Netflix Faces $25 Million Lawsuit Over ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’

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

A complaint was filed in Vermont federal court this morning by Chooseco, LLC, publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, against the streaming giant.

Shannon Gilligan, who leads the company after the death of original publisher R.A. Montgomery, made a statement on Friday, accusing Netflix of causing serious damage to their business. But the publishers behind the long-running Choose Your Own Adventure series of books is claiming their brand had been unfairly used.

It's worth noting that Bandersnatch is certainly not the first example featuring choose-your-own-adventure styled storytelling, with various video games having incorporated choice-based storylines as well (think Until Dawn).

Bandersnatch, which aired on December 28, prompts viewers to make quick decisions for protagonist Stefan Butler, allowing them to determine the narrative.

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. It was one of the most popular children's series in the '80s and '90s. The lawsuit alleges that "The film's dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for and positive associations with Chooseco's mark and tarnishes its products".

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Chooseco added that 20th Century Fox now holds an "options contract to develop an interactive series" and that Netflix has been actively pursuing the licence since 2016.

The ever-twisted, "Choose Your Own Adventure" movie Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has certainly been a hit for Netflix, but that doesn't mean everyone in the world is happy about the success.

Netflix has no comment on the matter.

According to Chooseco's complaint, Netflix did try to get permission, engaging in "extensive negotiations", but in the end never got a license.

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