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Netflix's Bridgerton Lawsuit Is Over Before You Even Realized It Existed

Netflix is known for spending a pretty penny on its properties. From the $200 million "The Gray Man" to gambling approximately half of that money on Martin Scorsese and elaborate de-aging technology for 2019's "The Irishman," Netflix isn't afraid to spend a little dough. That's why it's understandable the streamer is a tad protective of their work. 

In one such case, Netflix took legal action against Emily Bear and Abigail Barlow, a creative duo that turned their fandom of "Bridgerton" into popular TikTok videos and eventually an album titled "The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical." That album ended up making the duo Grammy winners and inspired the pair to stage a musical, much to Netflix's chagrin. 

"Barlow & Bear's conduct began on social media, but stretches 'fan fiction' well past its breaking point. It is blatant infringement of intellectual property rights," Netflix wrote in their copyright infringement suit in July, per Bloomberg. The suit was over a for-profit musical show at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. put on by the duo. The two canceled a planned show in London for September after the complaint was filed, according to Forbes

It appears now this bizarre tale of copyright woes already has a conclusion, barely after it began. 

Netflix has dropped its lawsuit

Bear and Barlow reached a deal with Netflix and the lawsuit has been dropped, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The parties involved are keeping mum on the details of the settlement as no specifics have been released about what the agreement was exactly. 

What's even stranger about Netflix's struggles with Bear and Barlow is that the streamer's social media accounts originally praised the two for their "Bridgerton"-inspired songs and videos. Show executive producer Shonda Rhimes acknowledged in a statement at the time of the original complaint that the songs began as fun celebrations of the show. 

"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," she said, per Variety. Rhimes' show is based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn. 

Netflix reportedly dismissed their suit with prejudice, meaning they cannot refile. It's unclear when or if "Bridgerton: The Unofficial Musical" will continue, and Bear and Barlow had not yet responded to the suit in court. The complaint was ironically settled only days after the musical was scheduled to be performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London, via Playbill