Sunday, March 12, 2006

The battle for free ideas

The Da Vinci Code front coverNick Cohen thinks that it's vitally important that Dan Brown successfully refutes the claims of plaigarism made over The Da Vinci Code:

How much of The Da Vinci Code is - ahem - 'borrowed' from Holy Blood, Holy Grail is the subject of the plagiarism case at the High Court in London that enters what should be its final week tomorrow. 'Too bad they can't both lose,' said Henry Kissinger about the Iran-Iraq War and I felt the same when I went to the court…

Restricting free use of ideas is the spirit of the age. Firms have claimed copyright on plants and parts of the human genome because ideas are worth more than all other assets. The World Trade Organisation recognised this when it made international acceptance of intellectual property rights one of the central aims of the drive to globalisation in the Nineties.

I hate to be the one who has to say it, but Dan Brown needs to win. If he doesn't, free thought may be stifled in the name of protecting ideas.

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