From the AP:
Dan Brown returned to the witness stand Wednesday and acknowledged "reworking" passages from an earlier book for his best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code," but he firmly rejected charges that he ripped off key ideas for his conspiracy thriller. ... "I'm not crazy about the word 'copied,"' Brown testified. "Copying implies it is identical. It's not identical."
No. But it's very close at times.
Brown said "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" was "one of the books in the mix" when he and his wife, Blythe Brown, were researching the novel. He acknowledged "reworking" passages from the earlier book. "That's how you incorporate research into a novel," Brown said.
Author Dan Brown conceded on Wednesday that some of the ideas he took from two historians who accuse him of plagiarism were essential to "The Da Vinci Code", but said the bestseller had many other important themes too.
No one thinks the entire novel was copied. Parts of it are clearly based on The Templar Revelation, especially those sections about Leonardo da Vinci and his paintings. Meanwhile, more and more focus is being placed upon the role of Brown's wife, Blythe, an art historian and apparently the one responsible for much of his research:
Blythe, who has not been in court, played a big part in the creation of The Da Vinci Code, typing up research, searching the Internet and proposing ideas which appear in the finished novel. Rayner James wondered how Brown could know the origin of his ideas when so much research had been carried out by Blythe. "You are, in fact, placing total reliance on her and her research," he said, referring to one of several documents she compiled for Brown during the creation of the novel.
So it appears that Brown's pro-feminist credentials are a bit shaky: his wife did much or most of the leg work and he gets the glory. As one Scoop reader noted: "Another irony: Dan Brown writes a novel spouting radical feminist propaganda and claims it's well-researched, then, when accused of having copied the whole thing, he blames his wife." Go figure...