Netflix faces lawsuit over 'Black Mirror' and 'Choose Your Own Adventure'

Brenda Watkins
January 12, 2019

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 streaming platform released the feature-length Bandersnatch in December which allowed viewers to make decisions at various points of the story, affecting what outcome they might then encounter.

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.

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.

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When his father says a book Butler is reading - and plans to develop into a game - must be good because he is always "flicking back and forth", the character responds "No, it's a Choose Your Own Adventure book". 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.

The publishers said the brand had been damaged due to the adult themes in the movie, with viewers confused over the association between it and the books.

Chooseco is seeking at least $25 million in damages or a share of the profits, whichever is greater, claiming "infringement, dilution, and unfair competition", according to THR.

Chooseco printed over 620,000 copies of its Choose Your Own Adventure series for distribution across the nation a year ago, according to the lawsuit. The franchise was extremely popular during the 1980s, growing to 184 books with more than 250 million copies printed.

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