Skip to Content

'A monopoly right'

8 May 2006

'The law is therefore as everyone thought it was. Unless you copy the means of expression of facts and ideas, you do not breach copyright. Nor do you do so, if you simply consult somebody's material and then do your own research. Had the judge decided differently, adaptations of others' works would have become distinctly perilous. The concept of unlawfully taking someone's central theme or ideas would be dangerously vague, leading to costly legal vetting for writers of historical fiction. Copyright is after all a monopoly right. The law has to strike a fair balance between protesting the rights of the author and allowing literary development.'

David Hooper, copyright specialist and partner at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, in Publishing News , commenting on the outcome of the Da Vinci Code case