Friday, April 07, 2006

Brown wins Da Vinci Code case

A high court judge today rejected claims that Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code breached the copyright of an earlier book.
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh had sued publishers Random House claiming that Mr Brown's book "appropriated the architecture" of their book, The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail, which was published in 1982 by the same publishing house.

The claimants said Mr Brown - whose book has made him the highest-paid author in history - had "hijacked" and "exploited" their book, which took them five years to create.

But in his ruling this afternoon at the high court in London following a three-week trial, Mr Justice Peter Smith said the claim for copyright infringement had "failed and is dismissed".

The claimants were ordered to pay 85% of Random House's legal costs, which are estimated at nearly £1.3m, with an interim payment of £350,000 to be made by May 5.

The judge said that a comparison of the language in The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail and The Da Vinvi Code did show some limited copying of the text.

"However this is not alleged to be a copyright infringement ... so does not assist the claimants. Such copying cannot amount to substantial copying of the text of The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail and the claimants have never said it does," Mr Justice Smith said.

If successful, the copyright case could have had huge ramifications for the publishing industry. Random House said the ruling "ensures that novelists remain free to draw in ideas and historical research".

The reclusive millionaire author from the US, who drew crowds of fans to the court when he gave evidence for three days last month, said he was "pleased" with the ruling personally and also "as a novelist".

taken from the Guardian

1 comment:

RC said...

Total publicity stunt...props to everyone involved for pulling it off...I even outlines all the winners on my own blog...

Can't believe this goofiness.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com