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Dobby the house-elf could face court for looking like Putin
Source: Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, in Russian 1000 gmt 20 Jan 03

[Newsreader] Harry Potter's Russian fans will have to wait a whole year for the new book. The Rosman publishing house said today that the fifth volume of the young magician's adventures will appear for sale in the Russian language at the beginning of 2004. Mind you, for those who know English, J.K.Rowling's new book will come out in the UK in June of this year.

However, Harry Potter could have other problems in Russia - of a legal kind. Not the book though, but the film. And all because one of the characters in the second film is similar to Vladimir Putin in appearance. It is Dobby the house-elf, who is a nasty green colour and has large ears. Novaya Gazeta [newspaper] reported today that a major law company's offices in Russia are preparing a lawsuit on this matter, claiming that the film-makers did not have the right to use a face that is known the world over when creating their character. There has been no official comment on the matter yet.

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