An open and shut case, surely?

Barefoot on Baker Street

There has been a dramatic development involving the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate and the licencing of the characters Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. Holmesian scholar Leslie S. Klinger has filed a civil action in the United States District Court arguing that the characters are no longer protected by copyright laws. Therefore, anyone should be able to use them in their writing, films etc without having to pay a fee to the Doyle estate who own the remaining copyright. Full information is available on the website.

Klinger and a fellow author were co-editing a book containing stories inspired by the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle works.

He claims that the Conan Doyle estate contacted the publisher and implied, that unless they paid a fee, the estate would put pressure on all major distributors not to sell the book. The publisher has had to suspend publication until the issue is…

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