Immediately the new film “Enola Holmes” was just announced by Netflix that he was attacked by the Conan Doyle Estate, the copyright holders of the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. According to them, the version of the character of Sherlock Holmes which appears there corresponds to that present in the stories which do not fall yet in the public domain and therefore are protected by copyright.
Will portraying a character soon be punished? The copyright owners of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Conan Doyle Estate have just sued Netflix’s next film, Enola Holmes. The most famous creation of the British author, the character of the detective Sherlock Holmes (and what is attached to him), is in the public domain today. Other authors can therefore reinvent it and adapt its adventures at leisure … unless these covers have an ounce of resemblance to a tiny portion of the stories of Sherlock Holmes still protected by copyright in the United States. And according to the Conan Doyle Estate, this is indeed the case with Enola Holmes. In the latter, Sherlock Holmes (played by Henry Cavill) and his big brother Mycroft (Sam Claflin) help their younger sister Enola (Millie Bobby brown) to conduct his first police investigation. The first images of this previously unknown film were revealed this Thursday, June 24 (below).
To begin with, Enola Holmes is not an invention of Arthur Conan Doyle but of the American writer Nancy Springer. The latter has already dealt with the Conan Doyle Estate and emerged as a winner. Several judgments were made in favor of his work in the late 2000s, since most of them included elements of the intrigues of Sherlock Holmes today in the public domain. However, despite the fact that the Netflix film is a direct adaptation of the written (and supported by justice) accounts of Nancy Springer, the Conan Doyle Estate considers that it borrows too much from the few novels published between 1923 and 1927, still protected until ‘in 2023. Indeed, in Enola Holmes, the character of Sherlock would show empathy towards the members of his family and especially respect towards his sister, a woman. According to the beneficiaries, these very precise characteristics belong to the Sherlock Holmes of the period 1923-1927 and not to that before, in the public domain.