Recently, Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, has been getting a lot of attention. It’s not only because the movie version of the book is coming out soon but because he is being sued by two other authors.
According to this article, Brown allegedly got his idea from a 1982 book “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” which was written by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. Brown, in his defense, says that he has not even heard of the book when he wrote “The Da Vinci Code” a few years ago. Both books involve the storyline wherein… Hm. Just read the book. 😛
Part of me thinks that Brown may have gotten his ideas from the Holy Blood book. I think it’s important to establish how and when he got the idea? Can you really consider it crime if Brown just heard the story from somebody else or he read a short, short summary of the other book? The way I see it, if the “idea/storyline” is really huge and important in terms of its potential theological (as well as historical) implications, then no single entity can claim full ownership of that “idea/storyline” (Unless the Roman Catholic Church comes out with a news stating the *real* story of the historical Christ. But I doubt this.)
The other part of me thinks this.
Baigent and Leigh just want compensation for their “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” book. Assuming Brown and these two did their thorough ‘research,’ and considering the possibility that they looked at fairly the same set of sources, chances are they would come up with a fairly similar idea/storyline.
The only difference is, Baigent and Leigh did their work and wrote the book over twenty years ago. I can only imagine how difficult the whole process of coming up with that book was for them. They probably did everything manually; no Google or internet, hand-written notes, no word processing programs. And their readers were generally conservative.
Dan Brown, on the other hand, had all the conveniences of a late 1990s, technologically advanced world. But more importantly, technology (think Amazon.com) helped in marketing and “spreading the good word” for Dan Brown’s novel to more liberal-minded readers; and thus, higher demand for the book; thus, more sales (plus a movie deal at that!); thus, more profit.
In the end, it’s not about faith or religion. It’s still about money.