LeBron James and Drake are among those being sued for $10 million over the “intellectual property rights” of a hockey documentary titled Black Ice.
The New York Post reports former NBA executive director Billy Hunter has filed a lawsuit, which also names LeBron’s business partner Maverick Carter and Future among the defendants, and is seeking shared profits from the film as well as $10 million in damages.
“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 stated.
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 told the New York Post.
The news arrives just days after LeBron and Drake became minority investors in Italian soccer club AC Milan. Earlier this week, Yankee Global Enterprises, the MLB team’s parent company, and Los Angeles-based investment firm Main Street Advisors—which includes LeBron and Drake among its group of investors—were reportedly closing in on a deal to purchase the reigning Serie A champions for just over $1.2 billion.
The deal would make LeBron and Drake passive investors in Milan through Main Street Advisors, while not owning a direct stake in the soccer club.