'Avatar' plagiarism suit rejected by appeals court

Apr 17, 2015, 07:33 IST | PTI

Los Angeles: Director James Cameron has won the legal battle against special effect artist Gerald Morawski who claimed that the plot of his superhit film 'Avatar' was stolen from an idea he pitched to the filmmaker.

Avatar. Pic/Santa Banta 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Morawski's claim. The suit was initially dismissed in February 2013, reported Aceshowbiz.

The decision upholds a 2013 ruling from U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow, who found that although "Avatar" had some similarities to Gerald's project pitch called "Guardians of Eden", Cameron's 45-pages declaration showed that the movie was his own idea.

The appeals court noted that Cameron "presented detailed and copious evidence of independent creation. Under California law, if a defendant presents 'clear' and 'positive' evidence of independent creation, any inference of use of another's work arising from access and substantial similarity is dispelled, and a plaintiff may no longer solely rely on that inference to establish improper use."

Cameron's producing partner Jon Landau thanked the appeals court for its decision and blasted Gerald. "While it is unfortunate that a myriad of fortune-hunting plaintiffs seek to take credit for the success of our film, we are grateful that the courts have consistently seen through these grossly meritless claims," Jon said in a statement.

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