Dr. Phil is suing Gawker Media for copyright infringement, claiming that its sports site Deadspin.com posted part of his interview with the orchestrator of the Manti Te’o hoax online before it aired in the majority of his markets.
The lawsuit, posted by the Hollywood Reporter, was filed on Monday in Texarkana Texas and blasts Gawker and Deadspin’s aggregation of news from other sources, calling the sites “serial copyright infringers.”
The complaint centers around the two part interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man who claimed to have created the fictitious girlfriend of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o. The second part of the interview was designed to be a cliffhanger, hinting that Tuiasosopo might mimic the voice of the made-up Lenay Kekua. Deadspin encouraged its readers to “tune in tomorrow!” to watch the result of the “CLIFFHANGER” according to the complaint.
“In a premeditated plan to steal Peteski’s copyrighted material, Deadspin posted the video of the second show to the Deadspin blog not later than 9:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, hours before the Dr. Phil Show aired to over 98% of its viewers. By ‘tuning in’ Deadspin apparently meant for viewers interested in the Tuiasosopo interview to ‘tune in’ to Deadspin instead of Dr. Phil.”
Deadspin has not commented on the lawsuit.