Netflix Is Getting Sued By Choose Your Own Adventure For 'Bandersnatch'
Netflix has been accused of tarnishing the good name of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series with its 'Black Mirror' film.
Bandersnatch was released on December 28 last year and became the streaming service's first major foray into interactive films.
Viewers were given the power to control the destiny of main character Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead) with the click of a button, in the style of a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book.
Now, Chooseco (the publisher responsible for CYOA books) has slapped Netflix with a lawsuit for using their "distinctive" trademarks without permission.
“Netflix has no license or authorisation to use Chooseco’s trademark and, upon information and belief, used the mark willfully and intentionally to capitalize on viewers' nostalgia for the original book series,” the lawsuit filed in a Vermont federal court reads.
It goes on to say that Bandersnatch is “causing confusion, tarnishing, denigrating, and diluting the distinct quality" of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” name.
The Chooseco co-founder Shannon Gilligan said the Black Mirror film has caused great "confusion" to readers of the CYOA series.
"The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco," Gilligan 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," she added.
Chooseco has made comparisons between Bandersnatch and some of their iconic novels (The Abominable Snowman) and pointed out that the main character Stefan even references the series at the beginning of the film.
The publisher claims that the "dark and violent themes" in Bandersnatch have caused "reputational harm" to their brand.
Chooseco is seeking damages of $25 million US for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution and unfair competition.
Netflix has not yet responded publically to the lawsuit.
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