NBA Teams
Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff Writer 257d

LeBron James' UNINTERRUPTED issues letter to Alabama over copyright infringement

NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers, Alabama Crimson Tide

Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star LeBron James has an issue with University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban. It's not over something Saban said, however, but the vehicle he used to say it.

Last week, the official Twitter account for Alabama football released a trailer for "Shop Talk," with Alabama alumnus Julio Jones joining Saban and other football players for an off-the-cuff roundtable discussion in a barbershop setting.

James, on his multimedia platform UNINTERRUPTED, has previously released two installments of the web series "The Shop" and filmed a third, featuring the Cavs star with friends, business associates, and sports and pop culture figures having free-flowing conversations while getting haircuts.

On Monday, UNINTERRUPTED sent a letter to Alabama addressing concerns over copyright infringement and intellectual property appropriation.

"The Shop" was developed by James and UNINTERRUPTED co-founder Maverick Carter. Its first episode, which premiered during the 2017 NBA Finals, generated approximately 4 million views across UNINTERRUPTED.com and ESPN's YouTube channel, according to a copy of the letter obtained by ESPN.

"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 goes on to invite a conversation with Alabama before "rushing into legal proceedings."

The Crimson Tide, winners of two of the past three national championships with Saban at the helm, opened a barbershop in the football team's Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility in February and named it Bama Cuts.

Alabama's associate vice president for communications, Monica Watts, issued a statement to ESPN late Monday afternoon:

"We are in the midst of reviewing this matter, which just came to our attention this morning."

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