Conan Doyle Estate Sues Netflix For Copyright Infringement Over ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Spin-Off

Netflix has found itself in hot water with the Conan Doyle estate.

As the streaming giant plans to release a film following Sherlock Holmes’ sister Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobby Brown, the estate of the late writer filed a new lawsuit claiming copyright infringement and trademark violations.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint was filed Tuesday in a New Mexico federal court, naming Netflix, Legendary Pictures, Penguin Random House and author Nancy Springer, who wrote the novels the new movie is based on, among others.

In 2014, the Doyle Estate lost most of its hold on the Sherlock Holmes stories when it was ruled that all the pieces that were written about the iconic fictional detective before 1923 are public domain.

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“After the stories that are now in the public domain, and before the Copyrighted Stories, the Great War happened,” the complaint reads. “In World War I Conan Doyle lost his eldest son, Arthur Alleyne Kingsley. Four months later he lost his brother, Brigadier-general Innes Doyle. When Conan Doyle came back to Holmes in the Copyrighted Stories between 1923 and 1927, it was no longer enough that the Holmes character was the most brilliant rational and analytical mind. Holmes needed to be human. The character needed to develop human connection and empathy.”

The complaint also claims that the film will be released in August, but Netflix has yet to confirm.

The Sherlock Holmes stories have turned into a number of big-screen and television adaptations, including the “Sherlock” series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, 2009’s big screen flick “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law and 2018’s “Holmes And Watson” parody film starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

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