As most of my readers know, I have been following the copyright case pitting Roger Dean, the artist for the progressive rock band Yes (and other bands) against James Cameron, the creator of the movie Avatar and other films (the case is in the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York and assigned the case number 1:13-cv-04479-JMF). I have written on this subject before which you can read here.
The last time I posted on this issue, which you can see here, I reported that Mr. Dean’s case against Mr. Cameron was dismissed by the Court pursuant to a Motion to Dismiss filed by Mr. Cameron. When I shared this news with my Yes-fan cohorts across the internet, there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth over what they believed to be the injustice of the court system in dismissing Mr. Dean’s claims. They believe, much like Mr. Dean, me, and many others, that the look of Avatar clearly seems more than inspired by the look of Mr. Dean’s art (you can see side-by-side pictures of Avatar and Mr. Dean’s work here to make up your own mind).
I am not a copyright lawyer, so while I understand some of the legal issues presented in Mr. Dean’s case, some of it is a little beyond my areas of practice and my scope of knowledge. As it happens, one of my friends, Anthony Verna, Esquire, (of Kravitz & Verna) is a reputable copyright lawyer in New York where Mr. Dean’s case was filed. Mr. Verna is also the host of a copyright law podcast called Law and Business and took the time to look at the court documents associated with Mr. Dean’s case to share his views and shed some light on them in a podcast recorded on September 25, 2014. Not only that, Mr. Verna was nice enough to include me in that podcast, I guess as a resident Yes-and-Roger-Dean-fan-lawyer! I have never done a podcast before, and I have to say that it was a lot of fun and I hope I am invited to do it again!
As I said above, the name of the podcast is Law and Business and you can find the main podcast site here. The podcast featuring me discussing Mr. Dean’s case against Mr. Cameron can be found here. Happy Listening!