I recently heard this quote attributed to T.S. (Terribly Sexy) Eliot:
"Good poets imitate, great poets steal." Hence the copious footnotes for The Waste Land I suppose! Imagine what he'd have to pay today to avoid a copyright infringement suit.
Anyhow, I'm glad Dan Brown has been let off the hook; the insanity is over. Why did it go to trial in the first place? I can guess why the suit was filed: Holy Blood, Holy Grail had fallen off the backlist sale charts. The lawsuit increased their sales 3,000% or something like that. Nice publicity stunt.