Sherlock Is Entering the Public Domain

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous stories are among notable works becoming fair game in 2023
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2022 11:04 AM CST
See the Books Movies, Music Entering Public Domain in 2023
It's elementary.   (Getty / OSTILL)

Sherlock Holmes is finally free to the American public in 2023. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tales of a whipsmart detective are fair game as of Jan. 1, as the 1927 copyrights expire for the author's last Sherlock Holmes work, per the AP. Alongside the short-story collection The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, books such as Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse, Ernest Hemingway's Men Without Women, William Faulkner's Mosquitoes, and Agatha Christie's The Big Four—an Hercule Poirot mystery—will become public domain as the calendar turns to 2023. Once a work enters the public domain it can legally be shared, performed, reused, repurposed, or sampled without permission or cost. Some notable works for 2023:


  • The Gangs of New York, by Herbert Asbury (original publication)
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather
  • The Big Four, by Agatha Christie
  • The Tower Treasure, the first Hardy Boys mystery by the pseudonymous Franklin W. Dixon
  • The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Copper Sun, by Countee Cullen
  • Mosquitoes, by William Faulkner
  • Men Without Women, by Ernest Hemingway
  • Der Steppenwolf, by Herman Hesse (in German)
  • Amerika, by Franz Kafka (in German)
  • Now We Are Six, by A.A. Milne with illustrations from E.H. Shepard
  • Le Temps retrouvé, by Marcel Proust (in French)
  • Twilight Sleep, by Edith Wharton
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder
  • To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf


  • 7th Heaven, directed by Frank Borzage
  • The Battle of the Century, a Laurel and Hardy film directed by Clyde Bruckman
  • The Kid Brother, directed by Ted Wilde
  • The Jazz Singer, directed by Alan Crosland
  • The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang
  • Sunrise, directed by F.W. Murnau
  • Upstream, directed by John Ford
  • Wings, directed by William A. Wellman


  • "Back Water Blues," “Preaching the Blues” and “Foolish Man Blues” (Bessie Smith)
  • “The Best Things in Life Are Free,” from the musical Good News (George Gard “Buddy” De Sylva, Lew Brown, Ray Henderson)
  • “Billy Goat Stomp,” “Hyena Stomp” and “Jungle Blues” (Ferdinand Joseph Morton)
  • “Black and Tan Fantasy” and “East St. Louis Toodle-O” (Bub Miley, Duke Ellington)
  • “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and “Ol’ Man River,” from the musical Show Boat” (Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern)
  • “Diane” (Erno Rapee, Lew Pollack)
  • “Funny Face” and “’S Wonderful,” from the musical Funny Face (Ira and George Gershwin)
  • “(I Scream You Scream, We All Scream for) Ice Cream” (Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, Robert A. King)
  • “Mississippi Mud” (Harry Barris, James Cavanaugh)
  • “My Blue Heaven” (George Whiting, Walter Donaldson)
  • “Potato Head Blues" and Gully Low Blues” (Louis Armstrong)
  • “Puttin’ on the Ritz” (Irving Berlin)
  • “Rusty Pail Blues,” “Sloppy Water Blues” and “Soothin’ Syrup Stomp” (Thomas Waller)
See a more complete list here. (More copyright stories.)

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