Night sales should be permitted for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows also in Finland

We demand that Finnish people get their Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows books at the same time with the rest of the world on July 21st 2007 2.01 a.m. Finnish time. This is probably the largest book release in the history of literature – after all over 300 million copies of the previous Potter books have been sold worldwide and translated to 63 different languages. The 21st of July is an important day in cultural history which we Finns want to participate in at the same time with the other fans around the globe.

Thanks to night sales Finnish fans would avoid spoilers one would be bound to hear while going to the bookstore in the morning. After all the book would have been available for everyone else apart from the Finns for five hours. Internet would be filled with spoilers which the party poopers could go yelling at the streets without anybody being able to stop them. Seeing the headlines on the newspapers about DH would be unavoidable.

We were already promised the night sales earlier this spring and many Finnish fans made their pre-order of the Deathly Hallows in the belief that they could get the book immediately when it was published. But all of a sudden the night sales were cancelled all around Finland except for few smaller bookstores.

The Finnish Harry Potter fan site Vuotava Noidankattila (http://hpfanit.vuotis.net/) told the following on the May 16th:

”The bookstores Akateeminen kirjakauppa and Suomalainen kirjakauppa have today confirmed that they will cancel all their previously planned night sales. Akateeminen had planned to sell the Deathly Hallows book in their shop in the Helsinki city centre on July 21st 2.01 a.m. Suomalainen had planned to sell the book during the publication night at least at five different locations around Finland.

The reason for cancelling the night sales is the negative reaction of the Finnish officials towards sales taking place at night. According to the representatives of the bookstores the officials may see the so called stall sale (stalls are allowed to be open even at night in Finland) where the book is sold from the door as a way of twisting the law. The stores are not willing to take the risk of a fine.”

At this moment only two bookstores are going to sell the book at night, while on July 16th 2005 – when the Half Blood Prince was published – several bookstores kept their doors open at night.

According to the bookstore Suomalainen the officials have taken a more strict approach to reading the law on the opening hours of stores. They say the officials have already rejected one application for marketing the product. The representatives of Suomalainen say that selling from the door has previously been interpreted as legal because the whole store is not open in that scenario, but lately the view has been different and stores have been fined for selling from the door.

We now demand that all bookstores are permitted to sell the seventh Harry Potter book at night from the door as it has been done with the previous Potter books. This should not be a disturbance to anyone and would only be a great source of joy for thousands of Potter fans around Finland.

We are not asking you to encourage Finnish bookstores to break laws but to encourage the Finnish officials to check their point of view. This list of names will be sent to those Finnish officials who have the power to decide on the matter.

Please help your fellow fans to get the reading experience they deserve – just as much as the rest of the world. Tell all your friends about this and ask them to sign too. We are in a bit of a hurry since the book will be released in about six weeks. We have already been mentioned in the Finnish media and if we get enough signatures from foreign people supporting us we might just get another headline. The more publicity this appeal gets the better!

P.S. Please don’t sign the list if you want to keep your anonymity. The names won’t be shown on the net if you like it so, but the persons who we will send the list to must get to see them for validation.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SIGNING:

The first field marked with a red star “Etunimi”: Write your first name

The second field marked with a red star “Sukunimi”: Write your last name

The third field marked with a red star ”Paikkakunta”: Write the city you live in

Mark either of the circles “Saako nimesi julkistaa netissä”: The first one “Kyllä” if you want your name to show on the net, or the second one “Ei” if you don’t want your name to show on the net

Then click the “Allekirjoita adressi” button and you’re done! Thank you!
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