General News

J.K. Rowling Bans Online Harry Potter Books

Jun 15, 2005 | 6:47am EDT

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has disappointed fans by banning any copies of the boy wizard novels from being published online in e-book form.

The multi-millionairess' unpopular decision was sparked by the problems caused by pirate versions of the Potter releases, which appeared on the internet without her permission last month.

Neil Blair, a lawyer with Rowling's literary agency, explains, "This has not been an area that we have sought to license. We monitor the internet and take appropriate action."

But experts are convinced the magical Potter saga would be a smash hit in digital format.

Nicholas Bogaty, director of the Open Ebook Forum, says, "I'm sure it would be a very big book very quickly and would probably serve as a terrific marketing vehicle to get people to buy the print book."

Barbara Marcus, president of the children's books division of Rowling's U.S. publisher, Scholastic Inc., counters, "I don't think that there is a cool enough or interesting enough hardware to get the kids engaged.

"One of the fantasies I had was of kids walking around, without backpacks, and somebody would say, 'You have to read Of Mice And Men and The Red Badge of Courage. Here are the e-books.' That fantasy hasn't happened."

Rowling's latest Harry Potter adventure, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is released on July 16.

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