I assume most people have heard about the plagiarism lawsuit against Dan Brown, author of “The DaVinci Code” by the authors of another book, “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”. If not, here is a snippet.
Author Dan Brown said he was ``shocked'' by accusations that he stole the ideas for his best- selling ``The Da Vinci Code'' novel from another book, saying a number of authors had written about similar religious themes.
Brown's publisher, Random House Inc., is being sued for copyright infringement in Britain by the authors of a non-fiction book published more than 20 years earlier, ``The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.'' Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh claim Brown used a thriller plot to capitalize on their theory that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and sired a royal dynasty. Bloomberg
I have a problem with this lawsuit. Having read both books, I am puzzled how an author can be sued for taking an idea
from a historic thesis
(and a rather turgid, hard-to-read one at that) and using it in a fictional manner. Isn’t that what a good thriller writer does? If this case has merit, then Tom Clancy should be broke and in jail!
HBHG was written in 1982. I saw a news story on CBS about a Frenchman (I think he was French) who convinced several people he was a descendant of Jesus and Mary M., and this was several years ago. The theme explored by HBHG is 20+ years old. DaVinci Code has been out for several years. Only now
, when a blockbuster movie with A list stars is on the verge of release do the authors of HBHG file a lawsuit. Hoping to cash in on the box office, perhaps? Do the authors of “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” have a legitimate plagiarism beef? Or is it opportunism with the movie nearing release?
If you have read the books, do you believe Dan Brown is guilty of plagiarism?
All fiction takes its inspiration from truth. Does this lawsuit set a dangerous precedent for authors of fiction?