The type of drama that permeates the Bridgerton universe seems to be spilling out of Lady Whistledwon’s manuscripts into real life. Grammy-winning composers, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear are being sued by Netflix for trademark and copyright infringement related to the recent musical inspired by the aforementioned Netflix series set in the Regency era.
What Brought About the Lawsuit
As reported by Deadline, the lawsuit that Netflix filed states that Barlow and Bear created an unauthorized musical adaptation of the hit series Bridgerton, for which they allegedly used character traits, expression, and verbatim dialogue from the series.
Netflix claims that the duo of composers took valuable intellectual property that belongs to the Netflix original series in order to procure wealth and create a brand for themselves. Netflix goes on to explain that the company owns the rights for any derivative work based on their original series and that Barlow and Bear can’t simply take that right without being granted permission.
The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical
What prompted Netflix to file this lawsuit was an album called The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical. It started as a TikTok post in which Barlow sang an original song called “Ocean Away” that was written from the perspective of Daphne Bridgerton, one of the protagonists of season 1.
As that TikTok post went viral with millions of views, Bear and Barlow got together and wrote a Netflix series-inspired album counting 15 tracks. The album was released in September 2021 and rocketed to the top of the iTunes US Pop Chart. Earlier this year, Barlow and Bear won a Grammy for their work.
Netflix Claims Attempts for a Licensing Deal Were Made
In the lawsuit, Netflix states that the company made attempts to negotiate a licensing deal with Bear and Barlow. This deal would have allowed them to continue to freely distribute their album and perform their material. Netflix claims that the two artists refused the licensing deal and ignored Netflix’s repeated objections to the duo staging a live performance of their album. What’s left is to wait and see how this litigation process concludes.