The Times reports that Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh were today in the Court of Appeal, appealing against Peter Smith J’s decision that Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code did not infringe their copyright in Holy Blood and Holy Grail. They are arguing that the trial judge was wrong to focus so heavily on the central theme of their book, which he ultimately decided was constructed for the purpose of the case. Counsel for the appellants said that “the theme appropriated by Brown and used in the Da Vinci Code was a substantial part of the appellant’s [Mr Baigent and Mr Leigh’s] copyright" was still valid, and that
“[w]hen the law is properly interpreted and is applied to the learned judge’s findings of fact, the only proper conclusion is that the defendant has infringed the appellant’s copyright."A quick look at the court list reveals that the case is up before Mummery, Rix and Lloyd LJJ.
The IPKat would love to see some much-needed clarity on non-literal copying. Will their Lordships comment on the permissibility of inserting secret codes into judgments, Merpel wonders.