I'm still reading copyright issues articles, and the collection keeps on growing. You could call this set "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Public Domain." If you shop for ereaders and ebooks, you'll find that they offer a few free books from the public domain, so that you can test out file formats, your download process, your software or your hardware. Every vendor and every website I've visited has included at least one of A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories or books. The on-line community seems to see Sherlock Holmes literature as an archetypal public domain offering. That's why I was surprised to learn that intellectual property rights turmoil still surrounds the Great Detective. See these articles:
- Elementary My Dear Watson....It's Called The Public Domain... Or Is It? From Tech Dirt, prompted by the release of the latest Sherlock Holmes movie.
- For the Heirs to Holmes, a Tangled Web. The New York Times summarizes the issues.
- NY Times Takes Up The Case Of Sherlock Holmes And The Lost Public Domain... But Gets It Wrong. Tech Dirt takes issue with the Grey Lady's explanation.
If people can be paid for their work, that's great. If their families benefit from their work, I'm for that. When descendants who never laid eyes on the artist keep work from the public domain, I'm less sympathetic, and when corporations do the grabbing, my sympathy runs dry.