Emil Malak's Avatar screenplay copyright lawsuit dismissed
Malak had claimed material from Terra Incognita had been used in James Cameron's 2009 blockbuster
The B.C.-based copyright infringement lawsuit against James Cameron and the creators of the 2009 blockbuster movie Avatar was dismissed in Canada's Federal Court Thursday.
In a news release sent Thursday morning, 20th Century Fox Film said that after the first day of hearings, the complainant, Emil Malak, approached Cameron's counsel and said he no longer wanted to pursue his lawsuit.
According to 20th Century Fox, Malak said that after listening to the evidence presented on Wednesday, he became convinced that Avatar was "independently created."
Outside the courtroom in downtown Vancouver, Malak had little to say.
"I have decided to dismiss my action. Please refer to the court documents," he told CBC News. "No further comment, that's it."
Malak, a Vancouver restaurateur, initiated the lawsuit in 2010. He originally filed in B.C. Supreme Court, then dropped the case before filing a similar suit in federal court.
Malak originally claimed Cameron used content from his original 1996 screenplay titled Terra Incognita, which, like Avatar, has the premise of humans who want to mine precious minerals on a planet inhabited by indigenous people who resist colonization.
Avatar tells the story of a disabled U.S. marine sent to distant world Pandora, where a war is brewing between humans trying to mine the valuable resource unobtanium, and the native Na'vi, a humanoid race trying to protect their forested land.
In court on Wednesday, lawyers for James Cameron and 20th Century Fox called Malak "deluded" and the suit, a "cash grab."
20th Century Fox Film said three similar U.S. lawsuits, where other complainants claimed their material was also the basis for Avatar, were "thrown out" last year.
With files from the CBC's Farrah Merali