Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Book publisher to sue Netflix over Black Mirror episode

Book publisher to sue Netflix over Black Mirror episode

A complaint was filed in Vermont federal court this morning by Chooseco, LLC, publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, against the streaming giant.

The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco. This idea does make some sense, considering the more than 265 million copies of the books have been sold over the years.

Chooseco also takes issue with the "dark and, at times, disturbing content", of the Black Mirror film, which the company claims "dilutes the goodwill" and positive associations with the Choose Your Own Adventure trademark. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chooseco reported that Netflix sought to acquire this trademark but was never granted the license.

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Chooseco is reportedly asking for at least $25 million or Netflix's profits from the film, whichever amount is the greatest, for Netflix's alleged trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and trademark dilution. In this episode, the protagonist, a young programmer named Stefan, works to create a computer game inspired by an interactive novel he read.

The plaintiff said 20th Century Fox now holds an options contract to develop an interactive series based on the books, which allow readers to influence the story they are reading by turning to different pages.

Chooseco claims that Netflix made a concerted to connect the audience with the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s books.

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Netflix had previously held negotiations with Chooseco in 2016 to license the phrase in connection with films and interactive cartoons, according to the suit, however, the negotiations didn't result in a license.

The lawsuit against Netflix comes from Chooseco, the owner of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" trademark.

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Netflix for comment.

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