February 7, 2016

Brown Cleared of Da Vinci Plagiarism Charges

By LJ Staff

UK Judge Peter Smith April 8 ruled that author Dan Brown did not plagiarize material for his Goliath best seller The Da Vinci Code, and dismissed charges brought against him by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who claimed Brown used their 1982 volume, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, as the basis for his novel. Baigent and Leigh’s suit claimed that the concept of Christ marrying and fathering children with Mary Magdalene was theirs. The suit caused a stir in the publishing community, and many are relieved at Smith’s ruling. "Copyright doesn’t protect ideas and copyright doesn’t protect facts," said Allan Adler, the Association of American Publishers’ VP for legal and government affairs, "that’s why we have genres, fiction, and nonfiction, and a number of people can write novels based on the same idea and still have freedom of expression."

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