The judge's decision in The Da Vinci Code trial was a victory for common sense--and publishing

<p>When Random House emerged from the High Court at the end of The Da Vinci Code trial last Friday, it was with both coffers and, more importantly, honour intact. In his detailed and unambiguous ruling, Mr Justice Peter Smith cleared the publisher of breach of copyright and, by extension, Dan Brown of the implied charge of plagiarism. </p><p>Lawyers were puzzled as to why the case had been brought in the first place, and certainly the judge seemed to share their puzzlement. The widespread media coverage of the case had, in places, reflected Fleet Street's sniffy view of Dan Brown and his wo...

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