Sherlock Holmes joins a first Oscar winner and the ‘ice cream’ song in the public domain – CNN

January 3, 2023 by No Comments

Written by Scottie Andrew, CNN

A Sherlock Holmes collection, the first film to win the Oscars’ top prize and a classic ditty by Irving Berlin are among the thousands of books, films and musical compositions entering the US public domain in 2023.

When a piece of art enters the public domain, it means no one holds the copyright to it. Anyone can broadcast, consume or reimagine these works without having to pay royalties. Books, films and artworks in the public domain are also often more easily distributed and sometimes free to consume.

Among the most famous of this year’s crop are “The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes,” which decisively ends a decades-long saga of Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate attempting to curb use of the character by other authors, the wartime romance “Wings” and Berlin’s “Puttin’ On the Ritz.”

Remember that trailer for an indie horror film starring a bloodthirsty Winnie-the-Pooh? Filmmakers were able to turn beloved children’s characters like Piglet and Christopher Robin into villains — and the Walt Disney Company, producer of many a Pooh film, couldn’t do anything about it — all because A.A. Milne’s Pooh books became part of the public domain last year.

Hemingway, Gershwin and Woolf works are in the public domain this year

One of the most notable additions to the public domain this year is “The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes” which contains Doyle’s final Holmes stories. Though US copyright law holds that the original version of a character enters the public domain when the work in which it appears does — even if it’s the first in a series whose copyrights have not lapsed — Doyle’s estate has at times pushed back against other creators’ portrayals of Holmes in their work. That ends this year, now that “The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes” enters public domain, according to the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University. (Holmes has been part of the UK public domain since 2000.)

Several other works by acclaimed authors enter the public domain this year, including Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse,” Ernest Hemingway’s collection “Men Without Women” and Agatha Christie’s “The Big Four.”

The 1927 film “Wings,” starring (from left) Charles Rogers, Clara Bow and Richard Arlen, has entered the public domain this year. Credit: Everett Collection

Among films, “Wings,” a 1927 film starring Clara Bow that was named “outstanding picture” at the very first Academy Awards ceremony, is now part of the public domain, as is “Metropolis,” the iconic German sci-fi film directed by Fritz Lang whose influence is evident throughout the sci-fi genre. Another new …….

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