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.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Lying By Misleading Is Still Lying.

If you check out footnote 2 at the bottom of page four of the recent Random House Brief, the lawyers try to dismiss the analysis by forensic Linguist John Olsson.

Random House states that Olsson, "did not ultimately draw a conclusion of substantial similarity."

That is a deliberate, knowingly false statement. It is UNtrue, and the Random House lawyers KNEW it was a lie when they wrote it. Are there not ethical and legal prohibitions from knowingly making false statements in a legal document?

Olsson most certainly DID reach that conclusion.

Indeed, Olsson expressed his expert opinion that this was "the worst case of in your face plagiarism" he had ever seen.

Perhaps that is why Random House engaged in yet another dishonesty and tried to make it seem as if I was the source of the "blatant plagiarism" post. (see previous quote).

Again, please ask yourself why -- if their case is as good as they assert -- the Random House lawyers have to skulk through the muck of dishonesty.

The Guilty Attribute Their Own Bad Intentions To Othes

It has been my experience that people who are dishonest and sneaky are quick to accuse others of the behavior that comes natutally to them ("them" being those who are dishonest and sneaky).

So, given the distortions and misrepresentations that have become the Random House legal stock-in-trade for this case, it was ethically disappointing -- but not surprising -- that they'd try and twist yet another reality.

In a demand for recovery of legal fees, the judge is allowed to consider a financial disparity between the parties involved.

While privacy concerns made the choice difficult, my wife and I agreed to submit our most recent tax returns to illustrate that I am no financial match for the multi-billion-dollar power of Random House and its global powerhouse owner, German corporation Bertelsmann.

Page 8 of the Random House filing mocks this release of personal financial information and hints that I may have hidden assets.

As the court would see in a detailed statement, the ONLY substantial asset I have is a home I own jointly with my wife: a two-bedroom, 1,290 square-foot ranch house (valued at below the median price for Sonoma County) built in 1967 on a quarter of an acre and a $175,000 mortage and $80,000 second mortgage.

But the Random House mockery of this illustrates their arrogant, bad-faith attempt to distract from the fact that even if I were substantially more wealthy, that hardly puts me in the category with German global corp Bertelsmann with BILLIONS in income and MULTIBILLIONS in assets.

They sued me; I did NOT sue them!

If Bertelsmann can't AFFORD to sue me, then that would certainly raise bondholder eyebrows.

But, if Bertelsmann can't AFFORD to sue me,they should have thought of that before filing the papers and not try to recover after the fact. After all, I never wanted anything more than credit for my work.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Random House Lawyers Misrepresent...AGAIN!

Random House's latest set of filings

2451_001.pdf
2452_001.pdf

in their attempt to make me pay for the privilege of having them sue me is -- like all their other filings -- filled with distortions, misrepresentations, misquotes and factual errors.

There are serious mistakes on every page ... but here are a couple:

The use of quotes on page 5 ("KEY SELLING POINT" and "major publicity") make it seem as if I said those things. I did not say those things. Is it ethical to do something like this in order to create that false impression?

They also state that "Perdue cannot deny and does not deny that the "KEY SELLING POINT" for the re-launch of the work was Perdue's 'major publicity' for his accusations against Brown."

Well, I CAN and I DO DENY THAT -- my publisher felt that the book IS the original book in the genre and that readers are interested in the topic regardless of the infringement issues.

But Random House clearly tries to make reality seem different by shoving into my mouth words and intent that are provably untrue.

The same sort of thing occurs a few lines lower when the lack of attribution on another quote makes it seem as if I am the one stating the "blatant plagiarism" statement. In fact, that was a quote from forensic linguistics expert John Olsson stating his expert opinion AFTER conducting his thorough analysis.

There are many, many, many more of these and I'll deal with them in a series of posts. The Random House attorneys have whined in the filings, outraged that I have engaged in "personal attacks" on them. They will probably interpret the above as a personal attack as well.

It's not a personal attack; it's just the truth. This whole affair would be a lot better if everyone would just stick to the facts.

FACT: I didn't say those things.
FACT: They wrote the brief to make it appear as if I said those things.

You draw your own conclusion.

But you MUST wonder: if their case is as strong as they claim, why must they resort to distortions and misrepresentations.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Live Free or Die

Ironically, that's the official state motto of New Hampshire where Dan Brown lives, the Dan Brown whose publisher is trying to bankrupt me for exercising my First Amendment rights.

First Amendment rights? Remember:

-- I didn't sue them; THEY sued me.

-- I never asked them for any sort of monetary settlement. They sued me.

-- I even offered to walk away from things if they'd make a donation to rebuild the library in Gulfport, Mississippi which Katrina destroyed. They said no, then filed suit to recover their lawyer's fees.

I have a bankruptcy attorney now.

He thinks that Random House KNOWS that they don't have an honest case for going after their attorney's costs and that their attempt is a cynical manipulation of the court system so they can use a judgement against me as leverage so that I'll drop my appeal. In other words, they're using the judge to help settle the case.

Well, my First Amendment rights are not for sale and not negotiable.

NOT NEGOTIABLE. Ain't going to happen. Period.

It's obvious that Random House is desperate to keep Dan Brown off the witness stand. It's obvious by their actions that they KNOW they can't successfully get through a jury trial.

They also want 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.

Of course, that's just what they want. They want to make me an example to keep others from even thinking of seeking justice.

The First Amendment is not Random House's friend and they're using all their multi-billion-dollar global corporate might to squash it now -- when it's not convenient.

Of course, if someone tried to curb THEIR right to speech, their screams would be orbiting somewhere between Neptune and Saturn.

Live free or die. It means something to me. It means something to people in the armed forces who die, are dying and will die to defend it as one of our basic rights.

To buckle under to an arrogant, multinational corporate bully disgraces those sacrifices.

No. Hell, no.

No negotiations.

That's my answer. So don't ask.

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.

Random House Sues Me to Recover Lawyer Costs of Suing Me

Freedom of speech sure isn't free when it involves Random House.

Multi-billion-dollar global corporation Random House/Bertelsmann now wants me to pay the lawyers it hired to shut me up and deny me a trial.

Just to reiterate: Back in the spring of 2003, I began to receive emails from strangers all over the country telling me that they felt The Da Vinci Code had plagiarized my books.

I initially discounted this, conceding that different authors could write similar books. When I finally read Code in May of 2003, I was astounded and wrote to Random House with questions and asking for a discussion. I had not hired an attorney, did not anticipate litigation.

They responded with a thermonuclear fax which, among other things, made it clear that I'd face financial ruin should I proceed.

This extreme response convinced me that there must be something to my claim and prompted my search for an attorney and for better information about whether we were talking plagiarism or not.

That eventually led me to forensic linguist John Olsson and his conclusion, quoted in the NY Post on March 14, 2004,"This is the most blatant example of in-your-face plagiarism I've ever seen.
There are literally hundreds of a parallels."

Stung by public recognition that something seemed amiss with their big bestseller, Random House sued me to muzzle the discussion, keep the facts quiet, deny me a jury trial and now to ruin me financially so that I might serve as a public example of what happens to someone when they stand up for their rights.

I didn't start this legal battle. I didn't even start the public discussion – numerous ordinary readers who saw the stunning similarities brought it to my attention.

And yet, here we have highly profitable Random House -- the largest book publisher in the world -- demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars from me. To pay for legal action they started. Legal action because I dared to speak out.

Random House's documents can be found below.

Like their previous sets of documents, the filings are packed with provably false distortions, half-truths and outright fabrications of the sort already addressed in this blog's archives.

Please ask yourself: why – if they believe they have the truth on their side – that they must resort to such despicable tactics?

We have a great case. We've already filed the notice of appeal and will fight their outrageous financial demands.

And all I want is a jury to hear the evidence.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Random House lawyers today formally rejected my offer to drop my valid and well-documented infringement claim for more Katrina relief donations.

That's fine by me. We will (eventually) get a trial, and we will get Dan Brown in court under oath.

Again, I'd ask: what is Random House trying so deaperately to hide that they fear a public trial? Why will Dan Brown not testify under oath that he did NOT plagiarize me?

The rejection of my offer means that those questions WILL be answered one way or another, in court or out. Preferably both.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Isn't It Time?

I've been getting a ton of emails, much of it from the media. I can truthfully say the following:

I have no indication that RH made their donation in response to my offer. It was certainly the right thing and they have made substantial charitable donations in the past to help disaster victims and others less fortunate. Kudos!

And I know that they feel as strongly as I do about winning their side of the case. I'm prepared. My lawyers are prepared and have made me an affordable arrangement to slug this out all the way to the Supreme Court.

But somebody needs to ask whether or not this is the time to put an end to this and get on with things. I will if they will.

An Interesting Development

Publishing guru M.J. Rose emailed me last night about a post on her widely read blog, Buzz, Balls & Hype.

"Book Relief and a Curious Coincidence," she wrote.

"According to a press release issued on Wednesday, Random House also announced that they will make a $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross's Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, along with matching employee contributions to.

"In a curious note, on Saturday, author Lewis Perdue who has been suing Random and Dan Brown for plagiarism said, on his blog that if Random did exactly that he would drop his appeal."


She goes on to quote the previous post here on Da Vinci Crock and ask me for comment, but I cannot do that at this time.

Timing

Two days after we made the private offer to settle in exchange for a Katrina donation, the RH lawyers filed a demand in court asking me to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. This despite the fact that they sued ME (not the other way around) and all I had done was present the facts as best I could regarding the situation.

Remember, this stuff gets filed AFTER I've made the offer.

I would never have made them the offer had I known they were going to make such outrageous and unjustified claims.

We have filed our notice of appeal, and as I stated in an earlier blog post, we're are prepared to take this all the way to the Supreme Court.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina Relief: A Modest Proposal for Random House

Some good might be possible from the litigation over The Da Vinci Code.

While we filed our notice of appeal on Friday, I have instructed my attorneys to tell Random House that if they and Dan Brown would contribute to hurricane relief the equivalent of what they will spend on legal fees to fight my appeal, (perhaps $500,000 in cash or the equivalent in books to affected schools) I would drop my claims.

The fight would go away. I would go away, the victims would receive additional aid and Random House et.al. get the charitable deduction and the "feel good" buzz that comes from helping people in need.

I suggest that their $500,000 can be used to restock the books in the Gulfport, Mississippi public library.

For a look at the need, go to this page: wjtv.com/

scroll down until you get to "PHOTO GALLERIES " in the right-hand column.

Then click on: Gulfport, Miss.

Then, within that series of photos, go to number 24 and 25.

The library has been destroyed.

$500,000 worth of books (NOT at cover price, NOT at wholesaler price but at publisher's COST) will go a long way toward restoring this. They can put up a plaque at the new library thanking Dan Drown and RH ... much great PR, no need to mention me or why they did it.

To reiterate: if they do this, I'll withdraw the appeal and go away.

For reasons stated in earlier blog posts, we are prepared to take this to the Supreme Court.

We have an excellent chance of getting a hearing there given the vast disparities in the standards employed by courts of appeal.

Random House will not grind me down in the legal fee situation. My earlier representation was handled on a contingency fee basis and the coming appeal is based on a very reasonable cap on legal fees. I mention this to emphasize that I am ready and -- thanks to the commitment and generosity of my legal team -- to take this as far as the process will allow in my quest for a trial.

There are many who believe my legal fees (limited, capped and affordable) and that much, much, much larger amount which Random House will expend are far better spent directed to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I agree with those people.

I'm blogging this because I want Dan Brown and everybody associated with Random House at every level to know about this. I don't want it to get bottled up in a legal wrestling match with people trying to work the angles and maneuver for some sort of advantage.

The need is real, it is vital and its significance transcends this infringement issue. Yes, I still believe in my case and know that I will win once I get to a jury. But in a national catastrophe, we need to put self-interest aside and help those in need.