theodp writes "The speed with which the 4MB e-mail hoax purporting to be the new cookbook from the Naked Chef streaked across the Internet suggests to Slate that a new, disquieting era for the publishing world may be in sight. Indeed, the latest Harry Potter tale made the rounds on the Web just hours after the book went on sale, its 870 pages apparently scanned in and distributed by rabid fans. The old argument that no one likes reading on a computer has pretty much eroded. Just because publishing people can't conceive of book piracy doesn't mean it can't happen."
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