Hari Puttar vs Harry Potter – WB Sues Mirchi Movies

Looks like Bollywood is stepping on some toes over in the US as Warner Brothers has filed a lawsuit against the creators of a comedy called “Hari Puttar – A Comedy of Terrors” claiming its lead’s name is a little too close to Harry Potter.

Yahoo gives us:

Warner Bros. has filed a lawsuit against Mumbai-based producer/distributor Mirchi Movies related to the title of its upcoming film “Hari Puttar — A Comedy of Terrors,” which Warners feels is a tad too similar to its franchise about a certain young wizard.

The case is being heard in the Bombay High Court and comes up for hearing Monday (August 25). “Hari Puttar,” a comedy that centers on a 10-year-old Indian boy whose family moves to England, is slated for a September 12 release.

I find it increasingly popular to let these offenses brew until they are strategically too close to a release date to allow them to address these things easily. If a court allows the injunction all the power is with the Brothers Warner, giving little option for the offending studios to do something about it.

Its a hard “comply or delay” strategy instead of addressing this earlier to give them more of a neutral grounds for discussion to debate how similar the names are, intent on the similarity of the name, or any other concerns.

Furthermore, the “Hari Puttar” name was registered in international copyright back in 2005. Hari is a popular Indian name and Puttar translates literally to “son”.

Sounds petty, but I half agree with WB wanting to protect their copyrights. If they allow a close similarity to the name, it may encourage others who maliciously would use this as a precedence.

The WB may well allow the use of the name once they have set the precedence that similarities will not be tolerated. If they find that sufficient grounds are present to explain how the name was not intended to infringe, they would be safe to use it while still protecting the copyrights.

Hopefully for the same of the Mirchi Movies production this coincidence (as it that is how they are making it sound) won’t delay their movie.

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6 thoughts on “Hari Puttar vs Harry Potter – WB Sues Mirchi Movies

  1. dude its not a coincidence….I remember when the first Harry Potter movie came out….most of my indian friends kept calling it Hari Puttar…..and I guess someone at Mirchi Movies would have thought of it too and trying to cash in on the Harry Potter name…..

    Its funny, and it could be passed as a spoof….but Warner Bros is right….it is definitely intentional

  2. I agree that they should protect their copyrights. Nothing wrong with that. Their timing is a little strategic and makes them sound petty (its been registered for 3 years). And copyright does not extend over legitimate given names. If there was a famous Harry Potter (or Hari Pattar) the name would not infringe on a copyright. They cant choose a different name to tell a real person’s story, however they COULD choose a different name for this character in a comedy.

    The point is this could be coincidence or irrelevant, but not challenging them leaves a door open for others who might not be so irrelevant or coincidental.

    But also, what makes you think that filing this suit is interfering with the Watchmen case? WB has more than one lawyer.

  3. sounds stupid to me. WB should stick to winning their case against FOX over the Watchmen rights, rather than focus on this petty case. Who cares if it’s similar. Seriously, people are trying to control way too much with this copyright BS. What if, for example, Hari Puttar were a real person’s name and the film was a biopic? Then What?
    Spike Lee tried to make a case against Spike TV when that came out years ago. Lee didn’t win.

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