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The Copyright Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Is copyright a greater foe to Sherlock Holmes than Moriarity? The answer depends on what a court says – and whether you think that the duration of copyright protection in the United States is too lengthy.

In the United States the current duration of copyright protection is generally the life of the author plus 70 years (with some notable exceptions). Many older works, generally speaking those works published before January 1, 1923, are in the public domain, which means anyone can copy, publish, and modify them without restriction in the United States.

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