Source: Nautilus Productions
Back in the 1600s and up to the 1710s, when Thatch and his Republic of Pirates were wreaking havoc on shipping in the Caribbean and along the east coast of the United States, many pirates either started off or ended up being ‘privateers’ - pirates sent by the kings or governments of countries to plunder foreign shipping, but leave their own nation’s ships alone.
It was only when the likes of Thatch decided to go it alone that piracy was seen as a problem - and it was piracy of a slightly different kind that exercised the Supreme Court in Washington this week.
The irony that the state of North Carolina, which hunted down Blackbeard and ultimately killed him after he had terrorised its merchants for a few years, was now indulging in piracy of its own over pictures of his boat would not have been lost of Edward Thatch himself.
North Carolina paid Intersal $15,000 for the infringement of copyright, but then did the exact same thing again - another irony for Blackbeard, given he was a pirate, said he was going to give it up and live on dry land so he wouldn’t be captured, and then went off and did piracy again.
After nicking a second bit of video, North Carolina’s state legislators passed a law - known as ‘Blackbeard’s Law’, which ruled that regular copyright laws did not apply to the state of North Carolina - something that would have brought a wry smile from the man himself.