Saturday, February 16, 2013

Holmes in public domain?

There was an interesting post on the Holmesslash group about a lawsuit seeking to declare the characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in the public domain. The link was on Boing Boing, but I found a fuller post on the suit on the Baker Street Blog.

Sherlockian Les Klinger is suing the Conan Doyle Estate because they demand license fees for any new story featuring the characters, and tried to have his publisher drop his next anthology of stories. His press release explains that he respects the copyrights which still remain on the Casebook stories in the US, but that the characters are established in all the other public domain stories.

I do hope this succeeds, because between the Conan Doyle Estate and Andrea Plunket, it's getting ridiculous all the stories that will be squashed. Sherlock Holmes should not simply be a "franchise" for profit, now that he's in vogue again. He and Watson are part of the great legacy of English literature, and the classic pastiches are what's kept the fandom alive for so long.

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