The Sherlock Holmes character enters the public domain. What does this mean for future adaptations of the hero’s adventures?
Since January 2023, the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, has fully entered the public domain. Due to copyright expiration The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes the iconic detective from joined Dracula and Robin Hood as public domain, a character that can be written about and portrayed however the author sees fit. While Holmes has long been in the semi-public domain, the full lapse of copyright means that much more freedom in adaptations may be allowed in the future.
This will also translate into potential future film and series projects about the iconic detective. The expiration of copyright and the transition fully to the public domain really gives a lot of freedom in how the creators present the characters on the screen.
Enola Holmes lawsuit
First of all, the creators will no longer be limited by the heirs of Arthur Conan Doyle, who created the character of Sherlock. For example, in 2020, they sued those responsible for the film Enola Holmes for portraying Holmes as a kind, friendly, and respectful woman, claiming that these character traits only emerged in the last ten stories, which were not yet in the public domain. Ultimately, the lawsuit was dismissed.