Shipwreck Images Property of NC


North Carolina Law Claims Shipwreck Images, Video & Documentary Materials In Its Custody Are NC Property

On August 18, 2015 NC Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 184 (Section 121-25 (b)), into law (SL 2015-218). “Blackbeard’s Law,” originally proposed by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR), makes;Titanic_wreck_bow

“All photographs, video recordings, or other documentary materials of a derelict vessel or shipwreck or its contents, relics, artifacts, or historic materials in the custody of any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall be a public record pursuant to G.S. 132-1. There shall be no limitation on the use of or no requirement to alter any such photograph, video recordings, or other documentary material, and any such provision in any agreement, permit, or license shall be void and unenforceable as a matter of public policy.”

NC HB 184

In July of 2016 the North Carolina Legislature, in H1030, amended “Blackbeard’s Law” to read, “All photographs, video recordings, or other documentary materials of a derelict vessel or shipwreck or its contents, relics, artifacts, or historic materials in the custody of any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall be a public record pursuant to Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.” The change dropped the “no limitation on the use of or no requirement to alter any such photograph, video recordings, or other documentary material, and any such provision in any agreement, permit, or license shall be void and unenforceable as a matter of public policy” section of the law.

References
NC Legislature Links – HB184 (NCLeg page) & H1030 (NCLeg page).


Modern Day Piracy on the Queen Anne’s Revenge

On December 1, 2015, Nautilus Productions, which has spent almost two decades documenting the retrieval of Blackbeard’s pirate flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, filed a Federal lawsuit against Gov. Pat McCrory, the State of North Carolina, the Friends of Queen Anne’s Revenge nonprofit, and others, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina over Blackbeard’s Law and copyright infringement. Another lawsuit against North Carolina, filed by Intersal, Inc. which found the Queen Anne’s Revenge, is pending in state business court.

UPDATE: On March 14, 2016 the Friends of Queen Anne’s Revenge nonprofit in Beaufort, NC registered it’s destruction filing with the North Carolina Secretary of State and was officially dissolved.

UPDATE: On March 23, 2017 U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle rules the lawsuit for copyright infringement and for a declaration of the statute’s invalidity will move forward in Federal court.

Lawsuit/Amended ComplaintAmended Complaint, 5:15-cv-627

2013 Settlement AgreementMediated Settlement Agreement Signed w/1998 Memorandum of Agreement

Friends of Queen Anne’s Revenge (FoQAR) nonprofitArticles of Dissolution, State Filings, 2013 NCDNCR FOQAR MOA, 2013 NCDNCR FOQAR Revised MOA, 2015 NCDNCR FOQAR MOA


Press

Videographer sues NC over rights to Blackbeard shipwreck footage – News & Observer

Photographer suing state over Blackbeard footage – WRAL-TV

Fayetteville company sues state, officials over Blackbeard shipwreck videos and photos – Fayetteville Observer

State Said to Plunder Blackbeard Wreck Pix – Courthouse News

Treasure hunter that found Blackbeard’s pirate ship sues state for $8.2M – Fayetteville Observer

Blackbeard’s Law would clarify control of media rights to shipwrecks – News & Record

Controversy over Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge continues – Public Radio East

Battle Over Shipwreck Photos Brews in N.C.. – Courthouse News

NC Lawmakers enter legal battle over Blackbeard’s ship – Asheville Citizen-Times

Blackbeard and the Modern Day Pirates – Hugh Stephens Blog

Usurpation of Personal and Intellectual Property Rights – Gary Gentile

U.S. Copyright Law Makes It Illegal To Remove A Watermark – Photo Attorney

More Articles…