Lakers point guard LeBron James is sued by a photographer named Steven Mitchell for copyright infringement. Mitchell took a picture of LeBron James throwing down a dunk over Miami centre Meyers Leonard during a match against Heat last year. The following day, James posted a cropped version of the photo on his social media account.
The photo that Mitchell is originally posted on the official Facebook page of LeBron James. The lawsuit also claims that the NBA player did not pay Mitchell for the photo or asked for permission.
Mitchell also said that he is in the process of getting all of his photos licensed to earn money. The photographer is now pressing a copyright infringement and is asking for a $150,000 compensation.
‘This is an action for copyright infringement under Section 501 of the Copyright Act. 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’, the court documents of the suit stated.
‘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’, the suit added.
Mitchell is still convinced that James violated multiple copyright violations because there is no official agreement made between both parties.
Until now, there is no response from James’ side. It was reported that the player is with his wife and children as they are quarantined in their home.
There are two legal strategies he could use in this fight against Mitchell. First, his legal team could argue that the images contain the player itself. Second, they could argue that the image fell under fair use guidelines considering that it was posted to celebrate with the fans and not for commercial use.
On the flip side, former NBA player Jason Collins confirmed that he was tested positive for COVID-19.
‘I tested positive for COVID-19. I believe I got it while on a trip to NYC at the beginning of the month for the Brooklyn Nets Pride night game. I had my first symptom on Wednesday, March 11. A few days later I had a fever and then the cough. On Saturday, I went to the ER and got tested and spoke with some docs about the tightness in my chest. I’m home now resting but still experiencing some tightness and might go back to the hospital later today’, Collins said.
As of now, there are 14 known NBA members who have contracted the virus as the league remains suspended until further notice. While the NBA is working closely with medical experts, the league is also looking for other possibilities to continue this year’s season.