He has, according to a March 19, 2006, opinion piece in The Guardian:
Brown stands accused of having taken the main idea for The Da Vinci Code (namely, that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had children together) from an earlier non-fiction book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail. But the sneering literary set would really like to try him for something completely different. To them, he is guilty of the heinous crime of writing something that a lot of people wanted to read and tell their friends about.
The problem is, that's not actually against the law. So they are satisfying their blood lust over the plagiarism case instead. 'We told you so. Serves you all right for reading trashy airport novels, you losers. Here - take this copy of Ulysses and please try to restrict yourselves to proper, critically-acclaimed literature in future.'
Brown has become the ultimate scapegoat for the cultural snobs who cannot bear for anything that might be classed as 'popular' to take the hallowed form of 'A Book'. Since the trial, even hardened Da Vinci Code fans are turning against it. A friend who initially recommended the novel now wails: 'I knew it was too good to be true.' The memory of a book she had been unable to put down has been ruined for her by all the negative coverage. She feels stupid and duped. The would-be intelligentsia has won.
I think that the author of the piece, Viv Groskop, misunderstands the change of heart. The court battle didn't change the mediocre writing in TDVC, but exposed how empty is the notion that the novel is a well-researched and intellectually rich work. Readers who might otherwise be "snobs" were willing to put up with Brown's lousy prose because, as Dan Burstein, editor of Secrets of the Code: An Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code (New York: CDS Books, 2004) admitted, the poor writing was at the service of something Big and Important and Life-Changing. From my March 2005 article, "The 'It's Just Fiction!' Doctrine", Burstein's explanation:
"I was as intellectually challenged as I had been by any book I had read in a long time." He recounts making his way through "scores of books that had been mentioned or alluded to in The Da Vinci Code: Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Templar Revelation, Gnostic Gospels, The Woman With the Alabaster Jar, The Nag Hammadi Library, and more." ...
Burstein admits that the Code is not well-written, but explains that literary quality is beside the point: "Say what you will about some of the ham-fisted dialogue and improbably plot elements, Dan Brown has wrapped large complex ideas, as well as minute details and fragments of intriguing thoughts into his action-adventure-murder mystery."
Ah, yes, the "large complex ideas" and "fragments of intriguing thoughts" that were mostly culled from works of "speculative history" (aka, pseudo-history based on fancy, not fact). And mostly by Brown's wife, not Brown himself. The court case helped to further reveal that the Emperor/Author has No Clothes/Credibility. Embarrassment follows. Snobbery follows, a defensive reaction to having been taken in by the Coded Con. Groskop concludes:
Win or lose this case, Dan Brown has drawn back into bookshops and libraries many people who had completely given up on finding anything they wanted to read ever again. The success of a page-turner thriller, whether semi-plagiarised or not, does not threaten Western society. But putting up with the book snobs is an ongoing trial for us all.
Which only goes to prove the point. Are we really to believe that all of those poor souls who finally discovered or re-discovered reading because of TDVC did so based on the novel's unique literary merits (which are dubious, even for popular fiction)? Or because of an appeal that directly flowed from its many large ideas, outrageous claims, and relentless slander of Christianity?