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Netflix Facing Lawsuit Over 'Bandersnatch'

One News Page Staff Sunday, 13 January 2019
Netflix Facing Lawsuit Over 'Bandersnatch'by 👩‍💻 Alice Monroe

Bandersnatch, a hugely creative multiple-choice interactive movie offered up by Black Mirror for Netflix over the holiday season, has taken on a life of its own. Even now, weeks after its release, viewers are still discovering hidden endings and twists in the dark tale unfolding before them. As such, it’s very much still fresh in our minds. However, it’s also fresh in the minds of a certain complainant, who has launched a lawsuit against Netflix with regard to its latest streaming experiment.

According to Deadline, Chooseco – a Vermont-based publisher primarily trading in children’s literature – is suing Netflix over their use of the term ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ as used throughout Bandersnatch – and it appears that they are requesting at least $25 million in damages as a result of the alleged copyright infringement. Chooseco’s suit claims that the phrase in question has been registered as a trademark for use in movies and other media – and as a result, Netflix could be in direct infringement of such filings.

Netflix Being Sued By The ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ CompanyNetflix Being Sued By The ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Company [video]

It’s thought that the trademark filing stands partly to support an ongoing 20th Century Fox project, titled Choose Your Own Adventure, which will reportedly make use of revolutionary character-control technology for use in theaters. However, this movie remains in development – and in the meantime, Chooseco appears to be more than dismayed that their alleged trademark has been used elsewhere.

Netflix and Chooseco have crossed paths before, with the lawsuit filers claiming that the streaming service had initially started to discuss licensing the phrase for use as part of a series of interactive movies and TV episodes. However, such a license never came into effect. “Netflix intentionally and wilfully used Chooseco’s famous mark in order to benefit from the positive associations with – and nostalgia for – the brand by adults who read the series as youngsters,” Chooseco states in the suit.

With the suit only recently having been launched, it will remain to be seen who comes out of court successful. In the meantime, Bandersnatch remains one of the most popular movies available for streaming right now on Netflix, with critical and viewer opinion having registered generally positively. One News Page, in fact, rated the film as four stars out of five.

Will this lawsuit make big changes to any plans Netflix may have for adventure games in future? Who’s to say – but we will have more news as and when it becomes available.

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