Why are the adventures of Sherlock Holmes now in the public domain?

Why are the adventures of Sherlock Holmes now in the public domain?

Every first of January is celebrated the “Day of the public domain”. This date marks the arrival in the public domain of a certain number of literary or artistic works. This means that these works are now copyright-free and can be published without having to seek permission from the authors or their descendants.

Copyright protects a creator from any misuse of his creations and allows him to receive remuneration in the event of exploitation by a third party. This right is guaranteed to an author throughout his life. After his death, it is his heirs (his family) or the person he has designated for this purpose who benefits. But only for a limited period: 70 years from January 1 following the death of the author.

This January 1, 2023, this is particularly the case for Sherlock Holmes: the adventures of the famous British detective are now in the public domain. These texts may be republished, translated or even adapted freely, without having to pay the rights holders of the author Arthur Conan Doyle. In the field of French literature, the works of two authors who died in 1952 also fall into the public domain: Paul Eluard and Charles Maurras.

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