Author Files Copyright Infringement Suit Against James Cameron's Avatar

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Miami author Cynthia Joyce Clay has filed suit against James Cameron for copyright infringement of her sf book Zollocco: A Novel of Another Universe: Clay vs Cameron et al 10-22203 US District Court Southern Florida. Clay claims direct line lifts and character names from Zollocco appear in Avatar.

Clay to sue Cameron for copyright infringement.

Zollocco was garnering great reviews and literary plaudits while Cameron was still in preliminary stages of working on Avatar.

Miami author Cynthia Joyce Clay has engaged local attorney William Pena Wells to litigate her claims that Cameron's motion picture Avatar is substantially drawn from Clay's novel, Zollocco: A Novel of Another Universe. According to Wells, behind the scenes negotiations with James Camerson stalled, requiring Clay to engage Attorney Wells to litigate her case, file: Clay vs Cameron et al 10-22203 US District Court Southern Florida.

In 1990, Clay sent her sf novel, Zollocco, to a Hollywood agent who sent Zollocco out to publishers. Clay says, "Zollocco was garnering great reviews and literary plaudits while Cameron was still in preliminary stages of working on Avatar."

Zollocco is set on a planet which is ruled by sentient forests and where all living things are able to communicate with the forests. The protagonist, a young woman, is stolen from a dying earth by an interplanetary corporation of another universe. She escapes the corporation in a space module and lands in a forest named Zollocco. Zollocco has plants that bloom iridescently at night; moss that reacts to her foot steps; and trees that extend their branches for her to drink the dew water they have collected. The protagonist learns to communicate with the forests, but she is hounded by the corporation which opposes the forests' rule. She escapes the corporation again, riding a pink pterodactyl. These details are some of the many striking similarities between Avatar and the earlier work by Clay, Zollocco. "There are many similarities in scenes, structure, and even names, that made people who saw Avatar comment to me on how similar it is to my book, Zollocco," says Clay.

Cynthia Joyce Clay, an award winning author, is the author of a respected book on drama theory, and has appeared on international television as a Shakespeare expert. Clay says, "Cameron has used my work, taking direct line lifts and character names, without permission or payment. So, I have to sue a fellow artist for the monies and recognition due me."

To compare Zollocco with Avatar, find Zollocco at Amazon.com as a paperback and at Fictionwise.com and at Oestara Publishing as an e-book.

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CYNTHIA CLAY

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Attorney William Pena Wells

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