Exclusive rights? National Bookstore mulls lawsuit over Harry Potter distributorship

The wild success of J.K Rowling’s literary creation has inevitably made it a favorite subject of legal dispute. 

Now muggles from the Philippines want to be part of the magic.  

Bookstore giant National Bookstore (NBS) is exploring legal and commercial options against rival Fully Booked, Philippine Star reports. 

Why? The latter supposedly sold “unauthorized editions” of the latest book of the popular Harry Potter franchise. 

According to NBS, Fully Booked breached the exclusive distribution rights of US publisher Scholastic when it imported and sold copies of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” printed by United Kingdom publisher Little Brown.

“In the publishing world, exclusive distribution rights of English-language books in a particular country, including the Philippines, are assigned by the author. In our country, such distribution rights are traditionally assigned to US publishers. We are ethically and legally bound to honor the territorial rights of our long time partners such as Scholastic US,” said NBS as reported by the Philippine Star.

Here’s where it gets interesting for us, muggle readers. 

NBS priced the book at PHP1,575, with a 10-percent discount for pre-orders. 

Hours before the worldwide release, however, Fully Booked announced on its Facebook page that it would also release the title, but at a significantly lower price of PHP999. 

As a marketing response, NBS later decided to give PHP500 gift certificates for those who will purchase the book from its stores (PHP600 for those who pre-ordered).

The price at Fully Booked was supposedly lower as it was sourced from the UK, which has suffered from devaluation of its currency in recent months.

The takeaway of Pinoy readers? Books from UK are cheaper. 

Fully Book has yet to respond about the issue. 

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