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.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Expression, NOT Ideas!

The Internet Writing Journal is a very cool site, but like a lot of media, it seems to have gotten snared in the Random House PR machine.

It has a post about the Holy Blood Holy Grail lawsuit, and like nearly everything else printed, published or posted about that lawsuit or mine, it seems to indicate that the controversy is about "ideas" or other vague and general aspects of the infringement.

That's precsely what the Random House PT juggernaut would like people to think.

And as we've pointed out numerous times, that is NOT reality. Yes, I realize the legal filings are long and obtuse, but they are available online and clearly show the issue is about specific expression and not about general ideas and concepts.

Monday, October 24, 2005

How Sharp is the U.K. Press? How Ethical the Bar?

The Holy Blood, Holy Grail folks should pray that:

(1) British courts won't tolerate the sort of distortions and misrepresentations we've seen from Random House's American lawyers, and
(2) British journalists are not as gullible as the American media.

Because, if my experience is any indication, there is NO doubt that if ANYWHERE -- in papers or the press -- that someone on the HBHG side says that their idea was copied, then NO MATTER how much evidence is submitted regarding infringement of specific, protectible expression, the Random House lawyers will twist and distort truth and reality to make it falsely APPEAR that the copied idea is the ONLY thing being argued.

The Random House lawyers did that to me ... and the same PR machine that manufactured the DVCode bestseller phenom blanketed the world with the FALSE idea that I was trying to protect ideas, history, religious concepts etc.

Random House is soooooooooo lucky that the American media seems eager to swallow nearly anything spoon-fed to them by highly paid publicists.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Justice in the U.K. (unlike the U.S.)

Regardless of the outcome of this trial, at least the justice system in the United Kingdom has allowed a trial -- unlike the muzzling of my case before a trial could even happen.

This, despite the fact that we have an even stronger case, given the enormous body of substantial and protected similarities that we have not --so far -- been allowed to present in a trial here in the United States.

It looks as if "justice for all" has some meaning over there instead of "justice for big global corporations with deep pockets" as it seems to here.

Brown stole idea for Da Vinci Code, claim authors
By Hugh Davies
(Filed: 21/10/2005)

Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, is to face a High Court action brought by the authors of the 1982 non-fiction book The Holy Blood, and the Holy Grail, who allege that his blockbuster was based on their decade of research.

Speaking ahead of a preliminary hearing of the case next week, Richard Leigh, 62, one of the writers, said: "I don't begrudge Brown his success. I have no particular grievance against him, except for the fact that he wrote a pretty bad novel."

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

Mr Leigh, an American who has lived in England since 1974, and Michael Baigent, 57, a New Zealander, his co-author, are suing Random House, Brown's publishers, for infringement of their ideas.

They are funding the action with the proceeds of their book, which Random House has reissued in a special £20 hardback edition to cash in on the success of Brown's novel.

Henry Lincoln, 75, a Londoner who also co-wrote the book, is ill and has decided to remain out of the action.

A two-week trial is scheduled for the end of February, with both sides assembling formidable legal teams.

Read the rest of the article
By Hugh Davies

Writer's Life & Extra Features

My friend Lee Goldberg blogged about the Perfect Killer Virtual Tour. Some interesting comments about this and other items on "A Writer's Life," a most excellent writing blog.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Note To Anonymous Faxer from Exeter

Please resend the documents. They are very significant, Thank you, but the pages after page 9 are not all legible.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Short VERIFIED Synopsis of the Case

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!

Booksellers Believe

I spent a wonderful Saturday at the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) annual convention, talking, listening and signing books.

Almost everywhere I turned, booksellers came up to me and expressed their opinions that The Da Vinci Code had taken my material. Sure, some of those are private conversations, but this continued during the book signing when there were witnesses from both my publisher and NCIBA who overheard the same thing and made comment to me about that.

Yes, we're talking witnesses and we're talking "LAY READERS."

Now, if only we get a level of justice that allows the truth to be heard in court -- something Random House has spent more than $300,000 to prevent. That's a LOT of money to keep the facts from coming to light.

Once again, one can only wonder what it is that Random House is so afraid of having come out in court.

And why Dan Brown won't testify under oath that he did NOT plagiarize my work.

They filed suit against me and have spent an awful lot of money to keep those secrets.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

This is What Random House Will Destroy

Random House is screaming and scheming to destroy me so that it can chill any other author who dares to stand up to them.

But if they succeed, this (see news, below) is who will really suffer. Think they care? Uh-uh. When you're big, fat, arrogant and have no effective competition in the marketplace then a little collateral damage is okay.

============================================

First Annual Books 'n Blues Raises $15,000+
Authors, Musicians, Bidders Have Fun While Doing Good


GREENWOOD, MISSISSIPPI -- Authors and blues musicians coordinated by Myrna Collie-Lee (Mrs. Morgan Freeman) raised more than $15,000 for Katrina victims and deserving students during the first annual Books 'n Blues festival and silent auction in the Mississippi Delta on Oct. 1.

Hosted by the Viking Range Corporation at their Greenwood headquarters, Books 'n Blues began as a benefit for Communities in Schools which serves approximately 2,500 court-involved students ages 12 to 17 through artist residency and arts education programs for schools, after-school programs and Adolescent Offender Programs.

Following the Katrina devastation, Books 'n Blues dedicated half of the evening's proceeds and expanded its focus to include:

-- Providing funds to support displaced students who need to buy school supplies, textbooks and other assistance.
-- Providing funds and assistance to make sure that displaced students can comply with the vaccination requirements of their host school districts.
-- Coordinating efforts to make sure that displaced students have desks, computers and other items needed to continue their studies both in school and for home.
-- Coordinating efforts to provide after school homework study facilities for students in shelters.
-- Helping provide books and other educational enrichment.
-- Helping rebuild school libraries
-- Providing assistance and training for affected schools to enable them to create and operate their own ongoing fundraising efforts.

Books 'n Blues also prompted author Clyde Ford to start a parallel effort, "A Writer's Day of Action", which, Ford said, also helped inspire the American Bookseller's Association Special Fundraising Effort. Both the ABA and Ford's effort coincided with the Oct. 1 Books 'n Blues event.

Books 'n Blues is the brainchild of Greenwood native and New York Times best-selling author Lewis Perdue who wanted to use his donation in an entrepreneurial way to create an ongoing organization, modeled after Sonoma wine country charity events, that continue to benefit schools year after year.

The list of authors signing at the event can be found here: www.booksnblues.org/authors.shtml.