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Friday, March 5, 2010

Avatar Infringement

Here’s an interesting piece of trivia. An unknown author is suing James Cameron. The author came up with a figure of 162 million dollars he wants for copyright infringement concerning the movie ‘Avatar’. Beijing’s Zhou Shaomou claims he couldn’t get a publishing contract and released his Sci-Fi novel in 1997 on-line where supposedly ten million people have read it. You can read what similarities he’s basing his suit on here:
I doubt there’s any recourse after he put it out on-line but maybe he’s hoping Cameron will simply pay him something to go away. If Shaomou has a case I’d like to see him get paid but I’m even more interested in whether Cameron actually did base ‘Avatar’ on Shaomou’s novel. I’m thinking it’s more coincidental than anything. With Hollywood, they come out with so few original plots it can be difficult for anyone to not see something familiar in one of their movies.  :)


Bernita said...

It's in the air.
There's another Harry Potter suit too.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've got to think that most of these lawsuits are frivalous. I mean, Cameron could have paid the guy initially use the idea and had plenty of money left over. IT wouldn't have been a drop in the bucket for him so why did he need to "steal" it.

BernardL said...

You're right. Every time there's a hit, another suit pops up, Bernita.

I think so too, Charles. The article only lists blue skinned people and the travel time to the planet. The guy thinks Cameron might settle for something, I expect. He's in for a surprise if Cameron has proof otherwise because he also has plenty of lawyers.

raine said...

I had to smile at this because I'd read a post by one of my favorite fantasy artists just last week--not accusing Cameron of doing anything wrong, but a comment to fans of his who were wondering.

His name is Christophe Vacher, and he probably could've pushed the point, since Cameron had actually seen his work before the film was made (and Hollywood has pulled a fast one or two)...but I think he handled it with style.
(Sorry, I don't know how to do the linky thing on blogger, but the post is here):

Middle Ditch said...

It happens. So many writers and so many similarities, I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often. Also this is the danger by putting things online.

Actually please steal MD. I then could be in some money!

BernardL said...

Interesting post by your friend, Raine. He seems to have more basis than the Chinese author for being compensated although as he points out others have done floating rock renditions. At least he can claim to have been asked to work on 'Avatar'.

You would have a very good case for infringement, MD. That's for sure. :)