U.S. District Court Judge Jesse Furman in New York tossed a copyright-infringement suit by artist William Roger Dean, who alleged Dean that the look of the “Avatar” planet Pandora and its creatures were derived from his artwork.
Dean is best known for his art on album covers for the bands Yes and Asia.
In a ruling issued Wednesday, Furman said efforts to show similiarities were “misguided” and noted many of the “Avatar” images in the suit were not taken from the film itself but from books about the movie.
Dean had sued Cameron, 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment seeking $50 million in damages. Furman found for the defendants.
“They contend that Plaintiff cannot show that a substantial similarity exists between ‘Avatar’ and the copyrightable elements of Plaintiff’s artworks,” he wrote. “The Court agrees.”
Similar suits that have been dismissed include the complaint of Emil Malak, which had alleged that “Avatar” infringed his 1998 screenplay “Terra Incognita” and a suit by Bryant Moore claiming that Cameron had used his screenplays and drawings to create the 2009 blockbuster.
Separate claims brought by Gerald Marowski and 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 in December 2016, December 2017 and December 2018.