"Who owns the Rights?" is a new regular feature we're running covering the issue of who owns the rights to famous literary estates and authors' works, and allowing board members to investigate. Given how hard it can be to track owners, we make no guarantee we will find them. Dashiell Hammett is best known for his hard-boiled detective novels, including the creation of characters such as Sam Spade. An American author who served in both World Wars, he stood up to the House UnAmerican Activites Committee and was jailed and blacklisted for refusing to reveal names. The film adaptations of his works, notably The Maltese Falcon, made him one of the fathers of the film noir genre, and he is often credited with inspiring Raymond Chandler. He died in 1961. So who owns the rights?