I never posted about the legal cases involving the dispute over the copyright of Sherlock Holmes, back when it was big news in 2015. However, as I've been catching up on CBS's Elementary, I began thinking about modern Holmes adaptations, and the legal situation of the copyright popped back into my head. The following article from Forbes magazine, from when the issue was making some headlines, is quite interesting. The upshot, as far as I understand it, is that the result of a legal dispute between noted Sherlockian authority Leslie Klinger and the Conan Doyle Estate resulted in a decision that the characters of Holmes and Watson are not themselves restricted under copyright, even though most of the stories from The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes are still under copyright (in the US, at least).
I imagine, as Elementary wraps up, and as other Holmes adaptations are created, the decision of the court described in the article will continue to have an impact on the creative use of Holmes and Watson.
I'm a stay-at-home dad, and Director of Music Ministries at a United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet, TN. And a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes.