British judge rules in favor of publisher of 'Da Vinci Code' in copyright case - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

British judge rules in favor of publisher of 'Da Vinci Code' in copyright case

LONDON (AP) _ A British judge ruled Friday that best-selling thriller ``The Da Vinci Code'' did not steal ideas from two authors' nonfiction book.

High Court judge Peter Smith rejected a copyright-infringement claim by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of ``The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,'' who claimed that Dan Brown's blockbuster ``appropriated the architecture'' of their 1982 book. In the United States, the book is titled, ``Holy Blood, Holy Grail.''

``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,'' Brown in a statement, adding that he was ``eager to get back to writing.''

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

Both books explore theories that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, the couple had a child and the bloodline survives. Most historians and theologians scoff at such ideas, but Brown's fast-paced mix of murder, mysticism, code-breaking and art history has won millions of fans.

``The Da Vinci Code'' has sold more than 40 million copies _ including 12 million hardcovers in the United States _ since it was released in March 2003. It came out in paperback in the United States last week, and quickly sold more than 500,000 copies, an astonishing pace for a paperback release. An initial print run of 5 million has already been raised to 6 million.
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