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US Court Rules Holmes is Public Domain–now I can write him into my sexy dinosaur stories

All of the Sherlock Holmes canon is finally recognized as public domain in all of the places! We must therefore prepare ourselves for the coming rash of gonzo Holmes adpatations. Sort of. Maybe.

Effectively, this means that anybody can write about Sherlock Holmes, but they might have to leave out some details that were added in later stories: one couldn’t mention, for example, Watson’s past as an athlete or Holmes’ retirement from his detective agency. Ruben also denied part of Klinger’s request, saying that the anthology included examples of things that clearly weren’t in the public domain, like characters written later in the series. But he flatly denied the Conan Doyle estate’s major argument: that Holmes and Watson were such well-rounded, three-dimensional characters that they continued to develop throughout the series. Klinger “suggests that Holmes and Watson can be dismantled into partial versions of themselves,” wrote the estate in an earlier defense. “But a complex literary personality can no more be unraveled without disintegration than a human personality.” (via The Verge)

But regardless of what the tv, movie, and publishing businesses have in store for us, would you rather see:

[polldaddy poll=7688937]

  1. londonkds

    January 4, 2014 at 9:35 am

    There’ve been at least two commercially-published Holmes vs. Dracula stories published that didn’t get sued, by Loren D Estleman and Fred Saberhagen.

    1. Megan Purdy

      January 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Oh, I know. I was just using the news a springboard for a silly poll! 😉

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