Following the leak of the latest Harry Potter saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, on the Internet, comes the news that US publisher Scholastic is taking legal action against book distributor Levy Home Entertainment and DeepDiscount.com for breaching the Saturday midnight embargo on its distribution.
According to Reuters, the publisher says that Levy delivered the books to the online retailer and that people started receiving copies on Tuesday.
Photographs of the book's individual pages have been posted on the Internet, but Scholastic would not comment on whether these were real.
The report says that BigChampagne Media Measurement estimates that by yesterday, about one copy of the Harry Potter photographs was being downloaded per second and that 50 000 had been exchanged since Monday. BigChampagne CEO Eric Garland says he believes the pictures are probably legitimate.
Potter author JK Rowling has appealed to fans to "ignore the misinformation popping up on the Web and in the press on the plot."
"I'd like to ask everyone who calls themselves a Potter fan to help preserve the secrecy of the plot for all those who are looking forward to reading the book at the same time on publication day," she wrote on her website, www.jkrowling.com. "In a very short time you will know EVERYTHING!"
Reuters adds that Andrew Moscrip, vice-president of Infinity Resources, which owns DeepDiscount.com, says the company is investigating the issue. "Obviously we're taking this matter very seriously," he says.