LeBron James and rappers Drake and Future are reportedly being sued by former National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter to the tune of $10 million in damages, according to Carl Campanile and Priscilla DeGregory of the New York Post.
They are being sued for allegedly stealing “intellectual property rights” to a film about the segregated hockey league for Black players in Canada entitled “Black Ice.”
The lawsuit says Hunter holds “the exclusive legal rights to produce any film about the Colored Hockey League that existed from 1895 to the 1930s.”
He’s seeking shared profits from the film as well as the $10 million in damages.
“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.
The Black Ice documentary is based on the book, Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925, written by George and Darril Fosty. Both authors are said to be named as defendants, with Hunter alleging that they cut a deal with James and Drake behind his back after he paid $265,000 for the movie rights.
“I don’t think they believed the property rights would be litigated,” Hunter told the New York Post. “They thought I would go away. They gambled.”
The documentary is supposed to play at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10.
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