The publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books is suing Netflix for a cool $25 million, claiming that the recent film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch infringes on its trademark. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is far from a G-rated film.
The popular on-demand video streaming service premiered Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in December a year ago.
After R.A. Montgomery, the original publisher and author of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series, passed away in 2014, his widow Shannon Gilligan took over the company.
According to a January 11th, 2019 Hollywood Reporter story, USA -based publisher Chooseco filed documents in Vermont arguing that the publisher has used the phrase since the 1980s and has sold more than 265 million copies of its Choose Your Own Adventure books.
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". According to THR, Chooseco accused Netflix of confusing people, with many reportedly linking the publishers to the dark flick. "The use of Choose Your Own Adventure in association with such graphic content is likely to cause significant damage, impacting our book sales and affecting our ability to work with licensing partners in the future". According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chooseco reported that Netflix sought to acquire this trademark but was never granted the license.
While the concept of freedom of choice can't be trademarked, Vermont-based Chooseco LLC, which has published the book series since the '70s, claims Netflix infringed in a number of specific ways. 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.