Cliff notes: She died with no will and no known relatives. And for the guys who "own" her pictures (the prints & negatives discovered in storage lockers), owning them does not carry the copyright to reproduce & sell them. Illinois might claim that the copyright belongs to the state.
I read one of the coffee table books recently. One page showed a contact sheet... the original 12 negatives from a roll she had shot sometime in the 60s.
It hurt, it was so good. All 12 images, perfect. None of the same subject, just 12 pictures taken during a walk over the course of a day, shoot it once, then move on. All 12 from just the "right" angle showing off her great eye. Perfectly composed and exposed.
I can barely get one good B&W shot in a month. Hers were damn near perfect with amazing consistency. Just one roll and every frame a keeper. She had crazy good skills.
If you guys like street photography like Maier, check out Walker Evans. Some of his work is depression era so it was a little earlier than Maier's, but he is a great street photographer of the 20th century. His exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art was awesome. Here is his page on the Met's website: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/evan/hd_evan.htm