Chapter 10,345 in the book of life reads, “Anything which becomes wildly successful must be peppered with lawsuits from people who claim they did it first.”
The latest target is Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, who appeared in London’s High Court on Monday to battle allegations that he nicked his research from historians Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh.
And their lawsuit, which seeks $150 million in damages, also includes a request for an injunction against further distribution of the book and the movie adaptation, which is scheduled for worldwide release on 19 May.
The duo claim that in their 1982 book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, they first promoted the theory that Jesus skipped his appointment on Golgotha, married Mary Magdalene and had a child. Oh, and that the Catholic church has been covering up the bloodline ever since. So far, so close to the Da Vinci Code plot, but Brown has countered that he cites and acknowledges Baigent and Leigh’s work, while his publishers Random House argued that the lawsuit challenges the ability of authors to write fiction.
The case continues, though we somehow doubt it will stop the juggernaut of Da Vinci. Expect the injunction to be quietly shot down even if there is a settlement.