The Ever Mysterious Sherlock Holmes
Is there a fictional character more fascinating than Sherlock Holmes? Even if you put on your deerstalker and went searching with a magnifying glass in hand, you’d be hard pressed to find one.
The creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes is the brilliant detective who starred in multiple novels and short stories penned by Doyle from 1887-1927. What’s a little confusing for any authors who would like to write new stories about the detective is that the final 10 stories are still under copyright protection, while the bulk of the Holmes canon is in the public domain. I learned about the copyright protection from Bruce Levenson when he was checking out my fan fiction.
Doyle’s estate recently challenged Leslie Klinger, the editor of a volume of Holmes-inspired stories published in 2011. They wanted to charge Klinger’s publisher licensing fees for his next, similar book, due out later this year. But the Supreme Court has recently ruled that Klinger can continue to anthologize new stories about the classic detective, at least as long as those stories are not determined to build on details that came out about the character in the final ten stories still protected by copyright.