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Why Is Netflix Suing Barlow & Bear?


Picture Supply: Getty / VALERIE MACON

Since its debut on Netflix in December 2020, “Bridgerton” has taken the world by storm. Based mostly on the bestselling e book collection by Julia Quinn, the acclaimed present broke information on the streaming big by changing into the most-viewed collection in its first 28 days, with over 627 million hours of viewing (breaking the present’s personal season on document). “Bridgerton” reveals no indicators of slowing down, both. Following a dramatic season two, Netflix renewed the Shondaland collection for each a 3rd and fourth season. Manufacturing for season three is already formally underway as of July 20.

“Bridgerton”‘s sheer recognition has impressed numerous social media offshoots, starting from fan edits to TikTok movies and even musicals. Whereas most followers have made their “Bridgerton”-focused content material for their very own enjoyable and amusement, others, like musicians Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, higher often known as Barlow & Bear, have taken their love of the collection to a special stage. In September 2021, the pair launched their very own “Bridgerton”-inspired album titled “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical,” which earned Barlow & Bear a Grammy Award for greatest musical theater album in 2022.

In a sudden twist for the followers of the collection and the musical duo, nevertheless, Netflix filed a lawsuit in opposition to Barlow & Bear on July 29 for infringement of intellectual-property rights, in response to NPR. Buckle up, “Bridgerton” followers, as a result of the authorized state of affairs between Netflix and Barlow & Bear is sufficient to ruffle even Girl Whistledown’s feathers.

How Did Barlow & Bear Meet?

Barlow and Bear met whereas engaged on an inventive challenge, in response to an interview with On Stage Weblog. Whereas Barlow has expertise in writing pop music, Bear has an academic background in music, and their two fields of experience made them a robust collaborating staff.

How Did Barlow & Bear’s “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” Begin?

Roughly one 12 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2 determined to channel their love of each “Bridgerton” and musical composition right into a TikTok video posted on Jan. 10, 2021, “What If Bridgerton Was a Musical?” The TikTok options Barlow singing a music known as “Daphne’s Track,” impressed by the occasions of “Bridgerton” season one. The publish instantly went viral and, so far, has 2.4 million views, 290,800 likes, and over 20,000 shares.

The recognition of the TikTok impressed Barlow & Bear to create much more songs primarily based on the collection, and their subsequent music, “Burn For You,” was seen over 6.4 million instances and appreciated by over 928,600 individuals on TikTok. Almost eight months after going viral, the pair formally launched their Grammy-winning “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” album on Sept. 10, 2021, which options 15 authentic songs primarily based on the characters and storylines of the collection.

How Did Netflix Initially React to “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical”?

To start with, Netflix was receptive to Barlow & Bear’s musical. “Completely blown away by the Bridgerton musical enjoying out on TikTok,” the official Netflix account tweeted on Jan. 13, 2021, including that it was giving a “Standing ovation for @abigailbarloww & @nick_t_daly.”

Moreover, Netflix acknowledged in its courtroom submitting that in March 2021, Barlow & Bear’s counsel requested for Netflix’s blessing to document an album and single for a UK-based charity promotion that may contain West Finish performers who had been furloughed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas Netflix did not explicitly approve the efficiency, it informed Barlow & Bear it might not be “standing in the best way . . . within the spirit of supporting what Barlow & Bear represented as two ‘Bridgerton’ followers’ expression of their appreciation for the collection.”

So what modified between then and now?

Why Is Netflix Suing Barlow & Bear?

BRIDGERTON, from left: Rege-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Shock and Delight, (Season 1, ep. 102, aired Dec. 25, 2020). photo: Liam Daniel / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Picture Supply: Everett Assortment

Barlow & Bear’s “Bridgerton”-inspired enterprise took a flip into possible-intellectual-property-infringement territory after they carried out a reside, for-profit present, “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Dwell in Live performance,” which premiered at Washington DC’s Kennedy Heart on July 26.

Simply three days after the premiere of the reside musical, Netflix filed a lawsuit in opposition to Barlow & Bear, alleging the pair blatantly infringed upon the streamer’s intellectual-property rights, having “taken helpful mental property from the Netflix authentic collection ‘Bridgerton’ to construct a world model for themselves,” in response to courtroom paperwork obtained by NPR. The lawsuit alleges the reside present “featured over a dozen songs that copied the verbatim dialogue, character traits and expression, and different components of the Bridgerton collection.”

Within the courtroom submitting, Netflix claims that, earlier than their scheduled reside efficiency in July, the streamer supplied Barlow & Bear a license to legally carry out their “Bridgerton”-inspired songs on a number of events. Netflix claims the duo didn’t take them up on its supply and continued on with the present with no license. Netflix took explicit challenge with Barlow & Bear’s use of the “Bridgerton” branding on their “Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” merchandise, creating the implication it was related to the official “Bridgerton” model. It believes the pair’s unauthorized use of its branding created “confusion and false affiliation with the ‘Bridgerton’ model” and interfered with Netflix’s personal reside Bridgerton Expertise in Washington, DC by attracting “Bridgerton” followers who may need in any other case attended the Bridgerton Expertise.

Netflix additionally claims Barlow & Bear misrepresented to their “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Dwell in Live performance” viewers that they have been utilizing Netflix’s trademark “with Permission,” regardless of Netflix’s vehement and constant objections. Making issues worse, the duo additionally deliberate a London reside present of the musical, making it a tour.

Merely put, Netflix will not be cool with Barlow & Bear profiting off its mental property “in no matter method they see match.”

Barlow & Bear have but to remark publicly on the lawsuit, however given the recognition of their music and the TikTok scandal surrounding Netflix’s lawsuit, they may doubtless deal with the state of affairs quickly.

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