US network in hot water over Downton Abbey jewels

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Producers demand channel stops selling jewellery inspired by show.

A US TV network has found itself under legal scrutiny after it started selling jewellery inspired by TV series Downton Abbey without the permission of the show’s producer or creator.

The American Public Broadcasting Service has bought the rights to air the popular period drama in the US but went on to sell an unauthorised range of jewellery called The Downton Collection on its website.

Jewellery within the collection is named after lead characters. Pieces in the range included the Lady Mary knotted pearl necklace, antique jet glass earrings and single-pearl and pearl-cluster drop earrings. Prices for the jewellery ranged from £45 to £100.

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The collection is reported to have been selling well until Downton Abbey’s producer Carnival Films called in the lawyers to put a halt to the operation. None of the profits generated by the jewellery collection have been assigned to Carnival Films of Downton Abbey’s writer and creator Julian Fellowes despite them being the owners of the copyright of the show.

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