new york times stuff
For anyone who is wondering, the fifth Harry Potter book was great. Go read it :) An excellent article in the New York Times highlights some possible reasons for the success of HP... Harry Crushes the Hulk. The article goes on to discuss how HP's audience is far more sophisticated than media outlets realise; and draws some conclusions about preventing piracy by creating worthy content.
Much has been said about how the "Harry Potter" series, in less than five years, has brought kids, boys included, back to reading. But the phenomenon is about more than childhood literacy. The ravenous hunger for Ms. Rowling's novels shows that children are far more discerning than adults tend to give them credit for ...
In the new novel, Harry is 15. The readers who started with him five years ago have aged as well. These high school kids are at once the most prized and despised by our show-biz titans. They are prized because they are a demographic with disposable income and a boundless appetite for all forms of entertainment ... They are despised because of their wholesale theft of that industry's products.
How do all those lovely entertainment-seeking kids weaned on "Harry Potter" grow up to become thieves? ... There is no single explanation, of course, and there is no acceptable rationalization that can excuse theft. But it's no secret that music piracy spread as CD prices rose and teenagers were enraged to pay roughly the same price as a "Harry" hardcover for a dozen or so tracks of which 10 might be filler.
They may well be willing to pay for their entertainment - if the quality is guaranteed and the price is fair.
Also at the NYT... Is Google God? and will global communication mean that everyone will discover that everyone else hates America too?
Good stuff. If you don't have a NYT subscription, grab one and check it out.