Apparently, a small Canadian bookseller started selling copies of the new Harry Potter book a few days early. Scandalous! But here’s the kicker — Canadian authorities have issued a gag order barring any of those buyers from discussing the plot of the book.

I suppose it’s a Canadian thing, but the very idea that you could get a gag order issued barring people from discussing the plot of a damned novel is absolutely insane. Hell, it’s inconceivable to me that anyone subject to such an order wouldn’t immediately go out and blow every damned twist in the book. I know I sure as hell would.

Don’t get me wrong — I hate plot spoilers, and I like the Harry Potter books. But mess with my right to speak, and you’ve got a war on your hands. So with that in mind, if any of those buyers want to spill their secrets here, I’ll gladly propagate them. In the United States, we’ve still got this “freedom of speech” thing going.

For the moment, anyway. After all, here’s a case where corporate interests are pitted against basic Constitutional rights. And as far as the current G.O.P. leadership is concerned, there’d be absolutely no question as to which would win out.


At 8:12 AM, Lisa said...

I had not heard that story. It's interesting that there are no "why" details. Was it an "accident" -- libraries and booksellers (as I think your wife can tell you) esentially promise not to sell / display before the release date -- or a ploy to boost sales, or wanton disregard for the fun of a uniform release?

At 9:22 AM, Bill Coughlan said...

The stories were annoyingly vague. I strongly suspect it was just a case of some (inexperienced) clerk opening the box of new arrivals and thinking, "Hey, we got the books a few days early. Well, I suppose we'd better put 'em out..."

Also mentioned in the article was an "incentive" system -- return the books, don't talk about them, and in exchange, we'll give you an autographed book plate from J.K. Rowling. As far as I'm concerned, that's great -- an honest mistake, they're making a good-faith effort to correct it, I'll gladly comply. But couple it with the gag order and you've made an enemy for life.

Still no word from plot leakers, though, either directly or through the grapevine (at least none that I've seen yet). I may not be bound by Canadian law, but the fact that they are may be giving them pause.


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