Bloomberg Law
Nov. 5, 2019, 9:45 AMUpdated: Nov. 5, 2019, 8:47 PM

Blackbeard Pirate Ship Video Case Tests Copyright Law (Correct)

Kyle Jahner
Kyle Jahner
IP Reporter

A battle over who owns video footage of Blackbeard’s sunken pirate ship will revolve around novel constitutional questions during a U.S. Supreme Court oral argument.

Videographer Rick Allen claims the state of North Carolina used footage of the Queen Anne’s Revenge without his consent, but an appellate court ruled that the state has sovereign immunity from copyright infringement lawsuits. Allen and his supporters argue that multiple parts of the Constitution overrule states’ immunity rights.

The justices Nov. 5 will have to balance Congress’ Article I copyright authority, the 14th Amendment’s due process clause, and the 11th Amendment’s sovereign immunity language, ...

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