Everybody may know the fate awaiting Harry Potter, and this time it doesn’t look as an empty claim. There’s a 72Mb PDF out there, all it takes is an obvious Google search and some tolerance for low quality on-screen reading. A security leak is no surprise at all, considering the enormous number of copies that have been shipped all over the world and all the people involved in packaging, storing and distributing the books. All it takes is a digital camera, an internet connection and one untrustworthy person: one among thousands…
But how bad is it for the publishers? Will be there an economic loss in this?
I don’t believe that anybody is going to cancel his early pre-order on Amazon (mine is dated March, 25th), just because a barely legible set of images is available on some file server. How bad do I want to know how it goes that I’m giving up part of the pleasure, reading from a heap of A4 sheets, just to anticipate it a few days? Actually, it’s more than a few days because my wife will be patrolling the mailbox in order to be sure she’s the one who tears the book away from the postman’s hands, but that’s another story. I will patiently wait.
Am I curious? You bet I am! Despite my low expectations about the quality of the book, I will read it avidly. 6 books, 2811 pages and a major disappointment in seeing my two favorite characters die (in remarkably boring ways) are sort of an investment, and now I’m not giving up a single tiny bit of the pleasure of reading the final book in all its ecofriendly, guilt-relieving (looks like it’s actually the greenest book ever printed) hardcover glory. All this is to answer a question I asked myself: would I download a legal, well-formatted PDF provided by the publisher for an adequate fee?
Call me old style, but I’d choose the book. Even if the PDF were free.