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Netflix Sues Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Creators for Infringement

Netflix Sues Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Creators for Infringement

Bridgerton Season 2: All of the Style You MUST See

Now this lawsuit is about to be the speak of the ton.   

Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, creators of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, have been sued by Netflix for copyright and trademark infringement. The transfer comes simply days after the pair hosted a reside efficiency of the Grammy award-winning musical album at The Kennedy Middle in New York Metropolis on July 26.   

“Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their corporations (“Barlow & Bear”) have taken useful mental property from the Netflix unique sequence Bridgerton to construct a global model for themselves,” the lawsuit claims. “Netflix owns the unique proper to create Bridgerton songs, musicals, or some other spinoff works based mostly on Bridgerton. Barlow & Bear can not take that proper—made useful by others’ exhausting work—for themselves, with out permission. But that’s precisely what they’ve completed.”  

Barlow and Bear’s musical adaptation of the hit sequence went viral on TikTok final 12 months. It was later launched as an album in September 2021 and took dwelling the award for Finest Musical Theater Album on the 2022 Grammys

In its lawsuit, Netflix alleges that the duo’s songs copy “liberally and almost identically from Bridgerton throughout numerous unique parts of expression” together with “plot, tempo, sequence of occasions, temper, setting, and themes.”  

David Livingston/Getty Photos

Of their grievance, Netflix claimed that they repeatedly instructed the pair that “such works weren’t approved,” including, “At every step of the way in which, Barlow & Bear’s representatives repeatedly assured Netflix that they understood Netflix’s place and led Netflix to imagine that Netflix could be consulted earlier than Barlow & Bear took steps past streaming their album on-line in audio-only format.”  

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The streaming service claimed that they first discovered about Barlow and Bear’s NYC efficiency from their representatives this previous June, per courtroom paperwork. The pair are additionally scheduled to carry out the present at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 20.   

“Barlow & Bear’s ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical‘ isn’t approved by Netflix, Shondaland, or Julia Quinn,” the lawsuit learn. “And Netflix has by no means given Barlow & Bear permission to create or carry out ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical‘ reside, not to mention on the Kennedy Middle or Royal Albert Corridor, or to create new spinoff works based mostly on the Bridgerton mental property.”  

Netflix additionally allegedly instructed the pair’s consultant that they didn’t need Barlow and Bear to interact in “any reside performances” or “different spinoff works which may compete with Netflix’s personal deliberate occasions” together with its world theatrical occasion The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience.   

Netflix

As a substitute, the courtroom paperwork famous that “The Kennedy Middle efficiency went ahead over Netflix’s objections on July 26, 2022, in entrance of a sold-out viewers.” 

The corporate additionally claimed that the pair allegedly offered unofficial merchandise on the occasion and, all through the night, “misrepresented to the viewers that they had been utilizing Netflix’s BRIDGERTON trademark ‘with Permission,’” per the grievance.

In consequence, Netflix alleged that Bear and Barlow’s actions will result in “irreparable shopper confusion about whether or not their performances and merchandise are in actual fact approved.” The streaming service is in search of declaratory reduction, injunctive reduction, authorized prices, damages and additional reduction.    

E! Information has reached out to the musical’s creators for remark and has not heard again.  

LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

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Bridgerton‘s government producer Shonda Rhimes and novelist Julia Quinn have additionally spoken out concerning the lawsuit.   

“What began as a enjoyable celebration by Barlow & Bear on social media has changed into the blatant taking of mental property solely for Barlow & Bear’s monetary profit,” Rhimes instructed Deadline. “Simply as Barlow & Bear wouldn’t enable others to applicable their IP for revenue, Netflix can not stand by and permit Barlow & Bear to do the identical with Bridgerton.”   

Julia defined that she was initially “flattered and delighted” by Barlow and Bear’s work.   

“There’s a distinction, nevertheless, between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for industrial achieve,” Julia instructed the outlet. “I’d hope that Barlow & Bear, who share my place as impartial inventive professionals, perceive the necessity to shield different professionals’ mental property, together with the characters and tales I created within the Bridgerton novels over twenty years in the past.”   

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