« No Payne, No Gain | Main | Local man dances, awaits revolution »

01/12/2004

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Walter

I'd imagine that a lot of those places would consider being represented in PGR2 as free advertising, so I doubt there would've been much trouble getting their permission, as well as little rationale for suing, particularly since there's no possibility of throwing these places into a bad light (plus, who'd want to go up against Microsoft's legal team anyway? :P).

That does sort of raise a (horribly naive) question though: is it illegal to sell photographs you took of, say, the Empire State Building, without asking for the owners' permission? If not, then can't the environments in PGR2 be thought of as a kind of digital, three-dimensional photograph, particularly since they're so static and beyond the bounds of interactivity?

Regardless, there is just one glaring flaw with PGR2's environments, which is that they're absolutely lifeless (aside from maybe a pigeon here and there), which, for me, reduces their touristic appeal. At least, when driving through cities in the day. The deserted cities tend to make a bit more sense at night.

Jake of 8bitjoystick.com

I get a kick out of the "Seattle" level in Gran Tourismo 3. They did change some key points but it is defiantly the Pioneer square and Soho district of Seattle.

Bowler

Walter: "That does sort of raise a (horribly naive) question though: is it illegal to sell photographs you took of, say, the Empire State Building, without asking for the owners' permission? If not, then can't the environments in PGR2 be thought of as a kind of digital, three-dimensional photograph, particularly since they're so static and beyond the bounds of interactivity?"

This is what I'd like to know as well. I know for a fact that we stopped a "Vegas" level in the game I'm presently working on, because we hadn't asked/paid the town of Vegas for the rights to use the town, nor any of the individual (and highly recognizeable) casinos. Photographs are one thing, but when you stand to make 40 million dollars due in part to a town being recognizeable, towns start saying that's the same as using Ben Aflec's likeness without paying him. It's quite the legal quagmire.

crankyuser

In France I believe you need a lot more paperwork for licensing all the little, independently owned storefronts. And generally for government buildings, walking and taking a photograph every 10 feet will get security looking at you strangely.

Dolph N. Safe

I heard at E3 that MS got signed permission for each and every building and business that appears in each city. I'd also heard that when they didn't get permission for a building, they had to insert "generic" structures. What kind of person dosen't want thier deli/hair salon/shoe shop immortalized in a blockbuster game? (GTA excluded)

Draigon

I am not a lawyer, speaking out of ignorance. I would imagine photos of geographical locations do not require compensation. If it were a fantasy city that they placed Dunkin Donuts all over, Dunkin Donuts would have a case, I think.

btw, do you know if there's an El Famous Burrito or Portillos in there? That would totally make me jump because my friends Dad owns El Famous and, well, I just love Portillos. Florida desperately needs one. :(

Ben

Funnily enough, PGR2 caused a small storm a few months ago in Australia for its detailed, real-world tracks. I haven't played PGR2 - but the few screenshots I've seen of the Sydney track look amazingly accurate.

Bowler

Draigon, sadly, I didn't notice any El Famous's in the track, and the only Portillos in Chicago that I know of is on Ontario right by Ed Debevic's and the 50's McDonald's, and the tracks in PGR2 are more in the downtown Loop area.

But yes, the *world* needs more Portillos, not just Florida. I'll think of you next time I'm eating at the two by my house. ;)

Mike Drucker

I'm still a fan of what Parasite Eve did in a modern city. While the game itself wasn't a classic, the concept it set up felt really great. Sure, street racing is all well and good, but I'd like a realistic city setting for an RPG, or an adventure game with some strange twist. Freedom Fighters I hear does that a bit. But, I'd like a Japanese style "hey, the end of the world is coming" RPG using real city locations. Now, that would be fun.

Kones

I'm pretty sure anything you photograph on public property is legitamite for use in such applications. To reference a silly supreme court case, the "Upskirt" videos where people would put cameras in shopping bags and slide them near girls wearing skirts turned out to be legal b/c it was in public. The argument was, if you don't want to have your panties photographed, don't wear a skirt. So, I'd think similar rules apply. You can legally photograph anything that's public property. Private property is an entirely different story. I doubt you could go into the Walgreen's and start snapping shots without a problem.

dsyu

I was slightly impressed with the street layout accuracy of True Crime: Streets of LA. Then I drove to where I used to live and found it filled with nudie clubs and hookers. Boy, the neighborhood has gone to the dogs :-)

elmimmo

Well, I just played with it about 5 minutes at my brother's, so I did not have the time to wander around and peek at each portal there, but Barcelona's depiction, in general, at least, was really impressive. I would swear that they took a few licenses, though, such as widening the road in Las Ramblas. But maybe I am wrong, since after all it is usually full of cars hiding the view. Whenever I can enjoy the game to the full extent I might take the trouble to do live comparisons.

elmimmo

Well, I just played with it about 5 minutes at my brother's, so I did not have the time to wander around and peek at each portal there, but Barcelona's depiction, in general, at least, was really impressive. I would swear that they took a few licenses, though, such as widening the road in Las Ramblas. But maybe I am wrong, since after all it is usually full of cars hiding the view. Whenever I can enjoy the game to the full extent I might take the trouble to do live comparisons.

Just this guy, you know?

Use rights have to be obtained for the likeness of any real world building that is shown. In certain cases, you have to get separate rights for night time and day time likenesses.

You don't necessarily have to PAY the entities that own the buildings, but you have to at the very least secure a signed release stating that it is OK to use the likeness of the building.

Just this guy, you know?

Use rights have to be obtained for the likeness of any real world building that is shown. In certain cases, you have to get separate rights for night time and day time likenesses.

You don't necessarily have to PAY the entities that own the buildings, but you have to at the very least secure a signed release stating that it is OK to use the likeness of the building.

William

Does it occur to anyone that exhausting legal requirements like this one are a bigger hurdle for small, independent game production than things like the distribution channel are? How would an independent videogame artist doing a more satirical, and less commercially viable, work be able to operate, if you need permission to simulate?

Todd

I live in Sydney which is one of the citys modelled. I played PGR2 for the first time yesterday at a XBox live roadshow that is currently going around Australia. I was racing through the streets of the Rocks in Sydney, I heard one of the spectators behind me say "Oh My God... I go drinking in that pub".

Its a fantastic feeling racing around the city you live in. But on the other hand its a little surreal beacuse im so used to racing round a generic track.

Also, one of the MP's here tried to get the game banned. Saying that it was sending out the wrong messages.

MP demands ban on video hoons

blooflame

What I want to know is - is Billy Goat's below Michigan there, between the two papers?

Bowler

"What I want to know is - is Billy Goat's below Michigan there, between the two papers?"

Ha! I tried looking myself, but the problem is that I don't think the racetrack goes down that particular block, and even if they did, the one section where you drive through the brief Michigan ave underground is on the wrong block.

But it's there in *spirit*. Cheeboiger cheeboiger cheeboiger. No Pepsi. Coke.

Calico

In an interview at Dailygame, PGR2's exec. producer commented on the licensing:

"Let's talk licensing for a minute. How long did it take to get permission to re-create storefronts, what was involved, and how did mom-and-pop owners in Moscow react to having you propose that their store appear in PGR 2? ---

Microsoft's licensing department handled the entire shop front licensing for PGR 1 and PGR 2, from the moment we started researching the cities for version 2 in early 2002. Microsoft worked on the city licenses, and this continued up until Art freeze. Getting the licenses for each of the cities ranged in difficulty depending on the local laws for each country. In Moscow, for example, as long as we kept the shop fronts as real as possible, we didn't need to approach the shop owner, while in Edinburgh we needed to get permission from each of the individual shop owners."

bryan young

It would be interesting to read a little bit about the specifics of the licencing from the people who actually had to call people. I would think that a wise shop owner might be able to hold out for some money. I wonder if any tried or if they jsut said "fine we'll just make your store into something different. I be McDonalds would pay US to be in our game."

RotJ

So do movie makers have to get licenses whenever they have a building or an entire city in the backdrop? Of couse, major movie studios usually get permission from a city to film there and completely close off streets for filming. But if, say, a mom & pop hardware store in the background doesn't want to allow their store to appear in the film, do they have to position the cameras so it is never seen? Or if the owner of the Sears Tower doesn't grant a license, is a view of the Chicago skyline out of the question?

Bowler

RotJ: For films, skylines are typically covered in agreements with the city to film there, and possibly the building's owners. And I'm going to assume that yes, films must get the permission of the building's owners (be they government [as was the case of the Blues Brothers getting permission from then Mayor Jane Byrne filming in and around the Daley Center in Chicago] or privately owned). Same with commercials. Every time you see a commercial that takes place on a residential block, just about every house on the block must sign a waver stating they either gave their consent or were paid contractually for the rights to use their home's likeness in the commercial.

However, if the film is considered documentary or educational, I think different (fair use) rules apply. That being said, I'm no lawyer, so if I'm proven wrong, so be it. These are merely the things I've learned working in the film, commercial, and games biz.

outsider

jpb ppyt psycholog zdrowa ywno nieruchomoci projektowanie stron agencja reklamowa soczewki kontaktowe nauka angielskiego agroturystyka opony klimatyzacja domy opieki akupunktura hydraulik projektowanie wntrz soha jpk paa ki wypadki tfrd jh sw jft pp fdr

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe to the mailing list!

* indicates required