Chooseco, the publishing company behind the “Choose Your Own Adventure” children’s books, is suing Netflix over its recent film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.”
The books, which were hugely popular in the eighties, made the reader agonise over an apparently endless series of choices – it might not be until half an hour later that it became clear that a terrible decision had been made.
Which is essentially Netflix’s business model. However, that’s not actually why they’re being sued.
The lawsuit claims the latest instalment of Black Mirror infringed upon the “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark and cast a dark shadow on viewers’ pleasant memories of the book series.
Ben Harris was a big fan of the books back in the day. “My favourite was ‘Through the Black Hole,’ he said.
“There was a great bit when you got exposed to the vacuum of space and your eyeballs exploded.
“Another path meant you were stranded in deep space forever and slowly starved to death despite first killing and eating your crew.
“We don’t need Black Mirror destroying these happy childhood experiences with its horrible graphic violence.”
Chooseco has filed for at least $25 million for “infringement, dilution, and unfair competition.”
Ironically, legal proceedings will be streamed live on Netflix with viewers able to choose who wins and who loses.
Like the Chooseco book series “Bandersnatch” is interactive. Netflix has said that there are five possible endings and more than a trillion story combinations overall.
So it’s a story based on a series of random decisions where anything could happen and the chances of it ending well are close to zero. Perhaps Chooseco should be suing Brexit.
The interactive episode has been hailed as the future of television.
But Netflix isn’t going to stop there. The company has plans to go even further down the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ path by producing future episodes on paper with actual writing and selling them in bookshops rather than streaming them online.
I know, it’s like something out of Blade Runner isn’t it?