Having spent much of the day discussing the Harry Potter case, I find myself becoming increasingly troubled by the scope of the injunction issued by the B.C. Supreme Court. The injunction represents more than just a remarkable misuse of copyright law. Quite simply, it is an attack on freedom.
- The freedom to read (the order restrains reading the book).
- The freedom of expression (the order restrains discussing any aspect of the book).
- The freedom associated with personal property (the order compels anyone who has the book to return it, along with any notes, to Raincoast books).
This is all done purely in the name of furthering commercial interests. In Canada, we have some narrow restrictions on hate speech and child pornography. But we do not issue court orders that prohibit children from reading books.
For a judge to issue such a blantantly unconstitutional order is appalling. For a book publisher and a children's author to request such an order, is shameful. We should tell them so.