The parties in Ansel Adams Publishing Trust v. Norsigian have settled. While details are secret, no money appears to have changed hands and both sides will bear their own legal costs.
The issue began 10 years ago when Rick Norsigian bought 65 plate-glass negatives at a garage sale in Fresno. The Adams Trust disputed that Adams took the photos. They sought to stop Norsigan and PRS Media, a consulting company, from using Adams’ name, likeness, and trademark in their efforts to sell prints and posters. By virtue of the settlement, they have succeeded. Norsigian and PRS had counterclaimed for defamation and conspiracy, adding the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography, which houses an archive of Adams negatives, as a defendant
As part of settlement, both parties agreed to cease defamatory statements. The battle of words reached its heights when Adams Publishing trustee Bill Turnage likened Norsigian’s authentication efforts to Nazi propaganda techniques. Thankfully, the parties have resolved any gross injustices without further litigation, or war. The prints, currently selling for $7,500 to $1,500, will remain available online with a disclaimer approved by the Adams Trust. Sales efforts cannot use the Adams’ name.
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