Netflix sued over Black Mirror by Choose Your Own Adventure publisher

Chooseco added that 20th Century Fox now holds an "options contract to develop an interactive series" and that Netflix has been actively pursuing the licence since 2016. It was Chooseco who initially published the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books in the '80s and '90s that young readers loved so much. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is far from a G-rated film.

It alleges that Netflix also pursued its own licence in 2016 but never received one.

Chooseco, LLC, the publisher behind the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series and owner of the trademark, has filed a lawsuit against Netflix over the immersive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Chooseco accuses Netflix of benefitting off of its brand, which it claims has been known worldwide for decades.

Chooseco argues that not only did everyone in the press describe Black Mirror's interactive film as a "choose your own adventure" experience, but in one scene in Bandersnatch, one of the characters even references Choose Your Own Adventure books by name.

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.

"The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco", said Shannon Gilligan, widow of Choose Your Own Adventure creator R.A. Montgomery, in a statement.

The lawsuit reveals that Netflix previously negotiated with Chooseco for the rights to "Choose Your Own Adventure" but a deal wasn't struck. It's hard to find a review that doesn't mention the brand. But the publishers behind the long-running Choose Your Own Adventure series of books is claiming their brand had been unfairly used. The suit claims infringement, dilution and unfair competition and Chooseco is seeking at least $25m in damages or profits, whichever is higher.

A Netflix spokesperson declined to comment.