The Truth is Golden
For example, on Page 15, footnote 7, the judge writes: "Indeed, although there is clearly a gold key in The Da Vinci Code, Daughter of God references a “very small ingot fixed into a recess of the wood substrate on which the paint had been applied.” Daughter of God at 312 (emphasis added)."
This makes it seem as if we're claiming protection for a general and trivial issue. Gosh, both books have gold keys.
But that's not the way it is at all. Remember that what is protected is expression, and that includes context, tone, sequence and other specific creations. Below are a set of details we gave the court.
In Da Vinci Code and Daughter of God, the following sequence of events takes place precisely as presented in BOTH books and are strikingly similar in events, pacing, tone and sequence in both books:
A slain curator of art leaves a gold key,
- Concealed in a work of art,
- Painted on wood.
- That work of art is named for the divine feminine at the center of the book.
- The gold key is not a traditional key that opens a tumbler. Indeed, owing to gold's softness and malleability, a key made of it is patently impractical and, for that reason, not employed by banks, Swiss or otherwise.
- This unique gold key is left (with no instruction) for the book's heroine
- Who is, herself, a symbol of and related to the divine feminine. The gold key allows access (but does not turn a lock) to a safe deposit box in a Zurich bank.
- At the Zurich bank, the Protagonists are met by an elderly old world Banker.>
- While at the bank, the Protagonists make an error in behavior that could tip-off the bank officials they are not legitimate. But the moment passes.>
- While at the bank, the Protagonists are locked inside the viewing room.
- Finally, at the end of the scene, the Protagonists must break OUT of a bank. [Very, very unusual for a thriller].
- The contents of the container holds additional clues to finding the object of their search that send the hero and heroine to a foreign country.
- The object of their search is a set of physical evidence and documents relating to the divine feminine at the heart of the book.
Analysis by John Olsson
In the viewing room at the bank The Da Vinci Code:
"Langdon and Sophie stepped into another world. The small room before them looked like a lavish sitting room at a fine hotel. Gone were the metal and rivets, replaced with oriental carpets, dark oak furniture, and cushioned chairs. On the broad desk in the middle of the room, two crystal glasses sat beside an opened bottle of Perrier, its bubbles still fizzing. A pewter pot of coffee steamed beside it."
In the viewing room at the bank from Daughter of God
"Ridgeway and Zoe looked silently about them. The room was the size of a luxury hotel room and furnished in much the same way. Besides the sofa and chairs, there was a television set, a rack of current magazines, a small computer terminal displaying financial quotes, and a wet bar stocked with liquor. Ridgeway went to the wet bar, set the wrapped painting down on the counter, and filled a tumbler with water from a chilled bottle of Perrier."
Langdon and Sophie = Ridgeway and Zoe
hotel room...lavish = luxury hotel room
cushioned chairs = sofa and chairs
bottle of Perrier = bottle of Perrier
"Interesting you chose Perrier," Olsson wrote. "I would have imagined most Swiss banks would probably have had Henniez, since Perrier, though owned by Swiss company Nestle, is of course French."
Locked inside the viewing room
DoG: "The door slid shut as firmly and solidly as a vault door. Ridgeway tried the knob. It was locked."
DVC: "Leaving, the banker closed the door behind him and twisted a heavy lock, sealing them inside."
We have here, significant, specific and protected elements of expression. The sequence of the events, as well as the events themselves must be considered. While I believe these are protected elements, it is possible to argue (although that argument raises the issue of the substantial issues that needed to be decided at trial) that one or more of the items in the sequence might be a stock element.
However, just as a musical scale has just eight notes -- and no one can claim to copyright "C" -- the Supreme Court has held that the arrangement of UN-protected elements can be protected because it is the arrangement that involves the creator's expression.
Doesn't that, along with the scores of similar issues I will present here on an ongoing basis, merit a jury trial of lay readers