Los Angeles Lakers superstar small forward LeBron James is facing a copyright lawsuit over a cropped photograph of one of his dunks.
Per Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann, New York copyright attorney Richard Liebowitz has filed a federal complaint on behalf of Steve Mitchell, who took a picture of LeBron dunking the ball over Miami Heat big man Meyers Leonard in a game between the Lakers and Heat in South Beach back in December.
The defendants are accused of infringing’s Mitchell copyright by reproducing and publicly displaying the photograph without the photographer’s consent. Mitchell demands a jury trial to assess whether Section 501 of the federal Copyright Act was violated. He seeks damages that would reflect profits, income, receipts and other benefits derived by James and his co-defendants or, in the alternative, damages of up to $150,000 per infringement. Judge Ronnie Abrams, a former federal prosecutor and adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, is presiding over the litigation.