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‘Rowling and others’ vs puja committee

Salt Lake's Durga Puja committee thought it would build its pandal around Harry Potter's theme, till it received a notice from the Delhi HC for violating the "Indian Copyright Act". Saptarshi Banerjee tells us more...
Hindustan Times | By Saptarshi Banerjee, Kolkata
UPDATED ON OCT 11, 2007 03:37 AM IST

The Durga Puja committee in the FD Block of Salt Lake in the outskirts of Kolkata thought it had a great idea. It would build this year’s pandal — Durga puja is from October 18 to 22 — around the theme of Harry Potter.

Committee members got a rude shock on Wednesday morning when they received a notice from the Delhi High Court, following a suit filed against them by “JK Rowling and others” for violating the Indian Copyright Act. The challengers demanded Rs 20 lakh as compensation.

Specifically, the exterior of the pandal was being built to resemble Hogwarts Castle — where the School of Witchcraft and Wizadry, which Harry Potter attends, is located. A mock steam engine train too was being constructed next to it, to resemble Hogwarts Express.

The notice directed the organisers to appear before the High Court on Friday. “It has been issued to the puja committee, the decorators of the pandal, and those providing the lighting,” said secretary Santanu Biswas. He added: “We will explain that we do not derive any commercial benefit from our pandal. If they are still not satisfied, we will dismantle the pandal.”

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