J.K. Rowling allowing teachers to read Harry Potter books virtually to students: What the rules and guidelines are

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J.K. Rowling, the author of the world famous “Harry Potter” series, has announced she is relaxing restrictions to allow educators to read books from the series to students remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally reading books on video — either live or via recording — would be restricted under copyright laws in most countries.

However, in light of the pandemic, Rowling says she is starting several efforts to help teachers bring the magic of Harry Potter to students remotely.

The first allows teachers to conduct “virtual story time” and post classroom read aloud videos under certain conditions.

According to the published guidelines, educators can post video clips or host live readings of all seven Harry Potter book on secure school networks or closed educational platforms such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Edmodo and Discovery Education.

These videos can be kept online until the end of the district’s current school year or July 31, 2020, whichever comes earlier. After this point, they must be deleted.

Videos cannot be posted on social media or sites such as YouTube or used for commercial purposes.

In addition, teachers are asked to avoid abridging or modifying the text of any books when reading the stories if possible.

Teachers are being permitted to share videos of up to 30 seconds on public platforms to help promote their readings with the hashtag “#HarryPotterAtHome,” but the full recordings or virtual events cannot be available to the general public.

Finally, educators are being asked to report their use to Rowling’s literary agency, The Blair Partnership, at info@theblairpartnership.com with the name and location of the school, which Harry Potter book being read and approximate length of reading (such as one chapter or 25 pages), the name and email for the individual responsible for the reading and the school network or educational platform on which the video or live event is posted or held.

Once the recordings are deleted at the end of the school year, educators are asked to email the same address again with confirmation.