"The Da Vinci Code" Copyright Case Winds Up

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A court case in which two historians accuse Dan Brown of copying their work in his novel ``The Da Vinci Code'' is due to finish on Monday, ending one of the most closely watched copyright claims of recent years.

Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh wrote ``The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,'' a work of historical conjecture published in 1982, which shares some of the same themes as Brown's best-selling religious thriller.

Authors warn that should the historians succeed, there would be serious implications for fiction writers who have always incorporated other people's ideas and research into their works.

Legal experts say the claimants face an uphill task to protect general ideas.

``You would hamper artistic creativity if you couldn't write a novel that theorizes about a conspiracy theory,'' said Boston-based intellectual property lawyer Edward Naughton of Holland & Knight.

``That's why courts have been very wary about allowing protection of ideas that are this general.''

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