James Cameron And Avatar Are Still Undefeated At Copyright Lawsuits
With American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club currently sitting high on moivegoers’ minds during this awards season, it’s not hard to think about what the award-nominated films will be 30 or 40 years from now. I don’t think it’s out of the question to assume some indie filmmaker will pen a script about the past three years of James Cameron’s legal dealings involving Avatar-related lawsuits. It’ll be turned into a super-dramatic movie and it’ll win something, probably in the same category as Avatar 7.
Last weekend, Cameron won yet another case, this time against Bryant Moore, who claimed Cameron had mooched some ideas from his own screenplays titled Aquatica and The Pollination, and that it was worth a $1 billion suit. Moore was the contender that lasted the longest when the Oscar-winning directed was first attacked with the three initial cases. Maryland U.S. District Judge Roger Titus ruled that Moore’s screenplays were different enough from Cameron’s screenplay and film that both were independent of the other. It’s like these guys think that someone like James Cameron didn’t spend all of his life building concepts and ideas to use at later dates, thus setting a precedent for a work’s originality.
While Moore said that someone at Lightstorm Entertainment ripped his ideas off, and thinks his scripts were leaked there by either a True Lies production assistant, a Fox employee, or possibly because he’d actually submitted the works directly to a Lightstorm exec, but there was no proof that everyone at the company had received said scripts. So Cameron offered up a story, sketches, and the 1970s film Xenogenesis as proof that the concepts he was being challenged on were already present in works of his past.
Moore’s Pollination has two groups of humans warring with each other in a big forest, while Aquatica explored a similar concept but underwater, with one evil group trying to take over the Earth. Judge Titus didn’t think the similarities were enough to count as specific infringements.
In his statement, Cameron again calls it his most personal film, and says he is “grateful that Judge Titus and the other jurists who have dealt with these cases have recognized the complete lack of merit of these offensive lawsuits.”
Luckily for Avatar fans, the sequels are finally going into production at some point in the next decade, having signed three of the principal cast members for back-to-back productions. Watch the mo-cap video below and try to picture what Moore’s face looked like when he found out he lost, and then imagine what his CGI character would look like.