ABOUT THE SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE LITERARY ESTATE AND ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE CHARACTERS LTD.
The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate has owned and administered the literary copyright in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fiction books since 1976 when our family acquired them from his heirs.
Our aim is to promote and make available all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books worldwide. We endeavour to look after the literary brands created by the author, including and not limited to, Sherlock Holmes, Professor Challenger, Professor Moriarty and Brigadier Gerard, keeping them alive through the publication of new stories created by authors such as Anthony Horowitz, Andrew Lane, Nigel Scott, Steve Hayes and David Whitehead,. We also encourage the creation of theatrical and cinematographic productions based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and characters. We particularly encourage scholarly and academic works based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters and stories. It is our policy not to ask for a license fee for such works, although we request that any material be submitted to us for approval to insure its accuracy. Please visit our Licensing page for more information.
Working alongside the Estate, Arthur Conan Doyle Characters Ltd. owns and administers the European trademark rights to the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
As there have been many claims and contradictory interpretations on the status of the copyright, we have include a comprehensive history of the ownership of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works since the author’s death in 1930, supported by publicly available documents registered in the UK and US. We also provide a detailed legal analysis of U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, which gave the right to authors or their descendants to recapture their previously assigned copyright under specific conditions. Finally, we include an analysis of the US Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, and its implications on the ownership of these works. Please visit our Copyrights page for this information.