LeBron James, rappers Drake and Future sued over rights to hockey documentary: report
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NBA superstar LeBron James, rappers Drake and Future, and James’ business partner Maverick Carter are reportedly being sued for $10 million after allegedly stealing “intellectual property rights” to a film about the segregated hockey league for Black players in Canada entitled “Black Ice.”
The lawsuit has been served by Billy Hunter, who used to lead the NBA Players Association, the New York Post reports. He’s seeking shared profits from the film as well as the $10 million in damages.
The lawsuit, filed to Manhattan state Supreme Court, says Hunter holds “the exclusive legal rights to produce any film about the Colored Hockey League that existed from 1895 to the 1930s.”
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Drake and LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk after the NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers at Scotiabank Arena on March 18, 2022 in Toronto, Canada.
(Cole Burston/Getty Images)
“While the defendants LeBron James, Drake and Maverick Carter are internationally known and renowned in their respective fields of basketball and music, it does not afford them the right to steal another’s intellecutal property,” the suit, which the Post acquired from Hunter’s attorney Larry Hutcher, said.
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Hunter goes on further to say that a deal was made behind his back between the accused defendants and the authors of the book “Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925,” which the documentary is adapted from.
NBA Player Lebron James and Rapper Drake attend the Uninterrupted Canada Launch held at Louis Louis at The St. Regis Toronto on Aug. 2, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.
(George Pimentel/Getty Images)
The authors, George and Darril Fosty, are also defendants. Hunter claims that he paid them $265,000 for the movie rights, though the Fostys say that a documentary does not violate Hunter’s “exclusive worldwide license,” which Hunter says he acquired for $250,000.
“A documentary is still a ‘motion picture’ and an ‘audiovisual adaptation’ and any claim to the contrary is absurd and made in bad faith,” the lawsuit read.
The lawsuit has James’ The Springhill Company and Uninterrupted Canada as well as Drake and Future’s Dreamcrew Entertainment firm listed as defendants.
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to rapper Drake after the game against the Toronto Raptors on March 18, 2022 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The documentary is supposed to play at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10.
Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.