Netflix sued over Bandersnatch by "Choose Your Own Adventure" brand

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

The suit goes on to claim that Netflix deliberately tried to tie the film to the 80s and 90s nostalgia connected to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, including "Choose Your Own Adventure" being mentioned at the start of the film.

Moreover, Chooseco's filing revealed that as far back as 2016, Netflix had entered into discussions with the publisher over the possibility of obtaining a license that would have put them legally in the clear to use the "Choose Your Own Adventure" brand as a plot hook.

The popular "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" episode debuted December 28 and allows viewers to select how they want the story to go and get different endings.

Chooseco is seeking at least $25 million in damages, and has issued a cease-and-desist request against Netflix regarding its use of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" mark in another one of its programs. 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".

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"The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco", she said. And who knows - maybe they'll still be able to get away with it. Netflix hasn't used the Choose Your Own Adventure name in any of its marketing for Black Mirror, so the association seems largely to have come from people like us writing articles about it and using that trademark phrase as a shorthand so people understand what they're in for.

While the concept of freedom of choice can't be trademarked, Vermont-based Chooseco LLC, which has published the book series since the '70s, claims Netflix infringed in a number of specific ways.

The suit also notes that 20th Century Fox recently optioned the rights to create a film based on the series, which is now in the works. This idea does make some sense, considering the more than 265 million copies of the books have been sold over the years.

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