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On the Books: Judge declares Sherlock Holmes officially in the public domain

The Seventh Circuit Court ruled that Sherlock Homes is now in the public domain, freeing up the 127-year-old-character to be used without the permission of Conan Doyle’s estate. Leslie Klinger, author, editor, and Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, filed the case against the Doyle estate while preparing the short story anthology In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, which collects tales by contemporary writers that riff on stories from the Holmes canon. Judge Richard Posner agreed that the copyright expiration meant that Klinger doesn’t need the permission of the Doyle estate to publish the book. This also means that everyone making Sherlock Holmes film and TV adaptations—BBC (Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman), Warner Bros. (Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law), and CBS (Elementary with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu)—will no longer have to get the permission of or pay royalties to the estate. No word yet on whether the estate wants to take the case to the Supreme Court. [The Hollywood Reporter] READ FULL STORY

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