Billy Hunter Files Lawsuit Against Lebron James, Drake and Rapper Future Over Intellectual Property Rights To ‘Black Ice’ Documentary
Former executive director of the NBA Players Association Billy Hunter has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Lakers star Lebron James, James’s business partner Maverick Carter, and rappers Drake & Future. Hunter is alleging in his lawsuit that James and the group stole “intellectual property rights” to the hockey documentary Black Ice. Hunter is seeking not only shared profits from the documentary, but also $10 million in damages.
The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, and claims that Hunter holds “exclusive legal rights” to produce any film regarding the Colored Hockey League, which existed from 1895 to the early 1930s.
“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 intellectual property,” the suit’s complaint also says.
Hunter reportedly went on to accuse George and Darril Fosty, who are authors of the book Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925 of violating his rights as well. George and Darril are also listed as defendants in the suit. Hunter alleges that the Fostys went behind his back, making a deal with the other accused defendants. The Fostys deny the allegations, claiming that a documentary does not violate Hunter’s “exclusive worldwide license.”
Thanks to his new contract-extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, James, recently became the new highest-earning player in NBA history on August 17th. James agreed to a 2-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers which pushes his career guaranteed money to $532 million. While James is not eligible for a no-trade clause due, the extension does include a 15% trade kicker and a 3rd-year player option for the 2024-25 NBA season. A trade kicker turns a specific percentage of a player’s salary into a bonus in the event of a trade. James was entering the final year of his current deal prior to the extension getting done.
Due to an established rule in the National Basketball Association’s collective bargaining agreement, James is limited to signing only a two-year extension with the Lakers. James turns 38-years-old on December 30th, and his current deal will reportedly expire by the time he’s 38 or older. James has reportedly expressed interest in playing in the NBA alongside his son Bronny James, who will be eligible for the NBA Draft in 2024.
Fox News has more HERE.