Supreme Court Rejects Titanic Salvage Firm’s Appeal

Date: 1/12/2003

The US Supreme Court recently rejected an appeal by a salvage company against a ruling that prohibited it from selling artifacts recovered from the Titanic. After learning that the company RMS Titanic Inc planned to sell some artifacts to finance continued recovery at the wreck site, a federal judge barred it from selling items previously recovered or recovered in the future without court approval. It ruled in April that the company does not have title to the objects taken from the bottom of the sea.

RMS Titanic’s lawyers appealed saying in an age of technology that has opened up the ocean’s floors to unprecedented shipwreck exploration, the Supreme Court should establish uniformity in maritime law concerning abandonment, they said, adding that ‘conflict and confusion reign’ in federal appeals courts on the issue.

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