"Rowling stops Potter radio readings," BBC News, 8 March, 2002

JK Rowling: Her books are available in 40 languages

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has prevented a Swedish radio station from broadcasting extracts of her books.

The British author was upset when an announcer on Sveriges Radio read passages from her Harry Potter series on a children's programme without her permission.

Swedish law allows radio and TV stations to broadcast readings of published works without approval from the author, providing they pay royalties.

But it also says the author has the right to stop broadcasters putting out their work and Rowling has made known she would only allow her books to be broadcast "unabridged".

A spokeswoman for the author said: "Our policy is that they (the Harry Potter series) only be broadcast in their unabridged version to protect the integrity of the books."

Rowling was alerted to the radio readings after the station contacted her agent with questions on where to send royalty money.

Gunhild Frylen, the lawyer acting for Sveriges, said: "They (Rowling and her agent) were very upset and said, 'What do you mean you've read our books?' It was very hard for them to understand that this is the law here."

She added that, in her 35-year career, she had only known of a handful of similar cases where authors had objected to their works going on the air.

These, said Frylen, included Ernest Hemingway and Swedish writer Vilhelm Moberg.

Annika Seward Jensen from Tiden, the Swedish publishers of Rowling's books, said their success was bound to create copyright problems.

The four Harry Potter books tell the fictional story of the young wizard Harry Potter and his adventures at Hogwarts school of magic.

They have been translated into 40 languages. and their huge popularity has become a global phenomenon, resulting in an extremely succesful movie.