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. At one point, the programmer calls the novel a "Choose Your Own Adventure book".
Now, Netflix is being sued by Chooseco, LLC, a children's book publisher that owns the rights to the "Choose Your Own Adventure", over the use of the term and concept in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday. Rival studio 20th Century Fox now holds the option to develop a Choose Your Own Adventure interactive series with Chooseco.
"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.
Here, it's also important to note the fact that Netflix has not made use of the phrase "choose your own adventure" in any of its official marketing for Bandersnatch, although the episode has been referred to extensively in the press using that very phrase.
Chooseco printed over 620,000 copies of its Choose Your Own Adventure series for distribution across the nation past year, according to the lawsuit. We would prefer not to resort to litigation, but given the damage that we will suffer as a result of the use of our mark we've been left with no other option.
They're now reportedly demanding at least $25 million in damages or Netflix's profits, whichever is greater, claiming infringement, dilution and unfair competition.
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. They claim that there have been negotiations surrounding the development of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" series, but it never came into fruition.