Young Harry Potter fans in China dashed off a Chinese version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and put it online within a day of the release of the English language-version, according to China Daily.


Fans wait to buy copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at a bookstore in Beijing on July 21. ((Greg Baker/Associated Press))

The official Chinese version of the book, the last in J.K. Rowling's series about the boy wizard, is not due out until October.

The wizards of translation were groups of students on their summer holidays who worked in teams around the clock to get a translation online after the release on July 21.

At least two groups, calling themselves the Hogwarts Institute of Translation and the International Wizard Alliance, worked on the online translations.

Each has attached a rider to its work, saying: "We translated the book because we love Harry, and we do not intend to use it for commercial purposes."

That may not be enough to protect them from charges of copyright violation.

Police arrested a French teenager last week over his online Frenchtranslation of the book, but he wasn't charged because Rowling's publisher, and Rowling herself, saidthey didn't want to punish overeager fans.

However, bootleg copies of the Deathly Hallows in Chineseare already appearing in local markets and selling for about 10 yuan ($1.40 Cdn.), much less than the official text.

And growing access to the internet, especially among young people in China, means many fans will just download one of the unofficial versions.

The Chinese People's Publishing House, authorized to publish official Chinese versions of all the seven books, has said it may "take legal measures" to deal with unauthorized translations.

China is under pressure from its trading partners over copyright infringement and takes sporadic measures to protect intellectual property.