Author sues Oprah for plagiarism

2010-10-28 07:47

New York – Oprah Winfrey is being sued by the author of How America Elects Her Presidents.

Charles Harris claims in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the US District Court in Pennsylvania that in 2008, as Winfrey began supporting Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, he sent 10 copies of his booklet to The Oprah Winfrey Show in the hope of gaining publicity. He followed up with several enquiries.

Harris got no response, but according to the complaint, on the February 16 2009 show, Winfrey allegedly read aloud exact questions that were included in the book.

Harris claims that the readings were plagiarism and constituted copyright infringement, which “caused and will continue to cause the plaintiff to suffer substantial injury, loss and damage to property and exclusive rights, and further has damaged the plaintiff’s business reputation and goodwill, diverted trade and caused a loss of profits all in an amount not yet ascertained”.

Harris is seeking Winfrey’s profits or maximum statutory damages of up to $150 000 (R1 million) per unlawful use.

Reps for The Oprah Winfrey Show were not available for comment.

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