After building considerable demand for a musical stage version of Netflix’s popular period drama Bridgerton, the company sued the creators of the stage production, accusing them of infringement of the company’s copyright following increased demand for their knockoff on TikTok.
Three days after, “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” was performed at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. A complaint was filed against Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear in the federal court in Washington, D.C. Because the defendant’s lawyer has not yet reviewed the complaint, he did not have an immediate comment.
The Musical Sold Out The Kennedy Center Earlier This Week
To stop the Grammy-winning duo of Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear from reproducing any future live performances of their show, Netflix is coming after Abigail Barlow, 23, and Emily Bear, 20, otherwise known as Barlow & Bear.
Earlier this week, the musical played in front of a packed house at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with ticket prices reaching as high as $149 each, and VIP packages were also offered in the same package. Additionally, Netflix wants the musicians to compensate for any profits they have made from the show already.
As a result of the creative and hard work of hundreds of artists and the hard work of Netflix employees, Bridgerton has succeeded. As the exclusive rights holder, Netflix is the sole owner of any derivative works based on Bridgerton, such as songs, musicals, or other jobs.
Barlow & Bear Seeks To Diversify Its Revenue Streams With The Music
In a statement to The Post, a spokesperson said that Netflix allows fan-generated content on its platform. Still, Barlow & Bear have taken this further, considering how they can break into the Bridgerton IP market without obtaining formal permission.
The spokesperson said, “We’ve tried hard to work with Barlow & Bear, and they have refused to cooperate. The creators, cast, writers and crew have poured their hearts and souls into Bridgerton, and we’re taking action to protect their rights”.
“Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their companies (‘Barlow & Bear’) have taken valuable intellectual property from the Netflix original series Bridgerton to build an international brand for themselves. Without permission, Barlow & Bear cannot take that right-made valuable by others’ hard work for themselves. Yet that is exactly what they have done,” states Rosa Leda Ehler, an attorney for Netflix, in the complaint.
How Is The Lawsuit Described In The Complaint?
According to the complaint, the live show featured over a dozen songs that copied words and phrases verbatim from Bridgerton the series and character traits and expressions, among other things. There was a theatrical presentation of the play with Broadway actors portraying characters from Bridgerton and expressing their emotions through the songs that comprise the ‘musical’.
Further, the complaint alleges that the live show is blatantly infringing on the copyright and trademarks of others, along with violating various laws governing copyright and trademarks.
“Barlow & Bear’s conduct began on social media but stretches ‘fan fiction’ well past its breaking point,” according to the lawsuit. “It is a blatant infringement of intellectual property rights.”
The report also claims that the duo has on several occasions promoted their show using the BRIDGERTON trademark ‘with permission of Netflix, despite Netflix’s vigorous objections to this practice.
As a result of a fun social media celebration, Barlow & Bear have blatantly stolen intellectual property for their financial gain. Would you consider the act to be correct in your opinion? Please let us know what you think in the comments section.