Over and above the Guardian’s ill-advisedly denominating Leigh and Baignent “historians” (they’re historians in the same sense in which Lyndon Larouche is a politician), I’m intrigued and appalled at the news that the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail are suing Dan “All Facts!” Brown for stealing their ideas for his jigga-zillion-selling The da Vinci Code.
Last I checked, you couldn’t copyright “ideas,” least of all if they’re factually true. Moreover, the Brown book has revived interest in a theory that had fallen into well-deserved obscurity; if anything, Brown has helped their sales. I can only imagine that this is a publicity maneuver, the ludicrousness of which is beside the point.
But if the case signifies that HB,HG really is a work of fiction, then I suppose they could sue Brown, perhaps effectively (though their having represented it as history at the outset would hamper their case).