by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 28th 2010 10:39am
A guy named Charles Harris, who wrote a political booklet about the process by which America elects Presidents, is apparently suing Oprah Winfrey for copyright infringement, saying that she "plagiarized" his work, when she quoted it on her TV show, without crediting him. Basically, the guy had sent copies of the booklet to Winfrey, hoping to get some free publicity out of it. However, on one show she apparently (he alleges) directly read aloud some questions from his booklet, but did so without crediting him. Of course, plagiarism, by itself, isn't against the law, so he's trying to twist this into a copyright lawsuit, saying she had no license to read the questions aloud. You can see the filing below:
It's hard to see how he can legitimately claim that Oprah reading the questions has caused him "substantial injury, loss and damage to his property" or that it's "damage" for his "business reputation and goodwill." And, not surprisingly, he's asking for the maximum statutory rate of $150,000. Of course, you could (and many probably will) argue that the guy knows the lawsuit is bogus, and that there's no "damage," but is using the lawsuit to get publicity for his booklet...
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Caution: Prolonged Exposure To Copyright Can Be Hazardous To Human Culture
- Australian Govt.: Just Kidding On That Whole Safe Harbors Reform Thing, Guys
- Congress Leaks Draft Bill To Move Copyright Office Out Of The Library Of Congress
- Supreme Court Says You Can Copyright Elements Of 'Useful Articles' -- Which May Spell Disaster For 3D Printing & More
- Supreme Court Says Patent Trolls Can Wait A While Before Suing