State lawmakers enter legal battle over Blackbeard's ship

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North Carolina lawmakers are wading into a legal battle between the state and the explorers of Blackbeard's pirate ship over the rights to footage from the famed wreck.

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources last week asked state senators to amend a bill to say that any photographs or video footage of a shipwreck held by the state or its agencies are public property.

The company that discovered the Queen Anne's Revenge sued the state for $8 million on Monday, claiming the state broke its contract by allowing more than 2,000 of the company's images to be published without a watermark, among other actions.

A representative for Florida-based Intersal, the shipwreck-hunting company, called the legislation an attempt to undercut the lawsuit. State officials say it wouldn't apply retroactively.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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The shipwreck hunting company that found Blackbeard's famous ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, back in 1996 is now suing the state of North Carolina for what they say is a contract violation.

The infamous pirate ship was found off the coast of Atlantic Beach about 20 years ago by a Florida-based company called Intersal Inc. They are suing the state for more than $8 million.

The company says the state violated a contract involving video and photos of the wreck and recovery.

Intersal Inc. is also seeking a temporary order to prevent the state from violating the contract and recovering more objects from the ship's wreckage.

As you can imagine, this could have a big impact on the Beaufort community. A number of QAR artifacts are housed at the North Carolina Maritime Museum there.

"I grew up hearing the stories and stuff. I mean I even like to go in there and I'm a local so I know it's cool for people who aren't from here to go in and see all that we can bring in," says Beaufort resident Alyx Goodwin. "And I think it brings in a lot of business to the waterfront."

Intersal Inc. shares rights with the state for photos and videos, along with artifact sales and tours, in exchange for a portion of the sales. Right now the company is saying that part of the contract was violated.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the state says North Carolina denies any violation.

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The shipwreck-hunting company that found Blackbeard's flagship that sank off the North Carolina coast nearly 300 years ago has sued the state for more than $8 million, saying officials violated a contract involving photos and videos of the wreck and recovery.

Florida-based Intersal Inc. also says in the lawsuit filed Monday in state court in Raleigh that the amount being sought could increase as the company discovers further violations of the contract involving the ship, Queen Anne's Revenge.

The lawsuit also seeks a temporary order preventing the state from violating the contract and from recovering more objects from the ship. North Carolina has created a tourist industry based on Blackbeard and the ship since its discovery in 1996.

A spokeswoman for the state says North Carolina denies violating the contract.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)




 
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