Oprah Off The Hook

Quick, which president weighed the most?* Believe it or not, that question got Oprah Winfrey sued for copyright infringement, in a case seeking $100 million. Now, admittedly, Oprah probably has that much on her, but still, she was not too keen about being a defendant. And the good news is, she no longer is. A court threw the case out. Charles Harris had filed the suit, claiming Ms. Winfrey infringed his copyright on a book he’d written called “How America Elects Her Presidents.” Harris had sent Oprah 10 copies of the book during the 2008 election. Apparently in February, 2009 Oprah had a 6 year old kid on her show who was some sort of expert on U.S. Presidents. To show how smart the little fellow was, Oprah asked him a series of questions about U.S. presidents, including the one about our heaviest chief executive. Harris claims she got that information from his book. And that turned out to be his problem. Information is not copyrightable. So even if Oprah did get that nugget from the Harris book, she couldn’t be sued for using it. The only good news for Harris? The court refused Oprah’s request that he pay her attorney fees.

* William Howard Taft (327 lbs.)