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.