Sherlock Holmes is free, US judge rules
CHICAGO (AFP) - The beloved British detective Sherlock Holmes is now free to be reimagined in the United States after a federal judge ruled that licencing fees are no longer required.
First introduced in 1887, Holmes entered the public domain in Britain years ago.
The literary icon has been kept alive in the public imagination with the help of scores of films - including a recent series starring Robert Downey Jr. and popular television shows like the BBC's Sherlock and CBS's Elementary.
But a quirk in US copyright law which protected ten short stories in the vast Holmes canon had allowed the descendants of author Arthur Conan Doyle to retain intellectual property rights in the United States.