Thursday, August 12, 2010
If the negatives are Adams’ work, the copyright may belong to the artist and his estate. Simply owning a reproducible artifact, like these negatives, doesn’t automatically give that owner the right to copy and sell them. The two sides have differing opinions regarding when the family’s copyright would expire.
Adams' family could stop Norsigian by agreeing that the negatives are the work of Adams, which they are not willing to do. Their attorney is currently working on another strategy.
See Mike Boehm, If Purported Ansel Adams Photos Earn Big Money, Their Discoverer May Not Get to Keep It, L.A. Times, July 29, 2010.