NBA icon LeBron James, along with rappers Drake and Future, are being sued over intellectual property rights in connection with an upcoming hockey documentary they produced called “Black Ice.”
Billy Hunter, former executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, is seeking shared profits from the film as well as no less than $10 million in damages, according to the lawsuit.
“Black Ice” is about the all-Black hockey league in Canada and is based on the 2004 novel “Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925,” written by George and Darril Fosty, who are also listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
NBA icon LeBron James, left, along with rappers Drake (right) and Future (not shown), are being sued over intellectual property rights in connection with an upcoming hockey documentary they produced called “Black Ice.”
George Pimentel via Getty Images
“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 lawsuit states.
Hunter claims the Fosty brothers pieced together a deal behind his back after he paid them $265,000 to hold exclusive intellectual property rights to produce the documentary.
After confronting the authors about the deal with the “Nice for what” rapper and the Los Angeles Lakers legend, Hunter claims, the Fosty brothers contended that the documentary is a “separate entity” that wasn’t within the parameters of their agreement.
“I don’t think they believed the property rights would be litigated. They thought I would go away. They gambled,” Hunter told the New York Post.
The lawsuit lists James’ entertainment companies — The Springhill Company and Uninterrupted Canada — as defendants, along with Dreamcrew Entertainment, the co-venture of Drake and Adel “Future” Nur, the Fostys’ publishing firm, Stryker Indigo, and First Take Entertainment.
“Black Ice” is scheduled to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday.
Last July, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that James and Carter’s Uninterrupted Canada and The SpringHill Company would be spearheading the sports documentary.
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