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Friday News: Sherlock Holmes enters public domain, Chelsea Handler signs with...

JUDGES RELEASE SHERLOCK – Score one for the public domain, as the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed the character of Sherlock Holmes — in all but the last works — out of copyright jail. What do you think the chances are that the estate will appeal (they have historically been very aggressive)?

The court ruling (PDF) releases the character into the public domain while maintaing the copyright on the final stories. In the argument, the judges cite Star Wars as a contemporary example, stating that the release of Episode III no more extends the copyright on the original 1977 film than do the last ten stories protect Sherlock. –The Rumpus

Chelsea Handler Inks Mega-Deal for Netflix Late Night Show – I think this is an absolutely fascinating development in the development of Netflix. Not only are they venturing further into original programming — and more specifically into talk shows — but they are partnering with someone who has been known to push pretty much every envelope possible. In a deal that includes stand-up specials, as well as docu-comedy programs, as well as a new type of talk show, Handler has indicated that she wanted to work with Netflix in part because of their willingness to take risks. And maybe this kind of deal will benefit consumers who have grown increasingly frustrated with the monopolized environment of cable TV and satellite companies.

For Netflix, this represents a continued pushing into original programming for its growing global subscriber-base of more than 48 million. In a recent interview with THR, original content VP Cindy Holland was asked about the possibility of late night, to which she noted she wouldn’t shut the door on any kind of experimentation and that her colleagues have no preconceived notions about what will and won’t work on the service. –Yahoo via The Hollywood Reporter

‘Every hour a glass of wine’ – the female writers who drank – This piece looks closely at the work of a number of female writers who also happened to be alcoholics. On one level it’s interesting, because we tend to focus on the link between alcoholism and male writers, ignoring that many prolific and incredibly talented female writers also struggled with substance abuse. At the same time, I’m not a big fan of psychologizing the lives of writers in the way of ‘they had a horrible childhood, then started drinking and writing.’ Okay, that’s a simplification, but I think the piece would have been even more interesting if it had not relied so heavily on some of those premises. Still, an interesting look at the lives and works of Marguerite Duras, Jean Rhys (whose novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, is a retelling of Jane Eyre, focusing on Rochester’s first wife), Elizabeth Bishop, Patricia Highsmith, Jane Bowles, and others.

Duras’s nightmarish childhood raises the question of origins, of what causes alcohol addiction and whether it is different for men and women. Alcoholism is roughly 50% hereditable, a matter of genetic predisposition, which is to say that environmental factors such as early life experience and societal pressure play a considerable role. Picking through the biographies of alcoholic female writers, one finds again and again the same dismal family histories that are present in the lives of their male counterparts, from Ernest Hemingway to F Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams to John Cheever–The Guardian

The complete guide to World Cup sex rules – For anyone contemplating a Romance featuring World Cup players, you might want to consult this primer on the World Cup Sex Rules. Quartz has kindly put together what amounts to an encyclopedic collection of national do’s and don’ts.

We listed teams that have restrictions that are more nuanced as “it’s complicated.” For instance, Costa Rican players are banned from having sex until the second round (or presumably elimination.) The French team’s rules on the matter hinge on the frequency, the type, and timing of intimacy. (France’s former team doctor has said (link in French) that sex is “relaxing” for players, but shouldn’t be an all-night activity.) Nigeria allows wives but not girlfriends and the hosting Brazilian team can have sex as long as it’s not “acrobatic.” –Quartz

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Christine M.
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 06:55:01

    You may want to edit the name of the third link. Just sayin’. :)

  2. Heather
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 08:20:16

    The Sherlock ruling could be huge. I wonder what impact this may have on other continuing series and/or original movies, such as Disney and such.

  3. Cheryl
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 09:02:22

    With the way Chile and Mexico have performed thus far, maybe there’s something to the sex banishment. lol

    I just hope the Americans stick with whatever choice they made prior to the match against Ghana. In the words of Crash Davis “respect the streak”.

  4. Isobel Carr
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 09:04:33

    Handler announced she was quitting her last show because she was “bored” by having to talk about/interview celebrities. Hard to see how shifting to a Netflix talk show will change that aspect of a late night show. *shrug*

  5. lawless
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 09:40:04

    If the Conan Doyle estate has any sense, they won’t go further. There is no right to recourse to the Supreme Court — they’d have to petition for a writ of certiorari — and with the Seventh Circuit labeling their appeal “quixotic” (lawyerspeak for “ludicrous”), it would amount to throwing good money after bad.

  6. Janine
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 11:31:21

    I shouldn’t laugh at the World Cup footballers’ sex restrictions but for some reason it struck me as funny. Glad my favorite teams (France, USA and Brazil) are allowed to get some.

  7. Cynthia Sax
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 12:50:36

    IMHO… alcoholism and writing has more to do with the nature of the job than a writer’s background. It is very challenging to write emotion well and not feel that emotion. That emotional roller coaster that readers go on during a great story? Magnify that by 100 for the writer.

    I think that’s why many of us are a wee bit crazy. (grins)

  8. Janine
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 13:18:32

    @Cynthia Sax: I think it’s a chicken or egg question though, is fiction writing a little bit crazymaking or do you have to be a little irrational to choose it as your career in the first place? Personally I love the rollercoaster ride of experiencing the characters’ emotions as I write so I can’t say it makes me suffer (Except once, long ago, when a main character died. I decided not to do that to myself again).

  9. Dana S
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 14:14:48

    Are you guys still using the page? I like accessing DA through the blog option, but for the past week I’ve only been seeing old posts. This might just be my browser, but I’ve tried deleting cookies and flushed out my history, but I’m not seeing newer posts. Does anyone know how to fix this?

  10. Erin Satie
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 17:20:49

    Dana–the same thing has been happening to me, but I just reload the page. That seems to solve the problem.

  11. Janine
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 18:47:10

    @Dana S: Yes, we’re still using it. Like Erin says, the page needs to be refreshed to update. We recently switched hosts and some resulting issues still need ironing out.

  12. Ros
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 19:05:36

    Make sure you do a forced refresh: CTRL and F5 together. Just F5 doesn’t update it for me.

  13. Dana S
    Jun 20, 2014 @ 22:23:45

    @Ros: Thank you! The forced refresh worked! Just F5 wasn’t working for me either.

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