Netflix Hit With $25 mn Lawsuit Over ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’

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TMZ reports the streaming giant has been hit with a $25M lawsuit by the creators of "Choose Your Own Adventure" over the latest installment in the Black Mirror series.

Bandersnatch isn't the first instance of Netflix using interactivity in their content, with the platform previously including it in content aimed at children including Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout. Viewers are presented with choices as the movie about a programmer working on a video game progresses, with the filmmakers reportedly having shot some 5 hours of footage to encompass all the potential alternatives that viewers can select.

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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.

The thing is, "Choose Your Own Adventure" is a format and phrase owned by Chooseco LLC, the publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series.

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The claim also specifically calls attention to a moment early in Bandersnatch when protagonist Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead) tells his father that the book he's reading is a "Choose Your Own Adventure book". The franchise was extremely popular during the 1980s, growing to 184 books with more than 250 million copies printed. 20th Century Fox is now in talks with the publisher to develop an interactive series based on the property, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They claim that there have been negotiations surrounding the development of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" series, but it never came into fruition.

According to the suit, Netflix apparently tried to obtain a license for Chooseco's trademark in the past, but wasn't able to reach a deal with the publisher.

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According to a Chooseco press release, the publisher sold more than 250 million Choose Your Own Adventure books between 1978 and 1998.