Fiona Crawley, a copyright expert with the law firm Bryan Cave LLP, agreed: "A victory for Leigh and Baigent would make it very difficult for novelists, particularly historical novelists. They go to source books to research the history to incorporate into their novel.
"It would call into question how they can research a historical novel without being accused of copyright infringement by the historian who has written the key work on that incident in history."
UPDATE: The judge rules in favor of Dan Brown. Baigent loses. Excellent!
In issuing his judgment, Justice Peter Smith said that Mr. Brown did indeed rely on "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" in writing a section of the book, but he said that Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, the two authors of earlier book, had failed to prove what the central theme of their book was and thus failed to prove that Mr. Brown had lifted it from them.
In fact, the judge said, the earlier book "does not have a central theme as contended by the claimants: it was an artificial creation for the purposes of the litigation working back from 'The Da Vinci Code.' "