Note: This post contains no spoilers.
Four days before it hits bookstores, I've got a copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." I downloaded it from a link posted at the Bittorrent file-sharing site the Pirate Bay.
But hold on. It's not as sweet as it sounds. What I've got is not really the book but a series of photographs of the book -- someone has meticulously snapped shots of each page. Some who've discussed leaked copies say that they've seen only Pages 1 through 495. But the copy I have includes all the pages; I could, if I wanted to, tell you the very last line of the very last Harry Potter book right now.
But I won't spoil it (though if you're bothered by the possibility of having any of it revealed, skip this paragraph). Instead, as proof I have it, let me give you a quote from the top of Page 381: "Oh, you're sorry!" Or, the top of Page 532: "I shall take you to your vault." Bottom of Page 681: "Snape looked utterly perplexed ..." See, that proves it, right? I could go on, too. Really, I could -- there are 759 pages here.
How did "Potter" get out? I have no idea. One account fingers a Canadian fellow named Byron Ng who says he stumbled upon the cache after some intrepid Web searching. But it's a complete mystery who posted the pictures. The person's fingers can be seen in some of the shots, and there's an occasional glimpse of a brown shoe. All you can tell is that the person is white and has a taste for drab carpeting -- not to mention extremely good connections.
To get the book, go to the Pirate Bay and search for "Harry Potter." You'll see several links to versions offered through Bittorrent, as well as some links to various sites on the Web that offer a PDF of all the pictures. (That's the sort I got.) Have fun!