[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Saturday, 2013-03-16

Sherlock Holmes and the public domain

Filed under: Books,Intellectual Property — bblackmoor @ 22:07
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Susan and I had a conversation earlier about Sherlock Holmes, and whether the 125-year-old character was in the public domain (it should have been in the public domain before either of us were born, but that’s another topic).

In process of researching our discussion, I turned up this article regarding a suit filed recently in federal court in Chicago. A top Sherlock Holmes scholar alleges that many licensing fees paid to the Arthur Conan Doyle estate have been unnecessary, since the main characters and elements of their story derive from materials in the public domain (as of 2004, only 9 of the 60 Sherlock Holmes stories by Doyle are still covered under US copyright).

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