There was a time when third world countries would rip off any Western product they wanted to. Because how much time were US companies really willing to invest wading through dusty Asian market stalls looking for bootlegs of their precious brand names? But things have changed! As China and India have grown into serious global economic powerhouses over the past decade, they've been forced to respect intellectual property laws in order to maintain good business relations with the West. Which makes this whole "Hari Puttar" thing a bit of a stretch. Warner Bros. sued an Indian film company for making a movie called "Hari Puttar," claiming that it was a ripoff of Harry Potter. They just lost the case in an Indian court. Home team advantage? Actually, when you hear the facts it seems more like sheer bullying or paranoia on Warner Bros. part:

"Hari Puttar" is not a tale of magic, but the story of an Indian boy and his cousin forgotten at home in Britain where his family has recently moved, in a plot more reminiscent of the film "Home Alone." In the Indian film, 10-year-old Hari Puttar must guard his scientist father's top-security computer chip from bumbling burglars, while his parents are away.

Gee, that sounds... absolutely nothing like Harry Potter. Also, "Hari is a common name in India and Hindi for God, while 'puttar' is Punjabi for son." Hey Warner Bros, stop that. Bollywood has already stolen Snoop Dogg from us and India has surpassed America in fighting the Axe Body Spray menace. Soon America will have no original culture left and you'll have to steal ideas from India, so don't blow your wad on frivolous lawsuits. [WSJ; pic via Courant]