If you looked closely at Peter Smith’s judgment in the Da Vinci Code infringment trial (that went in Dan Brown’s favor) you might have noticed words oddly italicized. Was it an accident? Nope, it was just the judge’s way of having fun — and inviting people to break his own little code.
“I can’t discuss the judgment,” Smith said in a brief conversation with the Associated Press, “but I don’t see why a judgment should not be a matter of fun.” And so he does: The italicized letters in the first seven paragraphs spell out “Smithy code,” playing on the judge’s name.
Lawyer Dan Tench, with the London firm Olswang, said he noticed the code when he spotted the striking italicized script in an online copy of the judgment. “To encrypt a message in this manner, in a High Court judgment no less? It’s out there,” Tench said. ”I think he was getting into the spirit of the thing. It doesn’t take away from the validity of the judgment. He was just having a bit of fun.”
Let the codebreakers begin…