September 08, 2011 2:37pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Lionsgate Sued Over Music Used in LeBron James Documentary
Lionsgate has been hit with a quirky copyright infringement lawsuit over a piece of music used in documentary More Than A Game, which chronicles basketball superstar LeBron James' rise during his high school days in Ohio.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Georgia federal court comes from Mason Hall, a songwriter who says he authored a copyrighted composition entitled, "We Ready."
Hall is suing Lionsgate as well as what may or may not be a LeBron James label at Interscope Records ("Interscope Lebron LLC") for using his composition in the film without license.
Before this lawsuit even touches upon the question of fair use, the plaintiff's first task may be convincing a judge that the song in question is really his.
During More Than A Game, James and his high school basketball teammates are shown to be chanting over and over in basic intonations the phrase, "We Ready," during the warm-up of each game. In interviews shown during the documentary, it's said that this "song" became adopted as a rallying cry for the team.
The "We Ready" tune got adopted into a rap song by YaBoy and put on the film's soundtrack. James appears in the song's music video.
But now, Hall says it's his song and it was originally recorded by Archie Eversole, Jr.
Here's the Eversole version.
Hall wants an injunction against further damage, including stopping Lionsgate from distributing the film. He's also demanding profits from the movie, punitive damages of more than $1 million or maximum statutory damages for copyright infringement.
Lionsgate and James were unavailable for comment.