Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Biting the hand that feeds you

Like millions of other people, I read and enjoyed Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code.

Like a significant percentage of those millions, I then bought and read Holy Blood Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln almost entirely due to the fact that Brown acknowledged it as one of his resources. (Hey, I like to read fiction.)

Holy Blood Holy Grail experienced quite a healthy sales increase in the wake of The DaVinci Code.

So, I was puzzled when I first heard that two of the authors (that's right, just two, not all three) of Holy Blood Holy Grail were suing Dan Brown's publisher (not Dan Brown) for plagiarism.

If you're plagiarizing something, do you reference it repeatedly?

Apparently Britian's Court of Appeals, which today affirmed the lower court's decision rejected the plagiarism claim, wondered about this also.

According to Danica Kirka of the AP,

Lord Justice Bernard Rix said Brown hadn't disguised his use of the work of Baigent and Leigh.

The character of Leigh Teabing is an anagram of Leigh and Baigent, Rix noted, and at one point Teabing refers to "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" as "perhaps the best-known tome" on the subject.

"That is not the mark of an author who thought that he was making illegitimate use of the fruits of someone else's literary labors, but of one who intended to acknowledge a debt of ideas, which he has gone on to express in his own way and for his own purposes," Rix wrote in his opinion.


However, in terms of motives for the lawsuit, it was found that the publicity of the trial had significantly boosted sales of Holy Blood Holy Grail.

1 comment:

Susan Kelly said...

It's all about money.