Netflix sued over Black Mirror by Choose Your Own Adventure publisher
The publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure novels have decided their path: They’re suing Netflix for $25 million over its interactive Black Mirror episode “Bandersnatch.”
According to a lawsuit obtained by THR, Chooseco, LLC — a publisher that’s owned the trademark to “Choose Your Own Adventure” since the 1980s — has filed a lawsuit against the streaming service that accuses Netflix of violating its trademark and creating marketplace confusion by airing the Black Mirror episode where viewers make crucial choices that change the story’s outcome.
In “Bandersnatch,” viewers control the fate of a computer programmer who’s creating a video game based on a fantasy novel titled Bandersnatch. At one point, the programmer calls the novel a “Choose Your Own Adventure book.”
The lawsuit reveals that Netflix previously negotiated with Chooseco for the rights to “Choose Your Own Adventure” but a deal wasn’t struck. Also, the lawsuit notes that Chooseco sent Netflix a cease and desist request asking the service to stop using Choose Your Own Adventure in connection with its marketing efforts for one of its earlier interactive children’s programs. Chooseco is asking for $25 million in damages.
The first Choose Your Own Adventure novel was created by Edward Packard and was published in 1979. The franchise was extremely popular during the 1980s, growing to 184 books with more than 250 million copies printed.
Netflix had no comment.