According to The Daily Telegraph, heirs to the literary rights of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who, let us remember, departed from this Vale of Tears and joined The Choir Invisible in 19-frigging-30) are still trying to squeeze the 85 year-old cadaver for some more shekels.
But, I can hear these 'heirs' (a polite word for 'parasites') crying: "...it's not about the money." Of course not. When is it ever? Sadly for these literary 'curators' (another polite word for 'parasites'), the Supreme Court just told them to 'go fuck yourselves', which is a technical term used by lawyers and such.
...the US Supreme Court refused to hear an "emergency petition" over a leading American crime writer using the characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson in a new book.Wow: "...aspects of these characters' natures are not revealed until the final 10 stories...".
Justice Elena Kagan, 54, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, provided no comment as to why she had dismissed the plea by the Scottish author's heirs over a book by Leslie Klinger.
Conan Doyle's heirs are not accepting defeat, though, and their lawyer told AFP that the heirs would follow up "in the coming months" and looked forward to presenting their arguments in a petition to review the lower court's decision.
Holmes and Watson appeared for the first time in print in 1887 and are in four of Conan Doyle's novels and 56 stories published in the United States during 1927. All these are in the public domain, except for the last 10 – published from 1923 to 1927 – meaning the vast majority can be used in any way without paying the Doyle estate a licensing fee. The final 10 volumes have copyright protection until December 31, 2022.
Klinger had previously published A Study in Sherlock and paid for the rights, even though he insists he did not need to do so. Klinger is considered an authority on Sherlock Holmes – and Dracula – and is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars. He is also the Treasurer of the American Horror Writers Association. He wants to call a new book In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, without paying the Conan Doyle heirs. The Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit met on June 16 and sided with Klinger, sparking the Supreme Court action.
The Doyle estate are reported to be seeking indefinite copyright protection for all his work. "Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were not static but are dynamic literary characters who changed and developed throughout the Sherlock Holmes canon," Doyle's heirs said. "Many aspects of these characters' natures are not revealed until the final 10 stories, which are still under copyright protection."
Uh-huh; because the previous 46 stories and 4 novels had done so little to expose the characters of Holmes and Watson, leaving them as Sphinx-like enigmas until the last 10 stories which just so happen to still be in copyright. Now, there's a mystery worthy of Holmes himself...or perhaps not.
Here's a thought: instead of expending time and money in an attempt to wring the last few pennies from a man who's been dead for 85 goddamn years, why not write your own damn books, or even, I dunno...get a job. Elementary, my dear 'heirs'.