Bruce Schneier reports that the New Harry Potter Book Leaked on BitTorrent and that he’s been fielding press calls all day about it.
It’s online: digital photographs of every page are available on BitTorrent.
I’ve been fielding press calls on this, mostly from reporters asking me what the publisher could have done differently. Honestly, I don’t think it was possible to keep the book under wraps. There are millions of copies of the book headed to all four corners of the globe. There are simply too many people who must be trusted in order for the security to hold. And all it takes is one untrustworthy person — one truck driver, one bookstore owner, one warehouse worker — to leak the book.
But conversely, I don’t think the publishers should care. Anyone fan-crazed enough to read digital photographs of the pages a few days before the real copy comes out is also someone who is going to buy a real copy. And anyone who will read the digital photographs instead of the real book would have borrowed a copy from a friend. My guess is that the publishers will lose zero sales, and that the pre-release will simply increase the press frenzy.
I’m kind of amazed the book hadn’t leaked sooner.
And, of course, it is inevitable that we’ll get ASCII copies of the book post-publication, for all of you who want to read it on your PDA.