Netflix is being sued by the publisher of the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book franchise, which claims the streaming service violated its trademark by asking viewers to choose the main character’s actions in ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’.
Chooseco has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Vermont, claiming that Netflix unlawfully used the company’s intellectual property in the “Black Mirror” special released late last month and caused “reputational damage”. worth $25 million, BuzzFeed News reported Friday.
The children’s series “Choose your own adventures” invites readers to choose the path of the characters from a variety of different plots and endings.
“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is the story of a young video game programmer who attempts to adapt a fictional book described as a “choose your own adventure” read into a digital game.
Chooseco accused Netflix of trying to “capitalize on viewer nostalgia” by using direct references to the series from the 1980s and 1990s, BuzzFeed reported.
The two companies were in licensing negotiations in early 2016, but Netflix never received permission to use the trademark, according to the lawsuit.
The publisher also objected to the association with violence in the film, according to the outlet.
At one point in “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” the main character’s available choices have viewers deciding between killing themselves or their friend, killing their father, and either burying a body or cutting it into pieces first.
“We received an unprecedented amount of contact from people who believed we were associated with the creation of this film, including parents who were concerned that we had aligned the CYOA brand they knew and loved with content which surprised and offended them,” the company said. co-founder and publisher, Shannon Gilligan, said in a statement to BuzzFeed.
The lawsuit alleges one count of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and false designation of origin, the outlet reported.
The Hill has contacted Netflix for comment.