LeBron James is being sued for posting a picture of himself on Facebook without first getting permission from the photographer.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, photographer Steven Mitchell is suing both James and his companies Uninterrupted Digital Ventures and LRMR Ventures, LLC for posting a photo of himself as a member of the Miami Heat, on Facebook.
“This is an action for copyright infringement under Section 501 of the Copyright Act,” Mitchell’s suit explains.
“This action arises out of Defendant’s unauthorized reproduction and public display of a copyrighted photograph of NBA basketball player Lebron James during a basketball game against the Miami Heat, owned and registered by Mitchell, a professional photographer.”
Mitchell declares that James had no authority to post the picture.
“Defendants did not license the Photograph from Plaintiff for its Website, nor did Defendants have Plaintiff’s permission or consent to publish the Photograph on its Website,” it continues.
The copyright infringement suit is reportedly seeking $150,000 in damages.
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Lakers frontman made it clear that he would not be playing in future games if officials barred fans from attending.
“We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible,” James told reporters at the time, according to the Associated Press.
“I ain’t playing if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates, and I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. So if I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”
Only a few days later, the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended the remainder of its season after a player tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) just before a game’s tip-off.
James would later clarify: “It’s funny because when I was asked the question would you play without no fans, I had no idea it was actually a conversation going behind closed doors about the particular virus.”
He continued, “Obviously, I would be very disappointed with not having the fans. That’s who I play for.”
The league made the announcement after the player fell ill just before a matchup between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunders, The New York Times reported.
Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski sent out a tweet reporting, “Brooklyn tested the team upon returning from San Francisco and results came back today. Nets paid out of pocket to a private company to conduct tests. One player awoke with some aches today; rest have experienced no symptoms.”
It has been confirmed that Kevin Durant was amongst the four players who tested positive. Since the Lakers were the last opponents of the Nets before games were suspended, they too – including James – now have to be tested as well.