On Friday, Netflix sued the creators of an allegedly unauthorised musical stage production of its popular Regency-era series “Bridgerton.” The streaming giant accused the creators of copyright infringement.
The complaint was filed against Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear in the federal court in Washington, just days after “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” was performed in the Kennedy Center.
“Bridgerton”, based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels, was first released in December 2020. According to Netflix, the defendants began posting about the series on TikTok soon after its December 2020 release, uploading songs based on characters, scenes, dialogue and key plot points.
Netflix claims it warned the defendants to stop the uploads, but they continued, releasing an album titled “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” as well as their stage show.
In a statement, Netflix said, “Barlow & Bear’s conduct began on social media, but stretches ‘fan fiction’ well past its breaking point […] It is a blatant infringement of intellectual property rights.”
Meanwhile, the series’ creator, Shonda Rhimes, said, “what started as a fun celebration by Barlow & Bear on social media has turned into the blatant taking of intellectual property solely for Barlow & Bear’s financial benefit.”