The New York Times is reporting that Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of the “Harry Potter” series, has sued an online bookseller and its distributor earlier this week for “flagrant violations of their strict contractual obligations” by shipping copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” before the time and date set by the publisher.
A breach of contract suit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois, in which Scholastic accused Infinity Resources, which owns the online retailer DeepDiscounts.com, of shipping books to some customers up to a week before the on-sale date, according to The Times. Levy Home Entertainment, a book distributor located in the Chicago-area, was also named in the suit for failing to ensure that the books weren’t shipped early.
ABC News Business Unit reported that the early shipments went out to approximately 1,200 fans.
“We are also making a direct appeal to the ‘Harry Potter’ fans who bought their books from DeepDiscount.com and may receive copies early requesting that they keep the packages hidden until midnight on July 21st,” Scholastic reportedly said in a statement, according to ABC News.
As the release of the seventh and final book in the J.K. Rowling series approaches (tonight at midnight), Barnes & Noble Inc. announced that the pre-ordered number of books has surpassed 1.2 million. This is the largest number of pre-orders for any book in the company’s history. Books began shipping to Barnes & Noble stores on July 16 under tight security.
The company also announced that more than 700 stores across the United States will host Midnight Magic Costume Parties tonight. Stores will remain open and sell the title at midnight when it officially goes on sale. Festivities at the Barnes & Noble Union Square store will be webcasted live tonight starting at 9 p.m. on BarnesAndNoble.com.