Allen v. Cooper

Videographer obtains the rights to film Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s 40-cannon flagship that ran aground near Beaufort, N.C. in 1718. State officials then make his videos publicly available. Videographer: Which violated my copyrights. (The parties settle, but the state allegedly reneges, puts the videos back online.) State officials: No matter, we’ll just pass this new law declaring that footage of shipwrecks is public property. Fourth Circuit: The videographer can’t sue. Federal copyright law doesn’t waive the state’s immunity to suit, and the state officials have qualified immunity.

Tags: 2018, Copyright Law, Fourth Circuit, Intellectual Property, Qualified Immunity

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