PDA

View Full Version : New Da Vinci Code Lawsuit



Linda Adams
10-23-2005, 04:45 PM
I just spotted this in the Washington Times today. The Da Vinci Code is being sued again for plagairism--this time by the authors of the non-fiction book he used for researching DVC. http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20051022-104522-2038r.htm

emeraldcite
10-23-2005, 08:40 PM
The results of this trial could set a nasty precedent. Could I then be sued if I use string theory in a novel? If I set a novel around Einstein's E=MC2, would his estate go to the mattresses?

Although I see the connection: Brown's novel did rely heavily on this one resource, but does that make it plagiarism? Or, did he just do some research and incorporated this possible view of history into his novel.

Ultimately, the book that has been plagiarized was mentioned in the davinci code and on his website, so is it really plagiarism? The idea of plagiarism contends with using material without citing the source or stealing another author's work and making it your own (simplified definition).

I don't know if I like the implications...

Of course, it may only matter if you made eighty million in a year.

Perks
10-23-2005, 09:14 PM
It's not going to work. I've read Holy Blood, Holy Grail twice and the information they've compiled is just that, information. And it's twenty years old. The conclusions Baigent, Lincoln and Leigh drew from their research are pretty much what anyone would have concluded after flapping around in that tree. That Dan Brown used some of the same source material and reached a similar conclusion is not enough to get them paid.

One of the things they're tweaked off about is that one of the characters in The Da Vinci Code, is a grail mystery/heresy scholar called Leigh Teabing. It's funny on a couple of levels. 'Teabing' is an anagram for Baigent; Leigh is, of course, Richard Leigh's surname and the character's physical description bears resemblance to Henry Lincoln. They've taken it as a snipe, but Brown claims it was in tribute.

Baigent, Lincoln and Leigh have earned praise, scorn and scads of money for twenty years. This feels a lot like they'd just like to retap the gravy, in my opinion.

Jamesaritchie
10-24-2005, 04:53 AM
This looks like someone after a quick buck. Unless Dan Brown copied very large tracts word for word, there is no case, and having read both books, he did not do this.

It's a shame courts let things like this happen. It's a shame lawyers are willing to take cases like this. It's nonsense.

goatpiper
10-24-2005, 10:51 PM
I find it ridiculous. Not only are they trying to cash in on Dan Brown's success, one of them says that he wrote a 'very bad novel'? How cheeky! They couldn't be happy enough with having a new harcover printing of their book, which is likely selling well, due to the wake that Brown has left since the publication of DVC. Sad.

Good Word
10-25-2005, 04:56 AM
Ridiculous is about right. Just a way for them to suck every last cent out of the situation.

Linda Adams
10-25-2005, 05:46 AM
And why wait so long to file the lawsuit if they thought they were wronged?

goatpiper
10-26-2005, 10:05 PM
My thought exactly. DVC was published in 2003. There was a History Channel special regarding the stuff depicted in the novel, and one of the authors of 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' was on the special. He was likely paid for that as well. So it took them two years since publication to decide that DB was plagiarising? I can't believe that they haven't considered how that makes them look. It's like politicians denying wrongdoing - we all know that all politicians lie, it's what makes them politicians. It's just ridiculous when they get up and say "I was not involved in any wrongdoing...". These guys expect everyone to swallow that they are legitimately ticked off at plagiarism, and not just looking to get their hands in DB's $80 million wallet?!?
Uh-oh...getting a little worked up here - better go splash some cold water on my face...

Jamesaritchie
10-27-2005, 02:47 AM
With DaVinci Code now being made into a movie, and with Dan Brown having crossed the thrity million mark in profits, I suspect I know why they waited so long.

With luck, this will turn out the same way the Harry Potter suit did, and these folks will not only have to pay all court costs, but get slapped with a healthy fine, as well.

goatpiper
10-27-2005, 09:40 AM
Here, here!

Liam Jackson
10-27-2005, 08:44 PM
I watched an interview with one of the Holy Blood, Holy Grail (HB-HG) co-authors last year. I'm not sure I've ever listened to a more egotsitcal, self-important *** in my life. At the end of the interview I recall thinking I had just watched the precursor to a lawsuit. The guy seemed highly offended that Brown had the unmitigated gall to fictionalize the story line. However, He made no mention of Brown having "borrowed" from HB-HG.

When pressed for an assement of Brown's treatment of the story line, he pointed his prominent beak pointed toward the ceiling, and while holding a cigarette between index fingertip and thumb ala some 18th century Austrian baron, he 'sniffed' loudly. Pompous ***.

I hope Brown counter sues the **** out of those wingnuts.

ChunkyC
10-27-2005, 10:10 PM
I hope this ends up in a classroom someday as a prime example of 'frivilous lawsuit.'

naimas
10-28-2005, 06:54 AM
Holy Blood Holy Grail is like being stuck in a Starbucks with a nerd who is part genious and part psychotic.

The book is like a conversation with my grandmother.

I read it. No I suffered it. I swear it must weigh five pounds simply from the ink used.

Is it against the law for such books to have form and seperations?

Religious books tend to either be rip offs of blank page, half page set ups or run on endless paragraphs that make me want to crank rock music very loud.

I didnt hate the book but did I ever have a headache after reading it.

Conversational nonfiction really annoys me. The book is written in the style of being stuck in a blizzard with a man who never knows when to seperate his stories or when to keep them to himself.

Perks
10-28-2005, 05:01 PM
Naimas, it's funny how people can react so differently. I thought it was fascinating. My headache came from the frustration of not being able to retain it all. I read it twice and, any conclusions aside, just marveled at the amount of story there was there. This kind of non-fiction really floats an element of fiction, because of the span of the history recounted and the questionable record keeping of things intended to remain secret or esoteric.

I thought it was a blast and it felt more like a novel than a textbook to me. It's really no wonder that it inspired Dan Brown's book. It almost seems inevitable. Still those three, Baigent, Lincoln and Leight seem to be awfully full of themselves. It's not like they've been ignored, monetarily or otherwise.

Jamesaritchie
10-28-2005, 09:30 PM
The book drove me crazy because I seldom came to a page where I didn't know they were wrong. So much of what was in that book was made up from whole cloth, or was taken out of context, or was simply a lie that I had trouble finishing it. They made up research, they used sources they knew to be fake, and they ignored all sorts of things.

If you actually do the research yourself, it soon gets laughable. Even people they interviewed were ignored when something was said they didn't want to hear, and sometimes they "quoted" the person as saying the exact opposite of what was really said.

This book didn't get blasted by the experts because it was controversial, but because it was utter nonsense. It's one of those cases where even if everything in the book is true, the research they say supports it is false. It's also a case where you can't believe what you read. Any historian can tear the book to shreds in minutes, but the average reader doesn't know enough history, or doesn't have the time and energy to check all the sources and backtrack the research, to know what to believe and what not to believe.

I like controversial books, but I prefer it when everything in the book is honest, when interviewees are quoted correctly, and when only real historical documents are used.

scarletpeaches
10-28-2005, 10:08 PM
Anything that disses Dan Brown's steaming heap of crap is okay with me.

Perks
10-28-2005, 10:42 PM
The book drove me crazy because I seldom came to a page where I didn't know they were wrong. So much of what was in that book was made up from whole cloth, or was taken out of context, or was simply a lie that I had trouble finishing it. They made up research, they used sources they knew to be fake, and they ignored all sorts of things.

If you actually do the research yourself, it soon gets laughable. Even people they interviewed were ignored when something was said they didn't want to hear, and sometimes they "quoted" the person as saying the exact opposite of what was really said.

This book didn't get blasted by the experts because it was controversial, but because it was utter nonsense. It's one of those cases where even if everything in the book is true, the research they say supports it is false. It's also a case where you can't believe what you read. Any historian can tear the book to shreds in minutes, but the average reader doesn't know enough history, or doesn't have the time and energy to check all the sources and backtrack the research, to know what to believe and what not to believe.

I like controversial books, but I prefer it when everything in the book is honest, when interviewees are quoted correctly, and when only real historical documents are used.

James, I can appreciate everything you've said here. It's too bad we all don't have the time to research every research paper that we come across. It would be helpful if authors of non-fiction would write non-fiction, if only to save someone like, say, me from looking like a moron for having enjoyed it. I took HB, HG with a grain of salt as I would anything that sensational. Beyond that, I haven't the time or inclination to go behind Messrs. Baigent, Lincoln and Leigh and fact check half a million facts that have no bearing on my life. I'm happy to hear they were blasted where deserved.

scarletpeaches
10-28-2005, 10:44 PM
How bad does this make Dan Brown, then, if he lifted from a book that was so obviously bad?

It's all very well his supporters saying that he did independent research, but if HBHG was fiction to begin with, how could he have researched in the real world and come up with exactly the same falsehoods, hmm..?

Perks
10-28-2005, 11:01 PM
Well, The Da Vinci Code was in the fiction section. He can write whatever he'd like as long as he puts 'a novel' in the by-line. HB, HG would be subject to harsher judgement. I guess all the more reason for those three to lay low, so the lawsuit makes even less sense. I guess once you've spent the money, it's gone and you've got to get more elsewhere, huh?

scarletpeaches
10-28-2005, 11:04 PM
Trouble is, he claimed a lot of it was fact, which it clearly isn't. It was a bunch of pseudo-factoids lifted from another book.

Liam Jackson
10-28-2005, 11:22 PM
HB-HG wasn't presented by the authors as a work of fiction, but rather a result of investigative research. Don't get me wrong, folks. I'm not defending Brown's work. I am, however, clubbing the readily apparent greedy, opportunistic attitudes of the HB,HG group.

As for Brown's assertion that his novel was full of facts, I can't confirm or deny. I've only watched a single interview featuring Brown, in which he stated (and I paraphrase) the book was intended as a work of fiction, based on "some" historical data (heavy emphasis on "some"), and subject to interpretation.

scarletpeaches
10-28-2005, 11:26 PM
HB-HG wasn't presented by the authors as a work of fiction...

Which is another thing Brown copied... ;)

Liam Jackson
10-28-2005, 11:32 PM
Which is another thing Brown copied... ;)

Disagree. See earlier, amended post.

(By the way, if someone will point me to any Brown interview in which he defends his book as non-fiction, I'll certainly change my position.)

LJ

scarletpeaches
10-28-2005, 11:35 PM
I was cheekily referring to the page at the start of the novel declaring: FACT ;)

Liam Jackson
10-28-2005, 11:42 PM
I was cheekily referring to the page at the start of the novel declaring: FACT ;)

Yes, he acknowledges some of the information contained within is based on "fact." I think the guy did a nice job of blending fact and supposition into his novel. Although, to accurately assess this issue, we'd need to examine the "facts in contention, point by point.

In the end, TDC is found in the fiction section of all bookstores. Were the same said of HB,HG, the number of forthcoming lawsuits would throw the US civil court system into a permanent gridlock. (On second thought, the court system is already in a state of perpetual gridlock. What's a few thousand more?)

Canada James
10-29-2005, 12:06 PM
The book drove me crazy because I seldom came to a page where I didn't know they were wrong. So much of what was in that book was made up from whole cloth, or was taken out of context, or was simply a lie that I had trouble finishing it. They made up research, they used sources they knew to be fake, and they ignored all sorts of things.

And isn't it amazing how quickly people are to believe the lies, and so sceptical when presented with the truth?

C. James

robeiae
10-29-2005, 10:50 PM
I read HB-HG many years ago and recently read The Da Vinci Code. My take: I feel Brown did a major disservice by not including HB-HG in the acknowledgements as a source for his novel. It would have been right for him to do so. Moreover, it probably would have really caused a new sales frenzy for HB-HG had he done so, and there would have been no lawsuit. While HB-HG is not exactly overflowing with facts, the Da Vinci Code is a god-awful novel. The only thing that makes it entertaining to read are the theories it uses from HB-HG, iMO.

All that said, I think the lawsuit will fail. But it is far from frivolous; Brown failed miserably to act honorably, at least IMO.

Rob :)

Jamesaritchie
10-29-2005, 10:52 PM
Disagree. See earlier, amended post.

(By the way, if someone will point me to any Brown interview in which he defends his book as non-fiction, I'll certainly change my position.)

LJ

I can't point you to an interveiw, but I've personally heard him say more than once that his book was, in his opinion, fact. He uses his wife's credentials as a historian to back up the claims in the book.

A fictional story wrapped around historical fact, is how he puts it.
Now, he doesn't claim every line of the novel is fact. The problem is that most of the parts he does claim as factual aren't, and he has to know it. He even does tehe same HB, HG trick of going somewhere and asking the experts there why something is such and such, and then he writes the exact opposite of what he was told and calls it fact.

Liam Jackson
10-30-2005, 05:37 AM
Guess I just haven't followed Brown's misadventures close enough. The only time I've heard him speak on the subject, he deflected the accusations of "misrepresentation" by saying the story is fiction...take it or leave.

He did, however, mention instances of historical accuracy (his words) that provided foundations for the storyline. I took those with a grain of salt, like I take most any claim of historical accuracey when the source has a "single point" of reference, or obviously slanted to support a specific agenda.

naimas
10-30-2005, 05:41 AM
His participation in the DVD about the Da Vinci code takes this out of the realm of fiction and puts it into the realm of fiction to state facts he believes.

He even stated that he wanted to go further and write that Jesus didnt die on the cross but survived it but decided it would be too controversial.

The agenda drove the book. An agenda he has every right to believe in. But lets not hide behind a fiction book for shelter and then be on video and stand behind the "facts" in a fiction book.


I for one thought the descriptions were poor, the dialogue was dry and the changes from place to place very poorly laid out.

Dan Brown and The guy who wrote absolute power.......not my favorite writers.

scarletpeaches
10-30-2005, 05:45 AM
I notice Michael Cordy's The Miracle Strain has been republished under a new name to cash in on all this publicity too. Something like The Messiah Code...Good grief.