Another day, another company is suing Netflix for allegedly infringing upon their copyright.
This time, the publisher of the once-popular Choose Your Own Adventure book series is suing the streaming giant over its interactive Black Mirror: Bandersnatch movie.
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out — Bandersnatch allows viewers to create their own movie by choosing different options throughout.
Chooseco filed its lawsuit in Vermont, accusing Netflix of willfully infringing on the “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark and claiming that the episode is so dark it will tarnish the books’ reputation.
It’s hard for us to see how giving someone a choice in viewing content infringes upon anyone’s trademark, but we digress. It appears Chooseco’s complaint goes a little deeper.
The complaint, as published by Polygon, claims that Netflix started trying to license the Choose Your Own Adventure name starting in 2016. While the companies engaged in “extensive negotiations,” Netflix allegedly didn’t get the license. Chooseco says it’s already sent cease-and-desist notices about its trademark “on at least one occasion” regarding a different TV show — potentially one of Netflix’s earlier, child-focused interactive programs.
Even further, Chooseco’s complaint mentions the fact that Bandersnatch’s main character actually references a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book in the beginning of the film — implying that the movie is affiliated with the book series in some way. It’s upsetting to the company given the dark nature of the film that “can include references to and depictions of a demonic presence, violent fighting, drug use, murder, mutilation of a corpse, decapitation, and other upsetting imagery.”
“Association with this grim content tarnishes Chooseco’s famous trademark,” says the complaint.
Chooseco is asking for damages of at least $25 million. We feel a settlement coming on!