30 March, 2004


...to those who are not fanatics, but for those that are, I thought I'd share this:

"Due to territorial copyright restrictions, we cannot sell English language editions to customers in the US, although we can sell the Latin and Welsh editions to our US customers. US customers: please visit Amazon."

This from Bloomsbury, publishers of the English (as opposed to American) Harry Potter books, which are available only through Scholastic.

When my friend D. gave me the prezzie he'd brought from the UK, he doubtfully wondered whether I'd find much difference. Structurally and plotwise, none at all. However, there were a great many substitutions: studying for revisions, sweater for jumper are two that spring to mind immediately, though there were others.

Now here's where I begin to get irritated.

I figured I could go to the website and order English versions of these books, on principle, because I object to Americanized versions of things. I cut my teeth on Lewis Carroll, Jonathan Swift and Agatha Christie, unedited. I know what a lorry is, and a bonnet.

What I don't know is how these publishing giants get so powerful and omnipresent that they can curtail not only my reading material in this country, but my ability to purchase it from abroad.

I am outraged, which may be a good thing. I haven't worked up a good indignity about anything for quite a while.

Now the problem becomes one of getting these "contraband" items into my hands.

Creative suggestions welcomed here.

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