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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 5:25PM
When I was lying in the VA hospital with a hole blown through the middle of my life...I kept having dreams I was flying...sooner or later though, you have to wake up.  Jake, a disabled Marine, dreams of his destiny, later to find his destiny on Pandora, when he learns to fly a banchi.  What a wonderful message to the disabled that they too have a destiny.  And despite their disability, they can change the world.  Again, the movie is a blueprint for life.
Jan 24, 2013 5:19PM
I agree with the Dances with Wolves comment I also thought it seemed similar and if he did steal the movie that explains why there hasn't been a sequel

Jan 24, 2013 5:17PM
In this movie Cameron is telling young girls that sex can and should be a religious experience.  After all, Neyteri mates before her God, Eywa.  He is telling young boys that a tough marine warrior(Jake) can love Neyteri because of her faith.  What a wonderful message to tell our children.  This movie is a blueprint for life.  Just what are the other Hollywood people telling our children?  Thank you Mr Cameron for telling my daughter to find God in her intimate moments, and my son to love, respect and cherish a woman's faith.  Sure beats that Glee crap that Hollywood forces down their throats.  I saw many young girls at this movie and asked them if they had seen the movie before.  They replied they have seen Avatar several times.  Our children want this kind of influence.  Again, There is so much in this movie beyond the story alone.
Jan 24, 2013 5:03PM
Whether James Cameron might've taken even a kernel of an idea from another writer for what resulted in "Avatar" isn't really a vital artistic question.  What Cameron brought to the screen in his magnificent 3D film made other movies that year look as if they were made a century ago.  Only Cameron's brilliance as a director could've brought "Avatar" to the screen, and he'll very likely be vindicated in court.  Even dunces know that what's on the page doesn't necessarily translate to the screen, and those words never translate well without a great film director.  Literature and movies are two entirely different media, and shouldn't be held up for comparison.
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