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Accueil » Toutes les news » Mr. Holmes : les héritiers de Conan Doyle menacent le film
Thierry Saint-Joanis
Mr. Holmes :
les héritiers de Conan Doyle menacent le film

Sherlock Holmes Creator’s Estate Sues to Block Ian McKellen Film
Mai 22, 2015

Les héritiers de Conan Doyle réclament encore de l'argent au titre des droits d'auteur toujours en vigueur aux Etats-Unis sur dix nouvelles holmésiennes. Cette fois, c'est la production du prochain film avec Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes) qui est sommée de passer à la caisse. A suivre...
Source : - By Deborah Day on May 22, 2015
Arthur Conan Doyle heirs claim copyright infringement by Miramax over upcoming drama “Mr. Holmes”
It’s elementary, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate said in a new lawsuit: It owns rights to the fictional detective’s days in retirement, and Mitch Cullin, author of the novel “A Slight Trick of the Mind, and Miramax, which is producing the film “Mr. Holmes” based on the novel, don’t.
“The first 50 of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes short stories and novels are in the public domain. But the last 10 of his original Sherlock Holmes stories, published between 1923 and 1927 (the Ten Stories), remain protected by copyright in the United States. These copyrighted 10 stories develop the details of Holmes’s fictional retirement and change and develop the character of Holmes himself,” the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in New Mexico on Thursday, states.
In the film, which stars Ian McKellan, a retired Holmes appears to team up with a young boy to investigate a 50-year-old cold case involving a beautiful woman from his past. Laura Linney co-stars in the project written by Jeffrey Hatcher.
The complaint for injunction and damages also names Roadside Attractions, Cullin’s publisher Penguin Random House and director William Condon as defendants and states that the infringement stems from “unauthorized copying” by Cullin in the novel.
“The remaining defendants have participated in copying these protected stories in the infringing movie, have published and distributed the infringing novel and motion picture, and have titled the movie so as to confuse consumers and unfairly trade on [Conan Doyle Estate Ltd.]’s goodwill,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit notes two references to Holmes’ retirement in the public domain, but lists elements the estate claims Cullin appropriated that only appeared in later stories, including “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” and “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier,” including utilizing “the creative point of view of Holmes rather than Watson narrating a detective story — and the plot behind it: that Watson has remarried and moved out of Baker Street.”
The estate claims Cullin copied the next passage from “Blanched Soldier” as well. Conan Doyle wrote:
"It is my habit to sit with my back to the window and to place my visitors in the opposite chair, where the light falls full upon them. Mr. James M. Dodd seemed somewhat at a loss how to begin the interview. I did not attempt to help him, for his silence gave me more time for observation. I have found it wise to impress clients with a sense of power, and so I gave him some of my conclusions.
“From South Africa, sir, I perceive.”
“Yes, sir,” he answered, with some surprise.
The estate claims that in the novel, Cullin copies the seating placement and use of the window’s light to advantage, as well as the sequence relating the client’s resulting awkwardness, Holmes using the discomfort for observation, then impressing his client with conclusions and noting the client’s surprised reaction.
From Cullin’s work:
As was my usual custom, I sat with my back to the window and invited my visitor into the opposite armchair, where — from his vantage point — I became obscured by the brightness of the outside light, and he — from mine — was illuminated with perfect clarity. Initially, Mr. Keller appeared uncomfortable in my presence, and he seemed at a loss for words. I made no effort to ease his discomfort, but used his awkward silence instead as an opportunity to observe him more closely. I believe that it is always to my advantage to give clients a sense of their own vulnerability, and so, having reached my conclusions regarding his visit, I was quick to instill such a feeling in him.
“There is a great deal of concern, I see, about your wife.”
“That is correct, sir,” he replied, visibly taken aback.
Source : 
Conan Doyle Estate Sues Miramax Over 'Mr. Holmes'
A film about Sherlock Holmes' later life allegedly infringes works about the detective still in copyright.
The heirs of Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle have apparently accepted an appellate judge's conclusion that most of the Sherlock stories are in the public domain. However, that's not stopping the Doyle Estate from filing a new lawsuit targeting Miramax and others over the coming film, Mr. Holmes, which features the famous detective near the end of his life.
On Thursday, a copyright and trademark lawsuit was lodged in New Mexico federal court that alleges that Mr. Holmes treads upon the last ten of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, published between 1923 and 1927.
In a prior dispute with a Holmes expert, the Doyle Estate attempted to argue that it would be unfair to separate out the copyrighted elements from the post-1923 stories from the character traits of the detective that were described prior to 1923. Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner rejected that argument, and also ordered the Doyle estate to pay its legal adversary more than $30,000 in legal fees, but still left open an avenue where the Doyle Estate could attempt to protect the latter works.
The lawsuit attempts to take this opportunity.
According to the complaint, Doyle's public domain works "make references to Holmes’s retirement," but the ones still in copyright tell "much more about Sherlock Holmes’ retirement and later years," such as the detective's attempt to solve one last case, how he "comes to love nature and dedicates himself to studying it," and how Holmes develops "a personal warmth and the capacity to express love for the first time."
Mr. Holmes screenwriter Mitch Cullin allegedly took "protected elements of setting, plot, and character" to create his work, setting up a defense that will likely explore what was covered in earlier Doyle work and what might be generic ideas not worthy of copyright protection. (First, though, a court might examine why the lawsuit belongs in New Mexico of all places.)
The Doyle Estate also looks to use the arrow of trademark law to shoot down Mr. Holmes and says every other major studio with a Sherlock project — including Warner Bros. films, BBC's series Sherlock and CBS' series Elementary —have taken a license.
This aspect of the case could open up some arguments over fair use — in many judicial circuits, creative works are allowed to use others' trademarks if there's "artistic relevance" — as well as introduce some talk of the Supreme Court's landmark decision, Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film, standing for the proposition that trademarks can't be used as perpetual swords to counter copyrighted work falling into the public domain.


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