Britain’s High Court has ruled that author Dan Brown did not plagiarize and breach the copyright of an earlier book in writing his best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, published by Random House.
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, two of the three authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, had claimed that Brown lifted parts of their 1982 book, which theorizes that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child, and that the bloodline continues to this day. Baigent and Leigh sued Random House, which also published their book, for copyright infringement.
The Da Vinci Code, which has sold more than 40 million copies, explores a theme similar to that of the 1982 book. The ruling on April 7 also removed a cloud from the scheduled May 19 opening in U.S. theaters of director Ron Howard’s film adaptation of the best seller.