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, June 13, 2006

Miscarriage of Justice

One thing that the Vanity Fair article has done is create an air of disbelief that the judge denied a trial.

Mnookin's piece clearly proved that there are many substantial issues that should have gone to trial. Even those who have no clear opinion on whether they think plagiarism is present feel that a trial should have been

Blogger North Coast Exile made a post today that is fairly typical. The lengthy post said, in part:

"Not that I agreed with Perdue, but he raised some valid points that should have been addressed by the courts. To dismiss the case out of hand was a bad decision in my opinion. But then look how the courts tried to handle Microsoft. If computer technology baffles them, do you think the publishing industry is going to be any easier?"

This is especially true when you consider that Random House sued ME and then is trying to extort more than $300,000 from me to pay their legal fees.

In addition, the judge's granting of summary judgement (to deny a trial) violates both the Second Circuit's rules and the federal court rules (Rule 56).

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals was clear in its decision:

(1) Summary judgement should NOT be granted unless there is "no genuine issue of material fact."

(2) The Court should, "resolve all ambiguities and draw all inferences in favor of the non-moving party." I am the "non-moving party."

(3) A motion of summary judgement should NOT be a decision on whether copyright infringement has taken place. "Clearly, the duty of a court on a motion for summary judgment is to determine whether there are any genuine issues of material fact to be resolved by trial and not to decide factual issues."

I wrote about this and included case citations in this previous post.

Monday, June 12, 2006

One key reason that Random House cannot afford for me to get a fair trial

From The Daily Post

I can prove Da Vinci Code tale was plagiarised
Jun 12 2006

By Ed James, Daily Post

A LANGUAGE expert from mid Wales may come face-to-face in court with Da Vinci Code novelist Dan Brown as the legal battle over the blockbuster erupts again.

John Olsson had been set to testify at the previous trial alleging that the novel-ist lifted whole sections for his bestseller from books written by Lewis Perdue.

But Mr Olsson, director of the Forensic Linguistics Institute in Llanfair Caereinion, near Welshpool, was never called.

The trial judge ruled his evidence did not form part of the case, which Mr Perdue subsequently lost.

Mr Perdue also went on to lose an appeal, leaving him with huge legal costs to pay.

Now however, he plans to fight on and take the case to the Supreme Court in the hope it will order a retrial alleging Mr Brown plagiarised his books The Da Vinci Code Legacy and Daughter of God.

If the appeal is granted, Mr Olsson's testimony will have to be considered by law.

Mr Olsson said: "It was unbelievable that the judge totally disregarded what me and others had to say, ruling that it was based on historical facts and philosophical themes which cannot be copyrighted.

"But the fact Perdue put his own spin on things - like having Da Vinci write on parchment when historically he would have used linen - which then ended up in Brown's book is in my eyes conclusive proof of plagiarism."

Mr Olsson was approached by Perdue in 2004 when the Da Vinci Code was first published.

The novel tells of a conspiracy within the Christian Church to keep secret the relationship between Christ and Mary Magdalene and a child He is said to have fathered.

The Welsh expert, who lives in Llan-fair Caereinion, is confident that Perdue would succeed in his retrial bid.

"If we're successful and the Supreme Court overturns the judge's ruling it'll set a precedent over there in the States," he said.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ahamedd Saaddoodeen.: The REAL-LIFE Puzzle in the DVCode

I received two emails this morning from France indicating that the real DVCode puzzle (as opposed to the contrived marketing stuff), is WHO is Blythe? Who is Ahamedd Saaddoodeen? Who really wrote the Da Vinci Code?

The lightly edited email, from a mathematician, offers the following (reprinted by permission):


Ahammedd = Ameddha (to praise)
Saaddoodeen= Sa'ad'ud'Din (good luck/good fortune/aid/help).

Perhaps Ahamedd Saaddoodeen is refering together as 'praising good fortune', or something along those lines. He thinks perhaps it is a hymn in a version of a bible, or a passage out of Da Vinci's note book.


The second email, from the same mathematician, offered a slightly different interpretation:

Ahameddha=to praise
Sa'ad=Felicia
ud-Din=al-Din
= (of) the religion/faith.

Perhaps the more specific message is:

To praise Felicia of the Religion (or Faith).


So, the search for answers in the real-life DVCode puzzle is on.

Publisher's Weakly

I've gotten several emails about the inaccurate and slanted coverage by Publisher's Weekly, many of them from people in the publishing industry who are not too happy to learn that their top trade publication is neither accurate nor fair.


"I must apologize to you," wrote a high-level executive at a very large publishing concern, "My impression, formed in most part from reading PW and from talking with other people who also read PW, is that you sued Random House. I never had any idea that they first filed suit against you and were now hounding you to pay their legal fees fore doing so.


"Seth Mnookin has done the entire industry a great service with his Vanity Fair piece which has actually dug beneath the surface and exposed some facts that I am sure Random House would prefer to have remained buried. I read his book on Jayson Blair and found it the only truly credible and complete account of that debacle at the New York Times.

"I am also impressed with the courage that David Morrell displayed in coming forward. My impression is that other authors have not lent you much by the way of support.

"It seems to me that you should consider writing a book on this entire affair," the writer continued. "There certainly seems to be more than enough material. You have set a good example for your son."

My response ewas:

No apologies necessary. At least not from you.

Yes, I am grateful for David's support, one of a very few in the trade who has stood with me from the beginning. I am outlining a book, probably with an attorney as co-author. As for Publisher's Weekly, it's a sad given that most trade publications -- regardless of their market segment -- are captives of the industry they cover. There are notable exceptions, but Publisher's Weekly is not one of those.

As for my son and daughter, regardless of how the fee demand goes, they have learned that it is important to put principal before material things and money. They can understand directly a little bit of the real-life meaning of Rosa Parks and the rallying cry of the Montgomery bus boycott that:"It is better to walk in dignity than ride in shame."

It is important for them to learn that there are some battles worth fighting no matter how bad the outcome may be. And good outcomes are never assured. Sometimes justice is done and sometimes not.

The rich and the poor all eventually die, but dignity lives on. And wealth never confers dignity on its owner.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Publisher's Weekly: Silence Speaks Loudly

I sent the following email yesterday to the Editor-in-Chief of Publisher's Weekly. No reply.

It's more than a little frustrating to have PW's reporting so obviously biased when it's used by many in the book trade to form their opinions in this issue ... or should I say to "misinform their opinions?"

Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2006 10:05:31
To: sara.nelson@reedbusiness.com
From: Lewis Perdue
Subject: Vanity Fair / Da Vinci Code

Dear Ms. Nelson:

PW has consistently stated (most recently June 6) that I sued Random House for copyright infringement. That is incorrect. Random House sued me.

All of my subsequent legal action has been to defend myself, primarily against Random House's written threat of punitive financial retribution against me.

In addition, if your reporters include a comment or quote from Random House on an issue of this sort, don't you think it is appropriate for your reporters to attempt some sort of fairness by contacting me for comment as well? That was not done in your June 6 article nor in any articles previously printed.

I am not asking for special treatment, just for articles dealing with me to be accurate and fair.

There is a lot to this story that runs counter to the Random House spin machine's line. Your readers might even find some of that worthwhile and interesting reading.

Thank you very much for your kind consideration. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

"Legal" Does Not Equal "Moral"

Or just.

Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller says it best:




Copyright 2006, Reprinted by permission. All Rights Reserved.



And there's no doubt which direction Random House/Doubleday has chosen: "The verdicts in favor of Dan Brown, in two United States Federal Courts and the British High Court of Justice, speak for themselves." -- Doubleday spokeswoman quoted in the New York Times.

Visit the Non Sequitur web site for more poignant observations on life's absurdities.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Publisher's Weekly: Standing Up FOR The Big Guy

I received an email from one of my European publishers with a couple of paragraphs from Publisher's Weekly about the Vanity Fair article.

Not surprisingly, the PW article has a solid quote from Random House and nothing from me. PW didn't bother to contact me. Of course not. Why should they? I'm not buying half the advertising in their magazine.

But it does illustrate the way that big money can bias reporting and public perception.

Publisher's Weekly STILL hasn't gotten things correct about who filed the lawsuit: Random House filed it, not me.

The piece emailed to me is below. It's a thin re-write of a Vanity Fair news release started by a new lead with a pro-Random House spin.

'Vanity Fair' Muses: Is There More to 'Da Vinci' Plagiarism?
by Rachel Deahl, PW Daily -- Publishers Weekly, 6/6/2006

Dan Brown and Random House may have been vindicated twice in the courts, but that hasn't stopped Vanity Fair from trying to reopen the plagiarism case against the publishing conglomerate and its star author.

A cover story set to go on stands tomorrow by former Newsweek writer (and, ironically, Random House author) Seth Mnookin called The Da Vinci Clone reexamines the lawsuit writer Lewis Perdue filed in the U.S. claiming his 2000 novel, Daughter of God, was strikingly similar to The Da Vinci Code. In what's mostly a looking-back meditation on Perdue's case—which he lost on April 11—Mnookin, who did a small piece about Perdue’s claims in 2003 for Newsweek, uncovers some odd footnotes to the drama surrounding the case against Brown.


The most interesting and eyebrow-raising tidbit involves "mysterious" e-mails Perdue received from someone called Ahamedd Saaddodeen. Perdue told Mnookin he thought the messages were being sent by Brown's wife (and chief researcher), Blythe. Skeptical, Mnookin ultimately finds, through "an independent database search," that "on at least one credit report" Saaddodeen and Blythe Brown share the first five digits of their social security numbers and a few addresses "from 1979 until very recently."


Although Mnookin's story here may be more about a man who lost everything trying to prove he was wronged in print—Perdue sank his life's savings into the legal battle—it also highlights the fact that Perdue may not have lost simply because he didn't have a case. Aside from the David and Goliath nature of the legal battle, the difficulty of proving more subtle forms of plagiarism is raised. When someone isn't lifting passages word-for-word Kaavya Viswanathan style it's decidedly harder to prove literary theft.


Doubleday expectedly had no comment on the story. A statement from spokesperson Suzanne Herz said: “The verdicts in favor of Dan Brown, in two United States Federal Courts and the British High Court of Justice, speak for themselves. We have heard from one of the most prestigious copyright districts in the U.S. courts with the appeals court ratifying their decision. Those opinions carry a lot more weight than those of Mr. Mnookin and Mr. Perdue. We have no further comment about the Vanity Fair story."

ADDED June 10, 2006:

In response to an email from Mark:

The most blatant example of inaccuracy (about which I complained but never received a response) was here:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6326589.html

"Dan Brown, the bestseller author everyone loves to sue, has won another, quieter case filed in the U.S. by Lewis Perdue, author of Daughter of God and The Da Vinci Legacy."

Also note that in this article and the most recent one, PW quotes a RH PR person, but never bothers to contact me.

Don't waste your time writing. With the advertising revenue they get from RH, they can't afford to be fair or accurate in a case like this.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Boston Paper Plagiarizes Plagiarism Story

"In a bizarre irony, HuffPo's ETP has learned that The Boston Herald plagiarized Editor & Publisher's article about Seth Mnookin's Vanity Fair article about...plagiarism. Except for the first paragraph, today's Boston Herald "Code' blue: Vanity Fair calls Brown copycat cowboy" [since taken off Globe web site] is almost identical to E&P's "Upcoming 'Vanity Fair' Article Raises New Issues About 'DaVinci Code' Author," dating from yesterday, June 6th, at 11:45 am ET. The byline on the E&P story is "E&P Staff" and the byline on the Herald story is "Inside Track," which is the Herald's gossip column."

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Self-Righteous Blather From Random House

From Publisher's Weekly:

"Doubleday expectedly had no comment on the story. A statement from spokesperson Suzanne Herz said: 'The verdicts in favor of Dan Brown, in two United States Federal Courts and the British High Court of Justice, speak for themselves. We have heard from one of the most prestigious copyright districts in the U.S. courts with the appeals court ratifying their decision. Those opinions carry a lot more weight than those of Mr. Mnookin and Mr. Perdue. We have no further comment about the Vanity Fair story'."

As documented on this blog and elsewhere, to accomplish what they have in court so far, Random House had to game the legal system and file a raft of briefs so filled with distortions, falsehoods and misrepresentations that they'd be nailed for perjury IF the briefs had been submitted as sworn testimony.

But RH did not file those as sworn statements for obvious reasons.

As pointed out previously, the only statements sworn under oath and under penalty of perjury are my two affidavits and those of two expert witnesses whose testimony would not be considered by the judge.

So the things that "speak for themselves" are the Random House legal shenanigans and their successful exploitation of loopholes that have subverted any measure of justice.

This was a lawsuit that never needed to happen and never would have happened if Random House had not filed the lawsuit . Their litigation is frivolous, vindictive and an abuse of the process.

Perhaps the law has been fulfilled, but no justice has been done.

There is a lot more to the truth yet to come out.

The Vanity Fair piece could only begin to scratch the surface, but it shows what can happen when a reporter does some independent research rather than being spoon-fed by the Random House PR machine.

Upcoming 'Vanity Fair' Article Raises New Issues About 'DaVinci Code' Author

The July 2006 issue of Vanity Fair, which is scheduled to be on the news stands in New York and L.A. tomorrow (June 13 for rest of world) , has the world's first piece on the controversy that isn't scripted all or in large part from a Random House PR handout.

Newspaper trade magazine, Publisher's Weekly, is the first to summarize Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Seth Mnookin's piece.

Travel expenses for that photo of me in Rome were courtesy of Vanity Fair.