While enviros were praising the Canadian publisher of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for printing the book entirely on recycled paper, I didn’t hear any talk about the greener eBook option. Maybe because there isn’t one — at least not legally. As Wired reports:
Although Potter has become a multimedia cash cow, with 52 million books sold and products ranging from figurines to a $2.35 billion movie series, Rowling has so far decided against publishing the stories in e-book format, a medium growing by up to 40 percent annually, according to the New York-based Open eBook Forum, a trade body.
Which of course has contributed to this:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince had been scanned and put online by an underground collection of fans capitalizing on Rowling’s decision not to release an official e-book version. Rowling’s publisher had hoped to maintain a strict embargo until midnight Friday. But by then, hundreds were already reading the book thanks to Potter fans who organized over Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, to scan and distribute the book.
Potter fans coordinated a worldwide effort to turn the book’s 672 pages into a home-brew digital copy — now available on file-sharing networks and by using BitTorrent.
So, is Rowling a “Luddite fool”? And should greens support the eBook market?