Little, Brown has said it intends to pursue "vigorously" anyone who pirates the e-book of J K Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, published this morning (27th September).
Websites are already claiming to offer pirated versions to download, with popular torrent sites offering links. Thousands of people have seeded files this morning, with hundreds appearing to have downloaded copies. Other blogs and websites are claiming to offer PDF versions of the book.
Ben Groves-Raines, Little, Brown c.o.o., said: "Sadly there are people who will do anything to obtain copies of many authors' work either pre–publication to get a lead on competitors or, post publication, simply to get something for nothing and we, like all publishers, face an ever increasing piracy problem. As a result, we introduced a big operation to deal with early access to and piracy of The Casual Vacancy, starting with our embargo and later being supported by a number of companies who specialise in forensic digital services who are mining the internet for pirated copies."
Groves-Raines promised: "We will vigorously pursue anyone who pirates this novel, or any work published by us, particularly for commercial gain, taking legal action against them where required." He added: "However, we have been overwhelmed by the warmth of the affection for J K Rowling online as well as more generally, and believe that the great majority of readers will want to own their own copy of her brilliant book."
The Casual Vacancy was under a strict pre-publication embargo, with advance reviewers signing non-disclosure agreements about the novel's content. However the embargo was broken by some US media.
Translators in countries including Italy and Finland will only begin work today to produce localised editions in time for the Christmas market.