For example, a book bearing the same title that came out ahead of the official worldwide English-language release was an unauthorized version that bears nothing in common with the best-selling series finale written by J.K. Rowling, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Copies of the genuine book are scanned, reprinted, bound and sold for a fraction of the authorized texts. But novels by budding writers hoping to cash in on the success of the Potter series also are floating about.
Wei Bin, editor of the Writers' Publishing House, which investigates book piracy, said a survey in 2001 showed that as many as 30 percent to 40 percent of the books for sale in China might be illegal.
Wang Lili, editor of the China Braille Publishing House, which published the 2002 Chinese knock-off "Harry Potter and the Chinese Porcelain Doll," said, "We published the book out of a very common incentive. Harry Potter was so popular that we wanted to enjoy the fruits of its widely accepted publicity in China."