Friday, April 07, 2006


Da Vinci ruling

I'm no fan of the Da Vinci Code, based only on the couple of paragraphs I've read and what little I've picked up about the book through societal osmosis, but I'm glad that the recent copyright infringement case has gone in Dan Brown's direction. Why? For the reasons the judge in the case has cited, found here:
"'It would be quite wrong if fictional writers were to have their writings pored over in the way The Da Vinci Code has been pored over in this case by authors of pretend historical books to make an allegation of infringement of copyright,' Smith said in his 71-page ruling, the trade paper reported. "

Fiction draws from fact endlessly, and if a successful novel brings the nonfiction writers whose work might have served as its source material out of the woodwork looking for a cut, it could have a chilling effect. I hope that Baigent and Leigh have seen increased royalties from boosted sales, spillover from Da Vinci Code readers hungry for more of the same, but I don't think they're entitled to any of Brown's profits. (I leave it to wiser heads than mine to determine whether their book is "pretend historical," as much as I like the turn of phrase.)

Yes, in fact, their book went from selling 300 copies a month to 3,000 copies a month, and Baigent timed the release of his new one to the same day as the mm for Code. I think its a shameful suit, and does a lot to discredit their supposedly "nonfiction" work.
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