On Wednesday, July 18, Scholastic announced that it learned of a breach in the on-sale date of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. According to a Scholastic press release, a number of individuals received copies of the book through the mail, beginning on Tuesday, July 17, as a result of a breach of the on-sale agreement by the distributor Levy Home Entertainment and shipments made by DeepDiscount.com, a customer of the distributor.
Scholastic said that it was taking immediate legal action against DeepDiscount.com and Levy Home Entertainment. According to the publisher, the number of copies shipped is around one one-hundredth of one percent of the total U.S. copies slated to go on sale at 12:01 a.m. on July 21.
Scholastic is asking those who received or will receive their books early to hide them until midnight on July 21. The publisher also asked that everyone, especially the media, "preserve the fun and excitement for fans everywhere."
In today's edition of the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani reviewed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which she said she purchased at a New York City store the previous day. She does not spoil the fun, however. Instead, Kakutani declares it "true to its roots, it ends not with modernist, 'Soprano'-esque equivocation, but with good old-fashioned closure: a big-screen, heart-racing, bone-chilling confrontation and an epilogue that clearly lays out people's fates."