Children's book publisher sues Netflix over 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch'

Netflix sued over Bandersnatch's similarities to Choose Your Own Adventure

Netflix faces lawsuit over 'Black Mirror' and 'Choose Your Own Adventure'

Because of the use of the phrase, Chooseco is asking for either $25 million in damages or all profits from Bandersnatch.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which came out late last month, tells the story of a video game developer who's losing his mind as he develops a "choose your own adventure" game.

Chooseco and Netflix had been involved in negotiations for a number of years, but Netflix ultimately was not granted a license to the trademarked phrase.

The publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, Chooseco LLC, has claimed that the film infringes on the book's trademarks, reports Variety. 20th Century Fox is now in talks with the publisher to develop an interactive series based on the property, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Chooseco, according to the suit, said it has sold more than 265 million copies of books where the reader's decisions influence the narrative's plot and outcome.

"Netflix has no license or authorization to use Chooseco's trademark and, upon information and belief, used the mark willfully and intentionally to capitalize on viewers' nostalgia for the original book series", the lawsuit states.

When his father says a book Butler is reading - and plans to develop into a game - must be good because he is always "flicking back and forth", the character responds "No, it's a Choose Your Own Adventure book". The lawsuit alleges that Netflix is using the phrase "choose your own adventure", which is a registered trademark of Chooseco, without permission.

Chooseco claims the "grim content" included in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch tarnishes their name and the dark themes in the film are too mature for their audience. Chooseco also claims it sent Netflix a cease-and-desist letter before the release of "Bandersnatch", according to the Hollywood Reporter. The project adopted the popular "choose your own adventure" structure of so many '80s and '90s kid novels in an attempt to comment on the ways in which our pop culture is as much built around the illusion of choice as anything else.

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