Code NOT "Cleared" of Plagiarism.
But it's interesting to read the headlines about how Judge Daniels has "cleared" The Da Vinci Code of plagiarism.
The fact is that Daniels' decision -- an opinion by one person on one day -- went along with Random House to deny this issue the trial by jury that it deserves. But, as you'll see below, nothing's been "cleared."
Daniels made a mistake. He's a brilliant man, but he is not perfect. That's why we have appeals courts. This earlier post, "2nd Circuit Appeals Court Decision Supports the Notion That a Trial Is Needed" outlines the governing precedent:
(1) Summary judgement should NOT be granted unless there is "no genuine issue of material fact."
(2) The Court should, "resolve all ambiguities and draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party." I am the "non-moving party."
(3) A motion of summary judgement should NOT be a decision on whether copyright infringement has taken place. "Clearly, the duty of a court on a motion for summary judgment is to determine whether there are any genuine issues of material fact to be resolved by trial and not to decide factual issues."
The continuing disagreement among lay readers proves that there are genuine issues of material fact.
And number three clearly means that Daniels did not "clear" Random House, Da Vinci Code or Dan Brown of plagiarism. He simply made a mistake as regarding genuine issues of material fact.
So, this isn't over. It's hardly begun.