A high court judge today rejected claims that Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code breached the copyright of an earlier book.
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh had sued publishers Random House claiming that Mr Brown's book "appropriated the architecture" of their book, The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail, which was published in 1982 by the same publishing house.
I'm not sure what "appropriated the architecture" means, but it sounds like it means "used our non-fiction book for research on his novel and made a lot more money than we did and now we're pissed about it". But then, the people who really win from the propagation of the idea that using someone's non-fiction research makes one liable for plagiarism is the lawyers on both sides. Which is to say, they're the people who really win from frivolous lawsuits.
Of course, The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail and The DaVinci Code are both based largely on an elaborate hoax perpetrated by Pierre Plantard. Maybe Plantard's heirs (he died in 2000) should sue all the authors involved for plagiarizing his original fraudulent documents.