Chooseco LLC, the publisher who owns the rights to the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series of books, has filed a lawsuit against Netflix claiming their interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch “infringes on its trademarks.”
No, you did not choose the wrong path, this is real life. They actually filed a $25 million lawsuit against Netflix.
According to the suit, Netflix sought a license to use the “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark over the last couple of years. However, the negotiations never resulted in a deal. The suit also notes that 20th Century Fox recently optioned the rights to develop an interactive film series based on the books.
The suit notes that early in the film, the main character refers to the book series. The character plans to pitch a video game based on a book he is reading, and the character’s father asks about the book. “It’s a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book,” the character states.
The suit also contends that the film is violent and disturbing — including references to murder, decapitation, drug use, and the mutilation of a corpse — which is inappropriate for the young adult readers of the book series. The suit claims that the violent imagery tarnishes the “Choose Your Own Adventure” brand.
[protected-iframe id=”d40d02ef01fe6d3c172b174573ccbbfa-97886205-92827192″ info=”https://giphy.com/embed/i2NVsB8UVOFg4fucsC” width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowfullscreen=””]
“The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco,” Shannon Gilligan, Chooseco’s Co-founder and Publisher said in a statement. “We have received an unprecedented amount of outreach 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 that surprised and offended them.
“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. We would prefer not to resort to litigation, but given the damage that we will suffer as a result of the use of our mark we’ve been left with no other option.”
Well… that’s not completely true. There is one other option…
[protected-iframe id=”356a2a4747963b6050808bdb90ed4570-97886205-92827192″ info=”https://giphy.com/embed/Ta5Lpvm3dxuePddUkE” width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowfullscreen=””]