Blackbeard’s Ship Case Still Afloat

August 25, 2021

Few legendary figures have cheated death as flamboyantly as Blackbeard, who is said to have continued swimming even after his headless body was tossed into Pamlico Sound. Maybe the pirate’s indomitable spirit imbues the lawsuit related to the raising of his ship because this case keeps coming up for air. Last week U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle granted a motion for reconsideration in Allen v. Cooper, a case that might have breathed its last after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in March 2020At the heart of the case is whether the state of North Carolina infringed on copyrights when it used photos and video that plaintiff Rick Allen, an underwater videographer, took of the Queen Anne’s Revenge being exhumed from its watery grave. NCAJ members Susan Olive and David McKenzie of Olive & Olive, P.A. are on Allen’s legal team. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision in the state’s favor but Judge Boyle’s latest decision gives the case new legs. The outcome could have wide implications for intellectual property and the rights of states, as explained in The Hollywood Reporter.