Nick Saban is not having LeBron James’ legal threats.
On Tuesday, the Crimson Tide football coach addressed a letter sent to the school by James’ digital media enterprise Uninterrupted concerning the Alabama football web series “Shop Talk.”
The “Shop Talk” debut clip released last week featured Saban alongside former Alabama players chatting in a barbershop. Here it is.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) March 27, 2018
Notice the logo with the scissor blades pointing down.
Uninterrupted produces a show called “The Shop” that features James and his friends and business partners chatting in — you guessed it — a barbershop.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) March 6, 2018
Its logo, seen in the clip above near the beginning, features a pair of scissors pointing up.
James and his partners, including Maverick Carter, who is featured in the above clip, sent a letter to Alabama claiming intellectual property rights concerning its barbershop show, ESPN reports.
“Your continued exploitation of ‘Shop Talk’ infringes ‘Uninterrupted’s’ copyright, trademark rights and other valuable intellectual property rights in ‘The Shop’ and significantly damages ‘Uninterrupted’s’ commercial prospects for ‘The Shop,’” the letter reads, in part.
The letter encourages conversation before “rushing into legal proceedings.”
So basically, James and his team seem to think they have the market legaly cornered on producing entertainment about people chatting in a barbershop. Hmmmm.
Nick Saban had a chance to respond on Tuesday in a media conference, and clearly believes otherwise.
“No, I don’t have a reaction to (the letter). I think LeBron James is a great player. There’s been at least 20 barbershop-type things I’ve seen on TV. I didn’t know anybody owned that. I didn’t even know he had one. I’m sorry that anybody could be offended by something that we were just having fun with. I enjoyed it, and we’re going to continue to do it.”
The best part of the video is when Saban figuratively drops the mic with a harumph and a curt walkoff from the podium when he’s done answering the question. It’s solid work.
LeBron addresses Alabama's "Shop Talk" and Nick Saban's comments about being unaware of Uninterrupted's "The Shop" series: "The lawyers will figure it out." pic.twitter.com/5Ovx1EAuHN
— Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) April 4, 2018
That’s exactly what I would think he would say. But I’ve built Uninterrupted for a reason, for athletes to have a platform to speak about whatever we want to talk about. I respect him as a coach, but I’ll be damned if I’ll allow someone to use our platform or try to do the same thing we’re doing and just think it’s OK. The lawyers will figure it out.
So this is just getting good.
And we’re gonna have to say we’re leaning Saban here. Like Saban, we have also seen several “barbershop-type” things on TV, in movies and otherwise.
But we’re also not lawyers, so who knows? The lawyers, probably.
Either way, we’re here for this. If the most powerful man in college football and the most powerful athlete in American sports want to play out a petty legal battle in public, then by all means, have at it.
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