Netflix Sued By the Conan Doyle Estate for Giving Sherlock Holmes ‘Emotions’ in New Film


The upcoming Netflix film Enola Holmes, which is based on the book series by Nancy Springer, is being sued by the Conan Doyle Estate for copyright infringement and trademark violations.

The movie, which stars Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown as Sherlock Holmes’ adventurous sister Enola, is not a part of official Sherlock Holmes canon though it does feature the character of Sherlock Holmes, here played by The Witcher and DCEU’s Henry Cavill. The lawsuit targets Netflix, Legendary Pictures, Penguin Random House and others, including author Nancy Springer, according to THR.

In 2014, it was ruled that all the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories written before 1923 were public domain, so the Conan Doyle Estate only has a claim to the last 10 original stories written between 1923 and 1927.

Here’s where it gets interesting though. The lawsuit “alleges that the difference between the public domain stories and the copyrighted ones is emotions.” Meaning, the stories the Estate owns are the later stories where Sherlock Holmes actually shows emotion. After losing both his son and brother, Sherlock Holmes became “warmer” in the final stories.

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