What Does Pottermore Mean To Orlando?

Filed under: Universal Orlando |

Harry Potter author  J K Rowling has launched the Pottermore online reading experience, which will invite fans online, and will sell DRM-free ebooks of the series for the first time. The project involves bringing the Harry Potter books online and telling the story through a web site not to mention the small matter of  selling the ebook and audiobook versions in multiple languages.

What makes Pottermore so interesting is that the ebooks will not feature digital restrictions management (DRM), copyright protection which is designed to prevent media content from being illegally distributed on filesharing networks.This means that the ebooks can be used on any device, from Amazon’s popular Kindle to Apple’s Ipad, both of which lock their own ebooks to their respective platforms. This open approach will be welcomed by many who find DRM technology invasive and obstructive, and it might set a precedent for other authors and publishers considering entering the digital world.

To cope with the possibility of  ‘piracy’ the ebooks will now feature a digital watermark that will identify who purchased the book. This will allow authorities to track down who shared an ebook with the rest of the world, and those users could then face lawsuits for copyright infringement.

The Pottermore web site will be launched in October, with registrations being accepted from 31 July, the birthday of Harry. A lucky number of applicants will also gain early access and you can visit www.Pottermore.com and register your interest right now.

So what does this all mean for the Orlando area?

In short, we’ll have to wait and see, but my best guess is that it will increase the awareness of the Harry Potter brand and that will mean more visitors to add to the 51 million who came into the area last year…many of whom came to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure.

Pottermore is an interesting and timely move as the eighth and final movie in the series is less than a month away from its release. “It All Ends” is the slogan adopted by  “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” and Daniel Radcliffe is making the same pledge about his role as the boy wizard.

Radcliffe, it seems,  is looking toward a future in a world without magic. Asked recently if he would have any desire to return if another film was planned he answered “Not particularly… I think that would be a bit odd. I’d be very skeptical about that. First of all, I don’t think that J.K. Rowling will write another Potter installment and second of all, oh, I don’t know, the idea of going back to something after 10 or 20 years? At that point, I will have worked 20 years to establish a career outside of it, and at that point to go back to it would feel a little self-defeating.”

So, as the series comes to an end it will be interesting to see how Universal Orlando tries to keep the brand fresh. Over the next year you can be sure that the new movie will spark some interest before Pottermore takes over and that essentially means more people coming to Orlando to get the Potter  experience.  It’s good news in the short term… but we’ll have to wait and see how the long term pans out for the boy wizard.

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