The lawsuit against Dan Brown, filed by author Lewis Perdue (my old journalism advisor at UCLA), is moving forward. The New York Times reports that the judge in the copyright infringement case is reading Brown’s THE DAVINCI CODE and Lew’s DAUGHTER OF GOD and THE DAVINCI LEGACY to
determine if they are "substantially similar" and if the suit should be allowed to proceed.
Judge George B. Daniels, of the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, gave himself the assignment after lawyers representing Mr.
Brown and Mr. Perdue urged him to read the entire works rather than rely on the
excerpts in their court filings, which detail scores of similarities and
differences between the books. Judge Daniels said he would make a decision on
the suit in 30 to 60 days.
Shortly after "The Da Vinci Code" was published in early 2003, Mr. Perdue
asserted that the novel improperly drew on two of his earlier novels, "Daughter
of God," published in 2000, and "The Da Vinci Legacy," published in 1983 and
released in a new paperback edition last year.
Although Mr. Perdue had threatened to sue then, Mr. Brown and Random House,
the parent of Doubleday, the publisher of "The Da Vinci Code," first filed suit
over the matter. Last September, they asked the federal court in Manhattan for a
declaratory judgment that Mr. Brown’s book did not infringe on Mr. Perdue’s
Mr. Perdue countersued, charging Mr. Brown and Random House with copyright
infringement and adding as parties to the suit the Sony Pictures and Columbia
Pictures divisions that are producing a film of "The Da Vinci Code." Mr.
Perdue’s court filings state that he has suffered damages "believed to be in
excess of $150 million."
Lew talks about the ruling (and charts the entire legal process as it goes on) on his DaVinci Crock blog. His observations include:
The most significant missed story in court on May 6, was the Random House
attorney’s concession — for the sake of the arguments in this case — that Dan
Brown had access to my works. They have consistently argued that access
was lacking, that Dan Brown never heard of me or my books
Expect a ruling in the next month or two.