Intellectual property is our society's gold and companies will do everything they can to hold on to it.
So when a Stranger Things-themed bar popped up (it was literally a pop up) in Chicago this August, it was only a matter of time before Netflix's army of lawyers stormed the doors with legal mumbo jumbo about how the bar was infringement and must be shut down immediately!
Except that didn't exactly happen. Yes, Netflix got wind of the bar — which is decked out in Stranger Things decor, including the awesome alphabet string-light communication device, and features cocktails like "Eleven's Eggos" — and decided the bar had to go. But the company recognized the creativity of the space (and the likely bad PR it would receive it went HAM on it) and decided on a gentler solution.
Netflix issued a cease-and-desist letter, according to Chicago's DNAinfo, that was actually... pretty cool? Here's what the letter said:
"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. You're obviously creative types, so I'm sure you can appreciate that it's important to us to have a say in how our fans encounter the worlds we build. 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."
The bar had planned to extend its run to move closer to Season 2's premiere date in October, but will stick with its originally planned closure. Netflix could have squashed the bar instantly, but played cool dad and instead let it finish its run.
Seems like Netflix was in a pretty good mood when it decided to take action. The bar should be glad Netflix didn't draft the letter after Hulu burned it at the Emmys.
Stranger Things returns Oct. 27 on Netflix.