The first responses to the Da Vinci Code story

June 6th, 2006 → 11:49 pm @ // No Comments

The first copies of the new Vanity Fair with my article on the plagiarism controversies surrounding Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code were distributed to the press today. The piece (which isn’t available online), includes new details and exclusive interviews concerning a number of charges that have been leveled against Brown, including one involving Lewis Perdue’s Daughter of God in which several copyright infringement experts side with Perdue and one in which Brown copied, word for word, from an academic paper written by an expert on Leonardo’s robot. The response thus far has been predictable. Doubleday, Brown’s publisher, once again cited rulings siding with Brown in American and British courts; a spokeswomen told The New York Times, “We have no further comment about the Vanity Fair story.” Of course, it’s no surprise that Doubleday would do whatever it can to convince people the story isn’t worth paying attention to: The Da Vinci Code has been responsible for more revenue than any other hardcover title in publishing history. But coming on the heels of the fabricated James Frey memoir—A Million Little Pieces is another Doubleday title—and coming at a time when accountability and reliability in the information industries are under fire, you’d like to think Doubleday would at least make a show of pretending to care that Brown, at the very least, lifted a passage from the work of a St. Paul robotics expert. (When the expert, Mark Rosheim, contacted Brown’s editor in 2003, Rosheim says the editor essentially told him to buzz off.) What’s a little more surprising is the response I’ve gotten so far from people who’ve written in to my website. Despite the fact that the only people who’ve read the piece are a handful of publishing reporters, Da Vinci Code fans have been sending in their hate mail. “It’s LOSERS like yourself who fail to write good literature and bash others to make yourself look good,” writes Dan from Kalamazoo. Or maybe it’s not so surprising. Just like San Francisco Giants fans who insist that, really, there’s not any proof that Barry Bonds has used steroids, Ted says he doesn’t even want to know if Dan Brown is a plagiarist. “Personally, I wouldn’t care if he copied it word for word from someone else’s work.” Good to know.

(The New York Post‘s Page Six and the Boston Herald‘s Inside Track have also weighed in on the story.)

Post Categories: Dan Brown & James Frey & The Da Vinci Code & Vanity Fair

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