Friday News: Sherlock Holmes enters public domain, Chelsea Handler signs with Netflix, women writers and alcohol, and World Cup sex rules
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