In the latest case, the federal court in Canada in Vancouver issued an order dismissing the complaint of Emil Malak, which had alleged that “Avatar” infringed his 1998 screenplay “Terra Incognita.”
After the first day of hearing on Cameron’s motion for summary judgment, Malak approached Cameron’s counsel and said he no longer wanted to pursue his claim. “After listening to the evidence, I became convinced that ‘Avatar” was independently created and accordingly I dismissed my action,” he said.
Malak, a restaurant owner, asserted that he submitted the script to Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment in 2002 and the story’s plot centered on an indigenous tribe with tails and braided hair that lives around a tree that houses their collective memories.
He sought $100 million in damages.
In January, Cameron won a victory in an “Avatar” plagiarism suit with a Maryland judge tossing out the action. The suit by Bryant Moore claimed that Cameron had used his screenplays and drawings to create the 2009 blockbuster.
Separate claims brought by Gerald Marowski and by Eric Ryder were dismissed last year on the basis Cameron independently created “Avatar.”
Cameron announced in December that he will make his next three “Avatar” films for 20th Century Fox in New Zealand. He expects the films to be released on the previously announced dates of December 2016, December 2017 and December 2018.