CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Harry Potter and the Pirates of Publishing

"Harry Potter and" is the pirates' steal of the century. Harry Potter is so popular in China that his fans are pirating the official works and putting out fakes and unauthorized versions. Some are written just for profit, others apparently for the sake of appeasing family members and friends who simply can't wait for the official version, or who can't tell the difference. The New York Times reports that Potter-mania is fueling piracy:
The iterations of Potter fraud and imitation here are, in fact, so copious they must be peeled back layer by layer.

There are the books, like the phony seventh novel, that masquerade as works written by Ms. Rowling. There are the copies of the genuine items, in both English and Chinese, scanned, reprinted, bound and sold for a fraction of the authorized texts.

As in some other countries, there are the unauthorized translations of real Harry Potter books, as well as books published under the imprint of major Chinese publishing houses, about which the publishers themselves say they have no knowledge. And there are the novels by budding Chinese writers hoping to piggyback on the success of the series -- sometimes only to have their fake Potters copied by underground publishers who, naturally, pay them no royalties.

No one can say with any certainty what the full tally is, but there are easily a dozen unauthorized Harry Potter titles on the market here already, and that is counting only bound versions that are sold on street corners and can even be found in school libraries. Still more versions exist online.
JK's lawyers will have plenty of copyright infringement and trademark action, assuming they can protect her intellectual property rights in Chinese courts.

In the meanwhile, in the CAM field, look next for Harry Potter and the Acupuncturist's Apprentice.
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The Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on holistic, alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies. The law firm represents medical doctors, allied health professionals (from psychologists to nurses and dentists) and other clinicians (from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians, massage therapists, and acupuncturists), entrepreneurs, hospitals, and educational organizations, health care institutions, and individuals and corporations.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of a nonprofit organization exploring legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, energy healing, and herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. Michael H. Cohen is author of books on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy dealing with complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, including Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
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Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C. In addition to qualifying as a U.S. attorney, he has been admitted and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing). For more information regarding the law practice of attorney Michael H. Cohen, see the FAQs for the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen. Thank you for visiting the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog.
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