3-D Sidewalk Art | Main | Judge Brinkema Creates A Pretext For Avoidng Death Penalty For Moussaoui
March 13, 2006

"Da Vinci Code" Author Dan Brown Takes Stand In Infringement Case

Wait-- so you can sue for infringement over an idea? The authors of "Holy Blood and The Holy Grail" also seem to be suing over the idea he "organized" the book along the same lines as theirs. So it's not just a lawsuit over a naked idea. But that just seems to be silly, a way to plead around the general principle you can't copyright an idea, but only its expression.

Almost three years to the day that ''The Da Vinci Code'' was first published, American author Dan Brown found himself on a witness stand in courtroom 61 of London's High Court on Monday, denying accusations he copied from others to produce his huge best-seller.

Authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing ''Da Vinci Code'' publisher Random House for copyright infringement, claiming Brown ''appropriated the architecture'' of their 1982 nonfiction book ''The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.''

Both books explore theories -- dismissed by theologians but embraced by millions of readers -- that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, the couple had a child and the bloodline survives.

If the writers succeed in securing an injunction to bar the use of their material, they could hold up the scheduled May 19 release of ''The Da Vinci Code'' film starring Tom Hanks and Ian McKellen.


Responding to questions from the plaintiffs' attorney, Brown said much of the research for the book was done by his wife, Blythe.

''She was deeply passionate about the sacred feminine,'' Brown said.

The sacred feminine. No idea what this bubblehead could be talking about. Pooters?


Random House lawyers argue that the ideas in dispute are so general they are not protected by copyright. They also say many of the ideas in ''The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail'' do not feature in Brown's novel, which follows fictional professor Robert Langdon as he investigates the murder of an elderly member of an ancient society that guards dark secrets about the story of Jesus and the quest for the Holy Grail.

Under cross-examination, Brown acknowledged some uncertainty about the dates of events leading up to the March 18, 2003, publication of ''The Da Vinci Code.''

In his statement, however, he said he was certain he and his wife had not consulted ''The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail'' for research until after the ideas and storyline of ''The Da Vinci Code'' were ''very well developed.''

''All of my early research came from other sources,'' he said.

I'm guessing that's a lie, as "The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail" is the most famous book about this silly idea. How could it have been he never checked out the most famous book about his theory until well after he had "well developed" his storyline and silly conspiracy theory?

You can't do a google search on this sort of thing without coming up with six thousand references to Holy Bood, Holy Grail.

I'm pretty sure I first read of this goofiness in Umbert Eco's mega-conspiracy-novel parody "Foucault's Pendulum." Pretty sure Eco got this stuff from Holy Blood, Holy Grail though.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:16 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
IC, now with extra super elite: "One of the many problems w. our media people is th ..."

Kris Wallace: "Thell me Mr Putin, boxers or briefs? ..."

runner: "Is Chris even listening to Putin ? He is acting we ..."

J.J. Sefton: " Pr'zhals'sta, piri'dait'sa kisoslatkiya kriv'yat ..."

bluebell: "Does he really work for Fox News, Decaf? ..."

Froderick Wonkensteen: "I just want to know, hey, Trump did good on some s ..."

blaster: "atc the clownbonercar on fire right now is because ..."

Under Fire: "Will he let Putin jack in his shoe like he does !j ..."

runner: "uh oh, "Read my lips, Chris.." ..."

J.J. Sefton: "32 I want to know what the Russians did to get Bar ..."

Decaf: ""It might be time to start giving Phillipe Reines ..."

hogmartin: "[i]I assume he is of French descent from the name. ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64