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Warner Bros. settles 'Sabrina' copyright infringement suit

Kiernan Shipka stars in Netflix's "The Chilling Adventures

Kiernan Shipka stars in Netflix's "The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina." Photo Credit: Getty Images for Netflix/Sarjoun Faour

Warner Bros., which produces "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" on Netflix, said Wednesday that it has settled a lawsuit with the Satanic Temple, which waged a legal battle over the show’s use of a statue featuring a goat-headed deity.

The temple’s lawsuit, filed earlier this month, accused Warner Bros. and Netflix of copyright infringement. The temple said a statue of the deity Baphomet on the show looked similar to one the temple had created.

The case drew widespread interest in Hollywood because of the nature of the claims and because it raised broader legal questions about tensions between free speech and copyright protection. Legal experts said the dispute had the potential to change how Hollywood depicts cultural symbols in films and TV shows.

A Satanic Temple spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment. Warner Bros. confirmed that the lawsuit was settled, but said the terms of the agreement were confidential.

The Satanic Temple has used its version of the Baphomet with Children statue as part of its mission to separate church and state. The temple said it was concerned that a similar statue on "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" could cause people to make wrong assumptions about the temple and its practices.

The new version of the Sabrina series is darker than the 1996-2003 incarnation, with a witch sacrificing herself in the first season and her flesh eaten by other people in her coven. The Baphomet statue depicted on the show is part of the Academy of Unseen Arts, a school that Sabrina attends.

"Defendants’ prominent use of it as the central focal point of the school associated with evil, cannibalism and possibly murder is injurious to the Satanic Temple’s business," the lawsuit says.

Warner Bros. has declined to comment on whether the statue shown in Season 1 will be used in the next season.

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