Netflix sues creators of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical on TikTok

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Netflix is ​​suing the creators of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical on TikTok

Image taken from the series “The Bridgerton Chronicles”

The fairy tale of the unofficial musical of Bridgerton, born on TikTok at the initiative of Internet users fans of the Netflix series, could come to an end. Days after a sold-out performance of the show, the streaming giant is suing for copyright infringement.

It's been a dream journey so far for Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, two artist fans of Netflix's popular historical series The Bridgerton Chronicles. The duo felt inspired and created songs relating to the series, then published their compositions on the TikTok video app from 2020.

The artists' success on the social network encouraged them to create a 15-song album that won a Grammy award in April. They performed to a packed house at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, along with the National Symphony Orchestra, on July 26.

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If initially Netflix seemed to support the project – the platform shared a video of the musical on its social networks – the streaming giant has since changed its mind.

“[The musical] stretches fanafiction [fan fiction] far past its breaking point. This is a gross violation of intellectual property rights.

— A Netflix spokesperson

Netflix has told multiple outlets that it has told artists that Bridgerton-inspired compositionswere banned, and that the duo's most recent performance had not been authorized by the giant.

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According to Netflix's complaint, seen by the specialized site Deadline, Barlow and Bear refused to negotiate a license allowing them to distribute the album and organize shows.

According to the streaming giant, the duo's activities also overshadow Netflix's Bridgerton Experience, a series of in-person events in multiple cities themed around the landmark series.

Netflix supports fan-generated content, but the duo of Barlow and Bear have gone much further in seeking to create multiple streams of income for themselves without formal permission to use the intellectual property of Bridgerton, Netflix said in a statement.

“The creative heads, actors and actresses, writers and crew put their hearts and souls into Bridgerton , and we take steps to protect their rights.

— Excerpt from Netflix press release

Julia Quinn, the author of the book series on which the Netflix production is based, already said she was flattered and delighted with the musical when it emerged on TikTok in 2020, but she changed her mind.

There is a difference, however, between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for commercial purposes. I hope Barlow and Bear, who share my position as an independent creative professional, understand the need to protect the intellectual property of other pros, including the characters and stories I have created in the novels Bridgerton over twenty years ago, Julia Quinn said.

Netflix series producer Bridgerton, Shonda Rhimes is of the same opinion: What started as a fun celebration by Barlow and Bear on social media has turned into a blatant theft of intellectual property solely for their financial gain.

The artists have not yet reacted to the lawsuit. The duo were planning further shows, including one with the BBC Orchestra in September.

With information from Reuters, and Deadline

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