Producers of Millie Bobby Brown’s Netflix film Enola Holmes have blasted the lawsuit filed by the estate of Sherlock Holmes’s creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
While the author who brought us the iconic detective died in 1930, his estate launched a lawsuit earlier this year, filing a 19-page argument going after the streaming platform for copyright and trademark issues in regards to the film’s portrayal of the detective as possessing emotions.
The estate also named Legendary Pictures, the film’s writer and its director, Jack Thorne and Harry Bradbeer respectively, as well as author Nancy Springer, who wrote the Enola Holmes stories, in the suit.
Now producers for the film, which was released in September, have said the author’s estate is unfairly trying to prevent creators from using the iconic Sherlock character in original works, as they filed a motion to dismiss the claim before trial.
Stranger Things star Millie plays the exceptionally gifted younger sister of the famed detective, created by Sir Arthur in 1887, in Netflix’s film which is based on the series of books by the same name, with Millie’s character not part of the original Sherlock storyline.
The estate lost most of its rights to Sherlock Holmes in 2014 and more than 50 of Sir Arthur’s novels and short stories about the detective are ‘undeniably in the public domain,’ according to the defendants’ motion, which was filed Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
However, some of Sir Arthur’s later stories are still protected by copyright, which his estate argues has been infringed upon.
The recent motion added claims that the estate is trying to force third parties to pay to use the character in their works, as well as claiming copyright infringement on its use of the word Holmes in the film’s title.
Attorney for the defendants, Nicolas Jampol, argued in documents obtained by the publication: ‘In this case, even if the Emotion Trait and Respect Trait were original to copyright protected works, which they are not, they are unprotectable ideas, copyright law does not allow the ownership of generic concepts like warmth, kindness, empathy, or respect, even as expressed by a public domain character — which, of course, belongs to the public, not Plaintiff.’
Jampol also cites public domain works in which Sherlock (played by Henry Cavill in Enola Holmes) demonstrates those characteristics, noting an 1892 story in which the detective treats a woman with ‘nothing but kindness and respect’.
On the note of trademark infringement due to the film using the name Holmes, the defendants’ legal team argues the title Enola Holmes has artistic relevance to the movie and it doesn’t ‘explicitly mislead’ audiences into thinking Sir Arthur’s estate is connected to it.
Henry recently addressed the lawsuit when asked by GQ, telling the magazine: ‘I mean, honestly, I don’t have a take on it.
‘It’s a character from a page which we worked out from the screenplay. The legal stuff is above my pay grade.’
Enola Holmes is available on Netflix now.
Credit: Original article published here.