UK Appeals Court Says (Again) Da Vinci Code Is No Copy

from the moving-on dept

About a year ago, as hype over the novel The Da Vinci Code was at an all time high, the publisher of the book was sued by two authors of a supposedly non-fiction book who claimed Dan Brown infringed their copyright with his novel. That original book tried to expose some historical facts about "The Holy Grail" that were used as the setup for The Da Vinci Code. In fact, Dan Brown mentions the book in his novel -- so it's not much of a secret that he used it in his research. If you're writing a historical novel, you would think that it's expected that the author would read up on the histories and theories of the times they're writing about. So, it's difficult to see how there might be a claim here. You cannot copyright facts. The original case was quickly thrown out, but the authors still appealed. Derek Coward writes in to let us know that a London Appeals Court has now agreed that The Da Vinci Code is not infringing on anyone's copyright. As the court stated, copyright "does not extend to facts, theories, and themes." This should have been obvious to anyone from the beginning, but considering how poorly researched some say the original "non-fiction" work was -- perhaps its no surprise that the authors didn't bother to research how copyrights work before filing their lawsuit. The suit is so ridiculous that it seems half likely that it was simply filed as a publicity stunt to get more attention for the original book -- so we won't even bother to name it here. Either way, it's nice to know that using historical theories in a historical novel is still perfectly legal.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Kent, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 8:45pm

    It's not even that good of a book anyway...

    First!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Alex, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 8:53pm

    Re:

    You're the fucking MAN!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Kent, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re:

    haha that's what I get for being bored. Maybe I wasn't boasting that I had the first post but that it was in fact the first post I've made on Techdirt. I am ashamed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Dirt, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 9:36pm

    It is a fact that Jesus had a twin brother, and Dan is bringing out a book about that real soon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Quarrel, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 9:38pm

    Re:

    They're both published by the same company, so the publicity is win-win.

    Of course who'd be cynical enough to file a lawsuit for publicity .. ?



    --Q

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    AJ, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 4:07am

    Quarrel

    I find your statement ironic in the fact that beside it is a headline, on the add banner, that states "RIAA promises not it incorrectly sue a woman a second time if it doesn't have to pay her legal fees" LOL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 5:25am

    "facts"

    It's a "fact" that Jesus had a twin brother?

    Seeing as how it's incredibly hard to even prove Jesus existed as the person everyone claims he was, I don't see that as a fact. Russ Kick's book "Everything You Know is Wrong" is a very good place to start to learn about this. Suffice to say, using the book's criteria for proving someone existed, I can prove Abraham Lincoln existed, as well as Nero and many, many others but there is much difficulty in proving Jesus existed as "Jesus The Christ" outside of the bible.

    A good question to ask oneself might be "why is the date of Easter based around the phases of the moon?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 6:21am

    A good question to ask oneself might be "why is the date of Easter based around the phases of the moon?"

    Because Christians believe that Jesus was crucified at the Passover, and Passover is defined in the ancient Jewish lunar calendar. I don't see how this proves or disproves anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Mr Textbooks, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 6:47am

    It has to be a copy

    Just on the face of it, knowing there hasn't been an actual new movie out of Hollywood in the last decade, they should know Code was copied from somewhere. Even without a claimant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Mar 29th, 2007 @ 6:59am

    I am glad that some sanity has prevailed for a change by the UK Appeals Court tossing out the lawsuit.

    However, we are overlooking a new attempt to aggrandize the scope of copyright to further chill innovation. The New York Times article wrote: "Baigent and Leigh ''expended a vast amount of skill and labor'' on their book, their lawyers said. ''That skill and labor is protectable.''". So what this apparently means is that if one spends time doing research and then someone else uses the facts of that research, you now owe them for the time and effort of them doing that research!!!!! No college student would ever be able to do research again.

    I can only hope that these absurd attempts to aggrandize copyright/patents will be squelched by court sanity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    Proof of Jesus

    It is proveable that a man who went by the name of Joshua/Jesus (Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua), was a travveling preacher with a large band of followers in Palestine at the right time(late 20's, early thirties), who was at the centre of much debate within the Jewish community, and was strenuosly opposed by the Pharisees, much more than by the Sadducees, based on historical letters and Roman reports entirely seperate from the Bible. Thre are records which possibly match the Cricifixion (although I do not know if the records of execution of the gurads on Jesus' tomb have been found). Hte acts of the Apostles have also been well documented, especially the fate of Paul. Non-biblical records also mention the miracles of Jesus adn the disciples' gift of tounges and healing skills. There are also scientific explanations of how Jesus could ahve carried out many of his miracles, although some of them require modern mediacla knowledge. (remember that a mircale is simply something for which we have no understanding of how it can be. To an ancient roman, the telephone would be a miracle, even though to us it is commonplace. However, there is still the problem of how Jesus could ahve known how to do evrything he did, and the probability that some of the stories have been simplified because the witnesses did not understand what happened) THe only area for which no scietific explanation can readily be found is the ressurection and Ascension. THese two requre faith, and cannot be readily explained away, considering that many people saw him after his ressurectiion, adn he ws definitely stabbed int eh side before burial.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Mischa, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 9:41am

    Re: Proof of Jesus

    Actually, the resurrection and ascension can be explained away by simply saying they never happened. ;-)

    One theory holds that the resurrection and ascension were added to the story of Jesus several years after his death. That the item of "power" the
    Knights Templar had was proof that Jesus was not resurrected and that his physical body did not ascend to heaven.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This