Published On: Sun, Jan 13th, 2019

Netflix Sued Over ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ For Copyright Infringement

Netflix’s latest Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch, took a much different approach than what people are used to with streaming platforms. The premise is really simple, with watchers being able to choose what happens in the movie, so that different outcomes can happen.

Those that watched the Bandersnatch production might have been reminded of the popular “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. Chooseco, LLC, the owner of the trademark for “Choose Your Own Adventure” now decided to sue Netflix. The premise is that trademarks were infringed. News was initially published by The Hollywood Reporter.

photo/ Jorge Gryntysz

In the official complaint, it was Chooseco that declared Netflix:

“used the mark wilfully and intentionally to capitalize on viewers’ nostalgia for the original book series from the 1980s and 1990s. The film’s dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for the positive associations with Chooseco’s mark and tarnished its products.”

Netflix reportedly tried to hide the fact that the trademark was used by using a different name for the book that was shown in the movie. However, there is a scene in the movie where the main character explained that the video game he was created was based on that book, which was a choose your own adventure type book.

According to Chooseco, it is 20th Century Fox that has a special options contract signed to develop a new series that is based on the books. However, Netflix was only reported to have pursued the license starting in 2016, without actually receiving one. Chooseco sent the streaming platform an official cease-and-desist letter even before Bandersnatch was released.

Reports say that Netflix decided not to accept the cease-and-desist. Now, Chooseco is looking for a minimum of $25 million or the profits that Netflix makes from the movie. The amount that is the largest will be considered. The lawsuit claims that Netflix infringed on Chooseco’s trademark, used false designation of origin, trademark dilution and unfair competition.

The success of Bandersnatch is still questionable as there are no stats in place in regards to how many people watched yet so it is hard to see exactly what damages Chooseco would go for. According to Boris Dzhingarov from Cryptoext.com, the release of a movie that uses this technology might end up being similar to the evolution of blockchain technology, to some extent. If Bandersnatch is successful, many other similar movies are going to appear, movies in which you can choose what happens and you get a lot of control as the viewer. Combine this with VR technology or augmented reality and the market can be quite huge.

As expected, Netflix did not comment on the news story and it is expected that some time will pass until that happens. This is because the lawsuit can have a huge impact given the serious nature of the claimed trademark infringement.

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About the Author

- Veselina Dzhingarova has long experience in internet marketing and SEO. She is passionate about blogging to share her expertise. Veselina is a regular contributor at many other online publishers like chamberofcommerce.com, marketoracle.co.uk, newswire.net, bizcommunity.com, socialnomics.net and more. She is the co-founder of Financia­ltipsor.co­m, cryptoe­xt.com, Bl­ogforweb.c­om, Techsu­rprise.com­, travelti­psor.com a­nd others.­ You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn , Google+ or at [email protected]

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