When TechCrunch posted about images of the pages of the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being available via a torrent site called The Pirate Bay, they were reporting about a newsworthy event within their blog’s scope (technology and society).
Scholastic, the publisher of Harry Potter, thinks differently. They have served a takedown notice to the site, which has responded by publicizing the notice and explaining their position. They are likely to be safe in this, as Salon, CNet, and The New York Times all posted the information on the same day.
Consider this: does this blog post aid in violating Scholastic’s copyright? If you think it might, please note that every link in this post (including the one’s in the p.s.) can be found independently via Google. When does the right to provide information about an event become publicity for that event? When does giving out information become aiding in the abusive use of said information?
And how does that affect a library’s role in answering reference questions, and providing access to information? Note that I am not limiting this line of questioning to copyright violations…
p.s. Jessamyn at Librarian.net has posted a link to a site that summarizes much of the posted book, chapter by chapter. I warn you that the first thing your eye will see on the page, assuming it is true, will tell you a major, major element of the story. I won’t know for a few days whether this has spoiled my reading of the book, but you get to decide whether it is better to wait and let J.K. Rowling tell you herself. Jessamyn’s post is here, if you decide to take the risk. The direct link to the summary is here.
Comment (7/23/2007): I finished the book early this morning; the creator of the summary gets more items wrong than right. So, if you looked and haven’t read the book yet, you may not have spoiled the fun!)