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©AP / James Cameron
© AP / James Cameron
James Cameron ordered to turn over 'Avatar' scripts in copyright battle


Director James Cameron has been ordered to hand over his draft screenplays for "Avatar" to a former employee who claims Cameron stole his idea for the blockbuster.

Bing: 'Avatar' sequels planned

Eric Ryder, who previously worked for Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment Inc. production company, filed suit against the Oscar winner in 2011, alleging the highly-successful fantasy film was based on a script he wrote for a movie called "K.R.Z. 2068."

Ryder is demanding compensation over claims Cameron used his ideas without permission and without giving him due credit, but the director insists he wrote "Avatar" five years before his accuser pitched the idea to his production company.

The long-running legal battle went back to court in California this week, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alan Rosenfield sided with Ryder by ordering Cameron to turn over the draft screenplays he wrote for "Avatar." The writer and his legal team have also been granted access to back-up discs from computers used by the director, but the judge denied Ryder's request to see the new screenplays written for Cameron's upcoming "Avatar" sequels. Ryder is seeking unspecified damages for copyright infringement and wants to be awarded a portion of the profits from the film, which grossed more than $2 billion at the global box office following its release in 2009.

Jan 24, 2013 12:41PM
You should read the book, Midworld, by Alan Dean Foster, which was written in the 1970's or so.  It's about the natives of a world who live in a tree they call, Hometree, they have a psychic connection with the animals and plant life of the planet.  Then some humans from Earth show up and find that there is a resource they want on the planet and they are prepared to kill the natives to get it.  It ends up in a huge fight and the natives and animal life of the planet fight the humans and drive them from the planet.  Does that kind of sound familiar to you?
Jan 24, 2013 12:32PM
       The first time I saw it, I told my wife it was basically a remake of "Dances with Wolves" with blue Sioux. 

       Hollywood hasn't had an original idea for decades. 
Jan 24, 2013 12:30PM
In my humble opinion, I believe every movie now copies a little from another movie, the director just tweaks it a little to make it "hier own".  Pretty much every movie made in the last 10 years use the same formula.
Jan 24, 2013 12:29PM
Jan 24, 2013 7:48AM

There are at least half a dozen movies that Avatar copied; Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, and the Colin Farrell movie about John Smith.  Cameron ripped them all off - I can't believe that flagrantly unoriginal film was even nominated for an Oscar, let alone won it.

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