Sherlock Holmes Is Now in the Public Domain, Declares US Judge

sherlock_holmes_in_public domain

Chief Judge Rubén Castil­lo of the Unit­ed States Dis­trict Court of the North­ern Dis­trict of Illi­nois has ruled that the char­ac­ters and sto­ry lines used in 50 Sher­lock Holmes texts pub­lished by Arthur Conan Doyle before Jan. 1, 1923 “are no longer cov­ered by Unit­ed States copy­right law and can be freely used by cre­ators with­out pay­ing any licens­ing fee to the Conan Doyle estate,” reports The New York Times. This gives con­tem­po­rary authors the abil­i­ty to write their own Sher­lock Holmes mys­tery sto­ries and keep con­tribut­ing to a rich tra­di­tion of detec­tive fic­tion. It would also seem­ing­ly put pre-1923 texts firm­ly in the pub­lic domain. (You can find The Adven­tures of Sher­lock Holmes and oth­er relat­ed sto­ries in our Free eBooks and Free Audio Books col­lec­tions. ) Leslie S. Klinger, the edi­tor of The Com­plete Anno­tat­ed Sher­lock Holmes, who filed the civ­il suit, praised the judge’s deci­sion, say­ing “Peo­ple want to cel­e­brate Holmes and Wat­son, and now they can do that with­out fear.” Now it’s time for them to write some­thing that can hold a can­dle to what Conan Doyle cre­at­ed those many years ago.

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via Arts Beat

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Arthur Conan Doyle Dis­cuss­es Sher­lock Holmes and Psy­chics in a Rare Filmed Inter­view (1927)

Arthur Conan Doyle & The Cot­tin­g­ley Fairies: How Two Young Girls Fooled Sher­lock Holmes’ Cre­ator

Arthur Conan Doyle Fills Out the Ques­tion­naire Made Famous By Mar­cel Proust (1899)

Watch John Cleese as Sher­lock Holmes in The Strange Case of the End of Civ­i­liza­tion as We Know It

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