My friend Lewis Perdue, who lost a lawsuit against Dan Brown for allegedly lifting significant portions of THE DAVINCI CODE from his work, reports that he’s off-the-hook for Brown’s $310,000 in legal fees:
Judge Daniels ruled that, "…Perdue’s claim was not objectively
unreasonable, and there was no evidence that Perdue pursued his
claims with an improper motive and/or in bad faith. " — page 2, line
The magistrate’s report on which Daniels based his decision is far
more detailed and spends a fair amount of time to support his opinion
that I was not the money-grubbing, gold-digging opportunist that
Random House claimed in its legal papers and which Dan Brown alleged
on the Today Show.
The magistrate’s report is at:
These two documents also do a very thorough job of describing the
circumstances of the litigation that Random House started.
My petition for a writ of certiorari still remains for consideration
before the Supreme Court.
15 thoughts on “Score one for Lew”
I made a typo in the URL for the magistrate’s report. It should be:
(www. not www/)
mea cupla uh, culpa.
Hey, I just bought “Daughter of God” to see for myself how alike it is to DB’s “Da Vinci Code”. It was DoG that was the reason for the law suit, wasn’t it?
If I might defend the RH lawyers for a moment (something I thought I’d never be doing):
This is a language problem and an unfortunate consequence of a Supreme Court decision as much as it is anything else. In copyright cases, awarding of fees to the prevailing party is at the judge’s discretion, not a matter of right. When requesting fees from the other side, one has no choice but to assert that the other side’s claim was objectively unreasonablefailure to do so is a losing motion and probably constitutes legal malpractice. Reasonability of the claim is one of the four factors that the judge must use in guiding his/her discretion.
I’ve been involved in this sort of thing more than once; you can find a good example on my website at
I represented the then-losing plaintiff (N.B. we won on appeal).
In short, the accusation of “objectived unreasonable” is lawyerspeak that doesn’t really mean what it appears to mean. It’s not an insult; it’s a requirement due to the Supreme Court’s poor choice of wording (and poor reasoning) in a 1994 decision.
Correcting two typos:
objectively unreasonable; failure
Kete: Random House sued me first, not the other way around. But to respond directly to your question, Daughter of God was ripped off but so was my 1983 book, Da Vinci Legacy.
C.E. the “objectively reasonable” thing is not objectionable … what Random House did was go on for page after page in their legal briefs about how sleazy I was for making blog posts about the rip-off, how I was a golddigger etc. etc. etc …
RH and its spin machine wanted my head on a pole and did a great job of defaming me in a legal venue which is protected from libel … the publishing trades and MSM swallowed the spoonfed crap whole cloth and never bothered to contact me for comment and never wasted any ink on explaining my side of the issue.
What do you want to bet that the trades and MSM will not deign to publish anything about this?
I’ve been curious about what was really going on with that lawsuit, and never thought in a million years I’d actually run into (so to speak) you and find out a little bit about the aftermath. I’m glad that you’re off the hook for the legal fees.
Xaedalus: Not being on the rack for the fees means that the kids (William, 13 and Katherine, 8) get to keep playing in the backyard of the only house they have ever lived in … THAT’s what counts!
I stand corrected. It’s a freakin’ miracle! 😀
So if I may be so bold as to ask… what’s next for you? Please understand, I haven’t read either of your books, and I am not familiar with the full details of what went down with the lawsuit and the specifics, so please forgive any accidental offenses I may blunder into. I have an abiding interest in the early history of Christianity, and it’s amazing to me how far mainstream modern Christianity has evolved and changed from what the first Churches were. And I would hope that if you are able to bring forth that history into the light of popular culture, that you don’t give up.
And by the way, my name’s actually Dan. Xaedalus is just a name I came up with for a character a long time ago and I liked it.
Dan: no apologies necessary. The case is so convoluted and complicated — and so poorly reported by the MSM who parrot the RH spinmeisters — that it’s hard to get the whole picture.
What’s next? Nothing about early Christianity or any other religion for that matter. I hate being derivative and can’t see trying to tag onto something that I’ve already done in three previous books. Been there; wrote that. Besides, I think the wave has probably passed.
My current thriller, Perfect Killer, looks into some of the strange connections between consciousness and quantum physics (all told within an inner Southern novel dealing with race in Mississippi)…
I will probably return to the consciousness thing in the next book. Thanks to the tensions created by the Random House litigation, I am currently without a publisher.
The absence of a publisher and the complete lack of any reviews at all on Perfect Killer mean that there’s no telling when the next book might get published.
So, to answer your question: What’s next for me? Heaven knows. (I sure don’t)
I’m going to have to read it, it sounds fascinating. You’ve hooked me with quantum physics and consciousness.
Just read your website on Perfect Killer, now I’m drooling. What’s really luring me in is the idea that free will/conscious awareness is a quantum process, so to speak. That we are not biological computers as a lot of the neuroscientists out there think we are. I’ve never agreed with that point of view, and I’m interested to see what you have to say on it. I do ghost hunting as a hobby, and one of the big questions I’m asking (although my fellow hunters at AGHOST don’t really like getting into this) is, what is a ghost made up of? The human body produces a weak electric field, but almost no magnetic properties whatsoever. So… if you have these free-roaming electron clouds roaming around setting off EMF readers in an intelligent manner, then what are they made of? What is holding these free ions together in a decoherent pattern? Is it (as I suspect) a quantum process we can’t figure out yet? And if so, can that be tied into the theory of human consciousness as a quantum process?
I’ll get off my soapbox now, and say I’ve really got to read your book.
“I do ghost hunting as a hobby”
As one with a scientific background this is the equivalent of a snipe hunt. No more need be said. In a note about Mr. Petit citing in favor of RH lawyers, he and the rest of the sci-fi absolutewrite community have never bought your case Lew. As Teresa Nielsen Hayden posted on my blog when you were dumped by her employer TOR, she thinks you’re crazy of sorts to be involved in fighting Brown. I don’t know what their definition of stealing is frankly. I saw plenty from reading all of the books involved.
Dan: The connection between quantum physics and consciousness has been the “closet” that science has tried to ignore. Neils Bohr, Heisenberg, Einstein and others have struggled with these issues (entanglement, complementarity, superposition os states and the observer issues) since the mid-1920s.
There are, however, a lot of “popular” theories that wander off from good science. As a biophysics major, I was amazed to see a video called “What the (bleep)?” and how it misinterpreted the consciousness and quantum physics links ….
With that said, it’s vital to remember that quantum physics underlies everything we think of as reality, and the counter-intuitive nature of quantum physics prompted Einstein to comment that: “reality is not just weirder than we imagine; it’s weirder than we CAN imagine.”
Perhaps it would help if I said I got my degree in International Affairs? :-p I can rattle off the economic structure and trade policies of dozens of nations, but I don’t have any scientific background worth speaking of. I do follow the layman articles explaining quantum physics, brane theory, etc. It isn’t much compared to those who are trained and have the background, but it’s enough for me. I willingly follow and embrace the notion that there’s more to the universe than what I can determine. Ghost hunting, reading the articles in Discovery and the science/tech pages of Slashdot.org, talking with people like you, this is how I try to keep up and contribute. The worst possible choice I could make for myself is to consciously wall myself off from the idea of the impossible and stuff it into a closet simply because it doesn’t meet my carefully constructed psuedo-religious mindset of how the world should be.
Lewis, I want to thank you for your chat with me. I could read and chat your ear off about quantum physics and the link to consciousness, though I imagine you have better things to do. 🙂 So I will say thank you for your time in chatting with me, and thank you for not mocking my interest or my hobby.
And in response to certain comments on this particular thread of a rude nature, it is the ill-will, ill-intent, and outright snobbery of those who think they know all and are better than all that guarantee they will be among the forgotten and forsaken when they die. It is those who are good-natured, accepting, inquisitive, and eccentric, who will be remembered.
Dan: I’d welcome an extended discussion with you on quantum physics, consciousness etc.
When even Einstein says that: “reality is not just weirder than we imagine; it’s weirder than we CAN imagine,” then it behooves us all to give consideration what we feel is weird and absurd.