But do we want laws to prevent the publication of self-proclaimed fiction? I'm open to argument, but I am minded to say 'no'.
It is a difficult call. Earlier this week, Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Burma protested against a film called 'Hollywood Buddha' which they said degrades the religion's founder.
"We want the release of this film stopped," monk Mawarale Baddiya told the Associated Press.
"The film scoffs at Lord Buddha, his character and his teaching."
Not having seen this film and not having read 'The Da Vinci Code', I cannot comment on their quality. But I don't believe that the subjective judgement of quality should interfere with matters of principles.
A practical illustration of where I stand is the work of T.S. Elliot. Whilst I am repelled by his anti-semitism, I would never want to live in a society that sought to ban his books; and almost as importantly I think that such censorship would be self-defeating. In the long run, there is nothing that perpetuates antipathy more than the authorities placing themselves on some moral pedestal, and dictating to us what we can or can't read or view.
As a footnote, I see the major problem in another genre altogether. Films and books that claim to be 'docudramas', or 'based on reality' allow themselves a freedom from the truth and simultaenously a freedom from many of our laws. They exploit a loophole so that they can present a portrait of people without actually having to be factually accurate.