Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of "The Holy Blood and the Holy
Grail," sued Random House, which also published their book. Random House denies
Baigent and Leigh claim Brown appropriated their ideas and themes
in writing his book, which has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide since
its 2003 publication.
This is humorous to me, because when I first heard the premise behind Da Vinci Code, I said "hey, that's exactly like what it says in Holy Blood, Holy Grail." I just always assumed he used that as a source and gave credit. Apparently not.
The ironic twist to this whole story (and why I link it) is the complete debunking of Holy Blood, Holy Grail by secular and non-secular historians alike. Essentially, as far as the historicity of it, the book holds about as much weight as most conspiracy theories - i.e. none. So basically, Brown not only plagiarized, but he did it from a book of total nonsense. And he became a millionaire doing it. Let this be a lesson to you kids out there.
For a more in-depth look at both books, check out this article. Fascinating topic that I would write more on if I wasn't so busy looking for my own book to steal from.