1. taytay98
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    taytay98 Member

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    This Seems To Be My Favorite Place Here...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by taytay98, Jan 20, 2012.

    Hi there. It seems like you see a lot of me in this area.

    New question I've been thinking of for the past few days.

    Do anyone you think I could come into some problems if I decided to try to publish a modern-day, young adult (eighteen year old protagonists :p ) Sherlock Holmes?

    I have been thinking of it the past few days, and I was wondering if it would be an issue, especially with BBC's show and CBS's announcement to attempt to make their own version.

    I was originally going to do a Victorian era one, but then I read about the pastiche (I think it's called that) and I decided to stop, even though I was at 4.5k in the last two days, which was different for me.

    The basic idea I have is two eighteen year old boys, one fresh out of high school, and one who graduated at the age of fourteen, fifteen... (He's really smart), living in London (it's my favorite place in the whole wide world) and solving crimes. I have written out what I wanted my characters to be like, then I went through the trouble of writing out John and Sherlocks profiles, thanks to Wikipedia, and I highlighted in specific colors what I wanted to use and what I wanted to change, sort of.

    If this could be a problem, any suggestions on what I could change or what I could add to make it doable?

    Thank you
     
  2. Berber
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    Berber Active Member

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    Technically speaking the character of Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain, even though not all of the books are. This means that you may use the character in any new creation, so long as you don't include any context from the books that are not in the public domain (which I don't think would be a problem, considering this is a modernized piece). BBC and CBS do not have any copyright claim over a fictional character that is in the public domain - it would be just like them making a series centered around Romeo and Juliet. They only own the content that they create, but anyone is free to work with those characters.

    Legally you should have no problems with this, though retaining the name "Sherlock Holmes" in your piece might prove to be more of a burden than a blessing. You will have to flawlessly execute the characters or else the altered context may cause some to not take the interpretation seriously.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Don't use the name Sherlock Holmes. Not telling you what to do here, but I personally wouldn't do it if I were the one writing.

    The two young boys thing actually reminds me more of the Hardy Boys (minus the London part, and I'm assuming your mysteries are more serious), but don't use their names, either, or any other detective names that already exist. Give your characters their own name. The only exception I'd make for this is if it's supposed to be campy -- for instance, if the MC's family name is Holmes, so the parents decided it would be neat to name him Sherlock, and people give him crap about it his whole life. He swears he'll stay away from mysteries because he doesn't want to be bombarded with irony crap, but then, one falls in his lap. Of course, if his partner is also named Watson, that's a bit too far fetched....

    Even if the copyright isn't an issue, you might get fans of the original S.H. going on about how Sherlock wasn't supposed to be that way, he was like this in the originals, blah blah blah....if you make the character entirely your own, you have a lot more freedom to do what you want without backlash from original fans.
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I do not see any problems in you adapting it.
    Normally once something is out and publically viewed then it should be anyone's cake.
    Once someone has decided to sell a story under a movie title then one has decided to go public and therefore by logic thousands of people are going to view it across the globe.
    One cannot then turn around and say you cannot have the idea.
    If you wish to protect your style or your signature stories then one is better off not turning it into a movie.
    That is the only way can protect it from being copied across the globe worldwide.
    That is how I see it.
     
  5. akexodia
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    akexodia Member

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    I dont think that may pose any trouble. The main problem with detective stories is that there re like a gazillion different plots already in the market (thanks to the crime series on TV) So, you'll have to strive really hard to produce a good plot.
    Besides, the 18yo detectives remind me of Hardy Boys series :p
     
  6. taytay98
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    taytay98 Member

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    Except, it won't technically be like the Hardy Boys as they're not brothers ;)

    don't worry, I do plan on using different names. :p
     
  7. taytay98
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    taytay98 Member

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    Okay... My main issue right now is deciding if I want to do it modern day or in the Victorian era.

    I'm so torn. I don't know which one I should do. I decide to do one, and then I want to do the other.

    What would you rather read. A modern day or Victorian era twist?
     
  8. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    No, no, no.

    Look up copyright infringement and derivative work.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    joanna is right, cacian... you are wrong... you must acquaint yourself with the copyright laws... go here for the US laws, which are virtually the same as those in the UK and much the same as any other country that is a signatory to the berne convention: www.copyright.gov

    tattay...
    i would strongly suggest you stay away from victorian era london, as that's locked in the minds of readers as holmes' world... you might want to consider placing your team in the future, which would be fun for both you and your readers... contemporary london could work just as well... i think it's important, however, to not just replicate holmes and watson, albeit younger in age, but to give your version of them and their adventures its own distinct 'flavor'... changing the time frame will do that...

    the concept has great potential, imo... and, if written well, could end up rivaling the success of laurie r. king's uber-terrific 'mary and sherlock' series... go for it!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  10. taytay98
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    taytay98 Member

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    Thank you. I'm really leaning towards the modern day setting now. It's not definite of course... Yet.
     

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