Hopefully by now you've experienced the ride that is Bandersnatch, the newest episode of "Black Mirror" on Netflix. If not, it's a choose your own adventure wild ride where you're in control of the story line, only until your not.
Herein lies the problem...
Netflix is currently being sued for $25 million in damages by a company called Chooseco. Chooseco is the company that invented, and since trademarked, the whole "choose your own adventure" books back in the 80s and 90s.
The lawsuit claims that back in 2016 Netflix and Chooseco began negotiations for the streaming service to use the "choose your own adventure" trademark in their content, but those conversations fell silent with no deal in place.
Then Bandersnatch was released late in 2018. While they didn't market the film as "choose your own adventure," the phrase is used multiple times in the work.
Further more, it's the graphic nature of the content within Bandersnatch that has caused the most concern for Chooseco. Supposedly, the company has already received complaints from parents who assume that the graphic nature of the show is in association with Chooseco, which it is not.
"The use of Choose Your Own Adventure in association with such graphic content is likely to cause significant damage, impacting our book sales and affecting our ability to work with licensing partners in the future," Shannon Gilligan co-creator of Chooseco said. "We would prefer not to resort to litigation, but given the damage that we will suffer as a result of the use of our mark we've been left with no other option."
Netflix has yet to comment on the situation, but certainly adds a new (and unexpected) twist to the choose your own adventure phenomenon that is sweeping the nation.