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Harry Potter: Has New Book Really Leaked?

While millions eagerly await this Friday's night release of the seventh and final Harry Potter boo, photos of what appear to be the book's pages are circulating on the web.

It's unclear if the leaked book is the real thing--many of the pages are illegible-- though some say the much-discussed ending can be read.

But Scholastic's spokesperson says that the various alleged books (at least three versions are online) have conflicting content. Scholastic, which has the U.S. publishing rights to the book, and has made millions and millions from each volume. The Harry Potter series has breathed new life into the eductational publisher. And now, Scholastic is chasing after sites guilty of posting potentially pirated versions.

Scholastic is filing suit against Photobucket.com(owned by NewsCorp.) to take down certain materials. Bloomberg also reported that Scholastic subpoenaed social networking site Gaia Interactive in San Jose, demanding the identity of the user who posted a copy of the book on Gaiaonline.com

But, I say that all this talk of leaking and piracy will NOT hurt the hallowed book's release on Friday.

First, there's been too much speculation that the leaked pages are fake, raising questions of the authencity of these legible endings. Are they truly J.K. Rowling's work? The pages are not all legible, which means if you were interested enough to buy the book in the first place, you'd still buy the book.

And then there are the true Potter loyalists (and I've heard from several of them today) who insist that they're so devoted to the saga that they'll wait until they have the actual book in hand before instead of fishing for any secrets online.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is expected to be the biggest initial print run in publishing history -- 10.8 million copies. And if I had to bet, I'd say volume 7 will not dissappoint.

Here's another Potter point no one's talking about -- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is perhaps the greenest book in history. And no, it's not green because everyone's reading it online instead of printing it. It's breaking records with 16 countries, including the U.S., printing the book on eco-friendly paper up from one publisher using "green" paper in 2003.

Scholastic is printing the the book on 100% post-consumer waste or a mix of post-consumer waste and approved eco-friendly material. The trees happiest about this news are those in Canada's Boreal Forest, which has been havily deforested by logging, and has provided many of the pages for the Potter books. Considering that this Friday's release will be the biggest print run ever, this is huge news for proponents of business going Green.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.