Conventional wisdom seems to be leaning that there’s some legitimacy to the photos of book pages published online on Gaiaonline.com and peer-to-peer networks.
The companies threatened with financial loss by a real leak – including Scholastic, the series’ U.S. publisher, are taking the threat seriously. Scholastic subpoenaed the file-sharing website, asking them for the name of the person who had posted the text on that site.
So was this a true insider leak with mammoth financial consequences? I’d say that it’s too early to tell. The hordes of Harry Potter fans – including the die-hards who dress up like the main character and his chums from Hogwarts – are likely to eat up the books, motion pictures and other merchandise the series has to offer regardless of whether some of it has appeared online.
And without knowing all the facts, it’s tough to say whether a publishing insider stole a copy and posted it online, or if such an act – if it’s legit – was performed by an outsider.
Consider that the publishers seem to have covered their liabilities on the physical security end. The Boston Globe reports that booksellers agreed to stringent rules, including keeping the books in a secure area until 12:01 a.m. on Saturday morning. Sellers cannot reveal when or whether the books have arrived, where they are being stored, or anything else about the books to the media with the approval of Scholastic.
The Globe also reports that workers at a book-production plant in Crawfordsville, Ind. were subject to lunchbox searches, barred from bringing cell phones to work and penalized if caught reading on the job.
And in the United Kingdom, book-carrying trucks were being watched by satellite tracking technology, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
So was the Harry leak legit or not? The good news is that we only have a few days left until we find out for sure.