Are the Cat-Like Creatures of Avatar Actually Copycats?: James Cameron Sued for Copyright Infringement

James Cameron must be pleased that Avatar is the number one grossing movie of all time because he needs that money to pay his attorneys’ fees.  Last month, the famed director, along with others involved with the movie including Twentieth Century Fox, were hit with yet another lawsuit. It seems that everyone wants to take credit for Pandora and Cameron’s mystical world as this is the fourth lawsuit Cameron has faced over the movie in the past year.


Some of the work Dean claims inspired

the look of Pandora

On June 27, 2013, artist and painter William Roger Dean filed suit in the Southern District of New York for copyright infringement and various other related claims. For decades, Dean has enjoyed success with his fantasy works, which have been featured globally. In addition, Dean has been working on creating a movie based on his work for quite some time.
In his complaint, Dean asserts that the similarities between Avatar and his own work are so substantial that they can’t possibly have happened by coincidence, further asserting that the Avatar creators must have used his images. Dean refers to specific examples of commonalities between the two works, including the general Pandora realm and the plant life and different creatures living in it.
In addition to over $50 million in damages, Dean seeks an injunction, a full accounting and a court order that Cameron infringed on his work. It should be an uphill battle for Dean as he would need to show that Cameron had both access to Dean’s work and that they are “substantially similar”.