You can’t blame PBS for trying to make a buck. Even they hate their biweekly fundraising efforts. Nevertheless, the production company for “Downton Abbey” got on the horn and put a stop to PBS.org’s sale of a “Downton Abbey”-inspired jewelry line, which was in no way affiliated with the show.
Creator Julian Fellowes and Carnival Films cried copyright infringement on the “Lady Mary knotted pearl necklace and earring set,” selling for an aristocratic-bargain price of $159.99, which claimed to be a replica of Edwardian jewelry; other jewelry included drop earrings like those worn by the characters Lady Sybil and the Countess of Grantham, as well as an English tea set. According to a statement from Carnival Films, “We did not authorise the sale of Lady Mary jewelery. Our lawyers have been in contact with PBS in order to remove these items from sale.”
The jewelry has since disappeared; however, Carnival Films is still selling its official line of “Downton Abbey” DVDs and books through PBS’s website. There is no word on whether it plans to sell its own official “Downton Abbey”-branded Edwardian-inspired jewelry. (The Daily Mail sniffed the jewelry is “somewhat tasteless,” so perhaps not.) Further prove that you slap a celebrity’s brand name on an otherwise average product — whether it’s Justin Bieber or Lady Mary — and it’ll sell. Call me when PBS starts selling Lady Sybil’s scandalous new pants — then we’ll talk.
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