The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail authors found themselves on shaky ground in court today, as Michael Baigent retracted parts of his witness statement under cross examination. Both he and Richard Leigh, who both wrote the 1982 nonfiction work with another author, Henry Lincoln, accuse the Random House Group of breach of copyright after they say Dan Brown lifted "the architecture" of their book for The Da Vinci Code.
Pressed by RHG barrister John Baldwin this afternoon, Baigent took back parts of his statement which alleged Brown had used all of Holy Blood’s "central theme points" and that Brown had not conducted his own research. "That’s frankly wrong, isn’t it?" Baldwin said. "I concede that, yes," agreed Baigent after a pause.
Baldwin also challenged Baigent on his assertion that Brown had taken "a short cut" by copying points from Holy Blood as if it were his own. "That's not fair at all, is it?" he said. Baigent replied after a pause: "On reflection it is not."
The author also backtracked on his claim that journalists had corroborated their view of what were the 15 "central theme points" lifted from Holy Blood. Baldwin said the claim was "simply false" and that seven of the points did not appear in Brown's book. Baigent paused again before responding: "In that case you are correct. I think my language was infelicitous and I think I have to agree with you on that."
Transworld managing director Larry Finlay and Brown's editor Bill Scott-Kerr, who sat in the public gallery, looked positively gleeful at the exchange, although RH CEO Gail Rebuck remained stoney-faced in the front row next to Brown.
Baldwin also challenged Baigent on why he had signed his witness statement: "You believed [the points in question] to be true this morning, but now you accept they're all wrong." "Yes I do," he said.
He added however that whilst Brown had not reproduced all the central themes of Holy Blood point for point, he had used the "tips" of their research. "The tips have ended up in Da Vinci Code. The tips cannot have existed without the body of the iceberg."
Fonte: <a href='http://www.thebookseller.com/?pid=2' target='_blank'>The Bookseller</a>