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Judge Rules in Favor of ‘Da Vinci’ Writer

April 7, 2006

LONDON (AP) _ A British judge ruled Friday that best-selling thriller ``The Da Vinci Code″ did not steal ideas from two authors’ nonfiction book.

High Court judge Peter Smith rejected a copyright-infringement claim by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of ``The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,″ who claimed that Dan Brown’s blockbuster ``appropriated the architecture″ of their 1982 book.

The film, based on the book and starring Tom Hanks, opens May 19.

``It would be quite wrong if fictional writers were to have their writings pored over in the way DVC (Da Vinci Code) has been pored over in this case by authors of pretend historical books to make an allegation of infringement of copyright,″ Smith said in his 71-page ruling.

Brown said he was looking forward to focusing on his next novel.

``I’m pleased with today’s outcome, not only from a personal standpoint but also as a novelist,″ Brown said in a statement.

Random House said the case should have never made it to court.

``We never believed it should have come to court and frequently tried to explain why to the claimants,″ said Gail Rebuck, chief executive of Random House Ltd.

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