The Wall Street Journal gives the details of the case but not the background issue which is the shift from photography collectors to Contemporary art collectors. Eggleston made the new prints to appeal to the latter. The aggrieved party is one of the former:
On Wednesday, New York collector Jonathan Sobel filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Mr. Eggleston, alleging that the artist’s recent decision to print and sell oversized versions of some of his famous images in a Christie’s auction has diluted the rarity—and therefore the resale value—of the originals. Mr. Sobel is seeking unspecified damages and has asked the court to forbid the artist from making additional varieties of his older prints.
John Cahill, a New York lawyer representing Mr. Eggleston, said the suit has “no merit” because the artist’s decision to revisit his oeuvre and “create new editions in new formats” falls within his creative rights. Mr. Cahill also represents Mr. Eggleston’s two sons and the family’s Eggleston Artistic Trust, who are also named in the lawsuit.
Mr. Sobel, who manages a financial-services firm called DTF Holdings, said he has spent the past decade amassing 192 photographs by Mr. Eggleston. He’s also bought and given additional works to major museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art, where Mr. Sobel serves as a trustee. Mr. Sobel said the Egglestons in his private collection are worth between $3 million and $5 million combined.
Collector Sues Over Copies (Wall Street Journal)