'Reworking,' but No Theft, 'Da Vinci' Author Says
He was testifying on behalf of his British publisher, Random House U.K., in a copyright infringement suit brought by two of the three authors of a 1982 nonfiction book, "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," also published by Random House. Mr. Brown called the accusation that he copied the thematic "architecture" of that book — which, like "The Da Vinci Code," posits a conspiracy to protect the secret of Jesus' bloodline — "completely fanciful." Patrick Janson-Smith, a literary agent who was involved with both books when he was the publishing director of a division of Random House, testified that he saw similarities between them but no evidence of copying. " 'The Da Vinci Code' is "a romping piece of good fiction," he said. "Like any thriller," he added, "no doubt it took ideas from any number of sources."
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