Netflix has sued the staff behind “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical,” claiming that the Grammy-winning lyricist-composer duo infringed on the hit present’s mental property, in keeping with a criticism filed within the U.S. District Court docket in Washington, D.C.
Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear staged a “for-profit,” sold-out present Friday on the Kennedy Middle, with ticket costs ranging as much as $149, with out Netflix’s permission, the lawsuit filed Friday asserts. Barlow and Bear have additionally promoted branded merchandise, and have plans for a future efficiency on the Royal Albert Corridor in London, in keeping with the go well with.
Barlow and Bear, who first gained reputation filming “Bridgerton”-themed TikToks, received this yr’s Grammy Award for finest musical theater album, beating Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cinderella” and Conor McPherson’s “Woman From the North Nation.” The 15-song “Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” album included songs written from the views of the Netflix present’s central couple, Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, and was formed by suggestions from the composers’ social media viewers.
“Netflix helps fan-generated content material, however Barlow & Bear have taken this many steps additional, in search of to create a number of income streams for themselves with out formal permission to make the most of the ‘Bridgerton’ I.P.,” Netflix mentioned in an announcement through electronic mail. “We’ve tried onerous to work with Barlow & Bear, and so they have refused to cooperate.”
Barlow and Bear didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Monday. In an interview with The Instances after successful the Grammy, they mentioned that Netflix had given their attorneys the inexperienced gentle for them to show their songs into an album. However when requested on the time if the musical was more likely to be staged sooner or later, Bear mentioned, “It’s a bit out of our courtroom as a result of we don’t personal the I.P.”
Among the many particular objections within the lawsuit, it claims that the musical’s opening observe, “Tis the Season,” makes use of dialogue much like that spoken by Woman Whistledown, the city’s gossip author, within the TV sequence, and says that the observe “If I Had been a Man” mirrors the character Eloise Bridgerton’s want to flee the cage of marriage.
Netflix has sued Barlow and Bear on 4 counts together with copyright infringement and infringement of registered logos. The lawsuit acknowledged that Netflix had been prepared to barter a license which might allow dwell performances and album distribution, however the pair refused.
The “Bridgerton” sequence, produced by Shonda Rhimes and based mostly on romance novels by Julia Quinn, particulars Nineteenth-century England’s marriage market with modern-day twists, reflecting a various solid and classical takes on pop music hits.
“There may be a lot pleasure in seeing audiences fall in love with Bridgerton and watching the inventive methods they categorical their fandom,” Rhimes wrote in an announcement. “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.”
Following Barlow and Bear’s album launch, in keeping with the go well with, Netflix knowledgeable the 2 that it might not authorize dwell performances that may battle with occasions like “The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Expertise,” which Netflix has staged in a number of cities. Visitors can work together with “Bridgerton”-themed characters inside a Regency-era setting on the occasions, full with ball robes and dwell music from the present’s soundtrack.
Quinn, who described Barlow and Bear as wildly proficient, wrote in an announcement that she was delighted once they started acting on TikTok and composing songs devoted to “Bridgerton.” Alternatively, there’s a distinction between posting on TikTok and in search of business achieve, she wrote.
“I’d hope that Barlow & Bear, who share my place as unbiased inventive professionals, perceive the necessity to defend different professionals’ mental property, together with the characters and tales I created within the ‘Bridgerton’ novels over 20 years in the past,” Quinn wrote.