Netflix is being sued over its recent Bandersnatch episode of Black Mirror. The episode of the dystopian thriller is structured like a choose your own adventure story in which the viewer decides what happens next. But Chooseco LLC, the publisher behind the original Choose Your Own Adventure books, isn’t happy, and has filed a lawsuit against the streaming giant.
Chooseco claims Netflix has infringed upon its trademarks. According to Chooseco, Netflix previously tried to acquire a licence for Chooseco’s trademark, but the two never reached a deal.
Chooseco’s complaint centres on a scene in Bandersnatch in which one character refers to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. It accuses Netflix of “causing confusion, tarnishing, denigrating and diluting the distinct quality of the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ trademark”. Specifically, it says Black Mirror’s “dark and violent themes” reflect poorly on its brand.
Chooseco is seeking at least $25 million in damages.
Netflix isn’t the only company letting the viewer decide what happens next in a story, though it is the biggest. It’ll be fascinating to see what happens in this case, and how it affects other streaming services and entertainment in general going forward.