Hari Puttar vs. Harry Potter

from the in-the-wizard-of-IP-law-suits dept

J.K. Rowling has been an aggressive user of intellectual property laws against anyone who she feels has done her wrong, and Warner Bros. studio, which owns the rights to the movies has been equally aggressive at times. The latest target, as sent in by a bunch of readers, is an Indian film by the name of Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors, about a young Indian boy who gets left home alone. If anything, you almost have to wonder if the makers of the film purposely picked a bunch of recognizable themes. There is the name, which potentially plays on both Harry Potter and Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors (which, of course, is public domain). Then there's the story line, which seems similar to the Home Alone movies. So this film isn't copying Rowling's work, but the name certainly sounds like it could be.

The movie makers insist their Hari Puttar has nothing to do with Harry Potter. The storylines are entirely different. Hari is a popular Indian name and Puttar means "son" in Punjabi. Plus, when pronounced correctly, it doesn't even sound like Harry Potter. That doesn't mean that it wasn't done on purpose, of course. So, yes, I can understand where Warner is coming from, but that still doesn't necessarily make this a smart move. Leaving the movie as is doesn't take any money away from Rowling or Warner. If anything, all this effort is doing is providing a lot more free publicity for the Hari Puttar movie -- which may be exactly what the movie makers wanted.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 2:54pm

    Big Copyright

    Of course, Comedy of Errors was Shakespeare. Good thing Disney hasn't figured out how to lock that one up or they'd be getting hit from both sides.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    eleete, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 3:02pm

    Boundaries

    Hopefully India sees the clear distinction between the two and tells Rowlings to take a hike.
    "Hari, the lawsuit alleges, is too close to J.K.Rowling's Harry for comfort."
    I think she enjoys quite enough comfort as it is.
    She loves a good pissing contest like this, hopefully she ends up all wet ; )

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Ashwin, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 3:35pm

    Obnoxious

    Of course, if this were the trend, then all the spoofs that keep getting made in Hollywood (Scary Movie, Meet the Spartans, etc...) which directly mock the originals would be in trouble. JK is getting obnoxious and too materialistic with her creations and might end up alienating a sect of people who have not read Harry Potter and were waiting for all the volumes to be out (and the crowd of tweens and teens to stop losing sleep and breath over it). Yeah, so I'm one. Wanna fight?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Bill, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 3:49pm

    all wet

    JK Rowling is a greedy bitch.
    I wonder if she'll cry to try and prove she's right this time?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Matt, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:02pm

    Hari Puttar: The giblets of spice

    Never underestimate an attempt for the rich to get richer. JK is pushing her fanbase away with all her greed. Like Hari Puttar has any influence on Harry Potter's fans anyway...

    This is pathetic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Obnoxious

    long ago I started encouraging people not to buy her books. if they want to read them I suggest getting them from the library or borrow my copies, there are some excellent series that got their start as parody and rowling seems to go after anything that get close to being somewhat, kinda similar. heck, a lot of stuff in Harry Potter isn't exactly original.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:21pm

    Really? Hairy Pooter? C'mon!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:21pm

    WB, not JKR

    Once again, it's not J. K. Rowling going nuts with the lawsuits or threats thereof against movies which might vaguely resemble the Potter franchise, it's Warner Brothers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    wasn't there a news post about harry potter being used in a different book much before JKR .... maybe they read her mind before she published her books and she should sue them too or maybe those poor folks should sue her for copyright infringement ...

    besides shes too late ... as the article says ... hari is a very popular Indian name and being Indian and Punjabi .. I've actually used the words Hari Putar with my 13 year old son as a joke ... maybe i owe JKR some payments .. and i would have paid them too if i had not spent all my money on the stupid Hari Putar .... errrr...i mean Harry Potter .. books anyways ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:36pm

    How Ironic

    Rowling is an idiot to defend her properties so vigorously when this is always looming in the distance: http://www.realmuggles.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Esahc (profile), Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:38pm

    Dark Tower

    So is she going to sue Steven King for including Harry Potter references in the last three books of his Dark Tower series?

    I mean come on, JK is making herself a joke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    snooptug, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:45pm

    Anywhere there is money

    Anywhere there is money to be made off of an obscure idea that someone might be pissed off (or getting pissed on, as eleete would say) there will be lawyers more than willing to find a similarly obscure court case to set against the plaintiff for injury of some kind. That is true in any country or part of the world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    asd, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 4:54pm

    More like

    More like Harri ImJKRowlingAndNeedADustBusterForAllTheSandInMyVagina amirite?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Aug 26th, 2008 @ 7:35pm

    Re: WB, not JKR

    Ugh. Accidentally published an earlier version of the post. The final version made it clear that it was WB, but we had a glitch and the wrong post published. I've replaced it now. Sorry about that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2008 @ 10:06pm

    while it may have been warner bros with the lawsuit, i'd have to believe jk rowling had something to do with it given toward her past precedents on suing anyone doin parody or tributes to the work, which i believe probably wasnt entirely hers. come on now i hardly believe you just think of this whole franchise on a train ride without inspiration from anywhere else. besides now the money is goin to recieve so much extra cash due to the "streisand effect" sp

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 5:04am

    How can this not fall under fair use anyway? Hasn't WB ever gone down to the adult video store to see how many knockoffs of their movies are on the shelves? Geez, did anybody ever sue MAD Magazine for their movie parodies?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    JK Rowling is the Theif

    There is a movie from the 80s called Troll. It's about a boy named... Harry Potter Jr. that has to defeat a troll and other mythical creatures. It's being remade with Lindsey Lohan's sister. I wonder if Rowling will go after this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 8:58am

    I'm still waiting for;

    Hairy Putter and the Philosopher's Bone
    Hairy Putter and the Chambermaid's Secrets
    Hairy Putter and the Prisoner of Azka-Bondage
    Hairy Putter and the Gonads of Fire
    Hairy Putter and the Orders of Miss Phoenix
    Hairy Putter and the Half-Bloodied Princess
    Hairy Putter and the Breathy Swallows

    Yes, I do need help. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Re: Rekul

    I think most of those already exist on various fan-fiction sites....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    waqas babar, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 4:38am

    India is one of the most copy-cat nations ever to exist in the world............... 87% of their films are a complete rip off from Hollywood ...... and 10% from cinema all around the world (irani , korean , etc ) only 3% are their orignal !

    Finally Hollywood has come to its sense and sued the Indian photocopier( Bollywood ) !
    leave alone the movies they blindly copy TV shows as well !

    1.)Are you smarter than a fifth grader - copied to - kya aap panchwi pass se teez hain

    2.)human tetris (Japanese) - copied to - hole in a wall

    3.)for a long time there has been an indian show named shararat which was about magic ...... then disney makes a show named wizards of waverly place with salena gomez in it...... so the indians turn the whole sharat thing just like selena gomez's show ......


    these are just simple examples i just gave in a minute .......actually there is a big long list of movies and Tv shows !!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This