Au­thor wins fight to write new Sher­lock sto­ries

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Ja­son Keyser

CHICAGO — It’s the kind of puz­zle that might have amused Sher­lock Holmes him­self. Now that copy­right pro­tec­tions have ex­pired on nearly all of Sir Arthur Co­nan Doyle’s tales about the pipepuff­ing de­tec­tive in the deer­stalker hat, are writ­ers free to de­pict the char­ac­ter in new mys­ter­ies with­out seek­ing per­mis­sion or pay­ing li­cence fees? A fed­eral judge in Chicago says yes, so long as they don’t stray into ter­ri­tory cov­ered in the 10 sto­ries still pro­tected by copy­right. But the Doyle es­tate is con­sid­er­ing an ap­peal this month. De­scen­dants of the Scot­tish physi­cian and au­thor ar­gue he con­tin­ued to de­velop the char­ac­ters of Holmes and Dr. Wat­son in the later works so they should re­main off-lim­its un­til the re­main­ing copy­rights run out at the end of 2022. “It’s a bogus ar­gu­ment. It means you can re­print Co­nan Doyle’s own sto­ries freely but you can’t make up a new story? It doesn’t make log­i­cal sense,” said au­thor Leslie Klinger, who brought the case against the Co­nan Doyle Es­tate Ltd. to set­tle the mat­ter. With last week’s rul­ing in hand, Klinger plans to fin­ish work on In the Com­pany of Sher­lock Holmes,

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