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.
Indeed, the phrase "choose your own adventure" has been nearly inextricably linked to Bandersnatch, either through Netflix's own efforts or the mark's ubiquity as established by Chooseco.
According to a January 11th, 2019 Hollywood Reporter story, USA -based publisher Chooseco filed documents in Vermont arguing that the publisher has used the phrase since the 1980s and has sold more than 265 million copies of its Choose Your Own Adventure books. 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". In the filing, Chooseco alleges that "Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license..."
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Netflix's experiment in interactive television, is inspired by "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. "The use of Choose Your Own Adventure in association with such graphic content is likely to cause significant damage, impacting our book sales and affecting our ability to work with licensing partners in the future".
Netflix, which has avoided using the phrase "choose your own adventure" in advertising, is yet to comment publicly on the case.
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.
The Choose Your Own Adventure series has sold more than 265 million copies worldwide.