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Netflix Sues Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Creators for Infringement

Bridgerton Season 2: All of the Fashion YOU NEED TO See

Nowthislawsuit is defined to function as talk of the ton.

Abigail BarlowandEmily Bear, creators of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, have already been sued by Netflix for copyright and trademark infringement. The move comes just days following the pair hosted a live show of the Grammy award-winning musical album at The Kennedy Center in NEW YORK on July 26.

“Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their companies (“Barlow & Bear”) took valuable intellectual property from the Netflix original seriesBridgertonto create a global brand for themselves,” the lawsuit claims. “Netflix owns the exclusive to createBridgertonsongs, musicals, or any derivative works predicated onBridgerton. Barlow & Bear cannot take that rightmade valuable by others’ hard workfor themselves, without permission. Yet that’s exactly what they will have done.”

Barlow and Bear’s musical adaptation of the hitseries went viralon TikTok this past year. It had been later released being an album in September 2021 and took home the award for Best Musical Theater Album at the 2022 Grammys.

In its lawsuit, Netflix allegesthat the duo’s songs copy “liberally and nearly identically fromBridgertonacross numerous original components of expression” including “plot, pace, sequence of events, mood, setting, and themes.”

David Livingston/Getty Images

Within their complaint, Netflix claimed they repeatedly told the pair that “such works weren’t authorized,” adding, “At each step of just how, Barlow & Bear’s representatives repeatedly assured Netflix they understood Netflix’s position and led Netflix to trust that Netflix will be consulted before Barlow & Bear took steps beyond streaming their album online in audio-only format.”

The streaming service claimed they first learned all about Barlow and Bear’s NYC performance from their representativesthis past June,per court papers. The pair may also be scheduled to execute the showat the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 20.

“Barlow & Bear’s ‘The UnofficialBridgertonMusical‘ isn’t authorized by Netflix, Shondaland, or Julia Quinn,” the lawsuit read. “And Netflix hasn’t given Barlow & Bear permission to generate or perform ‘The UnofficialBridgertonMusical‘ live, aside from at the Kennedy Center or Royal Albert Hall, or even to create new derivative works in line with theBridgertonintellectual property.”

Netflix also allegedly told the pair’s representative they didn’t want Barlow and Bear to activate in “any live performances” or “other derivative works that may contend with Netflix’s own planned events” including its global theatrical eventThe Queen’s Ball:A Bridgerton Experience.

Netflix

Instead, the court papers noted that “The Kennedy Center performance went forward over Netflix’s objections on July 26, 2022, before a sold-outaudience.”

The business also claimed that the pair allegedly sold unofficial merchandiseat the eventand, through the entire evening, “misrepresented to the audience they were utilizing Netflix’sBRIDGERTONtrademark with Permission,'” per the complaint.

Consequently, Netflix alleged that Bear and Barlow’s actions will result in “irreparable consumer confusion about whether their performances and merchandise are actually authorized.”The streaming service is seeking declaratory relief, injunctive relief, legal costs, damages and additional relief.

E! News has already reached out to the musical’s creators for comment and contains not heard back.

LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Bridgerton‘s executive producer Shonda Rhimes and novelistJulia Quinnhave also spoken out concerning the lawsuit.

“What started as a great celebration by Barlow & Bear on social media marketing has converted into the blatant taking of intellectual property solely for Barlow & Bear’s financial benefit,”RhimestoldDeadline. “In the same way Barlow & Bear wouldn’t normally allow others to appropriate their IP for profit, Netflix cannot the stand by position and invite Barlow & Bear to accomplish exactly the same withBridgerton.”

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

“There exists a difference, however, between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for commercial gain,” Julia told the outlet. “I’d hope that Barlow & Bear, who share my position as independent creative professionals, understand the necessity to protect other professionals’ intellectual property, like the characters and stories I created in theBridgertonnovels over two decades ago.”

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