Hasselbeck sued by Hassett over Celiac book

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Susan Hassett, tile installer and writer, is suing Elisabeth Hasselbeck, reality TV has-been and co-whatever of ABC’s The View. The battle is over Hassett claiming Hasselbeck’s alleged ghost writer allegedly purloined Hassett’s words verbatim out of a self published (by Hassett) book on Celiac’s disease.

Confusing? You can read more about the argument and the tactics being used at WomenDayByDay, an awesome website dear to my heart. We’ve looked at copyrights and at plagiarism in this blog because both topics relate strongly and frequently to writers’ work.

The claim in the Hasselbeck-Hasset fray is that Hasselbeck’s side received, read, and copied from Hassett’s book, which was self-published about a year ago. Hassett says she sent a copy of the book to Hasselbeck and claims to have a postal receipt confirming Hasselbecks’ receipt of the book.

Now, here’s the interesting piece. In my research on copyrights, I was told by more than one attorney that a non-registered copyright is nearly impossible to defend. The U.S. government copyright site says the same thing. It does say writers may register a copyright at anytime, including at the onset of or during a court process. So, will Hasselbeck prevail because she has more resources to fight with and more attorneys available to her ? Will Hassett take precedence because she was wise enough to register her rights (if she was!), her case is solid, and the little guy needs to win once in a while?

What do you think?

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