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Naughty Dog apologises for swiping map

Naughty Dog apologises for swiping map

Booth was initially furious at finding his map above in The Last of Us.

Naughty Dog has apologised for using an unofficial map of the Boston Subway without permission in The Last of Us.

The developer contacted Portland-base cartographer Cameron Booth after he made the discovery and wrote an anger-fuelled rant on his blog. Talking to Eurogamer, Booth stated that he would be happy with public acknowledgement of his work from Naughty Dog and was keen to avoid any legal action.

'To casually appropriate someone else's work and incorporate it into their game without any discussion with the owner of that work is completely unacceptable,' Booth wrote on his blog. 'Not to mention hugely ironic, as the software industry is always complaining about piracy of their work.'

Naughty Dog would have had to pay a license fee in order to include the official map of the Boston Subway in the game and either believed Booth's version was in the public domain or that Booth would not mind or notice it being used.

Although 'furious' at his initial discovery, Booth now appears happy with the developer's efforts to reach out to him and the two have come to some kind of arrangement. 'It seems as if matters will be resolved to everyone's satisfaction shortly,' he added in a later post.

Naughty Dog was also accused of swiping images earlier this week by Ellen Page, who is convinced that the developer based one of The Last of Us' main characters, Ellie, on her likeness.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, the actress expressed her anger about this predominantly because she is acting in another Playstation 3 title, Quantic Dream's Beyond Two Souls, which is due for release in October this year.

14 Comments

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sakzzz 26th June 2013, 10:22 Quote
Seriously? ! He wants credit for a subway map in a game !
will_123 26th June 2013, 10:28 Quote
Why not? Whatever the content is you can't just go about taking people's work and using it. They would have had to pay license fee's to get a real one so they stole his work. Quite rightfully angry. Think more than anything he just wanted the devs to actually ask permission rather than anything else. But all seems to be resolved :)
Gareth Halfacree 26th June 2013, 10:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will_123
Why not? Whatever the content is you can't just go about taking people's work and using it. They would have had to pay license fee's to get a real one so they stole his work. Quite rightfully angry. Think more than anything he just wanted the devs to actually ask permission rather than anything else. But all seems to be resolved :)
^ This. You Don't Take Other People's Things Without Asking. It's Rule #0 of Sesame Street. (Rule #1 is You Don't Talk About Sesame Street. Rule #3 is If It's Your First Time At Sesame Street, You Have To Count.)

Take a look at the pretty pictures that go with each of the news articles on this 'ere site. If it's my name on the story, then that's a picture I've found. I don't just go to Google Image search and snaffle the first picture I find that fits the story - 'cos that's wrong. The pictures are either supplied by the company in question (product shots going with launch announcements, for example, or that picture I keep using of Ballmer) or come from a royalty-free image library where the creator has released the image into the public domain (that lovely close-up photo of a Master combination lock I use for security stories is just such an image). If that's not possible, I'll use Creative Commons or similarly permissively licensed products - that's pretty rare, though, and you'll be able to tell if I do that because there'll be an "Image courtesy I. R. Photographer" credit in the caption. Other images may come from bit-tech itself - previously previewed or reviewed product photography, as an example - or if I'm really lucky it's something I can do myself, like taking a picture of one of the microcomputers scattered around the office or a screenshot of a game or website.

What I don't do is theftorise somebody else's creative output. I wouldn't do it for something I was working on for personal use, and I sure as heck wouldn't do it for something being commercially exploited - 'cos that leads to court, and court leads to fees, and fees lead to A Homeless Gareth, and something something Dark Side.

Naughty Dog should have done the same thing I do: found a royalty-free image, created their own image, or shelled out for a licence on a commercial image. They didn't, and they've been rightly called out on it.
alwayssts 26th June 2013, 10:47 Quote
I'm glad they worked this out, and believe he should take it as a compliment because while a theme for Naughty Dog, they always steal themes, images, and likenesses from the best and most beloved.

ND has a keen eye for ripping the best source material from contemporary culture and recycling it into a greatly entertaining experience. They do seem to be walking a tight line in trademarks and plagiarsm though. If not themes, then images or likenesses.

For instance, if you do not think Ellie (ELLEN?!) was meant to be a complete likeness of Ellen Page, you're simply blind. While one could argue the initial model that WAS Ellen Page was a placeholder until their artists could retouch the mocap ('to fit with the actress'), my gut says more likely is threat of lawsuit if not a failure to secure her for the role in the first place.

That all said, if you're looking for a familiar face associated with epitomizing sympathy and savvy and wise-beyond-appearance, there is really not a better choice than her. It's not just what she looks like, but also the associations (Hard Candy, American Crime etc).

Once again, ND knows their stuff. They use only the best...but they need to seriously work on compensation and licensing if they choose to use those instilled advantages over starting from scratch.
Corky42 26th June 2013, 10:52 Quote
Wouldn't a subway map fall under public domain ?
Gareth Halfacree 26th June 2013, 10:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Wouldn't a subway map fall under public domain ?
Nup. They're typically copyright, as are derivatives. It's not just a US-centric thing, either: TFL has the same terms. The fees are here, if you're curious - although "reproduction in a video game" isn't one of the use cases, oddly enough...
sotu1 26th June 2013, 10:58 Quote
[QUOTE=Gareth Halfacree]
Quote:
Originally Posted by will_123
You Don't Take Other People's Things Without Asking. It's Rule #0 of Sesame Street. (Rule #1 is You Don't Talk About Sesame Street. Rule #3 is If It's Your First Time At Sesame Street, You Have To Count.)

love it
Stanley Tweedle 26th June 2013, 11:12 Quote
I would have copied it and changed a few of the routes to make it my own.
alwayssts 26th June 2013, 11:16 Quote
So, I'm really curious...what was your guys favorite?

Was it when Captain Reynolds was on Crusades to rob Tombs or when Ellen Page walked down The Road?
schmidtbag 26th June 2013, 15:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Wouldn't a subway map fall under public domain ?
Nup. They're typically copyright, as are derivatives. It's not just a US-centric thing, either: TFL has the same terms. The fees are here, if you're curious - although "reproduction in a video game" isn't one of the use cases, oddly enough...

I personally was thinking the same thing as Corky, and what you showed is for London, which is not only a different city but also in a different country. However, considering Booth was allowed to take (supposedly) legal action on this case, the Boston subway system must have similar legal restrictions, which I suppose includes the "reproduction in a video game" restriction.

Overall, I do think this is a little on the eye-rolling side for Booth to make such a big deal about a map, but I do understand his gripe and at least he didn't seem to want to go full-force on this situation.
Gareth Halfacree 26th June 2013, 15:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
I personally was thinking the same thing as Corky, and what you showed is for London, which is not only a different city but also in a different country.
Yes, I am aware that London is not Boston which is why I said: "It's not just a US-centric thing, either: TFL has the same terms. The fees are here, if you're curious." TFL, as I'm sure you're aware, stands for Transport for London.

Here is Boston's MBTA licensing information. It does not, sadly, include pricing.
Flibblebot 26th June 2013, 18:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley Tweedle
I would have copied it and changed a few of the routes to make it my own.
That's still a derivative work, though.
Glix 26th June 2013, 21:58 Quote
Can we call developers and publishers pirates too now? Oh the definition doesn't fit you say? :P
PingCrosby 27th June 2013, 20:41 Quote
I once had a game of poker with a map, but it kept folding
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