China court accepts 'Avatar' plagiarism case

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New Delhi, July 10 (ANI): A Beijing court has accepted a plagiarism case against Hollywood director James Cameron by an amateur Beijing writer over the contents of 'Avatar'.

Writer Zhou Shaomou, the general manager of a Beijing-based hi-tech business, said he spent more than seven years writing 'Tale of the Blue Crows', a novel which recounts the epic journey of six astronauts to a distant planet, home to a race of blue-skinned beings.

He said 80 percent of the plot and key elements of the movie Avatar are similar to his story, which he finished in 1997, the China Daily reported.

"I was told to go to court next Monday to provide more material," Zhou, who added he was prepared for a long battle, said.

"I don't mind. I'm OK if it takes a long time in court. And I'm even prepared that I may lose," he added.

Lu Yao, with the Beijing No1 Intermediate Court, said that it could take at least half a year for the case to be heard in court.

"Due to the fact that some accused parties are foreigners or foreign companies, it takes time to send the indictment through diplomatic channels," Lu said.

"And if they have Chinese agents, the communication with them is also time consuming," Lu stated.

This is the second time that Zhou has filed his lawsuit against 'Avatar'.

He went to the people's court in Haidian district on March 7 and asked for as much as 1 billion yuan in compensation, but he was turned down for providing insufficient material in his indictment.

But on this second attempt, he erased the sum of the compensation and reserved the right to seek economic compensation before any sentence is announced.

Zhou also sued 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, two domestic distributors in China as well as Haidian Theater, where he watched the movie, asking them to admit the copyright infringement and give a public apology.

But a staff member staff member with 20th Century Fox's Greater China Region, Avatar's distributor, told Beijing News earlier that the outline for Avatar was in place as early as 1995.

Zhou's work was said to have been written in 1997, which the staff said means copyright infringement was not possible.

"It doesn't matter that we have divergent explanations. Let's leave it to the judges," Zhou added. (ANI)

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