LATEST: The Canadian publishers of the new Harry Potter novel have obtained a gag order to prevent a leak of the book's closely guarded secrets - after copies of the book went on sale in Canada a week early by mistake.

Distributors, Raincoast Books Ltd sought a court injunction after a "small number" of HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE books were accidentally sold in a shop near Vancouver on 7 July (05), a week ahead of the official release date.

The injunction prevents anyone disclosing any part of the plot and ruining the eagerly-awaited adventure for other fans.

JAMIE BROADHURST, marketing director at Raincoast Books Ltd, says the innocent fans who bought the book would not be penalised.

He explains, "We look to them to ensure that the excitement and mystery of the story is preserved for fans around the world until July 16 by co-operating with us and observing the terms of the court injunction."

The company will accept returned copies until 16 July (05) and will reward fans who sacrifice their novels with a bookplate signed by author Jk Rowling and a limited edition T-shirt.

12/07/2005 05:30