I was discussing the possibilities as to how this came about, and whether or not it’s for real on Y!M. I asked a friend of mine, who is not an HP fan (I’ve only managed to get him to see the movies), but knows plenty about computer-type stuff, a few questions about how this might have happened. Here are some excerpts from the convo:
hymnia7: How common is Mac software that can screencap Flash?
solusfides: command shift 3, whole screen
solusfides: command shift 4, capture a selection
hymnia7: No, wait.
hymnia7: How likely would it be that a person--a Mac user--would happen to have what they needed to make a short video of a clip from a Flash website?
hymnia7: Not just a cap, but a clip?
hymnia7: How common is that?
solusfides: there's about six different shareware apps that capture in movies
solusfides: perhaps even more
solusfides: tis easy, if that's what you mean
solusfides: if not just downloading the flash movie anyway
hymnia7: This is about the HP rumor, btw.
hymnia7: It would require someone to just happen to have this software. If it were true.
solusfides: that mac user gal I saw on your LJ?
hymnia7: No, not her.
hymnia7: Not someone I know.
hymnia7: And we don't even know he's a mac user.
solusfides: do they get into mac/PC flame wars?
hymnia7: It's just someone said, no way would someone have that
hymnia7: Then someone else said it's pretty common on mac
hymnia7: and someone else said no it's not
hymnia7: blah blah blah
solusfides: why would it not be possible to capture a flash website???
solusfides: the only thing people have trouble capturing through screen captures would be DVD windows
hymnia7: People are saying its not normal.
hymnia7: Hold on...
solusfides: because it's an analogue feed through a chromakey type effect
hymnia7: This explains where the rumor comes from.
hymnia7: Maybe the context will help.
hymnia7: I dunno.
solusfides: shall see
solusfides: wait, do they mean holding a camera up to a screen??
solusfides: like, a video camera?
hymnia7: "i captured the movie and uploaded it"
hymnia7: No camera, I think.
solusfides: meh, and we can't watch the mpg
solusfides: yeah, you can screen capture anything
solusfides: flash movies are no problem
solusfides: I have an app called snapsPro, can do that
solusfides: but, it is quite common for people themselves to leak false info
hymnia7: You can watch it at http://www.mugglenet.com/
solusfides: common practice in the movie industry
hymnia7: But doesn't fit JKR's MO.
solusfides: star wars, spider man, xmen, they all leaked fake scripts
hymnia7: The publishers, maybe, but not JKR.
solusfides: the friends series, there were leakages of a number of fake endings
solusfides: odd blue borders.. what's with that?
solusfides: unless he cropped the movie, but then he wouldn't put blue borders in it
solusfides: it would look more authentic if it had browser elements around it...
solusfides: like a normal screen capture would
solusfides: it looks like a plant to me
hymnia7: I don't know. I just don't think JKR would do that. And she is the one who has control over the website, not her publishers
solusfides: it could be someone else spoofing
solusfides: but it is a standard tactic... but, either is possible
solusfides: someone might just be trying something
hymnia7: Hoaxes have been pretty common in HP fandom, I think.
hymnia7: However, if it is a hoax, it's quite a clever one.
solusfides: that's usually how they should be, right?
hymnia7: This one's extra clever, for a number of reasons.
hymnia7: First, the video and screencap really look good. Check out the real website if you don't believe me:http://www.jkrowling.com
solusfides: I've been there once
solusfides: didn't find the door
hymnia7: Click on the black hairbob on her desk.
hymnia7: Anyway, it clearly matches the style from throughout the site.
hymnia7: Also someone really did hack behind the door a while back
solusfides: yeah, it matches the style, but the bars on the top and bottom?
hymnia7: She even "congratulated' the hacker on her website, so we know that was legit.
hymnia7: And their screencaps looked the same.
hymnia7: But the text in the book was meaningless. Ipso...whatever. Latin placeholder text.
hymnia7: The person who "broke" the story this afternoon, seems pretty unsophisticated to come up with a name like "The Pillar of Storgé"
hymnia7: But that, of course, could be an act.
solusfides: but, they said it was just open?
solusfides: so its not hacking
hymnia7: So they claim
hymnia7: *rolls eyes*
solusfides: if it was actually like that on the site.. like, a randomly set thing on the website
hymnia7: They transcribed the text that appears in the book. It's too blurry to read on the screencap.
solusfides: or, . no... the coders wouldn't update the site itself to test it...
hymnia7: And they use the word "recognize"
hymnia7: In the transcription.
hymnia7: That's not the British spelling, though.
hymnia7: It should be recognise.
hymnia7: But a friend of mine…
solusfides: still, what's with the green bars?
solusfides: odd way to capture
hymnia7: …blew up the pic of the book to look at it more closely
hymnia7: And she says she thinks it says recognise
hymnia7: the correct spelling
solusfides: oh my....
hymnia7: So if this is a hoaxter,
hymnia7: they thought clearly enough to "transcribe" the text incorrectly.
hymnia7: Which would be a very good trick.
hymnia7: So. No one knows what to think.
solusfides: that's a good hoax then
hymnia7: Or it's for real.
hymnia7: One or the other.
hymnia7: We should find out July 1st
solusfides: but why would they upload the other version of the page?
solusfides: other than to plant it for someone to find?
hymnia7: What do you mean?
solusfides: for the guy to find that, the version of that part of the flash movie would have to be updated with an open door version
solusfides: it's only there if the coders/creaters want it to be there
solusfides: you can't just hack a flash movie
hymnia7: Yeah, but it was there. WE knew that already.
hymnia7: Remember, I told you someone did hack it a while back
solusfides: ok, which means, if that was a real page, then the creators put it there
solusfides: they allowed the door to open
hymnia7: They got the door to open and found the book with "filler" in it.
solusfides: either an intentional leak
solusfides: or a fake
hymnia7: Not necessarily, because JKR addressed the earlier hack on her website.
solusfides: the door will only open when the creators upload a version of that scene where the door opens
hymnia7: She obviously didn’t intend that one.
solusfides: ok, that kind of hack is an alteration, not someone getting through some hole in the system to find the open door scene
solusfides: the open door scene would only be there if she wanted it to be there
solusfides: or the hacker created it themselves
solusfides: it's easier to explain in voice, which I think I'd try at a later time
solusfides: I'm saying, both are possibilities
solusfides: and who knows, JK has quite the sense of humour, right?
hymnia7: Yeah, but it doesn't seem like her to leak false info.
solusfides: if she's in on the whole charade (which you say is out of her character), she might say that it wasn't her, just to be in on it
solusfides: hmm. perhaps her publicity people put her up to it
hymnia7: I don't buy it.
hymnia7: I've been following her interviews and such for some time.
solusfides: well, then the screen cap is either a fake
hymnia7: She likes to be coy, but she doesn't lie.
solusfides: or the hacker hacked into the server, not the flash movie, found this other file somewhere, DL'd it, and rendered it out as a QT movie
solusfides: if it is genuine, that is
solusfides: and then they claimed they just found it going to the website one time
solusfides: if its not a leak, that's how they'd find it
solusfides: not just navigating the website
solusfides: and if they wanted to look less smart, then they just dumb down their language a bit
hymnia7: Yep. I think it's a hacker who's playing innocent or a hoaxter. Those both seem more likely to me than JKR planting false info.
solusfides: still, for the movie to actually be a screen capture, there'd be the beige backdrop, and perhaps some browser elements, neither of which the movie had
solusfides: that reduces the reality of it for me
solusfides: if he found the file with the open door scene, he could render out a movie of the flash file (not a capture) and then he might have the bars... but still, no, the movie would render at the size of the flash file, not with those bars
solusfides: those bars are just odd...
solusfides: oh well
solusfides: whether its real or not, it gave the HP community a nice buzz... which is what those things are for, whether they're intentional or not
solusfides: give them something to chew on for a while
solusfides: (perhaps a diversion)
solusfides: perhaps the publicity people wanted to do something, but she didn't
solusfides: so they got some other guy on the side to do it for them
solusfides: out of her hands, per se
solusfides: hehehehe.... "its a conspiracy"
hymnia7: O_o Sneaky.
solusfides: that's usually how "leaks" happen
solusfides: it never looks intentional
solusfides: always someone leaking mistakenly, or someone breaking in and getting something... that's how those stories go
solusfides: JK may truly have nothing to do with it
solusfides: but it doesn't mean it wasn't intentional on some level
hymnia7: I see.
hymnia7: I'd sooner buy that than her being behind the leak.
solusfides: back door shenanigans
solusfides: you may share my theory if you wish
solusfides: I'll just say, they wouldn't upload that scene unless they really wanted to... they can test it elsewhere...
solusfides: so, chances are, the guy didn't actually find it ON the site
solusfides: it might have the right content..
solusfides: but it isn't screencapture-ish
solusfides: yes, you can capture, but that's not what one would look like
hymnia7: I think I may post some of what you said on my LJ, and see what folks think. That okay with you?
solusfides: no prob
solusfides: use as you wish
So, yeah. I still don’t know quite what to think. Do you?
In other news, I downloaded iTunes, and have been having fun playing around with it tonight. I think from now on, when I list my "Current Music", it will no longer just be in my head. :)
ETA: I was looking at some of the reactions to the OP on CoSForums, and it reminded me of before OotP came out. Just a few days before, in fact, I was hanging around the "Book 5 spoilers" thread at CoS, shortly after an early, highly spoilerish review from Aint-it-cool-news was posted. By the time I checked the thread, the review had been removed by a mod, but some of the discussion was still there. People were having similar skepitical reactions. Specifically, I remember one poster saying something like, "Luna Lovegood?! That doesn't sound like a name JKR would use." Of course, when I read OotP a few days later, and got to chapter 10, I went, "Oh. So that review must have been legit after all."
So. You never know. Leaks can happen. For whatever reason. And there may be things that don't seem to quite add up about them...and yet they can turn out to be true.
We just don't know.