Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has resulted in a massive lawsuit being brought against the streaming service. That basic idea has been translated into other mediums, like 1995's Mr. Payback, which let audiences vote on the outcome of the short film, and most recently with Bandersnatch, a film set in the Black Mirror universe and released by Netflix.
Shannon Gilligan, who leads the company after the death of original publisher R.A. Montgomery, made a statement on Friday, accusing Netflix of causing serious damage to their business.
The popular "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" episode debuted December 28 and allows viewers to select how they want the story to go and get different endings. The company has filed for at least $25 million for "infringement, dilution, and unfair competition" and demands that Netflix remove any "choose your own adventure" references relating to Bandersnatch.
"On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking the US -based streaming giant to stop using the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program".
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According to Chooseco's complaint, Netflix did try to get permission, engaging in "extensive negotiations", but in the end never got a license. It was one of the most popular children's series in the '80s and '90s. From the complaint, Chooseco alleges that the "dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for an positive associations with Chooseco's mark and tarnishes its products". 20th Century Fox is now in talks with the publisher to develop an interactive series based on the property, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A Netflix spokesperson declined to comment.