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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Reaction to Da Vinci Code ruling
Gail Rebuck
Random House's Gail Rebuck thanked Mr Brown for his "patience"
In the wake of the High Court ruling that writer Dan Brown did not copy the work of two authors for his best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, those involved in the case have given their reactions.

Their quotes appear below.

DAN BROWN, DA VINCI CODE AUTHOR:

Today's verdict shows that this claim was utterly without merit.

I'm still astonished that these two authors chose to file their suit at all.

But this decision also touches on a wider issue.

A novelist must be free to draw appropriately from historical works without fear that he'll be sued and forced to stand in a courtroom facing a series of allegations that call into question his very integrity as a person.

I'm pleased with today's outcome, not only from a personal standpoint, but also as a novelist.

Books are an important part of our culture, and this is a good day both for those who write and for those who enjoy reading.

I found the London High Court building to be a magnificent example of neo-Gothic architecture - I look forward to returning soon to view it from a vantage point other than the witness stand.

After devoting so much time and energy to this case, I'm eager to get back to writing my new novel.

RICHARD LEIGH, ONE OF THE AUTHORS WHO BROUGHT THE CASE FOR PLAGIARISM:

I think by its very nature, this case entailed a conflict between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law.

We lost on the letter of the law, I think we won on the spirit of the law, and to that extent we feel vindicated.

PAUL SUTTON, LAWYER FOR RICHARD LEIGH AND MICHAEL BAIGENT:

Mr Baigent and Mr Leigh are clearly disappointed with the judge's dismissal of their claim.

However, the judge found that Dan Brown copied from their book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail - but just not in a way that UK copyright law protects.

The judge found that their book was the essential tool for the Langdon Teabing lectures that appear in The Da Vinci Code and that [Dan Brown's wife] Blythe Brown provided the material for the Langdon Teabing lectures with their book in her hand.

The judge also found the suggestion that these lectures could have been created from other sources to be completely unsustainable.

In addition to a factual finding of copying, the judgement also confirms that the Browns had their book far earlier than Dan Brown stated in his evidence.

This is what Mr Baigent and Mr Leigh indeed suspected. The judgement is a substantial document which will require further careful consideration.

Mr Baigent and Mr Leigh remain committed to their case and are expected to appeal against the decision once they have fully digested the judgement in collaboration with their advisers.

GAIL REBUCK, RANDOM HOUSE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE:

We welcome today's judgement and at Random House we are pleased that justice - and common sense - have prevailed.

It is highly unusual and very sad that these authors chose to sue their publishers, especially after 20 successful years.

This case has been extremely distressing for all concerned. We never believed it should have come to court - and frequently tried to explain why to the claimants.

Copyright law tries to strike a fair balance between protecting the rights of authors and allowing literary freedom.

Happily, today's judgement ensures that novelists remain free to draw on ideas and historical research.

This is very important for the future of creative writing in the UK.

Finally, I would like to thank Dan Brown for his patience and terrific support, and our legal team who have worked tirelessly on this case.

JONATHAN CLOWES LTD, LITERARY AGENCY REPRESENTING RICHARD LEIGH AND MICHAEL BAIGENT

Mr Baigent and Mr Leigh are clearly disappointed with the result. However, they intend to appeal as Mr Justice Peter Smith did find that as a matter of fact Mr Brown copied from their book The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail in writing The Da Vinci Code, but just not in a way that UK law protects.

SONY PICTURES, WHICH IS PRODUCING THE DA VINCI CODE MOVIE:

While we were not a party to this lawsuit, we are pleased by this result and as we've been saying all along we are proceeding with our plans for the release of the film on 19 May.



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