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'Harry Potter' publisher goes to court over print, online leaks

Newspaper reports publisher Scholastic to take legal action against peer-to-peer sites, book distributor and online retailer over unauthorized release of book.

Scholastic, the publisher of the popular Harry Potter series of children's books, is taking unspecified legal action against several peer-to-peer sites, a book distributor and an online retailer over the unauthorized release of digital and print versions of the latest book, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh book in the series, is scheduled to go on sale on Saturday, but already there are pirated versions available for download from file-sharing sites, and as many as 1,200 print copies were mailed to eager fans beginning on Tuesday, the newspaper reported.

Scholastic has taken legal action against several Web sites asking the court to force them to remove the pirated electronic versions from their service, the paper said. Now, the company is taking legal action against book distributor Levy Home Entertainment and one of its customers, online retailer, which it says breached the on-sale agreement by mailing the print copies out to people, Scholastic confirmed in a statement.

"The number of copies shipped is around one one-hundredth of one percent of the total U.S. copies to go on sale at 12:01 a.m. on July 21," the statement said, without disclosing an exact number.

A spokesman at Scholastic declined to comment further.

A receptionist at Levy Home Entertainment said executives were in a meeting out of the office and unavailable to comment. A representative at could not be reached for comment.