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Court Refuses to Give New Lift to Suit Over Shirley MacLaine Book

April 23, 1990

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court today refused to give new life to a copyright lawsuit over actress Shirley MacLaine’s 1983 best-selling book, ″Out on a Limb.″

The court, without comment, let stand rulings that MacLaine’s book about reincarnation and other spiritual subjects did not infringe the copyright of a 1977 book written by Charles Silva.

Silva’s suit sought monetary damages from MacLaine and the American Broadcasting Companies Inc., which in 1987 made a television movie based on the book.

Silva, from Peru, authored ″Date With the Gods″ in 1977, and sent a copy to MacLaine. She later discussed it with him, and eventually traveled with him to areas of Peru described in his book.

Silva’s book tells of his asserted encounters with an extraterrestrial woman high in the Andes mountains.

As described by U.S. District Judge Horace Gilmore, ″Date With the Gods″ does not discuss reincarnation in detail but implies that when one dies, his spirit might become embodied in another living form.

Silva’s suit was filed in Detroit. His book’s publisher, Living Waters Publishing and Distributing Inc., is based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Gilmore dismissed Silva’s suit after concluding that there is ″no substantial similarity″ between the two books.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Gilmore’s ruling last Nov. 7.

The case is Silva vs. MacLaine, 89-1475.

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