Judge Dismisses Winnipeg Band's Motion To Block Release Of Harry Potter Film

TORONTO (AP) — Ontario's Superior Court dismissed a motion on Friday that would have blocked the release of the upcoming Harry Potter movie in Canada.

The Wyrd Sisters, a folk group in Winnipeg, Manitoba, tried to stop the theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, slated for Nov. 18.

They argued that a fictional rock band in the film would ruin their careers and were seeking US $33 million in damages from Warner Bros.

Although there is no mention of a Wyrd Sisters band in the film, the J.K. Rowling novel on which it is based refers to a group of hairy witches dubbed The Weird Sisters.

The Wyrd Sisters argued Friday that they've owned the trademark to the name in Canada since 1990, and that the wizard franchise is ruining their reputation.

They said the public would confuse the folk act with the band created for the Potter film, which includes members of Radiohead and Pulp.

The phrase "weird sisters" has been in the English language since at least the early 1600s, when William Shakespeare used it to introduced the witches in "Macbeth" who give the prophecy that sets the tragedy's plot in motion.

Warner Bros. argued it isn't infringing on trademark or copyright because the folk band's name doesn't appear in the film, nor will it be used on the film's soundtrack.

The case sparked a flurry of online activity among Potter and Radiohead fans. Many of them have dubbed the lawsuit a headline-grabbing stunt.

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