General News

"Harry Potter" Author Sues NY Tabloid

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Jun 19, 2003 | 10:38am EDT

Some people are just too impatient for their own good.

In yet another controversy surrounding the release of the fifth Harry Potter installment, author J.K. Rowling and her U.S. publisher Scholastic, Inc. filed a copyright infringement suit against the New York newspaper The Daily News Wednesday for publishing minor excerpts and plot details from the highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before the book officially goes on sale Saturday.

The Daily News claimed it obtained a copy of the book at a health food store in the borough of Brooklyn, Reuters reports. "We will vigorously defend any action and are confident we did nothing wrong journalistically or legally," Daily News spokesman Ken Frydman told Reuters.

With events planned for the book's release June 26 from New York and London to Australia and many points in between, the publisher placed an embargo on stores not to sell any copies of the book before Saturday and also withheld copies of the book from the media in hopes to keep the plot under wraps.

This incident follows a few other missteps in the planned release of the Order of the Phoenix, including last May where copies of the unbound manuscript were found in a field in Suffolk, England, and last Sunday's late-night heist, where 7,680 copies of the book were stolen in northern England.

Reuters reports the health food store owner, who claims he did not know about an embargo, received four Harry Potter books on Monday and displayed them in his window for people to buy.

After seeing the flap he caused by selling his books early, the owner of the Brooklyn store told The Daily News, "I regret not ordering more."

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