An author hoping to score $100 million from Oprah Winfrey has had his request rebuffed by a federal judge in Pennsylvania.
Charles Harris sued the talk show host and cable network owner in 2008. In his complaint, Harris says he sent 10 copies of his book, How America Elects Her Presidents, toThe Oprah Winfrey Show after Oprah lent her support to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Harris says despite following up with several inquires he never got a response.
However, on the February 16, 2009 addition of Oprah’s talk show, she allegedly read aloud exact questions included in his book.
The episode – entitled "Oprah's Search For The Smartest and Most Talented Kids" – featured Oprah and one of her guests discussing a number of questions, including which president was the fattest.
Six-year-old graham correctly answered “William Taft” and Harris subsequently filed suit for copyright infringement.
In response, the Hollywood Reporter says lawyers for Oprah argued that had Harris read the public transcript of the show, he would have realized that none of his questions were read aloud with the “arguable exception of one” concerning the heaviest president in history.
U.S. District Court Judge Jan DuBois ruled that even if Oprah did learn the tidbit about Taft from Harris’ book, it is not an infringement.
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