I find myself strangely unmoved at the news that HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS leaked, in full, thanks to intrepid scanners who posted the entire contents on various Torrent sites like TorrentFreak and PirateBay. Sure, there are lots and lots and lots of comments about how terrible it is to have spoilers out there, threatening to ruin mankind and all that, but it was their choice to look at the spoilers instead of reading something else – or, golly gee, buying a different book.
Ultimately, Harry Potter is all about two things: getting people reading and the bottom line. And just because the book may be leaked – and no matter how hard Bloomsbury and Scholastic try to clamp down, once that Pandora’s Box cracks open it is going to stay open for good – does not mean those two fundamental things will change. DEATHLY HALLOWS is going to break records; fans are going to storm the bookstores demanding their copies. And judging from some of the comments on the sites I’ve linked to, knowing the book’s outcome is making some people even more excited about getting their hands on a copy of the book – not less.
We’re never going to see a phenomenon like Harry Potter again in our lifetimes, I suspect. But should that happen again, the lucky publishers might want to heed this: information wants to be free, now more than ever, and by making it free, you might just get more people to buy. And maybe shelling out 10 million pounds in “security” is more an exercise in placating the brass than substantive accomplishment.