According to court documents obtained by The Blast, photographer Steven Mitchell is suing Lebron James and his companies Uninterrupted Digital Ventures and LRMR Ventures, LLC.
Mitchell explains, “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 law seems to favor the photographer, though establishing damages is another matter.
NBA players often post photos of themselves on social media. Teams – who typically employ their own photographers – should provide players with photos approved for distribution. That’d be an easy way around these issues.
But that’s a broader solution. LeBron will have to deal with this case.