We believe in the copyright law. It’s been part of our laws since the Constitution was enacted. It’s there for a good reason: “to promote the progress of science and useful arts”. We advised and represent quite a few copyright owners. But every so often an over-zealous copyright owner goes too far. This could be one of those cases.

Charles Harris wrote a booklet called “How America Elects Her Presidents”. During the 2008 election, Oprah read aloud on her tv show questions that were based on material in the book. Apparently one of the questions was literally taken from Harris’ book: “Which one of our presidents weighed the most?”. [Answer: William Howard Taft at over 325 pounds]. Harris filed a lawsuit which requested millions of dollars in damages. Oprah filed a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit and the judge agreed when he ruled that the allegedly infringed parts of his book were not original, and that Oprah’s recitation of the Taft fact, even if she did take it from Harris’ book, was not an actionable copyright infringement.