Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate sues Santa Fe-based author

SANTA FE (KRQE) – The estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle says a Santa Fe-based author stole copyrighted material to make a book and movie about Sherlock Holmes, set to be released this summer.

The screenplay and the book upon which it’s based, “Slight Trick of the Mind,” were written by Mitch Cullin, who grew up in Santa Fe.

The book, first published a decade ago, is a Sherlock Holmes story. Most of Conan Doyle’s works are now in the public domain, so author’s can write about Sherlock Holmes. They just can’t borrow from the ten works still under copyright.

That’s what the estate claims Cullin did in his book. The suit also names Miramax and Penguin Books. Representatives from the company haven’t answered requests for comment. Attempts to reach Cullin were unsuccessful.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday alleges he copied protected plot, settings and borrowed from passages of books that are under copyright.

The movie “Mr. Holmes” is set for a July 17 release.

The estate asks for profits from the book and the upcoming movie. If that can’t get worked out quickly, the film could become the curious incident of the movie in the summer.

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