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Friday, 7 April 2006

DAN BROWN WINS COPYRIGHT CASE


Reuters (and lots more sources) report that the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail have lost their copyright claim against Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code. More to follow when the judgment becomes available.

STOP PRESS: the BBC website adds:

"The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown did not breach (sic) the copyright of an earlier book, London's High Court has ruled. ... Mr Brown said the verdict "shows that this claim was utterly without merit ... I'm still astonished that these two authors chose to file their suit at all". The ruling clears the way for the Da Vinci Code movie to come out in May.

BATTLE OF THE BOOKS

The Da Vinci Code, author: Dan Brown
Published 2003; global sales: 40m+

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, authors: Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln
Published 1982; global sales: 2m+


... Mr Justice Peter Smith, said The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail did not have a central theme: "It was an artificial creation for the purposes of the litigation working back from the Da Vinci Code", he ruled. Dan Brown did use the previous book to write certain parts of his thriller, the judge decided - but did not substantially copy their work".
Leonardo da Vinci (right) was not available for comment. Merpel says, now we've finished with Jesus, it's Judas' turn.

The IPKat is quite pleased that this over and that people won't keep asking him who he thinks is going to win.

2 comments:

Peter Groves said...

It's on the Court Service site http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/HMCSJudgments/View.do?id=4008&index=0&maxIndex=199&searchSimple=&searchSimpleWordType=&searchDateFrom_dd=&searchDateFrom_mm=&searchDateFrom_yyyy=&searchDateTo_dd=&searchDateTo_mm=&searchDateTo_yyyy=&searchCourtId=&searchJudgeId=&ascending=&maxResults=

The "Central Themes" argument seems to have been roundly rejected, and Michael Baigent's evidence seems to have been the main reason for this. Without the Central Themes, the claimants' case goes nowhere.

J Heald said...

The long version of the judgment, with the law in it, is in PDF at
http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/images/judgment-files/baigent_v_rhg_0406.pdf

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