My friend Raymond from Copenhagen did an awesome write up on some of the behind the scenes culture that went on before the Harry Potter leak and the corresponding Newsweek article.
It's truly fascinating and unlike anything I've read before.
Re: Evil Vlog is... Darknets and the Harry Potter leak
Here are some Cliff notes on his writeup and the corresponding Newsweek article
1) the NEWSWEEK writer admits to downloading, or at least attempting to download, a pirated copy of the book
2) it's overwhelmingly obvious based on the opinions of those in the Newsweek article this leak will in no way effect sales of the book and does in fact enhance the experience of the fans.
2) What really undermines and subverts the piracy efforts are scores of fan fiction... only a true fan would be able to tell the real from the fake.
4) Raymond's posts takes a look at the behind the scenes culture and collaboration on transcribing the book by multiple groups who are all competing to be the first to release a pirated copy. They are not driven by anything other than pride and being big fans.
5) Raymond's post documents the remarkable transparency of these groups, even documenting the Newsweek reporters direct contact with one of the P2P groups transcoding and leaking the book on Pirate Bay.
6) The Newsweek article while pointing out the inherent impossibilities in stopping piracy both inside the publishing world and by fan culture also documents how remarkably pervasive watermarking technologies are getting. While the age of DRM may be finally slowed or stopped moving forward we're now entering an even more dangerous age of ubiquitous watermarking. Soon every digital good you make and every digital good you buy will be watermarked and traceable back to you. This is a very scary thought, which has implications well beyond piracy such as freedom of speech.
Hopefully more later, that was just the cliff notes.