Dec 30, 2022

By Christine Ross

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It’s elementary, my dear Watson.

Those familiar words by Sherlock Holmes are finally free to the public in just a few days.

A long-running contested copyright dispute over Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales of a the whipsmart detective Sherlock Holmes will finally come to an end when copyrights expire January 1st.

Once a work enters the public domain it can legally be shared, performed, reused, repurposed or sampled without permission or cost.

The works from 1927 were originally supposed to be copyrighted for 75 years, but the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act delayed opening them up for an additional 20 years.

There’s also some music on the list set to be free to the public. Compositions — the music and lyrics found on sheet music, not the sound recordings — on the list include hits from Broadway musicals like “Funny Face” and jazz standards from the likes of legends like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, in addition to Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.

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