We are always amazed when superstar authors wield the “Um, I dunno.” defense against plagiarism.
Take Dan Brown, who today had his day in court (in London) to fend off attacks from researchers who claim he pilfered their findings to create the multi-million copy best-seller soon to be rammed down every mammalian throat via Sony Pictures.
Brown’s novel defense, via Reuters?
“Presiding judge Peter Smith pointed out that in the Internet age, it was difficult for researchers to know the provenance of the material they were reading. He also questioned exactly what the central theme of The Holy Blood, and the Holy Grail was…Jonathan James, representing the historians at London’s High Court, countered: “If you are researching, it is up to you to know what source you are looking at”.
Really? ‘I found it on the Internet, so it must be fair game?’ That’s the defense?
Meanwhile, this whole case is a textbook Inverted Frey: Wherein an author purposely publishes truthful research but claims it as his own.
Since Johnnie Cochran‘s demise, we’ve run out of things to rhyme with “you must acquit” and so we have no clever catch-phrase to apply here.
We look to you, the FishbowlLA reader, to supply one that’s both rhythmic and legally apropos of nothing. As a starter, we’ll offer you, “If Christ’s kids are illegit, you must acquit!”