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【今日美国】北卡罗莱纳州因版权被起诉 North Carolina sued for copyright

The pirate known as Blackbeard terrorized the Atlantic coast of North America in the early 1700s.In a few months,the United States Supreme Court will hear a case related to Blackbeard's ship.The case involves a filmmaker who claims the rights to images of the ship belong to him,not the state of North Carolina.


这个被称为黑胡子海盗的海盗在17世纪初恐吓了北美的大西洋海岸。几个月后,美国最高法院将审理一个与黑胡子船有关的案件。这起案件涉及一名电影制作人,他声称这艘船的图片权属于他,而不是北卡罗来纳州。


Here is what happened.Back in 1718,Blackbeard was sailing a ship named the Queen Anne's Revenge,after a former queen of England.One day the Queen Anne's Revenge and a smaller ship went into a harbor now known as Beaufort Inlet,in North Carolina.The water was not very deep,and the ships ran into the sand.(Blackbeard may have grounded the ships on purpose,but that is another story.)


事情是这样的。早在1718年,黑胡子驾驶着一艘以英国前女王命名的“安妮女王复仇号”轮船。一天,安妮女王复仇号和一艘小船驶进了北卡罗来纳州的一个港口,现在被称为博福特湾。水不太深,船撞到了沙子里。(黑胡子可能故意让船搁浅,但那是另一回事。)


Blackbeard abandoned the Queen Anne's Revenge,along with a number of its crew members.He and a few of his favorite pirates escaped with valuable treasure.


黑胡子放弃了安妮女王的复仇计划,还有一些船员。他和几个他最喜欢的海盗带着宝贵的财宝逃走了。

A few months later,Blackbeard was killed by British forces.And,in time,the Queen Anne's Revenge disappeared under the water.In U.S.law,the sunken ship and everything on it belongs to the state of North Carolina.


几个月后,黑胡子被英国军队杀死。后来,安妮女王的复仇也消失在水下。在美国法律中,沉船及其上的一切都属于北卡罗来纳州。


Jump to the year 1996.A private company found the remains of the Queen Anne's Revenge.The company used divers and archeologists to explore the wreckage and bring the artifacts to the surface.


跳到1996年。一家私人公司发现了安妮女王复仇的遗骸。该公司利用潜水员和考古学家来探索残骸,并将这些文物带到水面。


A media company,Nautilus Productions,took pictures and videos of the recovery effort.The co-owner of the media company,Frederick Allen,received federal copyright protection over the images.In other words,U.S.national law says no one can use the images without getting the company's permission and paying Nautilus.


一家媒体公司Nautilus Productions拍摄了恢复工作的照片和视频。这家媒体公司的共同所有者弗雷德里克·艾伦(Frederick Allen)获得了这些图片的联邦版权保护。换言之,美国国家法律规定,未经公司许可和支付鹦鹉螺费用,任何人不得使用这些图片。


Yet North Carolina state officials used some of the images on YouTube and a state agency website without permission–some would claim the officials"pirated"them.The state government also passed a law to make some of the images into public records,free for anyone to use.


然而,北卡罗来纳州的官员在未经许可的情况下使用了YouTube和州政府机构网站上的一些图片——有些人会声称这些官员“盗版”了这些图片。州政府还通过了一项法律,将一些图片制作成公共记录,供任何人免费使用。


In answer,Nautilus co-owner Frederick Allen brought legal action against the state of North Carolina.


作为回应,鹦鹉螺的共同所有人弗雷德里克艾伦对北卡罗来纳州提起了法律诉讼。


At issue is whether states must pay damages for copyright violations.Historically,the U.S.Constitution and some earlier court cases have protected states against lawsuits.But in 1990,the U.S.Congress passed a law allowing states to be sued for illegal copying.


争论的焦点是国家是否必须为侵犯版权的行为支付赔偿金。历史上,美国宪法和一些早期的法院案例保护各州免受诉讼。但在1990年,美国国会通过了一项法律,允许各州因非法复制而被起诉。


A lower court said the 1990 law is not constitutional.Congress did not have the power to make such a law,the lower court said.As a result,a judge dismissed Allen's case.


一个下级法院说1990年的法律不符合宪法。下级法院说,国会无权制定这样的法律。结果,法官驳回了艾伦的诉讼。


So now,Allen is taking his argument to the U.S.Supreme Court.He says states are breaking federal law and then refusing to pay damages for their violations.He also says people who create original work need a way to object when states ignore copyright laws.


所以现在,艾伦将他的论点提交给美国最高法院。他说,各州违反联邦法律,然后拒绝为他们的违法行为支付赔偿金。他还说,当各州无视版权法时,创作原创作品的人需要一种反对的方式。


The Supreme Court has agreed only to hear the case.The justices will likely make a ruling on it next year.


最高法院只同意审理此案。大法官们很可能会在明年对此作出裁决。


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