In the U.S., teens blithely record movie clips; in France, they produce “near professional” translations. A 16-year-old French kid translated the final Harry Potter book and posted it online within days of its late July release, and now could face a heavy fine as well as charges for violating intellectual property rights. Police are also questioning other minors who may have helped.
Although the media frenzy over the last Harry Potter book has died down in the states, the French translation won’t be released until the end of October, because the official French translator wasn’t allowed to see the manuscript until the July 21st release date. Not content to wait that long, the unnamed teen and friends took care of the task themselves and posted it online.
In the Washington Post, a lawyer speaking on behalf of Rowling’s agents said that they were “heartened” that French officials were taking steps to “avoid innocent fans being duped” (registration required). Aww, lawyer, why’d you have to go and say a jackassy thing like that? We were sort of on your side for once.