The Blast: LeBron James Sued for $150K for Posting Photo of Himself That He Didn't Take on Social Media

Maria Varela
Mar 20, 2020
09:40 A.M.
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LeBron James is on the receiving end of a lawsuit for the use of a photo that he's allegedly not authorized to use. The photographer is suing him for $150K.

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LeBron James is facing another lawsuit after a photographer sued him for the unauthorized publication of his photo on social media.

According to The Blast, photographer Steven Mitchell has filed court documents against James and his companies, Uninterrupted Digital Ventures and LRMR Ventures, LCC.

LeBron James during a Los Angeles Lakers game at the American Airlines Center. | Photo: Getty Images

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WHAT JAMES IS UP AGAINST

The lawsuit alleges James used Mitchell’s copyrighted photo of the basketball star. It was taken during a Lakers game against the Miami Heat.

Mitchell claims the photo he took of James is licensed to him and the NBA star used it without his authorization and without paying him for it. The photo was uploaded on James’ Facebook page and received thousands of likes and close to a hundred shares.

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According to a statement in Mitchell’s court documents,

“Defendants infringed Plaintiff’s copyright in the Photograph by reproducing and publicly displaying the Photograph on the Website. Defendants are not, and has never been, licensed or otherwise authorized to reproduce, publically display, distribute and/or use the Photograph.”

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Mitchell is reportedly suing James for $150,000 for infringement. He’s also demanding an accounting of profits made from the use of his photo and expects to gain from said profit.

This is the second lawsuit slapped against James in a month. In February, his media company, Uninterrupted was named in a suit  filed in federal court along with ESPN and Nike...

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OTHER STARS WHO'VE BEEN THERE

The lawsuit is similar to those filed against Jennifer Lopez in October 2019 for using a paparazzi photo of her and her fiance, Alex Rodriguez on her Instagram stories.

This is also the case with Liam Hemsworth who was sued for copyright infringement in December and more recently, Bella Hadid for posting an unauthorized photo of herself on Instagram.

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A PREVIOUS LAWSUIT

This is the second lawsuit slapped against James in a month. In February, his media company, Uninterrupted was named in a suit filed in federal court along with ESPN and Nike for the use of the phrase “More Than An Athlete.”

The Plaintiff, Game Plan Inc., a Maryland youth group, claims they filed a trademark for the phrase, “I Am More Than An Athlete” in 2016. The phrase was first printed on T-shirts in 2017 for a game between the Washington Wizards and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Their trademark application was approved in June 2018.

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It was the same year James first used the slogan. It was in response to Fox commentator Laura Ingraham’s comments against him for dipping his feet into politics. James used the phrase on Nike clothes, an ESPN series, and an NBA 2K video game.

In reaction to the lawsuit filed against James, Uninterrupted claimed the case to be baseless and inaccurate. It also claimed it had prior rights to the slogan’s trademark.

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