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In Charles Harris & Unique Products and Services v. Oprah Winfrey et al. (Case No. 2:2010cv05655), filed this week in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the author of a booklet entitled How America Elects Her Presidents has sued the talk show queen for copyright infringement, conversion, quantum meruit, and unjust enrichment.
In a 21-page complaint, Harris alleges that he sent 10 copies of his booklet to Winfrey in 2008 seeking publicity, but received no response. According to the complaint, Harris claims Winfrey read questions verbatim from the booklet on her February 16, 2009, program without crediting the plaintiff, which he contends constitutes plagiarism and copyright infringement [17 U.S.C. sec. 101 et seq.].
Winfrey has yet to respond to the allegations of the plaintiff, who is seeking maximum statutory damages. As Texas Cattlemen can attest, Winfrey is not averse to mixing it up in a courtroom.