Prosecuting fans who translate Harry Potter

Apparently the French version of Deathly Hallows won’t be available until late October. It’s a shame the publishers couldn’t arrange simultaneous releases, but I’m prepared to accept that’s a massive undertaking. Nevertheless, it must suck to know half the world has already read a novel you’re eagerly awaiting. As a result, some fans have quickly released their own translations. Bloomsbury aren’t happy.

I appreciate that J.K. Rowling / Bloomsbury have the intellectual property rights to Harry Potter. I appreciate that, flawed as the copyright system may be, the underlying concept of creators’ rights is just. But when a kid loves a novel enough to translate it into another language, for no commercial gain, prosecuting him seems a bit much. I can’t, off the top of my head, think of a realistic legal setup whereby the translations could be pulled but the kid not be guilty of anything. But it feels wrong.

Incidentally, anyone who’s finished the book might find this amusing. Don’t click if you haven’t.