We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

AP/Press Association Images

Heirs of Sherlock Holmes author had their petition refused by US Supreme Court today

A court ruling stands that some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories are no longer in copyright.

THE US SUPREME Court refused to hear a petition today by the heirs of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who is best known for writing the fictional stories of Sherlock Holmes.

The refusal today leaves the adventures of fictional crime solver Sherlock Holmes in the public domain.

A ruling by an appeals court in June allowed a US writer and editor to publish a book whose characters were inspired by the Scottish writer, without paying royalties to the family.


In that decision the court ruled that, since the characters in the Sherlock Holmes books were created before 1923, they can no longer be protected by copyright.

Since the Supreme Court today took no action on the challenge, the appeals court decision remains in effect.

Holmes and his loyal sidekick Dr Watson appeared for the first time in Doyle’s stories in 1887.

The duo solve crimes in four novels and 56 stories, with the books published worldwide.

These works are now in the public domain except for the last 10, which were published after 1923.

The last batch of stories have copyright protection until December 31, 2022.

© – AFP 2014

Read: We’re buying a lot of new cars… the most since 2009>

Read: The buskers can stay at Temple Bar>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.