A children’s book publisher has sued Netflix for using the phrase “Choose Your Own Adventure” while promoting its immersive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
According to a January 11th, 2019 Hollywood Reporter story, U.S.-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.
Chooseco added that 20th Century Fox currently holds an “options contract to develop an interactive series” and that Netflix has been actively pursuing the licence since 2016.
“Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license,” the lawsuit reads.
“On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking the U.S.-based streaming giant to stop using the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program.”
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The publisher’s filing alleged that Netflix is benefiting from an association with the phrase, adding that Bandersnatch has been marketed and widely linked to the phrase.
In its complaint, Chooseco also noted that one of the main characters, Stefan Butler (played by Fionn Whitehead) specifically says in the interactive movie that the video game he’s developing is based on a fictional book and refers to it as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.
Chooseco is demanding at least $25 million in damages or Netflix’s profits, whichever figure is higher.