Libel laws are generally much tougher on publishers in Canada than in the U.S., nevertheless Knopf is hoping to publish Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief in the country, pending a review of Canadian libel laws. “Due to the tight publishing schedule, a Canadian legal review was not completed at the time of the U.S. publication,” a Knopf representative said. “Given the differing legal systems in the U.S. and Canada, Knopf decided not to make the book available for distribution in Canada at the present time until such legal review is completed.” The Church of Scientology is notorious for its litigious practices, and on Monday the book was marked “unavailable” on Amazon.ca, but was still for sale on Amazon.com. Bill Harnum, president of the Association of Canadian Publishers, said this may be the first time the fear of libel action has blocked a book’s publication in Canada.
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