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Is Sherlock Holmes in the Public Domain?

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  • Is Sherlock Holmes in the Public Domain?

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/...ll_decide.html

    The early Mickey Mouses should be in the public domain, but, thanks to the evil of Disney and the corruption of Congress, Disney was able to buy copyright extension for several more decades.

    Myself, I'd say that SH should be in the public domain. AC Doyle died in 1930, but the heirs are obviously trying to milk his intellectual property for what they can.

    On the other hand, would anyone in here want to see some avant-garde author make Holmes gay for the sake of appealing to the gay marriage crowd? I've read some of the Holmes pastiches wherein Holmes had a torrid love affair with Irene Adler or Mrs. Hudson and they made me puke.

  • #2
    Sherlock Homo & Dr. Wantsome

    No, I can't imagine anyone would want to see that, Tim. And yes, SH has been in the public domain for some time, which is why so many publishers publish the stories for pennies. I just bought entire canon on kindle for $1.99. And I've read a number of pastiches, some were great, most mediocre, and a number not-so-good, but it seems most are written out of love.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

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    • #3
      B & W

      Hello Tim. Thankfully the films are good for public consumption. Found these--in glorious black and white. (Hope I didn't bungle it.)

      Cheers.
      LC

      1. Hound of the Baskervilles
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1a0qENQKr8
      2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCGJHy5aG7U
      3. The Voice of Terror
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R8JtpYU2l0
      4. Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPk9dGIAL3Q
      5. Sherlock Holmes in Washington
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTliAjZUriw
      6. Sherlock Holmes Faces Death
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgDREag7l7c
      7. The Spider Woman
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNumPU3Mwlo
      8. The Scarlet Claw
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mghq5zKyfbc
      9. The Pearl of Death
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9vL5IVj1PI
      10. The House of Fear
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GNKZg8FsGU
      11. The Woman in Green
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0335xYhsQY
      12. Pursuit to Algiers
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru7Qe53XH_o
      13. Terror by Night
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc6IoqyemmI
      14. Dressed to Kill
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io_Q5Sa0ABU

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      • #4
        That list would not be complete without this :

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0igRKYQUfpg

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        • #5
          dynamic duo

          Hello Robert. Thanks.

          I'm bedazzled. (heh-heh)

          Cheers.
          LC

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          • #6
            By pure chance I've been watching Jeremy Brett all day and had it play when Tim posted this thread.

            Yours truly,

            Tom Wescott

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            • #7
              Fine films all, for the Holmes buff.

              But the point of the article was that ACD's estate still wants to be able to control how the Holmes/Watson characters are used, not that there was any question of the stories themselves or the films being in the public domain. Hence my comment on a gay Holmes.

              You scoff, but those of that ilk are already polluting H.P. Lovecraft's works, as a recent film in which Cthulhu was the emphasis included a gay man as the lead. Lovecraft is probably still spinning......

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              • #8
                Originally posted by admin tim View Post
                Fine films all, for the Holmes buff.

                But the point of the article was that ACD's estate still wants to be able to control how the Holmes/Watson characters are used, not that there was any question of the stories themselves or the films being in the public domain. Hence my comment on a gay Holmes.

                You scoff, but those of that ilk are already polluting H.P. Lovecraft's works, as a recent film in which Cthulhu was the emphasis included a gay man as the lead. Lovecraft is probably still spinning......
                Well, with the crappy EU copyright laws, it's possible that the estate may have a way of controlling the SH franchise, at least in the UK.
                "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Magpie View Post
                  Well, with the crappy EU copyright laws, it's possible that the estate may have a way of controlling the SH franchise, at least in the UK.
                  Also, the Peter Pan exception to copyright limits in the UK might create an alarming precedent--at least for the UK
                  "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

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                  • #10
                    IIRC copyright laws in the UK are that it lasts for 50? years after the authors death. The only exception is the 'Peter Pan' copyright mentioned above, the author of which had bequeathed it to a childrens hospital. This was done as this represented a considerable part of the hospitals income but it had to be done through a special act of parliament so no other precedent was set. Of course in the US and other countries copyright laws differ and therefore can be disputed.

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                    • #11
                      Hi Phillip,

                      As I understand things UK copyright extends to 70 years after the death of the author. This is what I was told by my local library.

                      Rgds
                      John

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John Savage View Post
                        Hi Phillip,

                        As I understand things UK copyright extends to 70 years after the death of the author. This is what I was told by my local library.

                        Rgds
                        John
                        Thats why I put a question mark after the 50.

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                        • #13
                          I believe Australia and Canada are the last holdouts on the 50 year expiry date.
                          "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

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