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July 11, 2005
Canadian Judge Issues Harry Potter Gag Order
Should people who bought the latest Harry Potter book before the release date be forced not only to return the book but also turn over "any photocopies, photographs or electronic copies of any portion of that book," as well as take a strict vow of silence about any elements of the story? A Canadian court thinks so. University of Ottawa law professor/uber-copyfighter Michael Geist thinks not:
People have legitimately purchased the book, yet now face violation of a court order if they fail to return it immediately, discuss it, or do anything else with the book. While a court might look skeptically on an attempt to bring an action against a purchaser who fails to return the book, why the court would grant such a broad order that reaches down to the underlying purchasers suggests that this could turn into a real horror story.
could have been a simple injunction covering the bookstore in question; instead, it sounds like something from the PATRIOT Act. Is this truly necessary?
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