The Sun named as co-defendant in High Court action by Bloomsbury

  May 15, 2003 at 9:18 PM ET
  Cheeser     HPANA (via

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The Sun gave itself a big pat on the back for its principled handling of the case of the stolen Harry Potters - two volumes apparently handed in by a reader, and one offered for £20,000. The paper promised to hand the first two back to the publishers, Bloomsbury, and the third is in the hands of police. How odd, then, that Bloomsbury has named the paper's publisher as a co-defendant in a High Court action.

Bloomsbury claims the Sun broke its promises to return its copies immediately and not to make use of them. An action for breach of copyright looms. There is also the matter of the two strangers who turned up at a hotel near the Potter printworks on the day the copies were found. They asked to receive something on the fax machine, and the landlady recalls that the incoming sheet bore the Sun's letterhead. Bloomsbury's people want to see it, among other things.

"There are concerns as to the Sun's role in this, and unanswered questions," says a source. "We want some explanations." Tom Crone, the Sun's lawyer, insists the books are back with the publisher and that it didn't give away the plot. Bloomsbury's behaviour "appears irrational and smacks of paranoia," he says. "It seems that for some people, thank you is such a hard word."


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