Philadelphia Writer Sued Oprah Winfrey For Plagiarism!

Posted by on Oct 29th, 2010 and filed under E-BUZZ articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Of all people that a person would sue for plagiarism, who would have thought it would be Oprah? Well, that’s what a Philadelphia lawyer did.

Charles Harris sued TV talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, for plagiarism claiming the Winfrey read some selected texts from his book in her show—without crediting him or even mentioning his book. The writer filed a lawsuit in the US Court this week claiming that Winfrey used the texts from his book in her show without even getting his permission.

According to Harris, what Winfrey did was “deliberate, willful, malicious, oppressive and without regard to [his] property rights”, and he plans to sue her on damages that she has done.

Now, the questions are: What is the book? How could Winfrey say those selected texts if she does not have a copy of the book? Unless she had a copy.

Well, the said book, entitled How America Elects Her President was written by Harris in 2000—a decade ago—and has been selling it independently through his own company. At that time, it was already lucky for an author if Oprah features his or her book in her show or magazine because it was sure to have high sales. For Harris, it was a “good business opportunity” if she features his book.

So, he mailed 10 copies to Winfrey’s production company, in January 2008. Harris waited for five weeks and no ring came from the company, so he called and spoke to an employee. It turns out the employee, or anybody in the company, did not receive any books even if Harris has received the confirmation that it was delivered.

That’s why he could not believe his eyes and ears when she watched Oprah last February 16, 2009 and Winfrey said some questions that were in his book. Harris knew he heard everything right because “the language and structure of the questions were exactly the same” as that from his book. He was so shocked and dismayed because what she did was copyright infringement.

The Philadelphia writer is demanding $150,000 for the unlawful use of words and more money for the damages and losses that Winfrey did. In addition, he requests that Harpo bring back the copies of the book that he sent to them.

For now, Harris’ company and Harpo representatives could not be reached. The one thing that I am wondering is the book cannot be seen in Amzon.com, so you can’t tell if Charles Harris’ claim is true or not. I have not even heard of the book. For now, we still don’t know what will happen to the case, but I hope to hear Oprah’s comment on this so we can hear her side too.

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