LeBron James and Drake Hit With $10M Lawsuit Over Rights to Black Ice Hockey Film
Billy Hunter, who is former longtime head of the NBA Players Association, accuses the basketball player and the Canadian rapper of stealing the ‘intellectual property rights’ to a film about hockey.
AceShowbiz –LeBron James and Drake are currently being sued by Billy Hunter for $10 million. According to a new report, the basketball player and the Canadian rapper are accused of stealing the “intellectual property rights” to a film about hockey.
Hunter, who is former longtime head of the NBA Players Association and ex-federal prosecutor, filed the complaint against the two stars in Manhattan state Supreme Court. In the lawsuit, he claims that he holds the exclusive legal rights to produce any film about the Colored Hockey League that existed from 1895 to the 1930s.
“While the defendants LeBron James, Drake and Maverick Carter [LeBron’s business partner] are internationally known and renowned in their respective fields of basketball and music, it does not afford them the right to steal another’s intellectual property,” the suit, which was filed by Hunter’s attorney Larry Hutcher, states.
In the suit, Hunter accuses the four-time NBA champion, the “In My Feelings” hitmaker and their entertainment companies of cutting a deal behind his back with the authors of “Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925”, the critically acclaimed book that the documentary is based on.
Hunter also lists the authors, George and Darril Fosty, as defendants. He claims that the authors have violated the agreement to give Hunter the rights to produce a movie on the black hockey league even after he paid the authors a total of $265,000 for the movie rights to the story. Instead, they collaborated with James and Drake for “Black Ice“.
“I don’t think they believed the property rights would be litigated. They thought I would go away. They gambled,” Hunter told The Post. His attorney added that it’s “highly ironic” that James and Drake, who “cherish their brands,” would be “so cavalier” as to violate someone else’s movie rights.
In addition to the $10 million that he’s seeking for, Hunter wants profits from the documentary. Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hubert Davis, “Black Ice” is set to be showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.
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