Alabama football coach Nick Saban was at the White House celebrating team victory this week when he told Breitbart News that a copyright challenge from LeBron James will not keep Alabama from publishing its barbershop interview web series.
While standing outside the White House West Wing alongside three Alabama players, Saban was asked whether if James’s grievance will cause him to stop filming his barbershop videos.
“Not at all,” replied Saban who added that they aren’t going to do anything illegal.
“I’m very respectful of LeBron James and the player that he is and any rights that he has, we certainly don’t want to violate any,” said Saban. He then qualified that by saying that they want to continue to have their opportunity.
Forbes writer Thomas Baker suggested that James’ cease and desist letter may have served more to elevate attention to the Alabama series than to halt it as the letter spurred an article by ESPN.
While initially entitled “Shop Talk,” similar to James’ “The Shop,” the Alabama series was renamed “Bama Cuts,” according to Forbes. Bama Cuts is the name of the actual barbershop that Alabama opened in their own Mal M. Moore athletic facility earlier this year.
ESPN published a portion of the letter sent to Alabama from UNINTERRUPTED, James’ co-founded media platform. It read, in part, “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 first episode of “The Shop” garnered around 4 million views between UNINTERRUPTED’s website and ESPN’s YouTube channel.
Alabama published its second episode of “Bama Cuts” the web series just this past week. A third installment is set to release on April 18. The series features former Alabama players and at times, Coach Saban.
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