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Rise of Harry Potter

An unprecedented decision was made by JK Rowling and the associated publishers to grant, with immediate effect, an open license for all teachers around the world during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under UK copyright law it is considered an act of infringement if a person does any of the following acts (known as the restricted acts) without the consent or licence of the copyright owner:

  • Copying a copyright work.
  • Issuing copies of the copyright work to the public.
  • Renting or lending the work to the public.
  • Performing, showing or playing a copyright work in public.
  • Communicating the work to the public.
  • Making an adaptation of a copyright work or doing any of the acts listed above in relation to an adaptation.

This open license specifically permits all teachers around the world to post videos of themselves reading from any of the 7 Harry Potter novels provided it is released on a secure school network or closed educational platform. No copyright can be distributed or uploaded to social media platforms or online video platforms such as YouTubeTM – as this would constitute an infringement of copyright.

If you have any questions in relation to the above or are considering opening up your copyright to the public due to COVID-19 or as part of your commercial strategy please feel free to contact us and speak with one of our Intellectual Property solicitors. Alternatively, you can email us on ip@bpe.co.uk or call us on 01242 224433.


These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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