Netflix sued over Black Mirror by Choose Your Own Adventure publisher

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

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

The big gimmick associated with Netflix's buzzy Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch is that it's very much a choose your own adventure kind of production.

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".

Chooseco, LLC, the publisher behind the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series and owner of the trademark, has filed a lawsuit against Netflix over the immersive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Netflix allegedly began asking for a license on the trademark as early as 2016. Chooseco filed a lawsuit in federal court today, saying that Netflix infringed on their trademark and is "causing confusion, tarnishing, denigrating, and diluting the distinct quality of the Choose Your Own Adventure mark". That basic idea has been translated into other mediums, like 1995's Mr. Payback, which let audiences vote on the outcome of the short film, and most recently with Bandersnatch, a film set in the Black Mirror universe and released by Netflix.

The popular on-demand video streaming service premiered Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in December past year. Again, per Variety: "The suit also contends that the film is violent and disturbing - including references to murder, decapitation, drug use, and the mutilation of a corpse - which is inappropriate for the young adult readers of the book series". "Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license". Twentieth Century Fox now holds a license to make a film based on the Choose Your Own Adventure books.

"The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco", the complaint states. When Dad asserts that the book must not be very good, as Stefan is always "flicking backwards and forwards" through it, Stefan explains, "No, it's a choose your own adventure book".