Skip to main content

According to The Daily Telegraph, heirs to the literary rights of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who, let us remember, departed from this Vale of Tears and joined The Choir Invisible in 19-frigging-30) are still trying to squeeze the 85 year-old cadaver for some more shekels.

But, I can hear these 'heirs' (a polite word for 'parasites') crying: "...it's not about the money." Of course not. When is it ever? Sadly for these literary 'curators' (another polite word for 'parasites'), the Supreme Court just told them to 'go fuck yourselves', which is a technical term used by lawyers and such.

...the US Supreme Court refused to hear an "emergency petition" over a leading American crime writer using the characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson in a new book.

Justice Elena Kagan, 54, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, provided no comment as to why she had dismissed the plea by the Scottish author's heirs over a book by Leslie Klinger.

Conan Doyle's heirs are not accepting defeat, though, and their lawyer told AFP that the heirs would follow up "in the coming months" and looked forward to presenting their arguments in a petition to review the lower court's decision.

Holmes and Watson appeared for the first time in print in 1887 and are in four of Conan Doyle's novels and 56 stories published in the United States during 1927. All these are in the public domain, except for the last 10 – published from 1923 to 1927 – meaning the vast majority can be used in any way without paying the Doyle estate a licensing fee. The final 10 volumes have copyright protection until December 31, 2022.

 Klinger had previously published A Study in Sherlock and paid for the rights, even though he insists he did not need to do so. Klinger is considered an authority on Sherlock Holmes – and Dracula – and is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars. He is also the Treasurer of the American Horror Writers Association. He wants to call a new book In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, without paying the Conan Doyle heirs. The Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit met on June 16 and sided with Klinger, sparking the Supreme Court action.

The Doyle estate are reported to be seeking indefinite copyright protection for all his work. "Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were not static but are dynamic literary characters who changed and developed throughout the Sherlock Holmes canon," Doyle's heirs said. "Many aspects of these characters' natures are not revealed until the final 10 stories, which are still under copyright protection."

Wow:  "...aspects of these characters' natures are not revealed until the final 10 stories...".

Uh-huh; because the previous 46 stories and 4 novels had done so little to expose the characters of Holmes and Watson, leaving them as Sphinx-like enigmas until the last 10 stories which just so happen to still be in copyright. Now, there's a mystery worthy of Holmes himself...or perhaps not.

Here's a thought: instead of expending time and money in an attempt to wring the last few pennies from a man who's been dead for 85 goddamn years, why not write your own damn books, or even, I dunno...get a job. Elementary, my dear 'heirs'.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site