NC DNCR Fails To Settle Legal Dispute With Discoverers Of Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge
By: Intersal, Inc.
"Intersal was encouraged that NC DNCR asked us for a Settlement Proposal, and after receiving it, requested mediation" said Intersal President & CEO David Reeder. "Intersal remained optimistic that this was a serious attempt to resolve this matter and committed itself to good faith negotiations based on our submitted proposal, which included provision for $1 Million dollars to be pledged towards a proposed new museum in Beaufort to house the QAR artifacts. It was Intersal's hope that resolution of this case would allow fundraising connected to the proposed new museum, planning for this year's celebration of the 300th Anniversary of Blackbeard's loss of QAR, and pursuit of related opportunities to flourish, to the economic and cultural benefit of the People of North Carolina.
"Unfortunately, NC DNCR was apparently unwilling to seriously negotiate over the proposal they requested Intersal provide, and upon which the requested mediation was based." said Mr. Reeder. "In Intersal's opinion, NC DNCR's failure to make a realistic attempt to resolve this dispute and accept responsibility for its breech of two legally binding contracts, represents a continued waste of valuable State resources. Due to NC DNCR's repeated and ongoing violations of the provisions of the 2013 QAR Settlement, Intersal has no alternative but to continue using all legal means at its disposal, including seeking court injunctions, to protect Intersal's contractual rights connected to our discovery of QAR, and to achieve redress of irreparable damage done to Intersal's business".
After Intersal's discovery of QAR in 1996, Intersal founder Philip Masters determined the QAR Artifacts should remain as one collection for the People of NC, and initiated a trade of Intersal's rights to a portion of QAR's artifacts, in return for exclusive Media and Replica rights to the QAR Shipwreck Project; a trade completed with the signing of the1998 QAR Agreement. After 15 years of Intersal working as a good faith partner in the QAR Project, in 2013 NC DNCR refused to honor the 1998 QAR Agreement, forcing Intersal to initiate legal proceedings. The resulting 2013 mediated QAR Settlement included a NC DNCR payment for its misuse of copyrighted images and provided for Intersal and NC DNCR to share QAR Project Media & Replica rights. However, after it's signing NC DNCR refused to implement key provisions of the 2013 QAR Settlement, including revised QAR media policies and prohibition against NC DNCR release of unprotected QAR Project images to the internet; forcing Intersal to initiate new legal proceedings against NC DNCR in 2015. In the autumn of 2017 NC DNCR contacted Intersal's legal representative, asking for terms to end the dispute.
Intersal, Inc. is a privately owned Florida based company which in 1996 discovered the shipwreck of Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge ("QAR"), which sank in 1718 at Beaufort Inlet, NC. QAR was discovered based on the research of Intersal's late founder and President, Philip Masters, who passed in 2007. His son John Masters continues as Intersal's Chairman of the Board. Intersal's current legal action against NC DNCR, brought for failure to implement conditions of the 2013 QAR Settlement continues both administratively and in the courts. A separate action against NC DNCR connected to the 2013 QAR Settlement, brought by QAR Project videographer Nautilus Productions, is now in Federal Circuit Court.
John Masters & David Reeder,