Hearings for the Dan Brown copyright infringement case wrapped up yesterday, and Sarah Lyall of The New York Times, for her part, thinks she knows who will win. Brown’s publisher, Random House, is being sued by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, two of three authors of a book called The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, a book whose premise — that Christ married Mary Magdalene and that descendants of their offspring live in France, where a secret society aims to return the western world to theocracy — resembles that of The Da Vinci Code.
In closing statements issued last week, the claimants’ lawyer lamented the fact that Brown’s primary researcher, his wife Blythe, neither took the stand nor issued a statement for the trial. The defendants claim that copyright law does not protect ideas and that The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail was consulted by Brown late in the writing process and was thus, contrary to Baigent and Leigh’s claim, not instrumental in forming his book’s “architecture.” Although the verdict will be made in the coming weeks, the Times‘ Lyall has divined the outcome of the proceedings by the sets of questions the judge posed to each side. “His tough questions appeared to reflect skepticism, even exasperation, toward some of the arguments put forward by the lawyer for the plaintiffs,” she wrote in this morning’s Times. “During the start of closing arguments last week, Justice Jones asked similarly pointed questions of the lawyer for Random House U.K., Mr. Brown’s publisher and the defendant in the case. But the questions were less frequent and less adversarial, suggesting that Random House’s lawyers have had an easier time making their case.”
And in case you just can’t get enough of the trial, check out additional links below.
Click here for Sarah Lyall’s story in The New York Times
Click here for coverage from The Book Standard
Click here for coverage from the CBC