- Netflix is suing the creators of “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” for infringement of copyright.
- Netflix stated creators Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear organized reside performances with out permission.
- “Bridgerton” govt producer Shonda Rhimes and writer Julia Quinn have supported the lawsuit.
Netflix is suing the creators of “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” after they placed on a reside efficiency on the Kennedy Middle in Washington, DC, final week.
Final 12 months, songwriting duo Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear started composing a musical model of the primary season of “Bridgerton” after the sequence turned a Netflix hit. Their songs went viral on TikTok and their idea album, which was launched in September final 12 months, gained a Grammy award.
After initially praising the unofficial musical, Netflix has now filed for copyright infringement after Barlow and Bear introduced a reside live performance of the album in each the Kennedy Middle and the Royal Albert Corridor in London, UK, with out permission from the streamer.
—Netflix (@netflix) January 13, 2021
“Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their firms (“Barlow & Bear”) have taken helpful mental property from the Netflix unique sequence ‘Bridgerton’ to construct a global model for themselves,” the swimsuit, seen by Insider, stated. “Netflix owns the unique proper to create ‘Bridgerton’ songs, musicals, or some other spinoff works based mostly on ‘Bridgerton.'”
Of their swimsuit, Netflix famous that the Kennedy Middle efficiency, which value $149 for a ticket and included VIP tickets, featured “verbatim dialogue, character traits, and expression” from the “Bridgerton” sequence and had dramatic portrayals of the characters by Broadway actors. Barlow and Bear additionally promoted their very own “Bridgerton”-themed merchandise.
“All through the efficiency, Barlow & Bear misrepresented to the viewers that they had been utilizing Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’ trademark ‘with permission,’ whereas Netflix vigorously objected,” the streaming firm added. “It’s a blatant infringement of mental property rights.”
Netflix additionally stated within the swimsuit that they supplied a license to the songwriting duo earlier than their Kennedy Middle efficiency after listening to about it, however Barlow and Bear refused.
Whereas there have been TikTok musicals earlier than based mostly on different individuals’s work, such because the “Ratatousical” in 2021, all of the earnings went to charity.
Each “Bridgerton” writer Julia Quinn and “Bridgerton” sequence govt producer Shonda Rhimes have responded in an announcement to Deadline.
“What began as a enjoyable celebration by Barlow & Bear on social media has become the blatant taking of mental property solely for Barlow & Bear’s monetary profit,” Rhimes stated. “Simply as Barlow & Bear wouldn’t enable others to acceptable their IP for revenue, Netflix can’t stand by and permit Barlow & Bear to do the identical with Bridgerton.”
Quinn added: “Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear are wildly gifted, and I used to be flattered and delighted after they started composing Bridgerton songs and sharing with different followers on TikTok. There’s a distinction, nevertheless, between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for business acquire.”
She continued: “I’d hope that Barlow & Bear, who share my place as unbiased artistic professionals, perceive the necessity to defend different professionals’ mental property, together with the characters and tales I created within the Bridgerton novels over twenty years in the past.”
Insider has reached out to Barlow and Bear for remark.