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June 25, 2013

The Last of Us Uses Boston Transit Map Without Permission [UPDATE]

transit maps

This comparison shot shows two images of Cameron Booth’s Boston subway map.

The Last of Us was released recently to almost universal critical and commercial success. Those facts haven’t escaped Cameron Booth, an artist who designs maps of real and fictional transit systems. It seems the game’s developer, Naughty Dog, used one of his pieces — a map of the Boston subway system — without permission. The issue came to Booth’s attention only after the game’s release, thanks to these screenshots.

Booth, who was not compensated for his work, has reached out to Naughty Dog to discuss the situation.

I seriously doubt Naughty Dog stole from Booth intentionally Even if this was an attempt to sidestep paying for Boston’s official map, it’s more likely this was a misunderstanding, one which has become all too common in internet culture.

There are a lot of misconceptions about fair use, especially in an internet culture which tends to divorce value from creative works — works which require creativity, labor, and time. It’s a school of thought present in everything from graphic design, to journalism, to comedy.

I recommend looking at the comments on Booth’s post for a look at the internet’s white-hot fury over someone actually wanting to get paid for their creative works.

[Source: Transit Maps]

[Update] Booth has pulled his original post, stating  “It seems as if matters will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction shortly.” According to Eurogamer, Naughty Dog has reached out to the artist, and a solution seems to be forthcoming.



About the Author

Steven Strom
Steven is a freelance journalist and editor for SideQuesting, as well as several newspapers. He is a podcast co-host for The Side Quest, Lonely TARDIS and Drunks and Dragons. His interests include comics, books, games you've never heard of and fettucini alfredo.




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