Most California basketball lovers are familiar with LeBron James, a top player in the NBA. The All-Star is currently engaged in a battle involving entertainment law, specifically having to do with trademarks and copyright infringements that his platform, Uninterrupted, alleges against a college football coach. James has apparently threatened litigation if the situation is not resolved to his satisfaction.
Uninterrupted launched an online series called “The Shop,” which features James and other famous athletes, business people and well-known pop culture figures. The gist of the program is that James and his guests engage in sports, music and other modern culture conversations while getting haircuts at a barber shop. Viewers listen to chats regarding best sports moments of all time, favorite music albums, and so forth.
Trouble arose, however, when University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban Tweeted a link for a trailer of an upcoming, similar show entitled “Shop Talk,” featuring himself and some of his former players having round-table-style talks in a barber shop. James came out fighting right away, sending a letter that accuses Saban of infringing his intellectual property rights. The letter clearly states that James is willing to file a lawsuit if Saban continues with his plans to launch the new show.
Intellectual property matters are complex areas of law where lines can appear very blurred as to whether one party has violated the rights of another. This is why most California residents facing similar problems turn to experienced attorneys for support rather than trying to resolve such issues on their own. Time will tell what becomes of the James versus Saban situation. In the meantime, anyone in this state with questions regarding copyright or trademark issues as they apply to videos, TV shows, concerts or other entertainment venues may seek answers by requesting a meeting with an experienced entertainment law attorney.
Source: ESPN, “LeBron James’ multimedia platform ‘Uninterrupted’ issues letter to Alabama addressing concerns of copyright infringement“, James McMenamin, April 3, 2018