KEY POINTS

  • A photographer has sued James LeBron for using his picture without his consent 
  • James has been asked to pay $150K for the copyright violation
  • The current NBA season has been halted because of the coronavirus outbreak

Los Angeles Lakers’ veteran LeBron James has been sued for posting his picture on Facebook without getting the permission of the photographer.

According to the court documents, photographer Steven Mitchell has taken legal action against James and his companies, Uninterrupted Digital Ventures and LRMR Ventures, LLC. Mitchell, who is in the business of licensing his photographs for money, captured James’ picture while Lakers’ NBA fixture against the Miami Heat.

“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 legal documents read.

Mitchell's suit declared that James did not have the permission to use his picture.

“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,” Mitchell’s suit explains.

According to The Blast, the photographer has decided to sue James for copyright violation and has asked for $150,000 per breach. Mitchell reportedly has also asked James to pay him for the profits the basketball player has made from the Facebook post, which received 14,000 likes and 92 shares. The photographer believes he must be paid all the revenue, income or benefits James received “as a result of its unlawful conduct.”

No fans, no play: LeBron James LeBron James and other NBA Superstars participated on a private conference call Monday (May 10) Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Harry How

Earlier, after the coronavirus outbreak, the NBA had decided to carry on with the season and the matches were supposed to be played in empty stadiums. That’s when the Lakers legend made it clear that he won’t play in the future NBA matches if the fans were not allowed to attend the games.

“We play games without fans? Nah, that’s impossible. I ain’t playing if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates, and I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. So if I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do,” James told reporters in an interview.