« Blog Self Promotion | Main | Linux on the desktop »

February 28, 2006

Dan Brown and copyright

Dan Brown is being sued for using ideas from a non-fiction book in his work of fiction novel - "The Da Vinci Code".

This is so weird; I really hope it gets thrown out of court quickly for the idiot money-grabbing ploy it is. Anything else will really destroy the speculative fiction genre.

The authors of a book called "Holy Blood - Holy Grail" say that Brown used their idea as a basis for his novel. Well, Doh! He actually mentions their work in the text, so that's a bit of a given. What we need to understand about this case is not that Brown was trying to deceive the public into thinking it was his own idea - he was taking a well established theory, and turning it into a novel. This is something science fiction authors do all the time. Isaac Asimov and other authors read about research into tachyons, sub-atomic particles that appear to travel backwards in time. They have been used as the basis of many time travel stories - should those scientists have been allowed to sue everyone for an idea?
Science is always coming up with outlandish theories, space elevators, life under the oceans of Jupiter's moons, asteroids hitting the earth. The climate change theories recently gave us the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" and the novel from Michael Crichton "State of Fear" - should royalties be due to these scientists? And in science, as with most other areas of study, was only one person responsible for the theories. Not likely.

Dan Brown didn't try to pass off the theories as his own, and the "Holy Blood - Holy Grail" authors got a healthy dose of publicity for their own outlandish book when "The Da Vinci Code" took off. They should be paying Dan Brown, not the other way round. Ideas cannot be allowed to be protected in this way. If anything comes of this case, expect a slew of further cases from the science realm, and the death of speculative fiction.

So the courts actually made the correct decision and threw this case out. The more I think about it though, the more I believe that the whole thing was a publicity stunt for the authors and publishers of both books. And the film of the book comes out in a few months too...

Posted by se71 at February 28, 2006 08:47 AM


Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?