"A federal court has ordered the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle to pay $30,679.93 in legal fees to the plaintiff in a successful copyright challenge, calling its practice of demanding licensing fees for use of the character Sherlock Holmes “a form of extortion” with “no legal basis.”... The reimbursement of legal fees, the ruling noted, was necessary to level the playing field between creators and copyright holders, who capitalize on people’s willingness to pay use fees rather than take the costly risk of litigation. It cited the example of the song “Happy Birthday to You,” for which a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, in the words of a 2009 decision, “receives approximately $2 million per year” in royalties, “despite the fact that the song is most likely in the public domain.” Last year a documentary film company filed a suit arguing that the song is no longer under copyright and requesting that the millions of dollars in use fees collected over the years be returned."
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Conan Doyle Estate Told to Pay Legal Fees; New York Times, 8/5/14
Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times; Conan Doyle Estate Told to Pay Legal Fees: