Netflix Sued By “Choose Your Own Adventure” Publisher Over Black Mirror Movie

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is causing more trouble. Netflix's choose-your-own-adventure movie is the root of a lawsuit against the streaming site filed by Chooseco, LLC. Chooseco, LLC is the company behind the choose-your-own-adventure series that proliferated in the late 20th century. According to the lawsuit, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Chooseco alleges that the Netflix movie "infringes" on Chooseco's brand and trademark.
Argues the plaintiff, "[Netflix] is causing confusion, tarnishing, denigrating, and diluting the distinct quality of the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE mark." Indeed, Chooseco currently has several active trademarks for the phrase CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE. Chooseco has argued that, regardless of whether the movie is directly related to the phrase, the movie is inherently associated with Chooseco's branding. Netflix, which declined to comment, doesn't have access to the trademark — in fact, 20th Century Fox currently holds the option to the branding.
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In addition, the plaintiff argues, the material in the Netflix movie is "too mature" for Chooseco's target audience. Notably (this is our example, not Chooseco's) in the movie, one prompt asks the viewer to choose which character will jump off a ledge and die by suicide. "Association with this grim content tarnishes Chooseco's trademark," the lawsuit states.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is by far the most well-known title that attempts this user-focused format. Previously, Netflix debuted Puss in Book and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile, both series for children that follow Bandersnatch's format.
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