National Bookstore mulls lawsuit over Harry Potter

By Janvic Mateo
National Bookstore mulls lawsuit over Harry Potter

National Bookstore (NBS) is exploring legal and commercial options against rival Fully Booked following the sale of supposed unauthorized editions of the latest book of the popular Harry Potter franchise.

In a statement, NBS said Fully Booked has breached the exclusive distribution rights of US publisher Scholastic when it imported and sold copies of the script book “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.

“The actions taken by one of our competitors in bringing in unauthorized copies of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script)’ have compelled us to explore all legal and commercial remedies to protect our rights within Philippine and international law,” it added.

Fully Booked has yet to respond to multiple requests for a statement regarding the matter.

NBS said it obtained exclusive distribution rights of the highly anticipated eighth book in the Harry Potter series. It priced the book at P1,575 and offered a 10-percent discount for pre-orders.

However, hours before the worldwide release on Sunday, Fully Booked announced on Facebook that it will also carry the title.

“With the help of a few owls and a little bit of magic, we’re bringing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to you (available at P999)! After 19 years, the story of The Boy Who Lived continues on the stage – and tomorrow, in our own very hands,” the bookstore chain posted on Facebook.

The announcement came as a surprise as the price was significantly lower than the price set by NBS, which later decided to give P500 gift certificates for those who will purchase the book from its stores (P600 for those who pre-ordered).

In its statement, NBS said the price offered by Fully Booked was lower as it was sourced from the UK, which has suffered from devaluation of its currency in recent months.