Final Harry Potter magically appears

Publisher says it takes legal action against suppliers who sent copies to customers days before official release; poor quality photos of the book said to surface on the Internet.

By Keisha Lamothe, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The last volume of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has already been delivered to customers and magically appeared online just days before its official release Saturday.

Scholastic Corp. (Charts), the publisher of the highly anticipated "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," said it has taken legal action against book distributor Levy Home Entertainment and Web merchant DeepDiscount.com due to a breach of a sale agreement by the distributor.

Scholastic said Levy shipped copies of the final book in the seven-book series to DeepDiscount.com, which sent the book days early to customers through the mail.

Levy declined to comment on the situation. A spokesperson for Infinity Resources Inc., which owns DeepDiscount.com, was not immediately available for comment.

In a statement released Wednesday, Scholastic asked customers who received the book early to keep it hidden until its official release date.

"We ask everyone, especially the media, to preserve the fun and excitement for fans everywhere," the publisher said in the statement.

Scholastic said the number of copies shipped before the release date is around "one one-hundredth of one percent" of the 12 million U.S. copies to go on sale Saturday.

Photos soar around the Web

Several technology blogs, including Torrentfreak, Valleywag.com and TechCrunch, said photos of each page of the final Harry Potter installment were leaked on the Web Tuesday, particularly on the file sharing site BitTorrent.

Several of the blogs said the photos taken of each page of the book were not clear and die-hard fans would need to use a graphics program like Photoshop to magnify the photos in order to actually read the text.

Scholastic delivered a subpoena to the California-based Gaia Interactive Inc., a social networking company, to find out the identity of the person who allegedly posted images of the book on its site.

In a statement, Gaia said it found the user on its online social network gaiaonline.com and removed the material from the site. The company has temporarily banned the user, who was not identified, in question for 14 days.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the publisher said in a court filing that content posted on Photobucket.com also contained material that infringed copyrights owned by Scholastic and Rowling.

Kyle Good, a spokeswoman for Scholastic, would not comment on the authenticity of the photos and declined to comment further on the matter.  Top of page

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.