J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has issued an open licence to teachers, relaxing copyright permissions needed to post videos reading the books aloud.
In a tweet, the author announced the measures to help teachers with remote reading time as British schools were closed, the latest in global closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
J.K. Rowling and agents The Blair Partnership have relaxed copyright permissions needed so that teachers can now post videos reading the Harry Potter series aloud (rather than children having to purchase the audiobooks to listen to the series), enabling them to incorporate the books into their teaching.
The videos are only allowed to be posted “onto schools’ secure networks or closed educational platforms” from today, March 20th, until the end of the school year (or until the end of July in the southern hemisphere).
This is “the first of several initiatives” planned to help “bring Harry Potter to children at home”, with #HarryPotterAtHome being promoted on JKRowling.com. More is expected to be announced soon.
Another Wizarding World partner, Audible, has launched a new free minisite, stories.audible.com. Created as a “free destination offering educational, entertaining, immersive children’s and family audiobook content”. Currently the site hosts classics for all ages such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Winnie the Pooh, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Aladdin and Moby Dick.
As the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter and Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks, Cursed Child theatres and Harry Potter shops and galleries worldwide continue to face closure for the imminent future due to COVID-19, it’s no surprise that J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World is looking for ways to overcome disconnect with fans. It was recently announced that Chinese theaters would re-open with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 3D and 4K for the first time ever, and no doubt there’s more to come.