Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Sherlock Holmes Case: Holmes Is Now (Mostly) Public Domain
from the the-case-of-the-missing-public-domain dept
This isn’t a huge surprise, but the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case concerning whether or not Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain. As many news sites are reporting, this more or less means that the character of Sherlock Holmes is considered public domain. It’s not quite that simple, of course. Technically, all but the last book of Sherlock Holmes works (covering a few stories) is in the public domain according to the 7th Circuit appeals court. That means the character attributes that are new in those last works are not in the public domain. Also, conceivably, a similar challenge in another circuit could lead to a different conclusion, which might lead the Supreme Court to eventually weigh in another time. But, for now, it’s mostly safe to assume that the basic character is in the public domain.
So, now, who’s going to create some awesome new Sherlock Holmes stories?