Netflix dropped the copyright lawsuit filed against the creators of the Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, on Friday. The court filing did not mention whether the streamer reached a settlement with makers Emily Bear and Abigail Barlow, Deadline has reported. The filing in federal court in Washington DC simply stated, “Plaintiffs Netflix Worldwide Entertainment, LLC and Netflix Studios, LLC hereby dismiss this action with prejudice.” However, it is to be noted that the last two words “with prejudice,” in the brief notice of voluntary dismissal means that the suit cannot be refiled.
In July, the streamer filed a case against the duo after they performed for a sold-out crowd at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and were due to perform in London’s Royal Albert Hall. Netflix objected to the musical’s expansion into a for-profit venture, stating, “Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their companies (“Barlow & Bear”) have taken valuable intellectual property from the Netflix original series Bridgerton to build an international brand for themselves.” The Grammy-winning duo earlier canceled the London performance of the musical where they also planned to sell some Bridgeton–based merchandise.
Netflix also objected to Bear and Barlow misleading the fans by advertising that they were using the streamer’s Bridgerton trademark with “permission” while in reality Netflix “vigorously objected” to it. In its complaint, Netflix claimed that the fan-favorite series reflects the hard-earned success of its numerous artists and employees. And that “Barlow & Bear cannot take that right-made valuable by others’ hard work-for themselves, without permission.”
Barlow and Bear rose to fame on the social media platform TikTok when they began to release songs based on the hit Netflix series. With much demand, the duo then worked on a full album which was released on Spotify. Initially, Netflix appreciated their effort as part of fan culture on its social media accounts. It did not object till the for-profit performance in the Kennedy Center where Bridgerton-based merchandise was sold.
Netflix also alleged that Unofficial Bridgerton Musical interfered with its own ‘Bridgerton Experience,’ an in-person event that has been offered in several cities and created confusion in the minds of the show’s fans. At the time of the complaint show 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.”
Two seasons of Bridgerton are available on Netflix and Season 3 is currently in production. Meanwhile, you can check out Netfflix’s Season 3 production announcement below: