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James Cameron accused of plagiarism


Updated: May 21, 2010, 10:57 AM IST
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James Cameron accused of plagiarism
Writer Kelly Van claimed the director has based the film on her online book

Los Angeles: Filmmaker James Cameron is facing a lawsuit after being accused of stealing the idea for his blockbuster movie Avatar.

Writer Kelly Van has claimed that Cameron based the movie on her online book Sheila the Warrior: The Damned.

However, Cameron insists he's never seen the story, but Van has filed papers alleging that both the director and the movie studio 20th Century Fox plagiarised her plot and character details.

She claims the "demeanour", "attire", "motions" and "powers/rituals" of the Na'vi characters, as well as the "settings" and "scenes" are based entirely on her work, reports imdb.com.

"It's absolutely baseless. Jim Cameron's treatment for Avatar was written before Ms. Van alleges she even started to write her book," said Chris Petrikin, spokesperson for Fox.

Van's attorney Kevin Mirch insists: "We did a lot of research, and the copyright says Avatar was copyrighted on April 1 of 2007. The date of (Van's) creation was in 2000, and it was published on the internet in 2003. Avatar was done much later."

"It's just contrary to what they said to us - which they did in a very rude manner. (Cameron's) lawyer wrote us a letter saying they would go after our law firm and our client if it wasn't dismissed immediately. To have letters that say they're going to sue us and they're going to make us go bankrupt is bad business," he said.

First Published: May 21, 2010, 10:57 AM IST
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