Law Office of Henry B. LaTorraca Civil Trial Attorney

Lawsuit over Blackbeard's shipwreck media goes to federal court

California business owners may be interested to learn that a U.S. District Court judge ruled that a North Carolina photographer can continue his lawsuit against state officials. He had claimed that the state officials illegally copied videos he had recorded of Blackbeard's shipwreck and then passed a law that legalized their actions.

Blackbeard's law states that any media material, such as photographs and video recordings, of shipwrecks were considered to be public record if they are in the custody of the state government. By law, public records must be given to anyone who asks. Although the judge dismissed a part of the videographer's lawsuit, he was allowed to continue his claims that the state violated his copyright and that Blackbeard's law is invalid as it violated the federal copyright law. The case will continue in federal court.

Intersal Inc., a treasure-hunting company based in Florida that actually found the shipwreck in 1996, also was continuing its lawsuit against the state. Intersal claimed that the state violated a 1998 agreement and a 2013 agreement after publishing media that violated those agreements.

When there is a breach of contract by one party, the other party could lose out on profits or may not be paid fairly for the work that it completed. A business litigation attorney may represent the party bringing the lawsuit against the other entity by filing the paperwork and backing up the allegations being made by citing the appropriate laws or identifying specific parts of the contract that were violated. The attorney may also seek recovery for the damages caused by the breach of contract.

Source: The Fayetteville Observer, "Judge allows lawsuit over Blackbeard's shipwreck to proceed", Paul Woolverston, March 28, 2017

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