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Wed 27 Aug 2008 05:04 PM

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Hollywood studio sues over Hari Puttar movie

Indian production company says its film bears no resemblance to Harry Potter.

Hollywood's Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the Harry Potter movies, is suing an Indian production company whose new film is called "Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors," the studio said on Wednesday.

The studio had started proceedings against the makers of "Hari Puttar" over similarities to the international film and literary phenomenon, said Warner Bros. spokeswoman Deborah Lincoln.

"We confirm that we have recently commenced proceedings against parties involved in the production and distribution of a movie entitled 'Hari Puttar'," Lincoln told Reuters in an e-mail.

"Warner Bros. values and protects intellectual property rights," she said.

The producers of "Hari Puttar" said they had registered the title more than two years ago and the film bore no resemblance to the "Harry Potter" franchise.

"All I can say is that the title is not at all similar to Harry Potter and nor is our story line," said Munish Purii, chief operating officer of the film's producers, Mirchi Movies.

Purii said the Delhi High Court began hearing the case on Monday.

"Hari Puttar", slated to open in cinemas on Sept. 12, is the story of a young boy fighting two criminals who are trying to steal a secret formula devised by the boy's scientist father.

In October last year, an Indian court allowed a community group in the eastern state of West Bengal to create a replica of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, rejecting a petition from author J.K. Rowling for copyright breach.

The British creator of the boy wizard Harry Potter and Warner Bros., which controls the rights to the series in India, had sought 2 million rupees ($50,000) in compensation from the group, which had erected the structure for a Hindu festival.

Warner Bros. is a unit of Time Warner Inc. (Reuters)

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Salim ALSuwaidi 12 years ago

I've seen many indian movies taking ideas from hollywood movies, and some little have their own story. Does Hari Puttar even mean anything in the hindu language??? IF not, im guessing WB will win in the end unless Hari Puttar means something maybe things will cool down, but im guessing WB will never sue savagely unless they do some studies then act.

Mr Hobnob 12 years ago

Full marks to the muggles of Mirchi Movies for conjuring with a nomenclature. The sorting hat would place them firmly in Slytherin.

Rainigade 12 years ago

Note to Salim Al Suwaidi - Please broaden your knowledge before passing such ignorant comments. Firstly, there is no such thing as Hindi Language. Its as if I would say "Do you speak Muslim language?". What you mean to say is "Hindi" and yes it has a meaning. Hari is name, taken from a Hindu god and Puttar means "son" in Punjabi (which is indeed a language). Bollywood is notorious for plagiarism.... and there's obviously some tongue-in-cheek word play going on here. But looks like WB have done as much studies as you have into the matter!

Amazed 12 years ago

Rainigade's personal attack on Salim was unnecessary. Instead of writing 'Hindi' he wrote 'hindu'; just like you yourself did (you wrote 'there is no such thing as Hindi Language' ! People do make mistakes, so let's not attack personally. The point here is Bollywood's copying of Hollywood (even the name of the Bombay (now Mumbai) film industry is a copy!!!). And believe it or not, no matter how much the word 'Hari Puttar' means, the intent is to copy a famous name and make some easy money. A country of 1.2 billion people should emphasize a little bit more on the originality and not encourage plagiarism.