Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An End To The DaVinci Code Lawsuits

A couple of interesting developments in the publishing world this week.

First, reported on Monday that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Lewis Perdue's lawsuit against Dan Brown in which he accused Brown of copyright infringement.

"The justices let stand a lower court ruling that . . . Perdue didn't show that The Da Vinci Code, published in 2003, was substantially similar to his 2000 book, Daughter of God.

Perdue had sought $150 million in damages from Brown, Random House and Columbia Pictures (producer of the movie by the same name). He claimed that Brown took "substantial elements" from Perdue's book. Brown's attorneys obviously disagreed.

Unlike Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh who sued Brown for copyright infringement in London, Perdue sued Brown in the New York court system. Brown won both the case in London and the case in New York. Copyright laws in both the UK and the US do not permit infringement claims based on "ideas," only on actual copied verbiage.

With respect to the Perdue case, Bloomberg reported that, "A federal judge in New York granted judgment to Brown, saying the only similarities between the books involved historical facts and abstract themes. The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed." Dissatisfied with the results, Perdue took the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

It appears that Dan Brown is finally finished with all claims of copyright infringement against The DaVinci Code.

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