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To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of The Da Vinci Code (has it really been *that* long?), Dan Brown has made the eBook versions available FOR FREE, all week (March 17 to March 24). Go grab it now!
The appeal in the London copyright court case has begun, with the lawyer for Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh presenting their case that the original decision in the case was flawed.
The appellants' case was that the theme appropriated by the Browns and used in DVC (The Da Vinci Code) was a substantial part of the appellants' copyright work and was, thus, an infringement. The judge, however, considered the case to be about whether the central theme (of HBHG) was itself a protectable copyright work. This error led the judge into a series of judgments that were wrong in law and the judge then misapplied the law to his extensive findings of fact. When the law is properly interpreted and is applied to the judge's findings of fact, the only proper conclusion is that the defendant has infringed the appellants' copyright.
Lawyers for both sides will present their cases over a four-day period, with a decision expected soon after.
Dan Brown court opponents Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh have been profiled in The Independent (note, will probably be archived and disappear within a few days). A strange piece - while Richard Leigh sounds utterly unenthused about the writing of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent says of the upcoming court appeal (Jan 17th, 2007):
It's been terrible. The case is going to appeal in January, and while I'd like to say I'm optimistic of the outcome, it's the law. Can you ever be optimistic of winning against the law?
A strangish statement to make about his chances to say the least...
The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from author Lewis Perdue, who has claimed that Dan Brown plagiarised parts of his book Daughter of God in writing The Da Vinci Code, and who was seeking $150 million in damages. Perdue has commented on the decision on his blog, where he also published his petition to the Supreme Court (PDF).
DVD Times have an in-depth review of the DVD release of an extended version of The Da Vinci Code movie. The new release apparently has 25 minutes added to it, and a second disc which features interviews with the cast and crew, and also Dan Brown.
The Bookseller has reported that the date for Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh's appeal hearing (in regards to the 'Da Vinci copyright case') has been set. Even Baigent and Leigh would have to grin about the date set:
The Court of Appeal has set provisional dates for the re-opening of the Da Vinci Code trial for 16th and 17th January next year. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh--the authors who attempted to sue Random House for breach of copyright after claims that Dan Brown had plagiarised their work, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail--were granted leave to appeal the High Court judgement in July.
As enthusiasts for the Priory of Sion/Rennes le Chateau mystery would know, January 17 is a most auspicious date.
The Bookseller reports that The Da Vinci Code is finally about to slip out of the Top 50 books in the UK, after a reign of more than two years. They also analyse the impact of the book, and how Dan Brown (and J.K. Rowling) have redefined the definition of 'bestseller'.
The Bookseller is reporting that The Da Vinci Code plagiarism trial is set to re-open at the Court of Appeal in London in early 2007. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh have been granted leave to appeal over the original High Court judgment by Justice Peter Smith, which cleared the Random House Group (and therefore Dan Brown) of the charges of plagiarism of the alternative history book Holy Blood, Holy Grail (by Baigent, Leigh, and Henry Lincoln). The saga continues...
Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett, authors of one of Dan Brown's prime sources for The Da Vinci Code (The Templar Revelation), have weighed in on the recent wave of critical comment against DB. They think he's getting a raw deal:
A lot of people try to put him down critically and say the book's bad and the ideas are bad. And a lot of the critical reaction has been very kind of snobby, that he can't write and that people shouldn't be introduced to these kinds of ideas in a thriller. Well, they weren't going to learn about them any other way.
I'm sure DB would be the first to acknowledge that he's not writing high literature. What has been interesting though, is to watch the number of people who originally were enthusiastic about the book, who now look down their noses at it.
Just when you thought it was safe to read Dan Brown again - Vanity Fair is running a cover story in their latest issue on the strange happenings in the legal dispute between Dan Brown/Random House and author Lewis Perdue. Among them, the bizarre communications of one 'Ahamedd Saaddodeen' who is said to have the same social security number as Dan Brown's wife Blythe. Random House responded to the copyright infringement story with:
The verdicts in favor of Dan Brown, in two United States Federal Courts and the British High Court of Justice, speak for themselves.
Meanwhile, Lewis Perdue said:
...the things that "speak for themselves" are the Random House legal shenanigans and their successful exploitation of loopholes that have subverted any measure of justice.
...The Vanity Fair piece could only begin to scratch the surface, but it shows what can happen when a reporter does some independent research rather than being spoon-fed by the Random House PR machine.
So, the saga begins (yet again!)...