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Stranger Things than duffing up the Duffer brothers

The Duffer brothers, creators of the hit Netflix drama Stranger Things, have been served with a claim of copyright infringement that, if successful, could end the franchise.

The claim, issued by Charlie Kessler, argues that Stranger Things uses stories and concepts from Kessler’s 2012 short film Montauk. Kessler’s claim says that he pitched his short story to the Duffers with the hope that it could be turned in to a serial, only to subsequently be cut out, and see the project move forward without him.

Lending some credence to the claim is the fact that Stranger Things was originally pitched to Netflix under its working title: Montauk.

The Duffers have denied any wrongdoing, and seem set to defend the claim.

Even if Kessler is successful, it is highly unlikely that he will achieve the outcomes his claim seeks: to have future infringement stopped, and to “destroy all materials” based on his concepts. That would amount to an attempt to delete content from the public domain which has been viewed so widely as to be impossible, let alone impractical.

What is far more likely, if Kessler’s claims prove true, is that a substantial sum of money will change hands, and a royalty will be agreed going forwards.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.