Oprah sued for plagiarism by author of booklet
By Eriq Gardner
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Oprah Winfrey is being sued by the author of political booklet, "How America Elects Her Presidents."
Charles Harris claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania that in 2008, as Winfrey began supporting Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Harris sent 10 copies of his booklet to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in hopes of gaining publicity. He followed up with several inquiries.
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 Plaintiffs to suffer substantial injury, loss and damage to its property and exclusive rights ... and further has damaged Plaintiffs' business reputation and goodwill, diverted its 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 per unlawful use. Reps for "The Oprah Winfrey Show" weren't available for comment.
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