Potter publishers launch anti-piracy drive

MUMBAI: While the fifth installement of the Harry Potter movie has just released across the world, the seventh and the last installement of the book is scheduled to be out on bookstands in just about a week’s time – 21 July.


Keeping the Potter mania among the ‘muggles’ in mind, Penguin Books India and Bloomsbury have undetaken stringent measures to prevent sale and distribution of pirated copies of the final Harry Potter book installment – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in India.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling will be published around the world on 21 July; the book will go on sale in India at 6.30 am  on the same day. The publishing phenomenon of the millennium, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has already garnered advance bookings of 240,000 copies in India alone. 


A legal team has been commissioned to prevent copies of the new book being pirated on publication. The firm, ACA Law will closely be working with the police to counter piracy for the new Harry Potter. Vigilance cells will be set up around the country and there will also be a 24 hour help line number, which would ensure immediate action should a case of piracy be reported.


 


ACA Law head Akash Chittranshi said, “The success of Harry Potter is unprecedented, which is one reason why pirates wait to cash in on its release. Publishers Bloomsbury and Penguin India have therefore retained us and have also requested the Police in various Indian cities to take steps and maintain vigil to prevent the piracy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In addition the services of leading IP Investigators IP-Boutique have been retained to keep a watch on known offenders and pirate business locations. Our instructions are to initiate criminal cases against businesses and persons found organizing and dealing in the piracy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Indian Copyright law is very stringent as far as enforcement is concerned. Any person found dealing in pirated copies of Harry Potter can be arrested and charged with the offence of infringement of copyright, which is punishable with imprisonment for upto three years and fine. But the success in protecting the new Harry Potter now largely depends on the cooperation and priority it gets from the Police.”


 


Book piracy is a major malaise faced by the publishing Industry in India. Piracy robs authors of the rightful remuneration of their work, and also cheats consumers who are presented with a substandard product carrying an established brand name. Many such copies have text missing, faulty binding and defective covers. Many copies seized recently in anti piracy raids by ACA Law have shown that these are produced using materials that are potentially hazardous. Moreover, pirates very often employ child labour to sell books.


 


In the past few years, the Publishers’ Association (UK) and the Association of Publishers of India have been addressing the issue of piracy in India. The Harry Potter anti piracy drive is an extension of that initiative. This will be the biggest anti piracy initiative undertaken by a publisher in the country till now.


 


The anti-piracy hotlines at Penguin India will be: 098180 10044 and 011-26499936.


 

This year also marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The Harry Potter series has gone on to sell 325 million copies worldwide, and has been translated into 64 languages. All six Potter books have been number one sellers around the world. In India too, the last book went on to smash all records with over 160,000 copies sold in hardback. First day’s sales were estimated at being 100,000 copies.

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