Netflix sued by ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book publisher over ‘Bandersnatch’

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By Kalhan Rosenblatt

The publisher of the classic “Choose Your Own Adventure” books is suing Netflix, claiming the streaming service infringed on its trademarked format for the new film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.”

Chooseco, which was formed in 2004 to re-release several classic titles of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books originally published in the 1980s and 1990s, announced the suit on Friday.

“We have received an unprecedented amount of outreach from people who believed we were associated with the creation of this film, including parents who were concerned that we had aligned the CYOA brand they knew and loved with content that surprised and offended them,” Shannon Gilligan, co-founder and publisher of Chooseco, said in a statement.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment made by NBC News.

Released in late December, Netflix’s “Bandersnatch” follows game programmer Stefan Butler as he attempts to deliver a video game of the same name in time for Christmas 1984. As the viewer makes choices for Stefan, the character devolves into a deep depression and increasing paranoia.

The film includes themes of drug use, murder, violence, and, (spoiler alert) in one scenario, the death of a child.

A number of different endings are possible depending on the choices made by the viewer during the film.

A copy of the suit, first published by BuzzFeed News and filed in Vermont federal court, claims that in 2016, Netflix and Chooseco began licensing negotiations in relation to “Choose Your Own Adventure” television shows and movies, but that Netflix never received a licensing agreement from the publisher.

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