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LeBron James, Drake sued for $10M over hockey film ‘Black Ice’ rights


Hoops star LeBron James and rappers Drake and Future are accused in a new $10 million lawsuit of stealing the “intellectual property rights” to a film — “Black Ice” — about the old, segregated hockey league for black players in Canada, The Post has learned.

Billy Hunter, former longtime head of the NBA Players Association and ex-federal prosecutor, is seeking a share of profits from the documentary as well as $10 million in damages, in an explosive complaint filed in Manhattan state Supreme Court that alleges he holds the exclusive legal rights to produce any film about the Colored Hockey League that existed from 1895 to the 1930s.

“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 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.”

Billy Hunter.
Billy Hunter alleges he holds the exclusive legal rights to produce any film about the Colored Hockey League that existed from 1895 to the 1930s.
Seth Wenig/AP

The authors, George and Darril Fosty, are also listed as defendants, citing breach of contract for allegedly violating the agreement giving Hunter the rights to produce a movie on the black hockey league and instead working out a side deal with Team LeBron and Drake.

The suit says Hunter paid the authors a total of $265,000 for the movie rights to the story.

The documentary, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hubert Davis, is being showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10.

“I don’t think they believed the property rights would be litigated. They thought I would go away. They gambled,” Hunter, 79, who also briefly played professional football in the 1960s, told The Post.

Scene from
“Black Ice” follows the story of the old, segregated hockey league for black players in Canada.
Uninterrupted Canada
LeBron and Drake.
Billy Hunter accuses LeBron James and Drake of cutting a deal behind his back with the authors of the critically acclaimed book that the documentary is based on.
George Pimentel/Getty Images

In a possible play on words, Hunter’s lawyer, Hutcher, said it’s “highly ironic” that James and Drake, who “cherish their brands,” would be “so cavalier” as to violate someone else’s movie rights. James started his career with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.

A longtime civil rights activist, Hunter, who is black, said he was fascinated with the story of…



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