Roger Deans artwork is well known and distinctive. There are many ideas details included in his artistic style. While many of them may not be completely unique to his work, enough of them put together in the way that he does IS a violation of his copyright.
Honest question: do you say that as any
kind of expert on American copyright law?
OK, reading my post back, the use of the word copyright was a poor choice as it is steeped in legalese and subtext. I'd considered using 'artistic vision' but that just sounded wanky. I am no expert on American law.
I do, however, say that if the whale is white and the captain of the whaler is named Ahab you have a case.
Personally I think Dean will lose. I'd like him to get credit, but Cameron's legal team will be hard to beat.