Sunday, 24 March, 2019


Netflix faces trademark suit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Hannah Rogers | 12 January, 2019, 02:27

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.

Chooseco, LLC, the publisher behind the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series and owner of the trademark, has filed a lawsuit against Netflix over the immersive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

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). But the publishers behind the long-running Choose Your Own Adventure series of books is claiming their brand had been unfairly used.

Black Mirror creators may have wanted viewers to choose their own adventure on Bandersnatch, but they ended up somewhere unexpected-in a lawsuit with the owners of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" trademark. The movie was billed as a "choose your own adventure" tale, even though the company largely refrained from actually using that phrase in the marketing. A character even says "it's a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book".

Chooseco is demanding at least $25 million in damages or Netflix's profits, whichever figure is higher. This idea does make some sense, considering the more than 265 million copies of the books have been sold over the years.

Chooseco claims the "grim content" included in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch tarnishes their name and the dark themes in the film are too mature for their audience.

The plaintiff said 20th Century Fox now holds an options contract to develop an interactive series based on the books, which allow readers to influence the story they are reading by turning to different pages.

Netflix didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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