Updated: Sep 6, 2022
LeBron James, Drake are being sued for $10 million over rights for hockey documentary “Black Ice.”
LeBron, Drake, Future sued by Billy Hunter over intellectual property rights to ‘Black Ice’ documentary
LeBron James, Drake and Future are among those being sued for $10 million by Billy Hunter, former longtime head of the NBA Players Association and ex-federal prosecutor, over the “intellectual property rights” of a hockey documentary titled Black Ice.
On Monday (Sept. 5.), New York Post reports, the former head of the NBPA Billy Hunter is suing LeBron James, Drake, Future, Springhill, and Uninterrupted Canada. Hunter alleges he owns the rights to the Colored Hockey League, which is featured in Black Ice. He’s seeking $10 million in damages along with profit sharing.
“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,” says the suit filed by Hunter’s attorney, Larry Hutcher.
In the lawsuit, Hunter accuses defendants who include four-time NBA champion and MVP LeBron James and “Nice for What” singer and Canadian Drake and their entertainment companies of cutting a deal behind his back with the authors of the critically acclaimed book that the documentary is based on — “Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925.”
The Black Ice documentary, which is scheduled to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10, is based on Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925, a book written by George and Darril Fosty.
Filed in Manhattan state Supreme Court, the lawsuit claims Hunter holds “the exclusive legal rights to produce any film about the Colored Hockey League that existed from 1895 to the 1930s.”
“I don’t think they believed the property rights would be litigated. They thought I would go away. They gambled,” Hunter said.