Authors face legal bills of more than $6 million
jim cole/associated press
Britain’s Court of Appeal rejected a suit yesterday from two authors who claimed novelist Dan Brown stole their ideas for his blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code.
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh had sued Brown’s publisher, Random House Inc., claiming he copied from their 1982 non-fiction book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.
Both books deal with the theory that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a child, and that the bloodline continues.
One of the judges said copyright protects an author’s labour in researching and writing a book, but does not extend to facts, theories, and themes.
Brown was not a defendant in the case. He testified last year that he studied the plaintiffs’ book when writing his bestseller but did not copy from it.
The authors now face legal bills of about $6.9 million.
Baigent and Leigh ”expended a vast amount of skill and labour” on their book, their lawyers said. ”That skill and labour is protectable.”
Brown testified for several days during the High Court hearing last year.