Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
So this dude Frederick Allen owns this company called Nautilus Productions. He was hired to document Blackbeard’s treasure from the 1700’s, and that’s what he did. For twenty fucking years he took pics and video of that shit.
So then, in 2013, the state of North Carolina, presumably to attract tourists, started posting some of Allen’s photos and shit on their website, which were copyrighted.
So Allen was like, “What the fuck, North Carolina? Do we have a contract? Did I give you permission to use those photos asshole?” The state, realizing it fucked up, agreed to settle, to pay Allen, and stop using his shit.
So you want to hear some shady shit? After they complied with Allen, these motherfuckers in NC posted that shit again, and then had the balls to pass “Blackbeard’s Law” which then declared Allen’s work public domain by North Carolina decree, effectively telling Allen he didn’t own fucking shit, now.
So when Allen sued again, North Carolina cited the 11th amendment (above) as their reasoning for getting a dismissal.
Allen on the other hand, was like the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act (CRCA) says “any State, any instrumentality of a State, and any officer of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his or her official capacity” can be infringers. So fuck you, North Carolina. Tell your people to meet my people in court.
So a district court was like, “Allen, good fuckin’ argument, bro.” But then the 4th circuit was like, “Allen, shit fuckin’ argument bro.”
So now SCOTUS is asked to determine if the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act (CRCA), which is federal law underpinning Allen’s argument, is allowed to trump North Carolina’s shady ass Blackbeard’s law. Basically, some state’s rights bullshit.
Sadly for Allen, he was ordered to take it in the ass. Unanimous decision for Cooper (North Carolina). The states have power over the federal government, and therefore CRCA is trumped by any applicable state law.