PLEASE READ THESE FACTS FIRST:

  • Random House sued ME; not the other way around.
  • Random House filed suit to silence the facts I was posting on the web.
  • There has been NO trial on the facts, only the Random House effort to prevent a trial.
  • The only sworn statements made under penalty of perjury are affidavits from me and my experts, nothing from RH.
  • The judge refused to consider any expert analysis.
  • Despite suing me first, Random House & Sony UNsuccessfully demanded that I pay the $310,000 in legal fees they spent to sue me.
  • Contrary to the Random House spin, I am not alleging plagiarism of general issues, but of several hundred very specific ones.
  • This is not about money. Anything I win goes to charity.

Legal filings and the expert witness reports are HERE

I have a second blog, Writopia
which focuses on Dan Brown's pattern of falsehoods
and embellishment of his personal achievements.


Friday, September 09, 2005

When Lawyers Have Class ...

Yes, it CAN happen.

My attorneys have been handling me on a contingency fee basis. They didn't do that without making a cold business decision that I have a good case. If I don't win; they don't get paid. It's the only way a small individual can take on a multi-billion-dollar global megacorp.

Yet, when I suggested that we settle things for a donation to Katrina relief -- send the lawyers' fees to the victims -- NONE of my lawyers hesitated.

THAT's class.

No hesitation to put themselves into a position where -- after burning through hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees -- they don't hesitate to do the right thing. We have a great, solid case (when given a FAIR trial) and they go ahead and make an offer that gets them exactly $quat!

That's class. That's honorable.

It's unfortunate that Random House and Dan Brown have allowed themselves to be led by the nose by lawyers who don't measure up to that standard.

But then, Random House and Dan Brown's lawyers have a conflict of interest: they want the money, so OF COURSE they'll recommend against a settlement. It's more money for them.

So now, Random House is going to burn through another quarter to half a million bucks with my appeals. Money that's better used for Katrina victims.

Class? Honorable? Not in this universe.

26 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

That's a an opportunistic approach Lew. The offer is nothing out of your pocket so it's a safe bet, not that you wouldn't donate it if you had it or get it, but the whole thing is really moot until you win isn't it?

I saw your new book front and center in Hastings out here in the Idaho sticks. Nice. Congratulations on getting that. My historian's book is up at St. Martin's: Through a Howling Wilderness by Tom Desjardin. What I read is a standard overview from the most basic of public documents, so I can't copyright that history.

I encourage you to go read the excerpt. Colburn is my ancestor. I will request a review galley by snail mail this week. We'll see what happens.

http://www.stmartins.com/search.html

Sat Sep 10, 05:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Good luck with your efforts.

One point is that I have a lot to gain with the strong case I have. A fair trial is the only thing I am asking for.

Sat Sep 10, 07:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

"The substantial similarity test has also been refined when plaintiff's work has a considerable amount of unprotectible material. Then, instead of comparing the two works from the perspective of the ordinary observer (the copyright equivalent of the reasonable person in general tort law), the "more discerning observer" is used, by which the same trier of fact manages the amazing trick of factoring out unprotectible material while still comparing the protectible elements as a whole. The purpose of this heightened scrutiny is two-fold: to avoid giving the copyright owner indirect cotnrol over unprotectible elements, while not ignoring any originality in a unified whole that nevertheless has unprotectible elements."

This looks like a new armamant in your camp from that Paltry copyrihgt blog you sent me. And me too from what I see of it. With much unprotectable material arrangement is critical. I hope you make it.

Sun Sep 11, 07:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Hmmmm ... I know that I've mentioned that, but I can't place the source. Can you help me out?

Sun Sep 11, 08:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

It's here but I don't know where he got it.

Paltry

Sun Sep 11, 10:41:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Thanks. That's an interesting post, given that he's a copyright attorney.

Mon Sep 12, 07:20:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

Looks like it could be a help with that much uncopyrightable material such as historians use. The arrangement makes all the more difference as to similarity.

Mon Sep 12, 02:44:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Exactly!

You cannot copyright the musical scale. There are a limited number of notes, but you CAN copyright how those notes are arranged.

Mon Sep 12, 03:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Somehow your suggestion that you would "settle things for a donation to Katrina relief" doesn't sit well with me.

Random House will donate to the disaster if and when they want to (seems that they did), and there is no reason why they should be put in a position of "if you do this, then I'll do this..."

Why should they settle based on your decision that a donation should be made? What if you said, I'll settle if you donate to this or that charity.

Sorry, but it doesn't make sense.

And doesn't it cost money to appeal? Why not donate that money to the Katrina relief efforts instead of asking someone else to do it?

Should all law suits be dropped to donate to someone's personal charity?

Wed Sep 14, 07:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Vanessa - it's a moot question. The appeal is on and I believe I will win.

They will spend a lot of money on this that could better be spent on people who need it.

That was my point. But it's moot, so the battle continues.

Wed Sep 14, 08:52:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

I tried to brief your case for a class and couldn't bring it up in the caselaw databases findlaw and so on, so I took on the Crichton case instead. That looks interesting and is cited in yours I believe. I don't understand the exclusion for the 2nd district log. It may have been me, but I couldn't find it.

Fri Sep 16, 06:14:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

All the filings are on the infringement litigation page.

Fri Sep 16, 06:36:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

Yeah I know but I was trying to find them on Findlaw and others. I got nothing but I wrote up the Williams v. Crichton Random House Amblin et al.

It's remarkably similar to yours. As a legal student I had to concur with the court. Williams' argument failed on scenes a faire. You should read it.

Sat Sep 17, 05:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Yes, but the similarities in Crichton were of remarkably general things and there were far, far fewer than mine.

Mine were also very specific, and we had expert testimony the judge refused to admit that showed that the things that RH asserted were scenes a faire were NOT.

Sat Sep 17, 08:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

In crichton, there were some vague thematic similarities, not at all like the hundreds of specific things taken from my work.

Sat Sep 17, 08:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

You'll have to show Brown literally copied your scenes and individual elements. I hope they can define this better than they have up to this point. So far my guy only used general historical information. I'll have to read the whole thing to know.

Sun Sep 18, 07:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Actually, Olsson's report proved this ... but the judge would not allow his information to be used.

Sun Sep 18, 08:58:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

Seems to me it's of little use intil it becomes precedent. Maybe it will?

Sun Sep 18, 09:47:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Well, the notice of appeal has been filed and we're headed all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

The facts are all there for people to see. That's never going away. People understand that Courts are often about the law and not justice ... and that those who can pay more often get their way than those who cannot.

And from that, and and the emails I have gotten, Random House and Dan Brown will never convince otherwise the millions of readers who believe I was screwed.

Sun Sep 18, 10:11:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I don't believe there are "millions of readers who believe I was screwed."

If you want to be factual and just, I don't think you should quote that number that you can't prove. Or have you done a statistical analysis or something to this nature? I haven't even see a web poll regarding this issue.

I've read lots of blogs and postings on this issue, and granted there are some people who agree with you, I don't see where you are getting your "millions". I've personnaly seen more comments that refer to the fact thay they haven't read all the books involved in this dispute.

Mon Sep 19, 07:55:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Yes, statistical. Percentages of those who HAVE read all the books in question and DO think I was screwed.

You can pick at all the nits you want, but the facts are the facts.

And one of the most telling facts is that Dan Brown will not say, under oath, that he didn'r rip me off. It's a simple thing.

Wonder why that's so hard?

Mon Sep 19, 08:11:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

That would be the sample to consider alright given the average reader test, not spread out thinly as Vanessa attempted to do. The problem is what are facts and what aren't? So far the court claims all are generic facts and arragements of them. Deciding otherwise is the big "nit."

Tue Sep 20, 06:02:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Stef said...

I cannot claim to be surprised at how this story has played out so far but I do ask myself just how much does someone have to lift from other peoples' works before a charge of plagiarism can stick?

The Da Vinci Code does read like a blatant rip off and if I see reference to its 'meticulous historical research' one more time I think I'll scream

Tue Sep 20, 06:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Mark: We believe the judge erred in that, which is the basis of our appeal.

We'll start working on that now that we've finished our response to Random House's outrageous demand that I pay them $300,000+ for the legal fees they spent suing me -- suing me for nothing more than writing about the issues online.

RH wants to make sure that free speech is very expensive for those it disagrees with.

Any other journalist or blogger should beware. If they can do it to me, then you could be next.

Tue Sep 20, 08:13:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lewis Perdue said...

Stef:

It depends on what court you are in. Here in California, the Federal Courts have found plagiarism in cases with far less than I have presented.

That's why Random House decided to fire the first shot so they could put me at a financial disadvantage AND to have the case heard in courts that are known to be friendly to publishers ... as opposed to mere author-scum.

Tue Sep 20, 11:57:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

Seems the judge rules against average reader and expert testimony. He must be neither.

As for the research, you have to know what the wallpaper looks like and describe so. Both authors here do that. One author can copy a whole it seems from another. The law allows it. At least for now which is what the beef is in point.

I have been threatened for an online commentary by a well-known publisher and columnist. He threatened to sue me, so I took it down lest I be served. I hear you on that note.

Tue Sep 20, 12:26:00 PM PDT  

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