James Cameron Didn’t Copy Look of “Avatar” from Artist
September 19th, 2014 by Michael Lee
Another lawsuit against James Cameron bites the dust. James Cameron and Twentieth Century Fox have been hit with a ton of copyright infringement lawsuits over the highest grossing movie of all time and this one by artist and painter William Roger Dean was dismissed by the judge.
It seems that everyone wants to take credit for Pandora and Cameron’s mystical world as this is the fourth lawsuit Cameron has faced over the movie in the past year. On June 27, 2013, artist and painter William Roger Dean filed suit in the Southern District of New York for copyright infringement and various other related claims. For decades, Dean has enjoyed success with his fantasy works, which have been featured globally. In addition, Dean has been working on creating a movie based on his work for quite some time.
In his complaint, Dean asserts that the similarities between Avatar and his own work are so substantial that they can’t possibly have happened by coincidence, further asserting that the Avatar creators must have used his images. Dean refers to specific examples of commonalities between the two works, including the general Pandora realm and the plant life and different creatures living in it.
As predicted by this blog, we thought this was an uphill battle and it was for Dean. The court found most of the elements, included the ones included in this article are not protectable. The court held “Plaintiff does not have a monopoly on the idea of floating or airborne land, an idea that has been around since at least 1726, when Jonathan Swift published his classic ‘Gulliver’s Travels'” Ouch. The judge found any other similarities were superficial and did not rise to the level of infringement.
Dean’s request for $50 million in damages was denied and as the victor in the copyright case, Cameron can now request the award of his reasonable attorneys’ fees from Dean.