Dr. Phil claims that Gawker caused his ratings to drop by lifting video from his show and he’s going after them for it. The copyright infringement suit is over the TV shrink’s interview with the man who says he fooled Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te’o into thinking he was his fake dead girlfriend. In an 8-page complaint (read it here) filed today in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, Dr. Phil Show copyright holders Peteski Productions sent notice to Gawker Media and its sports website Deadspin that they want unspecified damages and a jury trial. “Gawker deliberately set out to get ‘the jump’ on the rest of the country and ‘scoop’ Dr. Phil with his own content. They did not earn that right, they stole it. They did not conduct the interview, they stole it. They did not ask permission, they blatantly and knowingly infringed the copyright of the content owner and did so in a way that furthered their interest to the maximum and undercut the rightful owner of the protected material,” claims the complaint. The whole thing revolves around two episodes of the syndicated Dr. Phil Show that aired on January 31 and February 1 where the TV psychologist exclusively spoke to girlfriend impersonator and Te’o acquaintance Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
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