Monday, December 30, 2013
New Sherlock Holmes mystery: Where's my copyright?; Los Angeles Times, 12/30/13
Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times; New Sherlock Holmes mystery: Where's my copyright? : "The court case required U.S. District Judge Rubén Castillo to become something of a Sherlock Holmes expert, and in a 22-page ruling issued last week in Chicago, he began by summarizing the four novels and 56 short stories Conan Doyle wrote about the fictional detective: The character first appeared in 1887. The final 10 Holmes stories appeared in the U.S. in 1923... Castillo's ruling allows anyone to use the Holmes character as long as they don’t use elements from the 1923 stories, which include details about Holmes’ and Dr. Watson’s past. "Conan Doyle fails to offer a bright line rule or workable legal standard for determining when characters are sufficiently developed to warrant copyright protection through an entire series," the judge wrote."