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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
Pakistan pirates hit Harry Potter
Harry Potter book on sale in Pakistan
Bookshops have had to reduce orders for official Potter books
Pirated versions of the latest Harry Potter book have appeared on sale in Pakistan - outselling JK Rowling's official version.

One bookseller, Jameel Hussain, said at least five different versions of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were on the market.

Priced at between 295-495 rupees (3-5, $5-8.50), they are proving hugely popular in competition with the $29.99 (18) official version.

Mr Hussain said the popularity of the bootlegged books had decimated demand for the real thing.

"We planned to import around 15,000 to 16,000 copies, but have reduced the order to just 1,000 copies," he said.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix smashed sales records around the world when it was released on 21 June.

It sold 5.8 million copies on its first day in the US and UK alone - and topped the best-seller list in France, despite only being published in English.

'Cheap paper'

But Pakistan is ranked as one of the world's largest producers of pirated goods, including CDs, films and computer software.

One Harry Potter fan in Pakistan, Masood Mehmood, 13, said he did not like the pirated edition because it had bad print and cheap paper.

"But I just want to read the story," he said in a Karachi bookshop.

Harry Potter has battled pirates in countries from Germany to China in the past.

His publisher, Bloomsbury, was not available for comment.

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