Silent Night Deadly Night, the first “Santa kills people” movie, was released in 1984 to great controversy. If you can believe it, there were people with protest signs standing outside of theaters that showed the film. On his tiny TV in his woodsy cabin, Jim Hopper watched the controversy unfold, and forty years later he donned a red suit and decided to replicate it.
When a work of fiction becomes public domain, it can be used in any form of media production. That includes books, movies, and television shows. To use these characters in any medium, you do not need a license from the Estate.Their creators had been dead for at least 70 years.There are no longer any legal heirs to the property, so the licenses are not renewed.