[caption id="attachment_97706" align="alignleft" width="142" caption="If J.K. Rowling's new web store proves a success, it could provide a model for other authors and publishers and undermine the clout of Amazon.com Inc."][/caption]

When the Harry Potter books finally went on sale in electronic form on March 27, it was as if Harry himself had cast the "Alohomora" spell on them—the one that unlocks doors: In a break with industry practices, the books aren't locked down by encryption, which means consumers can move them between devices and read them anywhere they like.

If "Pottermore," J.K. Rowling's new...

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