Skip to main content

View Diary: Character names by Arthur Conan Doyle (65 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  As I said in my introduction... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, Aunt Pat, Brecht

    The trademark and copyright issues on the Doyle characters and stories are very complicated and murky.

    It was widely believed back when Star Trek: The Next Generation was in production that the producers messed up, thinking Holmes and Watson were public domain when they used them in the episode "Elementary My Dear Data."

    This is not true. Paramount's legal department was very aware of the copyright and trademark status of those characters and negotiated a license to use them in Star Trek before the fact, and at considerable cost.

    To tell the truth, I'm not certain either way (major Doyle characters public domain or not), after reading what I read this morning.

    And if you want to split hairs, whether or not you're making money on your story is irrelevant when it comes to trademark and copyright infringement issues. This is a common misconception held by writers of fan fiction. It's not whether you made money that counts. It's whether your use of the characters could COST the owners of the licenses money or control -- say if your story got so popular that people started thinking of you as the owner of the character rather than the person who owns it.

    I don't say that to discourage you from continuing to write your story. I just want to clarify the issue when it comes to copyright and trademark infringement.

    At the end of the day, if you haven't got a cease and desist letter from the owner of the characters, you've got no problem.

    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:53:57 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site