Sep 28, 2021
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Vancouver man to sue makers of Avatar

VANCOUVER – A Vancouver restaurant owner plans to file a lawsuit in the B.C. Supreme Court claiming copyright infringement against director James Cameron and other makers of the highest-grossing film of all time, the Academy Award-winning Avatar.

Emil Malak, 57, says the similarities between his Terra Incognita and James Cameron’s Avatar, which has made more than $2 billion worldwide, are too striking to simply be a coincidence.

The suit, to be filed on Monday, comes one day after The Hurt Locker, a low-budget film about bomb defusers in the Iraq War directed by Cameron’s ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, upset Avatar by claiming both the best director and best picture Oscars.

Malak’s lawyer Suzan El-Khatib said the claim will name, among others, Canadian writer and director James Cameron, his company Lightstorm Entertainment Inc., and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.

El-Khatib said there are both general and specific similarities in the two stories including the premise of humans going to mine precious minerals on a planet inhabited by indigenous people.

In both stories, she said, a tree is a focal point and contains the collective memories of the indigenous people. In Terra Incognita it is a Life Tree. Cameron calls it the Hometree.

Even the characters are similar, she said, with both incorporating spotted faces, long braided hair, flat noses and yellow eyes.

Malak, who owns the Bellaggio Cafe in downtown Vancouver, began thinking about his sci-fi tale in 1996 at the suggestion of his then seven- and eight-year-old sons who wanted him to write something more exciting than the opera and historical fiction he’d been working on.

He began putting pen to paper for what he calls his “children’s story” in 1997 and in the end he figures he spent $100,000 on his script.

He hired a graphic artist to draw his character designs and a screen writer to co-write the script. He took a screen writing course and first copyrighted his work with the Writers Guild of Canada in 1998. He copyrighted it with the guild nine more times between 1998 and 2003, every time he advanced the story and characters.

In a 27 Feb. 1998 note filed with his documents at the Writers Guild of Canada he wrote that he was copywriting his work because he was “afraid of the big boys.”

“I was so scared someone was going to steal it,” he said.

Malak said he believes it was October 2002 when he sent his script and graphic designs to about 20 movie studios including Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

He got no response and the script was never returned to him. Malak was stunned to learn of the similarities between his story and Avatar when the movie was released late last year.

Malak told The Province he believes that Cameron had an idea similar to his – to write about indigenous people on another planet – but there’s no way to account for stories that are up to 60 per cent similar in his opinion.

“The basic building blocks of both stories are very similar,” he said.

Source: Montreal Gazette

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Front Page, Industry News

Vancouver man to sue makers of Avatar

VANCOUVER – A Vancouver restaurant owner plans to file a lawsuit in the B.C. Supreme Court claiming copyright infringement against director James Cameron and other makers of the highest-grossing film of all time, the Academy Award-winning Avatar.

Emil Malak, 57, says the similarities between his Terra Incognita and James Cameron’s Avatar, which has made more than $2 billion worldwide, are too striking to simply be a coincidence.

The suit, to be filed on Monday, comes one day after The Hurt Locker, a low-budget film about bomb defusers in the Iraq War directed by Cameron’s ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, upset Avatar by claiming both the best director and best picture Oscars.

Malak’s lawyer Suzan El-Khatib said the claim will name, among others, Canadian writer and director James Cameron, his company Lightstorm Entertainment Inc., and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.

El-Khatib said there are both general and specific similarities in the two stories including the premise of humans going to mine precious minerals on a planet inhabited by indigenous people.

In both stories, she said, a tree is a focal point and contains the collective memories of the indigenous people. In Terra Incognita it is a Life Tree. Cameron calls it the Hometree.

Even the characters are similar, she said, with both incorporating spotted faces, long braided hair, flat noses and yellow eyes.

Malak, who owns the Bellaggio Cafe in downtown Vancouver, began thinking about his sci-fi tale in 1996 at the suggestion of his then seven- and eight-year-old sons who wanted him to write something more exciting than the opera and historical fiction he’d been working on.

He began putting pen to paper for what he calls his “children’s story” in 1997 and in the end he figures he spent $100,000 on his script.

He hired a graphic artist to draw his character designs and a screen writer to co-write the script. He took a screen writing course and first copyrighted his work with the Writers Guild of Canada in 1998. He copyrighted it with the guild nine more times between 1998 and 2003, every time he advanced the story and characters.

In a 27 Feb. 1998 note filed with his documents at the Writers Guild of Canada he wrote that he was copywriting his work because he was “afraid of the big boys.”

“I was so scared someone was going to steal it,” he said.

Malak said he believes it was October 2002 when he sent his script and graphic designs to about 20 movie studios including Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

He got no response and the script was never returned to him. Malak was stunned to learn of the similarities between his story and Avatar when the movie was released late last year.

Malak told The Province he believes that Cameron had an idea similar to his – to write about indigenous people on another planet – but there’s no way to account for stories that are up to 60 per cent similar in his opinion.

“The basic building blocks of both stories are very similar,” he said.

Source: Montreal Gazette

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Vancouver man to sue makers of Avatar

VANCOUVER – A Vancouver restaurant owner plans to file a lawsuit in the B.C. Supreme Court claiming copyright infringement against director James Cameron and other makers of the highest-grossing film of all time, the Academy Award-winning Avatar.

Emil Malak, 57, says the similarities between his Terra Incognita and James Cameron’s Avatar, which has made more than $2 billion worldwide, are too striking to simply be a coincidence.

The suit, to be filed on Monday, comes one day after The Hurt Locker, a low-budget film about bomb defusers in the Iraq War directed by Cameron’s ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, upset Avatar by claiming both the best director and best picture Oscars.

Malak’s lawyer Suzan El-Khatib said the claim will name, among others, Canadian writer and director James Cameron, his company Lightstorm Entertainment Inc., and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.

El-Khatib said there are both general and specific similarities in the two stories including the premise of humans going to mine precious minerals on a planet inhabited by indigenous people.

In both stories, she said, a tree is a focal point and contains the collective memories of the indigenous people. In Terra Incognita it is a Life Tree. Cameron calls it the Hometree.

Even the characters are similar, she said, with both incorporating spotted faces, long braided hair, flat noses and yellow eyes.

Malak, who owns the Bellaggio Cafe in downtown Vancouver, began thinking about his sci-fi tale in 1996 at the suggestion of his then seven- and eight-year-old sons who wanted him to write something more exciting than the opera and historical fiction he’d been working on.

He began putting pen to paper for what he calls his “children’s story” in 1997 and in the end he figures he spent $100,000 on his script.

He hired a graphic artist to draw his character designs and a screen writer to co-write the script. He took a screen writing course and first copyrighted his work with the Writers Guild of Canada in 1998. He copyrighted it with the guild nine more times between 1998 and 2003, every time he advanced the story and characters.

In a 27 Feb. 1998 note filed with his documents at the Writers Guild of Canada he wrote that he was copywriting his work because he was “afraid of the big boys.”

“I was so scared someone was going to steal it,” he said.

Malak said he believes it was October 2002 when he sent his script and graphic designs to about 20 movie studios including Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

He got no response and the script was never returned to him. Malak was stunned to learn of the similarities between his story and Avatar when the movie was released late last year.

Malak told The Province he believes that Cameron had an idea similar to his – to write about indigenous people on another planet – but there’s no way to account for stories that are up to 60 per cent similar in his opinion.

“The basic building blocks of both stories are very similar,” he said.

Source: Montreal Gazette

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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