Previous to subsequent week’s launch of the Black Ice documentary, a lawsuit has been filed concerning the movie’s mental property rights.
Per the New York Submit, ex-NBPA head Billy Hunter is suing LeBron James, Drake, Future, Springhill, and Uninterrupted Canada. Hunter alleges he owns the rights to the Coloured Hockey League, which is featured in Black Ice. He’s in search of $10 million in damages together with revenue sharing.
Billy Hunter, former longtime head of the NBA Gamers Affiliation and ex-federal prosecutor, is in search of a share of income from the documentary in addition to $10 million in damages, in an explosive grievance filed in Manhattan state Supreme Courtroom that alleges he holds the unique authorized rights to supply any movie in regards to the Coloured Hockey League that existed from 1895 to the Nineteen Thirties.
“Whereas the defendants LeBron James, Drake and Maverick Carter [LeBron’s business partner] are internationally recognized and famend of their respective fields of basketball and music, it doesn’t afford them the correct to steal one other’s mental property,” says the swimsuit filed by Hunter’s lawyer, Larry Hutcher.
Within the lawsuit, Hunter accuses defendants who embrace four-time NBA champion and MVP James and “Good for What” singer and Canadian Drake and their leisure firms of chopping a deal behind his again with the authors of the critically acclaimed e-book that the documentary is predicated on — “Black Ice: The Misplaced Historical past of the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 to 1925.”
The authors, George and Darril Fosty, are additionally listed as defendants, citing breach of contract for allegedly violating the settlement giving Hunter the rights to supply a film on the black hockey league and as a substitute understanding a aspect take care of Workforce LeBron and Drake.
The swimsuit says Hunter paid the authors a complete of $265,000 for the film rights to the story.
Hunter initially acquired an choice for Black Ice in March of 2019, a full 12 months and a half earlier than different producers reached out. Earlier this 12 months, Hunter paid to retain the Black Ice rights.
Hunter and the Fostys entered into an “choice settlement” for a film adaptation of the “Black Ice” story on March 25, 2019. He put down $10,000.
About 18 months later in October 2020, Hunter acquired a telephone name from George Fosty, who informed him the authors had been approached by different producers who needed to do a documentary primarily based on the “Black Ice” e-book — Vinamy Virmani and Scott Moore of First Leisure.
The First Leisure reps mentioned in a Zoom name they had been working with James and his Springhill firm to acquire the rights to supply a “Black Ice” documentary and had acquired partial financing from the Canadian Movie Fund for the challenge.
However Hunter “unequivocally acknowledged that this was a ardour challenge of his, and he had little interest in promoting his unique choice or any portion of his rights” to anybody else, in accordance with the swimsuit.
He additionally paid the Fostys $250,000 in February 2022 to retain “unique worldwide rights” to any “audiovisual” adaptation of the “Black Ice” story.
Black Ice isn’t simply in regards to the Coloured Hockey League, nevertheless. A July story from Deadline describes the doc as “the historical past, affect and racial dimensions of Black gamers on the ice. It covers the many years from the creation of the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes by means of the modern-day NHL.”
Options on Black Ice have additionally been created by sports activities networks, together with by ESPN a decade and a half in the past and NBC in 2021.
Black Ice is scheduled to premiere on September tenth on the Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition.[New York Post, pic via Uninterrupted Canada]