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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 1:18PM
Good for Ryder. Of course, he will obtain more in compensation than he could have ever attained by his own resources... But this is Hollywoody...where NOTHING is really original.
Jan 24, 2013 1:17PM
There are something like 7 or 8 total plot lines that have ever existed, from Greek theater to 3D movies.  Originality in any storytelling medium can only be found by tweaking tiny pieces of these basic dramatic archs and by molding them into the modern circumstances we live in.  The power players in Hollywood are well known for stealing ideas from aspiring writers.   
Jan 24, 2013 1:09PM
Obama already said "you didn't build/write that"
Jan 24, 2013 1:07PM
um, Dances with Wolves? didn't anyone see that South Park?
Jan 24, 2013 1:04PM
You are with me now Jake, we are mated for life.....Good stuff!  Did you notice that Jake's appearance changed after he  became "Rider of last shadow"?  The mohawk hair, etc. This is directly from the 10 commandments when Moses comes down from the mountain to lead his people, and his appearance changed.  And what about those flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz?  Avatar was every great movie you ever saw.  This don't make it bad, it's what makes it 2 billion dollars.  For those of you who don't like Cameron, he was spanked enough at the oscars over this movie.  It won very little.  But it was great entertainment.  Oh, and the best picture "the hurt locker".  It stunk!  At least with Avatar, I got my 12 bucks worth.
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