Random House's demand for legal fees is outrageous because they started the whole legal process.
Random House has filed a number of briefs that are distorted, inaccurate and have little or no evidence to support their claims, we've provided the court with emails and documents to verify the following:
I began receiving emails from readers in the Spring (March or April) of 2003 expressing their opinions that my work had been plagiarized by The Da Vinci Code. As these emails continued, I finally read the book and was astounded at the similarities. At that point, I wrote a non-threatening, private letter to them seeking information. I mailed the letter and never got a reply.
After several weeks, I went public with their non-reply and resent the letter and also released it to the news media.
The letter is here
At the time, I was NOT represented by an attorney, had not consulted one, did not anticipate legal action and, in fact, later learned that perhaps half the items in my letter concerned things that were not protected by copyright. Experts, however, would later find hundreds and hundreds of protectible infringements
In response to my letter, RH sent a nasty reply
threatening me with financial ruin should I pursue the issue.
Random House REFUSED to discuss this PRIVATELY or rationally and slammed the door on anything other than court action. My only choice was to take them on publicly or in the courts or just let the matter of infringement drop.
Given that I didn't -- and still don't -- have the resources to sue Random House, I went public.
Contrary to RH's factually incorrect filings that I went public as some sort of campaign to sell books, the truth is that:
(a) I believed that I had been plagiarized and had specific information on which that was based.
(b) I believed that I had written the original works on the topic and,
(c) I wanted credit for my work.
I tried to discuss it privately and they refused.
At NO TIME in this entire unpleasant process did I ever ask for settlement money. At EVERY time, I would have settled for an acknowledgement such as that given to Holy Blood, Holy Grail. (Of course that didn't keep HBHG from suing for plagiarism). But Random House never knew that because they never had the good judgement nor common manners at any time simply to respond without throwing legal hand grenades.
Clearly, Random House decided this should be a legal and public issue, not me.
When you cut through the swamp of verbiage in the Random House briefs, you find their main legal argument is that my position was "objectively unreasonable." That's legalese for "frivolous" as in "filing a frivolous lawsuit."
But I didn't start this legal battle, Random House did.
Random House asserts that I had no objective reason for my lawsuit.
That position, of course, conveniently ignores the extensive work by forensic linguist John Olsson
who concluded this was the "most blatant case of plagiarism" he had ever seen.
Olsson's report, the many opinions of readers from around the world as well as research by other experts were certainly objective in that they had no stake in the outcome, had no emotional attachment to the issues and were in a position to judge things from an arm's length.
This lawsuit never had to happen and it was always within Random House's option to be rational and civilized -- a high road not taken.
And now they want me to pay their legal fees!