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Break out the iPods; Harry's going digital

JK Rowling, once publishing's greatest holdout against the computer age, has made all six Potter novels available for audio downloads.

business Updated: Sep 08, 2005 16:31 IST

Break out your iPods: Harry Potter is going digital.

JK Rowling, once publishing's greatest holdout against the computer age, has made all six Potter novels available for audio downloads. In a message posted on Wednesday on her Web site, Rowling said she was concerned about online piracy, included bootleg editions for which original text was altered.

"Many Harry Potter fans have been keen for digital access for a while, but the deciding factor for me in authorising this new version is that it will help combat the growing incidents of piracy in this area," Rowling wrote.

"There have been a number of incidents where fans have stumbled upon unauthorised files believing them to be genuine and, quite apart from the fact that they are illegal, the Harry Potter content of these can bear very little resemblance to anything I've ever written!"

The digital audiobooks are being released by the Random House Audio Trade Group, her current audio publisher. They can be purchased through Apple's iTunes store, for prices ranging from $32.95 for a single book to $249 or the whole series, which, according to Random House, includes a "full colour digital booklet" and "previously unreleased readings" by Rowling.

Neil Blair, a lawyer with Rowling's literary agency, said yesterday that there are no current plans for Potter e-books.

Rowling's fantasy series, most recently "Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince," has sold more than 200 million copies worldwide in print editions and more than five million as audiobooks, narrated by Grammy winner Jim Dale.

First Published: Sep 08, 2005 16:31 IST