previews and spoilers in a 2.0 age

This is only loosely library-related. I remember when one of the Harry Potter books came out and I was working in a library. I realized they got the book early and were just in some weird way honor bound not to reveal the ending, to ration the copies out fairly, etc. That seemed decent. Libraries do the same thing with DVDs, waiting to shelve and/or “release” them until a certain date. Now that entire very popular books like Harry Potter can be photographed and released via bittorent sites well in advance of their sale date, what does this mean for the adorable, if outdated, notion of these embargoes? Anyone who wants to read the Harry Potter spoilers and figure out who dies, click this link.

update: actually don’t bother clicking it since I’ve now gotten word that it’s wrong. Testing spoilers is so complicated. Last I checked there was someone posting what seem like real spoilers spamlike across a bunch of livejournal communities. Rocky few days ahead for people who don’t want to know what happens. Last I checked since then, the posts were being removed almost as fast as they were going up. However, the transcription project is already going well, though some people are claiming that the photographs have themselves been photoshopped to include fake “facts” and others claim there are at least two sets of book photos going around that are not at all the same.

6 Responses to “previews and spoilers in a 2.0 age”

  1. LibrarySupportStaff.Org » Harry Potter and the Copyrighted Material Says:

    [...] p.s. Jessamyn at has posted a link to a site that summarizes much of the posted book, chapter by chapter.  I warn you that the first thing your eye will see on the page, assuming it is true, will tell you a major, major element of the story.  I won’t know for a few days whether this has spoiled my reading of the book, but you get to decide whether it is better to wait and let J.K. Rowling tell you herself.  Jessamyn’s post is here, if you decide to take the risk.  The direct link to the summary is here.   [...]

  2. Emily Says:

    Spoilers on this book, including the scanned pages, have been very interesting, I agree. I wonder how much longer publishers will be able to keep books out of the public’s hands until a specified and much hyped release date. It already seems just about impossible.
    And I did not click on your (or any other) spoiler links… with a great deal of self control required! And I’m not yet sure if when I get my copy I will immediately flip to the last page to see if HP is dead or not. I am soooo tempted. I guess I’m getting used to living in a world of spoilers where the end is never a surprise any more.


    Life is like that we can”t wait to get their. When we should be feeling enjoyment in getting their. The story is what makes the book, or in this case books worth reading.

  4. See Also… » Blog Archive » Harry Potter and the Pirated Torrents Says:

    [...] Some blog posts this week–Jessamyn West’s Previews and spoilers in a 2.0 age and its subsequent update, where she noted that she had linked to apparently bogus Potter spoilers, and that there are multiple pirated electronic editions which themselves my be compromised with bogus information inserted via image manipulation techniques; plus Boing Boing’s take and the obligatory MetaFilter thread–had me thinking about book piracy, 18th-century-style. [...]

  5. Enjoying Potter mania « A Librarian’s Life Says:

    [...] CJers – almost every one of them – have attempted to avoid spoilers for “HP and the Deathly Hollows”, which in this age of web 2.0 is quite a challenge. One friend noted that even her knitting group list was dangerous! Some have mentioned that they and officemates cannot focus on their work. The coolest thing about CJers’ discussions, both on their personal blogs and via our email list, is their character analysis & their plot speculation. I can almost hear their squeals and excitement through the ether while they ponder whether Snape is hero or heel and speculate – with sound reasoning – who will die. [...]

  6. Linda Says:

    Actually the whole spoilers thing is very overrated and way over the top for some people.