Sunday, December 02, 2007

RICHARD LEIGH, who unsuccessfully sued Dan Brown's publisher for copyright violation (not plagiarism), has died at the age of 64.
Richard Leigh

Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 30/11/2007 (The Telegraph)

Richard Leigh, who has died aged 64, was a co-author of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, one of the most controversial books of the 1980s; in 2006, with Michael Baigent, he lost his plagiarism case against the American Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, the spectacularly successful thriller which they claimed was based on their book.

Written by Leigh, Baigent and Henry Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail claimed to have uncovered a massive conspiracy to conceal a bloodline descended from Jesus of Nazareth that has influenced the course of European history.

The protracted court case boosted sales of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, which had stalled at 3,500 copies a year in Britain, to 7,000 copies a week, a 100-fold rise. (Similarly, The Da Vinci Code returned to the bestseller lists with sales of 20,000 copies a week.) But against their royalties windfall, Leigh and Baigent - Lincoln took no part in the case - were left with a legal bill for their failed action of about £2 million.

I can't say that he made a contribution to human knowledge, but he did help keep life interesting. Peace be upon him.