Netflix, Rockford's Emily Bear settle copyright suit over 'Unofficial Bridgerton Musical'

Rockford native Emily Bear, left, partnered with Abigail Barlow to create The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, which won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.
Rockford native Emily Bear, left, partnered with Abigail Barlow to create The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, which won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

Netflix has settled a copyright infringement lawsuit against Rockford native Emily Bear and her composing partner, Abigail Barlow, for their show, “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The streaming service reached an agreement with the duo to resolve the lawsuit after Bear and Barlow canceled a Sept. 20 performance of the musical at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Terms of the settlement were not made public.

The musical is based on Netflix’s "Bridgerton" series and earned Bear and Barlow a 2022 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

In July, Netflix sued Bear and Barlow for copyright infringement over a for-profit show they performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

More:Netflix sues Rockford native, Grammy winner Emily Bear for 'Bridgerton' infringement

The suit alleged Bear and Barlow continued to perform and financially profit using “verbatim dialogue, character traits and expression and other elements” from the Bridgerton series without licensing from Netflix, production company Shondaland or “Bridgerton” book author Julia Quinn.

“Netflix owns the exclusive right to create Bridgerton songs, musicals or any derivative works based on Bridgerton,” the streaming service said in its complaint. “Bear and Barlow cannot take that right — made valuable by others’ hard work — for themselves, without permission.”

According to the complaint, when Netflix offered to negotiate a license to allow Bear and Barlow to perform the show and continue distributing albums, the pair refused.

“The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” began as a viral TikTok at the beginning of 2021 as an answer to the question “what if Bridgerton was a musical?”

Bear and Barlow collaborated to pen 15 songs that comprise the unofficial musical’s soundtrack.

Ken DeCoster covers business news and features. Contact him at 815-987-1391, kdecoster@rrstar.com or @DeCosterKen. 

This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: Emily Bear Netflix lawsuit Abigail Barlow Bridgerton Musical