NBA star LeBron James Grammy-winning rapper Drake, along with their media companies, are among the defendants listed in a lawsuit alleging their involvement in the improper acquisition of “intellectual property rights” for an upcoming documentary.
according to report from New York PostFormer NBA Players Association president Billy Hunter and his attorney, Larry Hatcher, filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court over the rights of black icemovie based on the book, Black Ice: The Lost History of the Maritimes Colored Hockey League, 1895 to 1925.
In the lawsuit, Hunter, who was executive director of the National Basketball Players Association from 1996 to 2013, said he owned exclusive rights to any CHL film based on a deal he struck with the book’s authors, George and Daryl Faust, in March 2019. The deal included a $10,000 down payment. dollars and an “option agreement” to shoot an adapted film. Hunter alleges that the Fostys later violated their contract in order to reach a side agreement with James and Drake’s team; The lawsuit also alleges that Hunter paid the authors a total of $265,000 for the rights to the film, per Mail.
black ice It is set to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10 and is executively produced by James & Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, as well as James’ business partner Maverick Carter.
“While the defendants LeBron James, Drake and Maverick Carter are internationally known and well known in their respective fields of basketball and music, this does not give them the right to steal the intellectual property of others,” Hatcher said in the lawsuit. Mail.
In addition to James and Drake, Hunter also listed The James Companies, The Springhill Company and Uninterrupt Canada, In addition to Drake’s Dreamcrew Entertainment, a company he co-founded with fellow rapper Future, as defendants. The Fostys and their publishing company, Stryker Indigo, were named along with First Take Entertainment, a film production company that reportedly helped James and Springhill obtain the rights.
for every MailThe lawsuit alleges that Hunter received a call from George Fausti in October 2020 after speaking with other producers regarding outside interest in the film’s rights, including representatives from First Take and Unbroken Canada is led by Vinay Firmani and Scott Moore. At the time, Hunter stated “unequivocally that this was a passion project of his, and he had no interest in selling his exclusive option or any portion of his rights,” according to the lawsuit. But plans for a separate documentary went ahead.
The lawsuit says Hunter and his attorney subsequently filed a breach of contract letter to the defendants on November 1, 2021, after they learned of the film and Drake’s involvement as executive producer. Hutcher was then told by Fostys that the “competing project” did not violate the “exclusive global license” or the rights to the film because the “documentary” was different and did not violate the agreement, which Hutcher vehemently opposed.
“The documentary is still a ‘motion picture’ and an ‘audiovisual adaptation,’ and any claim otherwise is absurd and made in bad faith,” Hotcher stated in the lawsuit, according to Mail.
The lawsuit also alleges Hunter paid Fostys $250,000 in February 2022 to retain “exclusive worldwide rights” to any “audiovisual” modification of black ice a story. Meanwhile, James’ team reportedly offered Fostys $100,000 for the “already established” rights to produce a separate documentary and “agreed to pay 3% of the film’s total budget to the authors,” according to Mail.
“The accused are uninterrupted [Team LeBron] Paying these sums to induce the authors to breach their agreement with the plaintiff,” the lawsuit alleges, according to Mail.
As of Monday evening, neither James nor Drake has commented on the lawsuit.
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