Choose Your Own Adventure Is Suing Netflix Over Bandersnatch

Choose. But choose wisely.
Choose. But choose wisely.
Photo: Stuart Hendry/Netflix

You’re a Vermont book publisher who owns the rights to a well-known series of books. A new movie on Netflix uses the general concept for the books. Do you wish to sue them?

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Yes...or no?

For Chooseco LLC, the answer is “Yes.” Variety reports the publisher, which owns the rights to the popular Choose Your Own Adventure book series, sued Netflix in federal court today saying that Black Mirror: Bandersnatch “infringes on its trademarks” The publisher is seeking at least $25 million in damages.

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(In case you’ve been under a rock the past two weeks, Bandersnatch is the new Black Mirror movie on Netflix that forces viewers to make choices to drive the story in different directions. You can find some top quality content on it, if we do say so ourselves, at all these links.)

Apparently, Netflix had been in negotiations with Chooseco over the last few years to try and officially get the rights to the famous book series, but failed. That, along with the fact a character in Bandersnatch literally says “It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book” about something in the movie, seemed to get the ball rolling.

Also of note is the fact that 20th Century Fox, soon to be owned by Disney, has the movie rights to the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, so that could come into play too.

This is certainly something we’ll be following and it’ll be fascinating to see if Chooseco actually has any rights to the idea of making this kind of interactive entertainment. What do you choose?

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

There have been CYOA knockoffs from other publishers/producers for decades (like Pocket’s Which Way Books series in the ‘80s, and the MysteryDisc interactive movies from back in the Laser Disc era), so I don’t know why they’d suddenly have a problem with it now — unless it’s just that Netflix is a bigger, far wealthier company than those earlier ones, so there’s potentially a bigger payoff for suing them.