Lewis Perdue, novelist and blogger, has been following the Coded Craziness from the beginning and has written a lot of helpful material about many aspects of the success of The Da Vinci Code. Last year he lost a lawsuit against Dan Brown; Perdue claimed that Brown plagiarised elements of two of his novels, Daughter of God, published in 2000 and The Da Vinci Legacy (1983). Since I am not a lawyer and am still trying to make sense of what constitutes plagiarism in the 21st century, I cannot say much about that case (I did glance through Perdue's novels. There are certainly similarities, as he has outlined in detail.) However, Perdue's blog DaVinciCrock has much to offer, including this fine summary of the court battle in London:
Other than Dan Brown confirming that I was correct about the James-Frey-like biographical fabrications over on Writopia, (and that the legions of books debunking DVC's historical, factual and religious errors were also correct) the testimony confirmed that:
• Dan did rely heavily on HBHG,
• He was well-coached for cross-examination and conveniently can't remember details or historical fact,
• There are contradictions between his statement and the Random House briefs in my case,
• Blythe and not he conducted what research there exists,
• Most of the well-hyped research consisted of pages of material copied from other authors and,
• Blythe is the real force,
Baigent & Leigh don't seem to have proven any specific infringements in the expression.
While I am pulling for B&L for purely psychological reasons, and while I do think that there are probably real infringements there, I do not think that B&L have proven their case.
I have to agree. That Brown relied heavily on HBHG is a no-brainer. But I doubt the plaintiffs adequately demonstrated enfringement of copyright (but, again, such things are so hazy and apparently — nearly impossible? — hard to quantify...). Regardless, the trial has shown clearly that Brown is not a well-informed and diligent researcher as he has been so often touted by his publisher (who described TDVC as "... intricately layered with remarkable research and detail.") and many in the MSM. And his sources are, to put it kindly, dubious at best — unless you're the sort of person who entertains flat earth theories and would rather spend a vacation at Area 51 than Disneyland.