The Public Domain: “Elementary, My Dear Watson”

#FreeSherlock, indeed. From CNBC and the NY Times‘ Arts blog comes news that some Sherlock Holmes story elements are now in the public domain for American audiences and authors to remix and use royalty-free, thanks to a ruling from an Illinois federal court. Under America’s copyright law, a work (whether literary, musical, or artistic) enters the public domain once copyright protection expires. Copyright terms can be complicated, depending on when the work was first published, so be sure to consult with an IP attorney before using something you think is in the public domain or before publishing your work to ensure your work’s well protected.

If my firm can help you with your copyright, trademark, or other IP needs, call me (913-707-9220) or email me ( for a convenient, free consultation.

(c) 2013, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s