As a sad follow-up to my “$200Mill Ansel Adams treasure chest found, in Fresno” story, a lawsuit was filed on Monday in a San Fransisco Federal Court by the “Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust”. They are attempting to stop the man who found Adam’s thought-to-be-lost bounty, Rick Norsigian, & his consulting firm, PRS Media Partners, from using Adams’ name… likeness or trademark in their efforts to sell prints and posters not previously authorized by the trust.
The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, false advertising, trademark dilution, unfair competition and other claims. It does not specify damages but demands the court to order the defendants to pay restitution of their profits from any sales, as well as award any other monetary relief.
Norsigian’s lawyer, Arnold Peter, says the lawsuit is designed to harass his client and “silence this debate” and has no merit.
Personally I feel sorry for the guy. He found this amazing trove of historic proportions… decides to make a little money from it (as almost any of us would do) by releasing it to the world… and he’s getting his hand slapped. It’s pretty sad really! Our buddies a Yahoo! news explain the what’s-what in much more detail HERE. If it wasn’t for Norsigian this discovery may have never happened and this damn Rights Trust would be sitting there only collecting a few Million per year instead of many Millions. Blah!