by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
books, copyright, fans, publishers, stieg larsson


Publisher Warns Fans That Liking A Book Too Much May Be Illegal

from the seriously? dept

When will they learn? Apparently, one of the hot book series out there is the "Millennium Trilogy" by author Stieg Larsson. Apparently, the first couple of books have become incredibly popular in the US, but the third in the series has been released elsewhere, but not in the US yet. So, not surprisingly, many fans are ordering it from abroad. Most of the article is about the fans' excitement for the book, and their demand for it:
"Once you know you can have it, once you know it exists in English and you can buy it, it would be crazy not to."
But, the US publisher is quoted towards the end threatening those doing so, claiming it's illegal:
"What I would say to readers is, I would encourage them to shop at their local bookseller here in the United States or their online bookseller in the United States, where no laws are being broken and you are supporting the continuing discovery of world literature."
As the anonymous reader who submitted this story notes, rather than just reading this statement, you really should hear the audio version of what Paul Bogaards from publisher Knoph says, because it's not fully conveyed in the written article. First, what he says in the audio version:
"Because it's against the law. It's a violation of copyright law."
But you have to hear the sheer condescension in the tone. He says it as if he's speaking to pre-schoolers, not huge fans of these books.
The problem here isn't people violating copyright law, it's Knopf not realizing that we live in a global world, and then failing to satisfy the needs of consumers, who are seeking alternative providers. It was a business model mistake on the part of Knopf, and insulting the biggest fans of the books doesn't seem like the best way to handle the situation.

Reader Comments

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  1. icon
    sehlat (profile), 12 Apr 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Been there. Done that.

    I take it the publisher paid NO attention to Bloomsbury's arrogant handling of the demand for Harry Potter? It's instructive.

    After the first three books had come out, with no eBook release, I noticed the following:

    Book 4: on the net one month later.
    Book 5: on the net one week later
    Book 6: on the net the next day
    Book 7: on sale in England, on the net before the stores opened in New York.

    The publisher's response to the demand: "I should think they would understand that if we don't provide it, they can't have it."

    My response: I'll get 'em from the library, if I ever bother.

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