There was a long-contested copyright over Sherlock Holmes, but that case has ended, and the character has entered the public domain in the United States. So what does that mean? 

Well, you can now use the character in original ideas. That means you can work on a pilot starring the world's greatest detective, a movie idea, or use things like the Hound of the Baskervilles to update a movie idea or put a twist on something. You can even write a spinoff about the character of Dr. Watson. 

With Hollywood always interested in intellectual property, this is just another addition to recognizable titles and names that you can use for your own work. 

What are some other notable works that hit the public domain in 2023? 


— The Gangs of New York, by Herbert Asbury (original publication)

— Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather

— The Big Four, by Agatha Christie

— The Tower Treasure, the first Hardy Boys mystery under the pseudonymous Franklin W. Dixon

— The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle

— Copper Sun, by Countee Cullen

— Mosquitoes, by William Faulkner

— Men Without Women, by Ernest Hemingway

— Der Steppenwolf, by Hermann Hesse (in German)

— Amerika, by Franz Kafka (in German)

— Now We Are Six, by A.A. Milne with illustrations from E.H. Shepard

— Le Temps retrouvé, by Marcel Proust (in French)

— Twilight Sleep, by Edith Wharton

— The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder

— To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf


7th Heaven, directed by Frank Borzage

The Battle of the Century, directed by Clyde Bruckman

The Kid Brother, directed by Ted Wilde

The Jazz Singer, directed by Alan Crosland

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, directed by F.W. Murnau

Upstream, directed by John Ford

Wings, directed by William A. Wellman

Source: VOA News