Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 25, 2005

It Follows.

Lawsuits often follow success.

In the wake of a successful book or film, plaintiffs routinely claim that the successful work derived from their earlier intellectual property.

The Da Vinci Code proves the point, but with a twist. Author Dan Brown and his publisher initiated the lawsuit, instead of waiting to be sued. In short, they sued Lewis Perdue, who claimed that The Da Vinci Code ripped off his books, Daughter of God and the Da Vinci Legacy. Beaten to the courthouse, Perdue counterclaimed against Brown, Random House, and those entities involved in the upcoming film to the tune of $150 million.

The Court recently issued its decision here. The Court contrasted the works and found Brown's novel sufficiently dissimilar to rule in his favor.

Money quote: "A reasonable average lay observer would not conclude that The Da Vinci Code is substantially similar to Daughter of God. Any slightly similar elements are on the level of generalized or otherwise unprotectible ideas."

(Via: MassLawBlog.)