Of all the responses to the Harry Potter injunction, I think the most disappointing came from the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. It surprisingly characterized the injunction as a “very, very small issue” and suggested that “civil libertarians were not tied up in knots about it.” It should be noted that Raincoast Books used these comments to support its claim that the injunction was justified and not particularly problematic.
I thought about the BCCLA response this morning as I opened the Globe and Mail. The Globe had intended to post a Harry Potter book review on its website at midnight and then run the review its regular Saturday paper. On Friday, the newspaper was served with legal papers from Raincoast Books advising them that the posting of the review would constitute a violation of the court order. Why? Because, the publisher claimed, the Globe had obtained a copy of the book in violation of the court order and the review was therefore the product of an “unlawful reading.” I don’t know what an unlawful reading is, but I do know that it is hardly a very, very small issue.