Craig Rosen has filed the following report for Stop The Presses!:
Artist Roger Dean, whose artwork graced the cover of Yes's Close to the Edge and dozens of other albums, has sued filmmaker James Cameron and 20th Century Fox, claiming that images featured in the film Avatar are a little too close to Dean's original artwork.
In the suit filed in New York late last month, Dean accuses Cameron of "willful and deliberate copying, dissemination and exploitation" of his original artwork in Avatar, which just happens to be the highest-grossing film of all time. Our inquiry to 20th Century Fox for comment on the suit wasn't immediately returned.
In the complaint, filed under the artist's full name, William Roger Dean, he's seeking more than $50 million in damages.
The suit says that Avatar's land of Pandora features "floating mountains" and "stone arches" that are copied from his paintings of the same names, and the "Hometree" from the film is copied from his "Pathways" and "Floating Jungle" paintings. "The similarities of each such work are substantial, continuing, and direct so as to rule out any accidental copying or similarity to the Plaintiff's Works that Defendants and others employed in preparation of the film must have had access to the Plaintiffs Works," says one part of the 17-page complaint.