Author Dan Brown wins copyright infringement case

Britain's Court of Appeal rejected a suit Tuesday from two authors who claimed novelist Dan Brown stole their ideas for his blockbuster novel "The Da Vinci Code." Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail," now face legal bills of about US$6 million after losing their appeal against publisher Random House Inc. Baigent and Leigh had argued that Brown stole significant elements from their book. Both books are based on a theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and had a child, and that the bloodline continues to this day. Their lawyers said Baigent and Leigh had "expended a vast amount of skill and labor" in writing their book, first published in 1982. "That skill and labor is protectable." The claimants' lawyer, Jonathan Rayner James, said that although the suit had been against the publisher rather than the author, Brown was really the one being put on trial for his work.