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Old 28 December 2013, 03:55 AM
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Icon102 Sherlock Holmes Is in the Public Domain, American Judge Rules

A federal judge has issued a declarative judgment stating that Holmes, Watson, 221B Baker Street, the dastardly Professor Moriarty and other elements included in the 50 Holmes works that Arthur Conan Doyle published before Jan. 1, 1923, are no longer covered by United States copyright law, and can therefore be freely used by others without paying any licensing fee to the writer’s estate.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/20...n-judge-rules/
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Old 28 December 2013, 10:35 AM
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He was a bit short-sighted in not founding the Conan Doyle Corporation, wasn't he? If he'd done that then their lawyers and shareholders could still be prosecuting people and taking all the money for many years to come...

I think Holmes has been public domain here for a while, but I'm not sure.
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Old 29 December 2013, 06:27 AM
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I am not totally up with royalty and copyright laws. I do remember that in the late 1980s, the law changed, extending the time a writer's estate could claim royalties from 50 years to 70.

Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930, so I can only presume that the copyright has lapsed. Unless of course, there is something an estate can do to ensure that they go on getting royalties for more than 70 years after the death.

I think that Star Trek: TNG ran into a bit of trouble with the Doyle estate. They were going to use a bit from the Sherlock Holmes stories for a holodeck recreation for Data. The Doyle state objected, so the TNG producers used the Henry V night before Agincourt scene instead.
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Old 29 December 2013, 06:43 AM
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According to this site, works published in the US from 1923 to 1963 where the copyright was renewed, the terms before it enters in the publication is death plus 95 years. That’s just for stuff originating in the US which doesn’t apply to the Doyle work.

It also states that stuff produced originally outside the US, works copywritten between 1923 through 1977 (could cover certain Doyle works) and is in compliance and renewed, it’s 95 years plus death. So if the US copyrights were renewed (which Doyle himself could have done, the estate would inherit the rights for much longer than the 70 years.

I am not a copyright attorney anywhere in the world so I may be misunderstanding things, but that’s what I gathered.
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Old 29 December 2013, 02:30 PM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catty5nutz View Post
I am not totally up with royalty and copyright laws. I do remember that in the late 1980s, the law changed, extending the time a writer's estate could claim royalties from 50 years to 70.
There have been a couple of copyright extensions. People often call them the "Mickey Mouse Protection Acts" as Disney often lobbies heavily for them whenever their early characters are about to become public domain. Bit ironic given how many of Disney's classic films are based on public domain stories and characters.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyr..._Extension_Act


Quote:
Originally Posted by catty5nutz View Post
Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930, so I can only presume that the copyright has lapsed. Unless of course, there is something an estate can do to ensure that they go on getting royalties for more than 70 years after the death.

I think that Star Trek: TNG ran into a bit of trouble with the Doyle estate. They were going to use a bit from the Sherlock Holmes stories for a holodeck recreation for Data. The Doyle state objected, so the TNG producers used the Henry V night before Agincourt scene instead.
They did. They did one Holmes holideck episode, figuring that it was in the public domain, only to get into legal trouble with the Doyle estate.
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Old 01 January 2014, 05:39 PM
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next extension runs out in nine years. Read an article recently. For once, there's actually people who will be fighting FOR the public domain.
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