Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Smith Code

Ya gotta love a judge who courts fun in a ruling.

The judge who cleared Dan Brown of plagiarising the plot of his bestseller The Da Vinci Code has left his own secret message in the ruling.

Justice Peter Smith, who ruled earlier this month that Brown did not steal his plot ideas from an earlier non-fiction work, published his 71-page judgment with a seemingly random series of italicisations throughout.


Justice Smith, who could not be reached for comment this evening, told Bloomberg in an interview today that the code was genuine, calling it "a bit of fun."

Well, Smith certainly seduced me: I downloaded that .pdf in a New York minute. Alas, I think it'll take more time than that to read the ruling.

Any good codebreakers out there?

Update: The Times' law-blogger says he's broken the code and wants you to share you what you discover here.

I love this line from the blog: "This will undoubtedly attract unfair criticism from some of the more stuffy and staid members of the legal profession."

It sort of reminds me of something that a certain well-known, stateside blogger would write.

Lawyer-type readers, can you think of a U.S. judge who might do something like this?