Netflix nails ‘Stranger Things’-inspired cease-and-desist letter

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A Netflix lawyer has made waves for drafting what may be the nicest cease-and-desist letter the legal media has seen in a while.

Bryce Coughlin, director and senior counsel for brand and content intellectual property at Netflix, wrote to Emporium Arcade Bar in Chicago, where a pop-up bar called “The Upside Down” and inspired by the streaming company’s hit show “Stranger Things” was opened for a limited six-week run.

Addressing Danny and Doug, the bar’s owners, Coughlin wrote that his walkie talkie was busted so he needed to write a note instead.

“I heard you launched a Stranger Things pop-up bar at your Logan Square location. Look, I don’t want you to think I’m a total wastoid, and I love how much you guys love the show. (Just wait until you see Season 2!) But unless I’m living in the Upside Down, I don’t think we did a deal with you for this pop-up,” Coughlin wrote.

He said that since the owners of the bar were obviously creative types, they would understand how Netflix values having a say in how their fans encounter the worlds the company builds.

“We’re not going to go full Dr. Brenner on you, but we ask that you please (1) not extend the pop-up beyond its 6-week run ending in September, and (2) reach out to us for permission if you plan to do something like this again. Let me know as soon as possible that you agree to these requests,” Coughlin said. “We love our fans more than anything, but you should know the Demogorgon is not always as forgiving. So please don’t make us call your mom.”

Coughlin was formerly vice president for intellectual property at Fox Group. He is an alumnus of major US firms Steptoe & Johnson and Ballard Spahr.


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