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Fanfic is Forgery?

Well if there’s one thing that J.K. Rowling produces aside from mediocre and derivative children’s fantasy books, it’s lawsuits. In the Harry Potter books, power is gained through magic. In the real world J.K. Rowling’s publishers gain it by suing the hell out of everyone who even breathes the wrong way on a Harry Potter novel or presumes to think about it a day before its official release.

To wit.

“Police arrested a teenager suspected of posting his own translation of the latest Harry Potter novel on the Internet weeks before the official French release, the book’s publishers said on Wednesday.

The 16-year-old schoolboy, from the Aix-en-Provence region in southern France, was taken into custody by a police anti-counterfeiting unit and later released, said a spokeswoman for the Gallimard publishing house, which handles the French editions of the novels.”

Of all the dogs to sic on him, the anti-counterfeiting law enforcement unit is one of the stranger ones. Counterfeiting requires consciously trying to make money by passing off something as the original. Much like the Chinese freelance translations this appears to be a case of a kid translating the book on his own and putting it up for others to enjoy. A charge of pirating the book might have stuck, a charge of counterfeiting it? I doubt anyone was confusing his translation with an actual paid copy of the book.

“It is not a young person or a fan we are talking about here — these are organized networks that use young people,” she told Reuters by telephone.

Like drug networks? Some massive evil conspiracy to post free translations of books online? Funny how you can make anything seem like a vast evil conspiracy.

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