The “intellectual property rights” of the hockey documentary Black Ice are the subject of a $10 million lawsuit against celebrities including LeBron James and Drake.
According to the New York Post, former NBA executive director Billy Hunter has filed a lawsuit, along with LeBron’s business partner Maverick Carter and Future, seeking a portion of the movie’s profits 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 book Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925, published by George and Darril Fosty, served as the inspiration for the Black Ice documentary, which will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.
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.
A few days have passed since LeBron James and Drake invested in a minor stake in the Italian soccer team AC Milan. The parent company of the MLB team, Yankee Global Enterprises, and the Los Angeles-based Main Street Advisors, which counts LeBron James and Drake among its investors, were said to be nearing an agreement to buy the defending Serie A champions for little over $1.2 billion earlier this week.
LeBron James and Drake would become passive investors in Milan through Main Street Advisors, but they would not have a direct ownership position in the soccer team.