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Thread: The Da Vinci Code

  1. #111
    Organizing my sock drawer RBmumsie's Avatar
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    It's too funny - I read TDVC months ago, when it was first published Fascinating - and I immediately began researching the various points presented. I only realized that the FORT had a book thread today and was reading all of the past posts about TDVC when my b/f showed up - and it turns out that he's halfway through TDVC right now (I loaned it to him a couple of months ago).

    It'll be interesting to see how the whole plagarism accusation plays out.
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  2. #112
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    Sorry if this is all so boring to you, MasterofPuppets. But perhaps if you actually read the Perdue books you might change your mind. I found the similarities between the Perdue & Brown texts to be striking even before I found out about the allegations of plagiarism, so it wasn't as if my opinion was swayed by anyone's publicity campaign.

    Based on what I've read, I don't blame Perdue for taking legal action at all. IMO, the parallels go beyond those which would be justified by their drawing from the same body of research or what the legal folk refer to as "literary accident". Obviously there is a large, established body of work on the feminine sacred, gnostic gospels (so-called heretical texts), religious symbology in art history, etc. The book you mention, Holy Grail, Holy Blood is one of the few books Dan Brown publicly cites, but many serious Grail scholars have dismissed the 1982 book as an interesting but unsubstantiated collection of theories. But I digress.

    There are many smaller details that are echoed in Brown's book, so many that I hesitate to list them all here, as the post would indeed be quite protracted. But a few brief examples: Perdue's Daughter of God, like Brown's TDVC, contain male protagonists employed as American professors with extensive religious knowledge who team up with a female with specialized knowledge in art and symbology who are, in some way, heirs to the feminine sacred (specifically Sophia/Sophie). They are being pursued by shadowy secret societies related to the Catholic church who are prepared to take human lives in order to suppress an explosive secret. Both of the male protagonists are on the run from authorities as they are falsely accused of a murder which occurs in relation to the quest central to the book's main thrust. They each find clues hidden in works of art that lead them to further information hidden in a Swiss Bank account that must be "unlocked" by an untraditional form of key. Within the account there is a container which itself must be unlocked for further clues and instructions which will lead them to incontrovertible evidence of the existence of the feminine sacred...If I go on, I'd just be transcribing the whole book. Now, if it were the other way around, and Perdue's books had come after Brown's, wouldn't you, as my brother himself believed, that those books were "knock-offs" of TDVC?

    Finally, as for your belief that just because Brown is "a really intelligent person" you "highly doubt he'd be stupid enough to plagarise [sic] another book," when has someone's degree of intelligence ever been a guarantee of their ethical nature?
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  3. #113
    Allez les Bleus! Zaius's Avatar
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    I don't often do this, but on all points. The evidence I'm seeing definitely goes beyond just dealing with similar subject matters and the themes that come with them, and actually employs remarkably similar plot elements and specific objects and situations that are intrinsic to how the plot functions.

    I have not yet read Perdue's book however, so I'll hold off any final decision on whether I think this has passed the line of plagiarism, but let's just say it looks very likely.

    Again, I'd love to hear Brown's response to this.
    Last edited by Zaius; 06-02-2004 at 12:23 AM.
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  4. #114
    caught by the window MasterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowflakeGirl

    Finally, as for your belief that just because Brown is "a really intelligent person" you "highly doubt he'd be stupid enough to plagarise [sic] another book," when has someone's degree of intelligence ever been a guarantee of their ethical nature?
    well, I haven't read Purdue's book, so... fine, you got me there... I can't back up anything there, so I'll have to take your word for it

    but of course intelligence and ethics are correlated, someone with a higher IQ would 'often' be able to forsee possible consequences more than someone with a lower IQ... granted a whole bunch of other factors play into it as well

    but still, such blatant plagiarism just seems so... unlikely to me

    if/when it goes to court it'll be an interesting case to follow

  5. #115
    Organizing my sock drawer RBmumsie's Avatar
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    You know, I have to lean a bit towards MasterOfPuppets' thinking here. Not only Dan Brown, but his publisher would have to know that they were stealing someone else's ideas. But, maybe they thought that any possible, ensuing lawsuit could be stalled or dragged out so long that the risk was worth taking? I do know that some large corporations WILL steal ideas, patented products, etc. from a small company because they (the large corporation) knows that the smaller company will not be able to afford the long, drawn out lawsuit required for full restitution. If Brown & publisher offer an out of court settlement to Perdue, he'll possibly take it and the whole thing will die down.
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  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterOfPuppets
    but of course intelligence and ethics are correlated, someone with a higher IQ would 'often' be able to forsee possible consequences more than someone with a lower IQ...
    Okay, now we're getting a little OT, but that's just patently false. I don't want to get in an argument with you here (you can PM me if you want to "take it outside" ), but haven't you ever heard of Machiavelli? What about all the highly educated and therefore presumably more intelligent executives who head corrupt corporations like Enron? In fact, sociopathy can often be associated with people of high IQ's, who are more able to "rationalize" their crimes and wrongdoings.

    Plus, plagiarism can still occur in the most unlikely of places. I know you love music, so I'll use this example: I love George Harrison, other than John Lennon, he was my favorite Beatle, and an intelligent, talented musician. But even George was busted in the 70s for "My Sweet Lord['s]" resemblance to the Chiffons' 1963 song "He's So Fine." The court found him responsible, even though the court stated he might have not have deliberately stolen the song--bottom line, there were enough similarities between the two to constitute copyright infringement.

    In short, Dan Brown being "intelligence" just is not a good enough defense here. I'm actually more willing to accept the fact that it was "literary accident"! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed TDVC, in fact I think one reason it might have been more popular than Perdue's books is because it is written in a much more compulsively readible style. I even got Angels and Demons (the earlier Langon book) because I've heard it was better than TDVC. But from reading Perdue's books, there is a large amount of uncanny similarities that I believe are enough to constitute copyright infringement, and I think Perdue has every right to litigate. He was even offered a settlement to keep quiet, which he refused because it required a gag order. He doesn't just want to take the money and run, he wants the public to know--and wouldn't you, if you had spent so much of your life researching and writing books, only to have some other guy sweep up all the success with an incredibly similar premise?
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  7. #117
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    I finally just finished reading this. I have known most of this stuff for years , as I had studied the Tarot for a long time . The symbology tells the same story. John Rohmer (?) did a live broadcast from the basement of Rosslyn a couple of years ago re the "grail" . Thomas Jefferson , and Washington were also rumored to be heads of the same group. It's all stuff that's been kicked around.( look at the back of your dollar bill)
    From my perspective, I don't think that Brown set out to tell us anything new or "steal" anything . He just wanted to write a story. Above all , it's a novel not a factual account . You can't get in any trouble for that.

    http://www.rosslynchapel.org.uk/history/history-pt1.htm

  8. #118
    Picture Perfect SnowflakeGirl's Avatar
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    Again, I have to say the similarities go beyond being within the same body of research. I know these are ideas that have been in the public for a long time--it's why I felt Dan Brown's exposition was condescending and tedious, they're things I've known about for years too.

    Believe me, I've just finished reading Perdue and the parallels extend to plot points, story structure, characterization. That, in combination with a similar aggregation of factual foundation, is the basis of the copyright infringement here.

    I'm sorry, I realize I'm harping now, but I really feel like defending the little guy.
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  9. #119
    caught by the window MasterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowflakeGirl
    Okay, now we're getting a little OT, but that's just patently false. I don't want to get in an argument with you here (you can PM me if you want to "take it outside" ), but haven't you ever heard of Machiavelli? What about all the highly educated and therefore presumably more intelligent executives who head corrupt corporations like Enron? In fact, sociopathy can often be associated with people of high IQ's, who are more able to "rationalize" their crimes and wrongdoings
    those are exceptions... obviously the only time we hear about this on the news, etc.. is if high profile people do it..

    there's been countless studies, and in GENERAL, people with lower IQ's are more likely to commit crimes where the outcomes are obvious

    and George Harrison, it's hard to compare a low-profile album cut, to a book that's been number one on most best-seller lists for like a year. Granted both would be plagiarism and equally as wrong, but still, the outcome for Brown should be SO MUCH more obvious... it just boggles me since it seems so obviously stupid, and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt

  10. #120
    Allez les Bleus! Zaius's Avatar
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    So since it's so obviously plagiarism, then it can't be plagiarism because Brown is too smart to let it be this obvious?

    If a judge takes a look at this, I sincerely hope he ignores anybody's IQ and looks at the books and their similarities. I mean...this list is amazing:

    Spoilers:
    Click to see Spoiler:
    - A slain curator of art leaves a gold key,
    - concealed in a work of art,
    - painted on wood.
    - That work of art is named for the divine feminine at the center of the book.
    - The gold key is not a traditional key that opens a tumbler.
    - The key is left (with no instruction) for the book's heroine
    who is, herself, a symbol of and related to the divine feminine.
    - The gold key allows access (but does not turn a lock) to a safe deposit box in a Zurich bank.
    - The safe deposit box holds yet another container which has a combination that must be set.
    - The contents of the container holds additional clues to finding the object of their search that send the hero and heroine to a foreign country.
    - The object of their search is a set of bones and documents relating to the divine feminine at the heart of the book.


    Supposedly these aren't the only similarities, either.

    SnowflakeGirl, since you've read both books can you confirm if these plot points are indeed replicated?
    Last edited by Zaius; 06-04-2004 at 05:16 PM.
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