Harry Potter Series Grants Teachers Open License To Stream, Read Books

The announcement extends a previous relaxation of copyright policies.


When the COVID-19 pandemic first started changing life as we knew it last year, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling announced she would be relaxing the usual copyright requirements to allow and encourage teachers to post videos of themselves reading aloud from her books. On Monday, Rowling announced that she would be extending these relaxed copyright policies for Harry Potter books 1-7 and The Ickabog (a fairy tale published by Rowling last fall) through to February 19--at which point the policy will be reviewed. The official guidelines for teachers can be downloaded here.

It's a refreshingly kind gesture for the author, who has in the years since all the Harry Potter books and movies become a controversial figure given to making transphobic comments online. Nevertheless, a next-gen Harry Potter video game from Avalanche Software--known for its work on Disney Infinity before becoming acquired by WB--is still on-track.

The popular series has spawned stage adaptations, multiple video games, spin-offs, a theme park (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando in Florida), and a tourist attraction in the United Kingdom that doubles as a behind-the-scenes walking tour. Since COVID-19 alone, New York-based playwright Matt Cox has written three plays in the Puffs spin-off universe, which takes place at the same time of the books, but retells that story by focusing instead on a young wizard named Puffs.

Often cited for increasing literacy among young people by inspiring kids to read more than they otherwise might, the Harry Potter series remains an enduring literary franchise. The Ickabog just came out in November, but it's a safe bet that Rowling is already hard at work on her next book.

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