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Rocco DiSpirito's Cookbook Awfully Similar to Another

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Chef and TV guy Rocco DiSpirito's cookbook Now Eat This! came out in March and has been very successful; 325,000 copies are in print, and the publisher, Ballantine, has ordered three more books in the series. Problem is, the book bears more than a passing resemblance to David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding's Cook This, Not That (part of the Eat This, Not That! series). Both books instruct readers on how to transform high-calorie meals into healthier homemade dishes, both specifically mention 350 calorie meals on their covers, and have confusingly similar titles with exclamation points.

The editor of Now Eat This! at Ballantine says that the key difference between the books is that DiSpirito is "a world-class chef," but Zinczenko isn't having that: "Rocco DiSpirito has put out five previous books, and every one of them has sold poorly. Now Eat This! has already sold more than all of his previous titles combined."

He then surmises that co-opting the brand has paid off for DiSpirito, saying, "So it's clear that co-opting the Eat This, Not That! brand-and copying our premise and duplicating some of our graphic elements-has paid off seemingly handsomely for him." Do we hear lawyers calling?

· Buy This Book, or That One? [PW]
· All Rocco DiSpirito Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Cookbook Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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