Court won’t hear dispute over Sherlock Holmes
Washington — The Supreme Court won’t take up a copyright dispute over the right to depict Sherlock Holmes in a new anthology of stories.
The justices on Monday declined to hear an appeal from heirs of legendary writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who say anyone portraying characters from the popular detective series must seek permission or pay a licensing fee.
A U.S. district court ruled that copyrights had expired on all Sherlock novels and stories published before 1923, but not on the final 10 stories published after that. The lower court said author Leslie Klinger could use characters from pre-1923 works and a federal appeals court agreed.
The Doyle estate argued that the characters continued to develop in later works so they should remain off-limits until remaining copyrights run out in 2022.