A federal judge issued a ruling earlier this week reinforcing that Sherlock Holmes, one of the most popular fictional characters of all time, remains part of the public domain. The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed in February by Leslie S. Klinger, the editor of several Holmes-related books, who refused to pay a licensing fee to the estate of Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle in order to publish a collection of stories. Despite the fact that the character fell into public-domain use many years ago, the estate continues to ask those using the Holmes character for money, arguing that the existence of ten stories published after 1923, which remain under copyright until 2023, means that the character as a whole remains protected. The ruling reaffirms the public-domain status of most Sherlock Holmes elements, while also maintaining that anything found in those ten post-1923 stories cannot be used without paying the estate.
Trending Video on Vulture
Most Watched on Vulture
Most Viewed Stories
No One Can Decide Whether This Is a Picture of Bill Murray or Tom Hanks
All Hail Tom Hanks’s David S. Pumpkins, the King of Halloween You Didn’t Know You Needed
The 70 Greatest Conspiracy Theories in Pop-Culture History
The Empty Violence of The Walking Dead
The 26 Best TV Shows to Binge-Watch in 20 Hours or Less
Ron Howard Reacts to Tom Hanks’s Impression of Him on SNL
This Is Us Recap: Are You Ready for Some Football?
Adele Gives Concertgoer Hillary Clinton the Best Birthday Present: An Endorsement
Did You Catch Abraham’s Peace Sign to Sasha on The Walking Dead?
What This Is Us Gets Right About Being a Black Kid in a White Family
Latest News from VultureThe Pretty Little Liars Finale to Get One-Hour Post-Show Special
"Unbarred and uncensored."Kesha Has Already Written and Recorded 22 New Songs That Are Just Waiting to Be Released; Dr. Luke Claims ‘She Exiled Herself’
Dr. Luke has responded, claiming that Kesha was "always free to move forward with her music."Let’s Not Go Back to the Good Old Days of Real Rap Beef
Drake's vicious shot at Kid Cudi's mental health may be a tactical error.The Stirring Music of the Met’s Guillaume Tell Helps Offset Its Aimless Direction
If the gimmickry serves to express some idea about the opera, or about Rossini’s music, director Pierre Audi keeps that connection under wraps.What Are You Supposed to Do With Fame When You Get It? Zadie Smith’s Swing Time
Smith has responded to it by becoming a shape-shifter, a chameleon of the varieties of seriousness.Ray McKinnon on What Rectify Is Really About
"The death penalty, the prison-industrial complex, all of that are around the story."Moonlight and the Desire to See Men Kiss Onscreen
What the film gives us (and doesn't) in its ending.Ben Affleck — Er, Benny ‘The Sweet One’ O’Callahan — Urges New Hampshire to Vote
Do it for all of New England.The World’s First Emoji Are Going to Be Displayed at MoMA
[Face with tears of joy emoji.]Patton Oswalt on His Wife’s Sudden Death: ‘I’ll Never Be 100 Percent Again’
He's sorting through the grief with his daughter and stand-up comedy.
It's Full Frontal's first interview with a president.The Single Most Important Year in Superhero History Was 1986
Two seminal comic-book stories and a pair of big initiatives by publishers continue to influence entertainment today.What Would Alexander Hamilton Think of the 2016 Election? Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ron Chernow Weigh In
According to the brains behind Hamilton, every old political tactic is new again.Matthew Weiner Is Making a New Show for Amazon
It's a "contemporary anthology set in multiple locations worldwide."The Trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s Split Is a Nice Reminder That M. Night Shyamalan Does Whatever Spooky Thing He Wants
"He's done awful things to people, and he'll do awful things to you."Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch’s Waco Series Is Coming to Spike TV Next Year
It's a six-part series about an FBI siege of a religious sect.Don’t Cry for Her, West Covina: Patti LuPone Is Coming to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
She'll play a "pivotal person from Rebecca's past" in a season-two episode.You Can Blame Soda Brands for the Rise of Product Placement in Entertainment
Coke's 1982 acquisition of Columbia Pictures inspired the soda giant to double down on product integration.The Great Indoors Is a Clichéd Comedy About Millennials
With Joel McHale as our primordial macho man who can't make sense of it all.Mike Myers Was a Huge ‘Diva’ While Filming The Cat in the Hat
No, baby, no.