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Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

To say the world has been shaken up over the last several weeks would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many industries to a grinding halt, and desperate times call for desperate measures… or at least being more flexible. Case in point, author J.K. Rowling is granting an open license for her Harry Potter books to teachers across the world as the coronavirus rages on.

With schools being closed as a safety precaution, this open license will allow teachers to post videos of themselves reading the seven Harry Potter books aloud for their students. However, before any teachers reading get too excited and start posting a read-through of The Sorcerer’s Stone to YouTube, this relaxation of the standard copyright permissions only permits such videos to be posted onto “schools’ secure networks or closed educational platforms” from now until the end of the school year, or to the end of July for those in the summer hemisphere.

In addition to providing a full set of guidelines for teachers to follow, the official announcement from J.K. Rowling’s website also mentioned that the open Harry Potter license is the first of “several initiatives being planned to help bring Harry Potter to children at home,” which will be announced soon. In the meantime, if you’re a teacher wanting to regain your students over the internet with tales of The Boy Who Lived, you can now for the next several months do so without suffering legal consequences.

The Harry Potter book series began publication in 1997 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, or as it’s known outside the U.S., The Philosopher’s Stone. The main saga concluded when The Deathly Hallows was published in 2007, and the Harry Potter film series ran from 2001-2011, with The Deathly Hallows being split into two movies.

In the years since, J.K. Rowling also helped craft the story for the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and various Harry Potter-related e-books have been released, though not all of them were written by Rowling. However, contrary to the rumor mill, another actual Harry Potter novel is not on the way, as Rowling considers that the hero’s story being closed after the events of The Cursed Child.

Nowadays when it comes to the Wizarding World, J.K. Rowling has been focused on the Fantastic Beasts film series, which kicked off in 2016. She penned the screenplays for the first two movies, and she co-wrote the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts 3 with Steve Kloves, who wrote all of the Harry Potter movies except for The Order of the Phoenix.

Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently scheduled to come out on November 12, 2021, and was supposed to begin filming last week, but because of the spreading coronavirus, it is among the many projects that’s had to halt production indefinitely. Depending on how long it takes to get cameras rolling again, it’s possible Fantastic Beasts 3 could be pushed back to 2022, but at least readers both young and old can keep themselves entertained with the Harry Potter books as the wait continues.

We’ll keep you updated on how Fantastic Beasts 3 is coming along, but for now, keep track of all the other movies that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with our comprehensive guide.

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