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Judge Spikes Attempts to Dismiss Blackbeard’s Lawsuit!

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by nautilusvideo, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. nautilusvideo

    nautilusvideo Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Fayetteville, NC
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    Pirates not welcome here! That was the message U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle delivered Thursday, March 23, 2017 to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR), its employees and the Friends of Queen Anne’s Revenge in response to their motion to dismiss a Federal lawsuit brought by Nautilus Productions LLC. In rejecting the defendants’ attempt to dismiss the copyright claims, Judge Boyle noted that protection of copyrights is a “right of such importance to the founders that it was, unique among most functions undertaken by the federal government today, expressly mentioned in Article I as an important protection to be ensured by the national government.” Judge Boyle’s decision allows the lawsuit for copyright infringement and for a declaration of the statute’s invalidity to move forward in Federal court. Read more - Blackbeard's Lawsuit | Nautilus Productions
     
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  2. Bubblesong

    Bubblesong Marine Scientist

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    This is a classic example of "Don't steal, the government hates competition."
     
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  3. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy Staff Member

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    I like it. States cannot override federal copyright law.

    The amendment to Blackbeard's Law looks like NC recognized the copyright law problem in the law as originally written.
     
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  4. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
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    Yeah.. I've come to this thread and cancelled my post several times today. I can definitely see merit on both sides. On one side, the very correct and logical argument is that copying != stealing. If it was, I sure wish someone had merely copied my son's bike last year... On the other hand, the video company does deserve some compensation. I think it affects my judgement that it seems to be the govmint who is doing the copying if I understand correctly. However, I definitely don't think someone (or a company) should get to keep making money selling the same thing over and over without transferring ownership of that thing to the buyer...

    Kind of an annoying conundrum.

    Does anyone else find it ironic that it's a piracy suit about pirates? That, at least, is chuckle worthy.
     
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  5. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy Staff Member

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    Back in the day, before the digital revolution, it was straightforward: You sell a book of photos, and the seller transfers ownership of the book to the buyer, but not the copyrights to the photos, the arrangement of the book, etc.
     
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  6. Bubblesong

    Bubblesong Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Massachusetts
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    We buy songs, but not the copyright to start printing CDs. But businesses an play records for customers. So the government handing is out copies, not just showing on a website, which prevents the copyright owner from profiting from their labor and investment.
     
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  7. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy Staff Member

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    Location: Atlanta, USA
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    It's not clear to me from skimming the page that Nautilus linked to who is handing out what, but if the government is copying videos without permission of the copyright owner, then sure, that would be the copyright owner's beef. However, the government might be taking the position that they are not making copies; rather, they are just making a video available for viewing by the public (a "fair use"), the same way they would be in their right to make available a film, such as an educational documentary, for viewing at a public library. Without knowing more, I'm just guessing.


    I'm not sure the music business is relevant to what's going on here, but businesses are allowed to play records for customers by paying a license fee to the copyright owner.
     
  8. scagrotto

    scagrotto Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hudson Valley
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    As near as I can tell there are a bunch of confused idiots in the NC legislature who have no concept of how copyright works. The NC law basically says that, because the wreck is in state waters and is owned by the state, photos and video of the wreck that are in the possession of the NC government are public records. That's all well and good in that things that are a matter of public record can't be withheld by the state. The problem is that instead of just allowing people to view copyrighted material in the possession of the state they're apparently making copies available to people. Whether they do that by publishing them on the web (where people are easily able to make copies) or actually sending them copies of files doesn't really matter. I think a reasonable analogy would be passing a law saying information about copyrights is a matter of public record, so the government must make copies of copyrighted books, songs and films available.

    The government certainly has an obligation to allow public access to things that are a matter of public record, but that doesn't mean they have a right to take property that belongs to somebody else and use it for their own purposes. Copyright is a matter of federal law, and the protections can't be changed by state laws. The most the state can do is argue that anything they've done is fair use. They might be successful in arguing that posting material on a state website or making images for display by thee state is fair use, but the only way to be certain whether or not something is fair use is to win the resulting lawsuit. In this case instead of claiming that fair use allows them to do whatever they've done they've apparently chosen to pass and rely a law that, at least in effect, says the copyright doesn't apply. By passing a law saying the state has authority to freely use copyrighted intellectual property the state may even have strayed into the domain of the 5th amendment by taking private property without compensation.
     
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  9. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy Staff Member

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    That occurred to me, too, and it will be interesting to see if that issue is raised. At least Nautilus might get compensated for the taking. I can't think of any instances off the top of my head in which the government seized a copyright by eminent domain. A quick Googling reveals some reading material: http://www.ipprospective.com/copyri...y-and-eminent-domain-a-plausible-combination/
     
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