A British judge today rejected a closely watched copyright infringement claim against the author and publisher of "The Da Vinci Code," who were accused of appropriating the central theme of the blockbuster novel from the central theme of a work of non-fiction.
High Court Justice Peter Smith dismissed the claim brought by the authors of "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" as virtually devoid of merit.
Indeed, he said the book, written by Michael Baigent, and Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, did not even have a discernable "central theme" that anyone could appropriate. Lincoln was not a party to the lawsuit.
"It would be quite wrong if fictional writers were to have their writings pored over in the way DVC [Da Vinci Code] has been pored over in this case by authors of pretend historical books to make an allegation of infringement of copyright," Smith said in his 71-page ruling.
The judge suggested that the plaintiffs had simply gone through their book extracting segments in order to construct "an artificial creation for the purposes of litigation."
I and numerous others had predicted (see previous posts here and here) a clear loss for the Holy Blood authors, but "authors of pretend historical books"? Ouch, judge.