacks and Cracks – Podsafe Music Network (That’s right, you can play music on your podcast! Suck it, Tecnetico!) – Music: Lost Angeles, by berman […]

  11. The legal U.S. audio version is indeed out. See part of July 20 clip below from Oregon paper:

    Harry Potter mania is again sweeping the nation, and the Southern Oregon coast is no exception.

    Fans both old and young packed late night parties in Gold Beach and Brookings bookstores, snapping up copies of the newest installment – “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” – just after the stroke of midnight early Saturday morning.

    “We sold out our initial order,” said Ted Watkins, the owner of Gold Beach Books. The store has cleared at least 140 books, he said. That includes the special deluxe edition complete with its own box, which sells for $60, and the audio version packed onto 17 CDs, which the store is selling for $64.95…

  12. Yeah I am selling them on a site in New Zealand, I dont have them I am in partnership with a guy from England. I didnt even think about the piracy issue (durr) but well they are out there. Had this idiot trader tell me I was a fool to be selling them that it was against the law, he reckoned I sourced them off the net, downloaded them and trying to make a quick buck, as to why I’m in here checking out the legal side of things, I mean can I get in trouble? ??????? Help!

  13. Hi, Ann. You obviously acted in good faith–your letter has the ring of sincerity. It would be very bad public relations for J.K. Rowling to sue you if you’ll promptly take down your ad or at least disassociate yourself from that effort. Genuine ignorance of the law can be an excuse in a situation like this. Please note I am not a lawyer, but as a layman I suspect you’re very safe as long as you don’t delay. Do the takedown today, and if your partner won’t cooperate, you might even want to report him to the Christopher Little Agency, which represents Mrs. Rowling. Your partner under those circumstance would be no friend, so worry not in the least about disloyalty. Keep me posted, and best of luck! – David

  14. Hi,

    Pls could someone send me the link to get the pirated version of the Harry Potter book? My email is —-



    Moderator’s note: Sorry, it is illegal here in the States to engage in e-book piracy, which I oppose on moral grounds as well. What would you could do is sign a petition to get legal copies of Potter on the net. Happy e-reading! David

  15. Hello, Ruhan, and thanks for your note. I don’t know Indian law, though I’d hope it would discourage piracy. Whatever the local laws are, it would be better morally if you bought the book even if it’s in paper form. I know; it’s not a simple issue. I’m curious what your economic status is, and how much you would be willing to pay for the book in U.S. dollars. Meanwhile let’s hope the day comes when Potter books and other works will be available for free in India someday through a well-stocked national digital library system with provisions for fair compensation of writers and publishers. Happy e-reading! – David

  16. I am going mad though and do wish I could find out how the story ends (and not in summary). A friend visited my little northern town (canada, 11 hours drive from the nearest starbucks and about 4 hours drive from the nearest place to buy a copy of the book) and let me read a copy he was travelling with that he had to take back with him. I do SO wish there was a way to legally buy a copy of this book. I won’t break the law to download it, but it would be great to be able to finish it. In the meantime, I am on the wait list for the copy the library has. :-s

  17. […] TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home ” Illegal but beautifully read: Net.radio performance of new Harry Potter book News on e-books, digital libraries, publishing and related topics such as copyright. Podcasts available. … again, maybe authors will change their minds when they get some residue income from free distribution … reading of the audio book version of #6 of Harry Potter is being distributed … Filed under: Audio Books — admin @ 6:30 pm […]

  18. i think that this piracy is a little bit exegarated….not everybody has so much many as the author of the book but would like to see if there aren any news about harry potter i am one of fan’s most dominated and i think it sholud be forbidden

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