View Full Version : Dan Brown & Da Vinci Code in trouble

04-03-2006, 10:40 PM
This got to be the trial of the decade

The book is in trouble. The author is in trouble. The release of The Da Vinci Code film could be halted if a plagiarism claim is upheld the British court next week. But the movie could be delayed or even blocked if a copyright action by the authors of the non-fiction book Holy Blood, Holy Grail is successful.

Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who co-wrote the book 22 years ago, claim breach of copyright by Dan Brown on the ground that the "architecture" or complex structure of their book was plagiarised by the Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown.

The £10m claim has the potential to set a precedent in copyright law over the extent to which one author can draw on another's ideas.

If they win, Baigent and Leigh could seek an injunction preventing further infringement of their copyright, affecting future sales of the book and delaying release of the film, or they could seek a share of profits. :eek:

The Da Vinci Code is the world's best-selling hardback novel with sales of 29 million, but the case only relates to the four million sales in Britain.

Copycat of not- I suggest we keep a copy on our bookshelves. :)

09-03-2006, 10:08 AM
dan brown is forever in trouble.

09-03-2006, 02:36 PM
what a pity, was looking forward to the movie...

10-04-2006, 09:17 AM
On the 7th April, the court in London says that Dan Brown is not to be blamed. This means his books and the Movie is OKAY :D

Here is the summary of the court's decision:


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Peter Smith, Justice :


The Claimants' Claim fails and is dismissed.

The reasons for the dismissal are as follows:

2.1 Holy Blood Holy Grail does not have a Central Theme as contended by the Claimants: it was an artificial creation for the purposes of the litigation working back from the Da Vinci Code.

2.2 Holy Blood Holy Grail has much more to it than the Central Themes as expressed so that the Claimants contention that HBHG has very little apart from the Central Themes is not correct.

2.3 Even if the Central Themes were copied they are too general or of too low a level of abstraction to be capable of protection by copyright law.

2.4 The Central Themes are merely a selective number of facts and ideas artificially taken out of HBHG for the purpose of the litigation.

2.5 There is no "Architecture" or "Structure" to be found in HBHG or the Central Themes as contended by the Claimants nor has Dan Brown infringed any such Architecture or Structure or substantially copied HBHG when he wrote DVC although it is clear it was used to write the Langdon/Teabing lectures.

2.6 The Claimants have failed to establish at least 4 or possibly 5 of the Themes are either in HBHG or in DVC which further weakened their case.

Accordingly there is no copyright infringement either by textual copying or non textual copying of a substantial part of HBHG by means of copying the Central Themes.

The majority of the language copying Claims were established but they are not claimed to be textual infringement of the copyright in HBHG and so do not assist the Claimants.

A comparison of the language of the Central Themes with the text of HBHG and DVC compared by reference to the VSS shows copying of the text from HBHG into DVC. However this is not alleged to a copyright infringement either so does not assist the Claimants. Such copying cannot amount to substantial copying of the text of HBHG and the Claimants have never said it does.

When Dan Brown wrote the Synopsis for DVC he did not use HBHG but used other sources provided to him by Blythe Brown. However his contention that neither he nor his wife acquired or read HBHG until very late in the writing process is rejected. Blythe Brown probably acquired it no later than November 2000 and was using it for research although Dan Brown either did not know that or did not use the material when writing the Synopsis.

Dan Brown did not use HBHG when he wrote the first 190 Pages delivered in March 2002 but Blythe could still have been working with it then (whether he knew or not).

When the final part of HBHG was worked on from March - August 2002 the historical lectures by Langdon/Teabing were written. The character of Teabing was created then plainly from HBHG and the annotations on the Brown copy of HBHG are the most extensive of all the books and the text can be traced through into several research items of Blythe Brown and the text of DVC. The lectures were written using HBHG mainly but possibly with the assistance to a lesser degree of the earlier books. HBHG was the primary book used for these lectures.

No good reason for not calling Blythe Brown was given. Her evidence could have assisted significantly in explaining how various documents were created and how the text of DVC in respect of the lectures came to be written. Any doubts that could have been explained by her were accordingly to be resolved in favour of the Claimants. However her evidence was not crucial to the primary decision on infringement of copyright.

None of this amounts to copying of HBHG or substantial copying of it (whether textual or non textual) nor of the Central Themes and does not amount to an infringement of the claimants copyright in the book.

This case has not been about Mr Brown's skill and reputation as a thriller writer and should have no impact on it whatsoever.

The Hon Mr Justice Peter Smith

7th April 2006

12-04-2006, 11:45 AM
Wednesday April 12, 2006

Da Vinci Code to open in Malaysia on May 18

KUALA LUMPUR: The Da Vinci Code – recently in the spotlight due to a high-profile trial involving author Dan Brown, whose book the film is based on – is scheduled to open in Malaysia on May 18, the same date it opens in the United States. Directed by Ron Howard, the movie stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen and Paul Bettany.

According to Anna Ng, general manager for Buena Vista Columbia TriStar (M) Sdn Bhd: “The film is a summer release in the United States and we are treating it as a blockbuster here considering the strong names in the cast and because it is of the action/thriller genre. There’s a murder, the breaking of a code and lots of action.”

She said that the print for movie will only arrive late this month or early May and will be sent to the Censorship Board.

ACTION-PACKED: Hanks and Tautou star in ‘The Da Vinci Code’, which features murder, the breaking of a code and lots of action.
The Da Vinci Code is Brown’s fourth novel and it went straight to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list when it was first published in 2003.

The book, which speculates about the Holy Grail and the role of Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity, has sold over 40 million copies worldwide and is back at the top of the New York Times bestsellers list this week. Here in Malaysia, The Da Vinci Code was also No.1 on the MPH bestsellers list last week.

Despite ongoing debate on the validity of the book’s propositions, Ng is confident that the Censorship Board will take into account multi-religious and multi-racial sensitivities. “Both the public and the members of the Censorship Board are well-informed and the latter will censor accordingly,” she said.

The plot revolves around Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (portrayed by Hanks) who is called in to help the French police on a murder case. He is soon embroiled in a chase around Europe looking for clues on a dangerous mission.

The recent court case involved historians/authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh who alleged that Brown stole ideas from their book (The Holy Blood, The Holy Grail) to write his bestseller. The High Court in London cleared Brown of this claim of breach of copyright just last week.

Meanwhile, Ng also revealed that BVCT does not have the distribution rights for the movie Basic Instinct 2, which is distributed by Sony Pictures in the United States. What many people remember about the first film was the erotic tension between Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas.

In the sequel, Stone reprises her role as novelist Catherine Tramell. At press time, no other local distributor has included the movie in its list of releases for the year.