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Author Topic: Does Blackbeard Signal the End of State Immunity for Copyright Infringement?  (Read 396 times)


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In Allen v. Cooper, Judge Boyle of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina found that photographer and videographer Frederick Allen was entitled to sue the State of North Carolina for allegedly infringing his copyrights. Allen, and his production company Nautilus Productions, have been the exclusive photographers of the shipwreck of Queen Anne’s Revenge – once captained by the infamous pirate Blackbeard – since 1998, shortly after the wreck’s discovery.  In 2013, Allen found out that the State had allegedly been using his videos online without his consent. While the parties entered into a settlement agreement, requiring the State to compensate Allen for the use of the copyrighted material prior to the settlement date, Allen found out that the State had continued to use Allen’s copyrighted works after the settlement agreement without compensation both online and in print. In addition, the State government passed a law making all photographs and video material of shipwrecks in custody of North Carolina public record and available for use without limitations. As a result, Allen filed this suit for declaratory judgment, arguing that the statute violates the Takings and Due Process clauses of the Constitution. While Judge Boyle found for Allen, the State has now appealed to the Circuit Court. Google "Blackbeard's Lawsuit"


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"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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