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Court hears ‘Da Vinci’ in the details

From the Associated Press

Dan Brown spent much of his second day on the witness stand flipping through thick books of documents as “The Da Vinci Code” author continued his defense Tuesday against allegations that he ripped off the ideas for his mega-selling novel.

In a small, crowded London courtroom, Knights Templar and Freemasons were out and footnotes and computer programs were in, with Brown questioned about details such as his wife’s penmanship and the word processing program he uses.

Lawyers for writers Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh -- who are suing Random House, Brown’s publishers, for copyright infringement -- picked their way through the research methods used by the author and his wife, Blythe Brown. They were trying to determine when the Browns first read their book “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” (a third author, Henry Lincoln, is not involved in the case).

Baigent and Leigh, whose book also was published by Random House, say Brown’s historical thriller “appropriated the architecture” of their 1982 nonfiction work; the American author says that assertion is “completely fanciful.”

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