Harry Potter & the Scholastic Private Detectives

By Jason Boog Comment

At the Publishing Business Conference & Expo, Copyright Clearance Center business development director Christopher Kenneally lead a panel discussion about digital book piracy.

During the long interview, attorney Devereux Chatillon shared a story about working as general counsel at Scholastic during the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows–revealing the lengths that the publisher went throgh to keep the seventh book in the series offline. What do you think?

Here’s an excerpt from the PDF: “Someone took photographs digitally and put them up on the Internet. And there were a number of things that were interesting about that. One is, we had a few of those pop up. I could be on the phone with their father within literally hours of when it appeared on the Internet, and we could have a private investigator or a lawyer in their driveway, which we did, knocking on the door saying, hi, I’m from Scholastic. And again, we didn’t want to sue people. It wasn’t about the market. It wasn’t about lost sales. It was about we wanted to keep the basically audience for the children together and out of the mainstream so that they could get to that midnight moment, which everyone really loved.”