Some of you know that I’m a big fan of the Scifi genre in all its forms. I first became interested in Scifi when I was very young watching Twilight Zone, The Outer limits and StarTrek with my family. It was unbelievable how those stories would unfold with suspense, drama and mayhem to keep the viewer at the edge of their seats. Those stories were well told, with imagery, and insight that kept us coming back each week to get the very life scared out of us, happily.
So when I first heard that James Cameron had been sued for ripping off the story for Terminator, one of my favorite movies, I admit I was applauded. For those who do not know, Cameron was previously sued by Harlan Ellison – who claimed that THE TERMININATOR was a rip-off of a short story he did called “Soldier”. Ellison won the lawsuit, and that’s why all current prints of THE TERMINATOR contain “With acknowledgment to the works of Harlan Ellison” before the end credits now. Incidentally, Cameron’s defense in the Ellison suit was that his idea came to him in a dream.
Now, it seems he has done it again with Avatar, one of my top ten movies of all time. A lawsuit has been brought against Cameron by a former employee, Eric Ryder, who claims that Cameron stole his idea for the blockbuster. While Cameron said that he wrote the manuscript four years before Ryder pitched his idea to the production company. With its sequel in the works, Cameron been ordered by a judge to hand over his draft to his manuscript as well as back up disk from his computers. If this is true, not only is Cameron making billions on other’s hard work, but he is also, a lair. My mother said to me as a child, if you lie, you will steal, if you steal, you will kill. Now, I don’t know what he did or didn’t do concerning this movie, but his track record is not good from my stand point.
To Cameron’s defense, just last month alone, there have been three others out there trying to sue him for stealing their idea for Avatar. With its universal theme, it’s no wonder that so many have similar stories. But does that make him a theft? It seems that at least one judge felt there was enough evidence to warrant some type of investigation into the award wining director’s business practices. Shame on you if all of this is true James Cameron.
If you would like to watch Harlan Ellison ” Soldier”
To learn more about this lawsuit