Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince released

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Crowds line up outside a Borders bookstore in Delaware, USA

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling was released today to hundreds of special midnight parties at bookstores. The book is expected to sell tens of thousands of copies in the first hour, and the waves of fans just keep on coming. As midnight spreads across the Atlantic and the North American continent, more and more stores will start selling.

The Royal Mail UK postal service delivered four hundred tons of the pre-ordered books this morning.

In British Columbia, fourteen copies of the book were accidentally sold at a supermarket on the 7th of July, eight days before the book's official release date. This led publishers to obtain a court order from the British Columbia Supreme Court stating that people who had received the books were forbidden from copying, selling, discussing, or reading the book.

In protest at the ruling, Richard Stallman, an advocate of less-restrictive copyright law, called for a boycott of the books after the controversial Supreme Court ruling. He called anybody who "participated in requesting, issuing, enforcing, or trying to excuse" the injunction an "enemy of human rights in Canada."