Montreal Transit Threatens Lawsuit Over Counter-Strike Map

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Montreal Transit Threatens Lawsuit Over Counter-Strike Map

The Société de transport de Montreal is worried that a Counter-Strike map set in one of its subway stations will "create panic" among its users.

Despite its age and popularity, there has apparently never been a Counter-Strike map specifically set in the Great White North. Diego Liatis and some friends thus decided to take the job on themselves, and came up with what appears to be a pretty decent rendition of Montreal's Berri-UQAM station. But the work has attracted the attention of the city's transit authority, and not in a good way.

Liatis said he received a letter from the Société de transport de Montreal saying its doesn't want its "copyrighted metro network" to appear the game and that it will consider legal action against him if the map, which is still in development for Counter-strike: Global Offensive, is released. "[The STM] told me that they feared the game could create panic among the city's public transit users," he said.

Liatis requested permission to recreate the station in January, but the STM refused to grant it. He went ahead with the design anyway, because he doesn't believe he can be legally forbidden from recreating a public space. Frédéric Denis, a programmer on the project, described the situation as "ridiculous" and said that terrorists who want to learn the details of the station's layout can just go there and ride around on the subway, like he did.

Liatis said the STM threatened him with a $50,000 fine plus court costs if the map is released to the public. An STM representative confirmed that legal action is being considered but would not comment further.

SourceDo you hav: Le Journal de Montreal

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This map sucks anyways. I don't mind. It's totally understandable that they wouldn't want an actual public space being used as the setting for a game involving terrorists either.

What I want to know is if there would have been a lawsuit threatened if this was a movie. Same exact context with terrorists, but a movie instead of a video game.

I can kind of see why they wouldn't want this in a terrorist game, but the author does have a point about being able to just take a train there if you want to know the layout. You could probably get hold of maps or something online if you really cared.

Kiyeri:
What I want to know is if there would have been a lawsuit threatened if this was a movie. Same exact context with terrorists, but a movie instead of a video game.

Probably not, as the producers of said movie would shell out quite a bit of cash to use the location.

That's probably a way to put it into perspective, really. "You're going to pay us to use it in a movie? Sure! Go right ahead. You're going to create free content based around our stuff and we're not going to see a penny of it? LAWSUIT!"

If this goes through then surely it could set a legal precedent that gets anyone who has used a real place in a game sued. And if terrorists wanted to attack a metro station they could just go there themselves like the designer said, I doubt a determined terrorist cell would call off their plans because they couldn't find a decent CS level mod of their target.

Being a Montrealer, it feels like the STM is reacting with the usual non-gamer panic. This is just a fraction of the total station, so this is in no way useful for any potential terrorists looking to "train" for an assault on Montreal's underground turnpike of sorts. My guess is they took one look at Counter-Strike's concept, read the word "terrorists" and immediately thought "That's it; we authorize this and in six months to a year, we're stuck with our own take on Anders Behring Breivik's assault on Utoya!"

This, of course, happening three months after our current PM nearly got shot at. Whichever way you slice it, the SPVM and STM need to stop being so concerned about their public image and start doing something about being actually worth a damn...

How the hell do you copyright a "metro network"?

Uh, a subway station isn't public space. That's why subway security can throw you out and fine you. Just like a museum isn't public space just because anyone who pays can enter.

And I don't think it's about training for terrorists at all, just a publicity thing. Especially now that gamers will get enraged over this. And quite frankly, I don't give a frack.

There are a few reasons i can think of why they would do this.

Cash grab. (see the fine)
Covering up their own asses just in case.
Have a scapegoat SHOULD something really happen. (Terrorists attack our subway system?! surely there is NO WAY other than THIS game they could have learned the layout)

Kiyeri:
What I want to know is if there would have been a lawsuit threatened if this was a movie. Same exact context with terrorists, but a movie instead of a video game.

How many real locations do you see used in a terrorist attack, under there real names, in movies? When was the last time you saw a real airlines name used in a disaster or terrorist movie? Airlines don't let people hijack, crash or blow up their aircraft, why should the Montreal metro be different?

NameIsRobertPaulson:
How the hell do you copyright a "metro network"?

Because it's not a hole in the ground with some rails running through, it's a designed compound and as such automatically protected. So I can't just go around building Montreal Olympic Stadiums willy-nilly because another architect put a lot of effort into the design.
Also, I understand that Montreal Metro is filled with artwork of big Quebecian(?) artists and has unique designs for each station. That's a completely new level of copyright right there.

Hey remember that time you shot a bunch of Russian civilians in the Moscow Airport in Modern Warfare 2 and then someone went and did that in real life?

NO!

NameIsRobertPaulson:
How the hell do you copyright a "metro network"?

The plans are under copyright protection under the STM and that includes all copies submitted to the city hall archives. Government institutions can utilize them but private industry needs permission.

As a long-time member of a Team Fortress 2 mapping community, I've learned a thing or two about what to expect from multiplayer mapping. And recreating a real-world environment wholesale is generally a sign of lazy design, in that the person responsible can't be bothered to come up with something original. By all means research a real place to get inspiration and a feel for how to make the floor plan believable, if you must, but then take that and make your own thing out of it. Real-world environments typically don't make for good gameplay anyway.

Why would you be so determined to recreate a real space anyway? A tube station is designed to be a tube station not a good place for gaming, wouldn't a custom made station built around good gameplay be better?

I'm pretty sure they can't prosecute them for that, but I for one wouldn't bother with legal stuff over a map like this because it looks shit anyway.
Just make something they can't badger you for and that actually has some gameplay value.

From what I understand the STM would sue him for the use of the STM logo, station name, color of the metro wagon and the use of the map of the metro system (that you can see a couple of time on the inner walls of the wagon. All these are indeed copyrighted. Otherwise I don't really why they could sue. The representation of the station is not that accurate (it's only one floor of the 4 floors of that station, and the train should occupy the entire station length in reality)

So a few changes and they will be able to publish it

Mr.K.:
I'm pretty sure they can't prosecute them for that, but I for one wouldn't bother with legal stuff over a map like this because it looks shit anyway.
Just make something they can't badger you for and that actually has some gameplay value.

I don't know when Canada's law went into effect, but in the US, any structure built after December 1, 1990 has the ability to be copyrighted, even those in public, and you can be sued if you take a photograph or recreate it in any way. Although most building owner don't really care.

Steve the Pocket:
As a long-time member of a Team Fortress 2 mapping community, I've learned a thing or two about what to expect from multiplayer mapping. And recreating a real-world environment wholesale is generally a sign of lazy design, in that the person responsible can't be bothered to come up with something original. By all means research a real place to get inspiration and a feel for how to make the floor plan believable, if you must, but then take that and make your own thing out of it. Real-world environments typically don't make for good gameplay anyway.

I learned all about them not making good gameplay when I used to screw around with stuff like that in the Marathon/Duke3D days. Everything tends to be proportioned wrong and interconnected poorly with the wrong number of entrances and exits and just doesn't flow well at all when people are moving around in it, unless you take a lot of liberties.

An interesting example of something with non-real world maps that has real-world map problems is Oni. They got architects to design the building interiors they used for the levels so they'd feel more realistic, and while they aren't real buildings, they're laid out in largely the same way real buildings would be. As a result, many of them make for kind of crappy levels to play on. They look pretty cool though. Heh.

I have to say those guys making this map are real idiots. You cant honestly expect to get away with using copyrighted structures and logos in your game after you asked for permission and were denied. The trains, logos, maps, and building are all protected and cant be recreated without permission.

Then again he is using misdirection to gain support by throwing out the terrorist comment. Not surprisingly its something that a lot of people here fell for.

Quaxar:
Uh, a subway station isn't public space. That's why subway security can throw you out and fine you. Just like a museum isn't public space just because anyone who pays can enter.

And I don't think it's about training for terrorists at all, just a publicity thing. Especially now that gamers will get enraged over this. And quite frankly, I don't give a frack.

Your subway stations have security? That's just crazy talk. Anyway, I've never really considered public transport not to be a public space, because of, you know, the whole "public" thing.

Anyway, perhaps the good folks of London (in general) should follow this example take action against the makers of Skyfall, given all the London based carnage that takes place in that film. Wouldn't want the wrong kind of people to be inspired to attack London, something which has never happened before.

Is this it? They reduced the biggest metro station in the city to one platform? If they made the whole thing it could be interesting, but if they really only made that one platform, it's shit.
And even if the station layout isn't copyrighted, I'm pretty sure the fucking Metrovision logo is. Dumbasses. (Edit: And the map, too!)

MarsProbe:
Your subway stations have security? That's just crazy talk.

Security and actual cop patrols. You don't fuck with our subway.

Quaxar:
Uh, a subway station isn't public space. That's why subway security can throw you out and fine you. Just like a museum isn't public space just because anyone who pays can enter.

And I don't think it's about training for terrorists at all, just a publicity thing. Especially now that gamers will get enraged over this. And quite frankly, I don't give a frack.

It depends where you live. In NSW for example, stations are classified public space and you can take photos, film etc under normal public space laws.

Andy Chalk:

doesn't believe he can be legally forbidden from recreating a public space. Frédéric Denis, a programmer on the project, described the situation as "ridiculous" and said that terrorists who want to learn the details of the station's layout can just go there and ride around on the subway, like he did.

Pretty much sums it up.

And if you're the kind of person who would actually panic if something like this happened, sorry but you're an idiot.

MarsProbe:

Quaxar:
Uh, a subway station isn't public space. That's why subway security can throw you out and fine you. Just like a museum isn't public space just because anyone who pays can enter.

And I don't think it's about training for terrorists at all, just a publicity thing. Especially now that gamers will get enraged over this. And quite frankly, I don't give a frack.

Your subway stations have security? That's just crazy talk. Anyway, I've never really considered public transport not to be a public space, because of, you know, the whole "public" thing.

I don't know what dream system you are part of, but I suppose there isn't a subway without any security. Not every station all the time of course, but they certainly employ them. Like for ticket control and stuff.

And is a theatre or cinema public space then? Just like a subway anyone can pay to use them for a period of time but they are still private property.

Quaxar:

I don't know what dream system you are part of, but I suppose there isn't a subway without any security. Not every station all the time of course, but they certainly employ them. Like for ticket control and stuff.

And is a theatre or cinema public space then? Just like a subway anyone can pay to use them for a period of time but they are still private property.

It's no dream. Sounds like you're missing out though. One time, we had some guys tearing down the passenger concourse of our bus station in quad bikes. Quality. That's democracy in action right there folks!

Yet another case of idiots condemning what they don't understand.

Asking, getting shot down, then making it anyway is a dick move

Just... switch to a proxy name. Really. Anyone who would enjoy the place because it's someone they often go to will still enjoy it if it's called the "Canada Megawesome Transport System, Named In English Despite Being In Francophone Montreal (CMTSNIEDBIFM)" and anyone who doesn't know the real place won't care.

The architecture of the place is public and probably can be reproduced without risk, but the name of an actual organisation may be problematic.

Couple things I've found out.

D. Liatis is not the creator of the map.
He's the leader of the group of the actual creator.
His group is called NRK (anarchy?) gaming. Wich stands for Notorious Resipiscere Kapos wich is related to the Nazis' concentration camps.

These facts alone and the way he's handling this probably means he's seeing this as a PR stunt. The way he answers the journalist in the "Journal de Montreal" clearly shows he's taking the credit for the map.

He's also taking the role of the poor artist being gagged by the evil corporation. Even mentioning the Concervative government (wich has nothing to do with this).

And with the fact he's the leader of this group. If he does get sued it's either gonna be his members that pay or he's gonna blame the actual creator to get out of it.

So my opinion on the subject :

If somebody asks you not to do something that can hurt them don't do it.

My opinion on this guy :

A crook with a bad attitude.

Laughably ridiculous in fact.

Who the fuck "panics" when they see a real place in a virtual setting? Do they get freaked out by Google Maps as well?

How fucking stupid.

Micah Weil:

Kiyeri:
What I want to know is if there would have been a lawsuit threatened if this was a movie. Same exact context with terrorists, but a movie instead of a video game.

Probably not, as the producers of said movie would shell out quite a bit of cash to use the location.

That's probably a way to put it into perspective, really. "You're going to pay us to use it in a movie? Sure! Go right ahead. You're going to create free content based around our stuff and we're not going to see a penny of it? LAWSUIT!"

You absolutely have a point with the comment above! They won't entirely make a "Scene" out of it, since they'll be obtaining a fair share of the profit. On the other hand by creating artwork based on their stuff for "Free" that's another debatable idea? Then you start to think "Society isn't it wonderful?" it makes you ponder on that idea for a great length of time doesn't it.

Whaaaat? Isn't it a public space? How can you stop someone from using that?

I wait with baited breath to see a group make a new map of the whole station out of spite and defiance and release it publicly on /b/ .

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