Netflix Sued Over Bandersnatch's Similarities to Choose Your Own Adventure

Guardian Web |

Netflix  (NFLX) is being sued over its recent interactive episode of Black Mirror.

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

The Vermont-based Chooseco LLC has filed a complaint claiming that Netflix is using an association with the brand to increase awareness of Bandersnatch.

“Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license,” reads the complaint. “On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking Netflix to stop using the Choose Your Own Adventure mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program.”

The suit also mentions that Bandersnatch contains an explicit reference to Choose Your Own Adventure with the main character telling his father about the series.

Chooseco is claiming that viewers have been confused over the links between the two products and as a result, its reputation has been harmed. The suit claims infringement, dilution and unfair competition and Chooseco is seeking at least $25m in damages or profits, whichever is higher.

The company had already partnered with Twentieth Century Fox for an upcoming series of interactive films based on the books, which have sold more than 265m copies worldwide.

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.

Netflix has yet to comment.

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