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The Chrysler Building isn't in SM: Miles Morales because of copyright reasons

VulcanRaven

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales Is Missing This Major New York City Landmark

"One of New York City's most iconic landmarks, the Chrysler Building, was removed for the recent release of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The building was not only featured in Marvel's Spider-Man video game from 2018 but has been featured in lots of Marvel media over the past several decades. However, with the building coming under new ownership in 2019, it looks like the Chrysler Building may be making fewer appearances. We talked to a copyright lawyer about the ways buildings are protected by copyright and to developer Insomniac games about why it had to change its version of the New York City skyline.

The Chrysler Building opened on May 27, 1930 and stood as the tallest building in the world until the Empire State Building was completed in May 1931, one mile away. Since its completion, the Chrysler Building has remained not only one of New York City's most famous skyscrapers, but also one of the most famous skyscrapers in American architecture. The art deco building, which rises to 1,046 feet with 77 floors, is particularly famous for its eight eagles, which protrude from the exterior of the 61st floor.

The structure has also been a staple in Marvel comics, movies, and now games. It is heavily featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Spider-Man animated series, and the various Spider-Man film adaptations and movie posters. In Marvel's Spider-Man on PS4, the Chrysler Building was one of the game's 47 featured landmarks, which players had to photograph for a side-mission, and was completely recreated for the game's open-world. But now, if you go to the same location on the map in Miles Morales, you see a nondescript skyscraper. However, in the recent PlayStation 5 remaster of the first Spider-Man, the Chrysler Building is still present."


"In fact, the Chrysler Building is protected under copyright, and so its owners and IP holders are free to decide whether or not it shows up in a piece of media, like Miles Morales. For whatever reason, SIGNA Group or RFR Holding LLC decided they didn't want their building to appear in the game, even if the previous owners allowed it. And it's completely within their rights as the owners of the Chrysler Building, no matter how iconic the building is or if it appeared in a game just two years prior. According to what we heard from Insomniac, the developer did try to get permission, but obviously were not able to.


"When creating our representation of the city we wanted to include as many landmarks as we could to add to the sense of immersion," James Stevenson, Insomniac's community director, told Game Informer when asked for comment. "Sometimes negotiations to use those locations didn’t work out, which was the case with the Chrysler Building in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.""


The building is still there in the Spider-Man Remastered. I think its really stupid that you have to ask for permission if you want to include buildings in your game. I'm still sad that the new One World Trade Center was removed from the final version of the 2018 game. I hope they can include it in Spider-Man 2.
 
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CalmYe

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This is so so stupid. Hypothetically asking, if I get my photo clicked in front of it, can they make some legal claim over the photo if I make it the cover of my autobiography or something?
 
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ManaByte

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Darklor01

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The building is still there in the Spider-Man Remastered. I think its really stupid that you have to ask for permission if you want to include buildings in your game. I'm still sad that the new One World Trade Center was removed from the final version of the 2018 game. I hope they can include it in Spider-Man 2.
The new World Trade Center is in Speder-man MM. So, there is that. I caught that last night. It’s interesting how something not allowed in the previous game gets in the next and the other way around as well.

I wonder why negotiations didn’t work out this time if they did previously. As well, I wonder, why something which might be good for tourism, and possibly might make tourists want see a specific building, the owners of an iconic building would not want.
 
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MastaKiiLA

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That's incredibly lame. No one cares about your shit-ass building. No one goes to NYC to see the Chrysler Building. It's not called the Chrysler State, it's call the Empire State. Can't even see the building in the skyline most of the time anyway, it's not that tall. OTOH, the Empire State Building is one of the first landmarks you'll see coming down the causeway, or over the Verrazzano. Way to help your building get forgotten sooner. Games like this are basically free advertising for tourist attractions.
 

SlicedBread3

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I wonder why negotiations didn’t work out this time if they did previously. As well, I wonder, why something which might be good for tourism, and possibly might make tourists want see a specific building, the owners of an iconic building would not want.
Apparently it's come under new ownership since the last game, so it might be something to do with that.

The owners of the space needle allowed the use of it in Infamous: Second Son under the condition that the player wasn't able to jump off of it. I wonder if maybe a similar requirement was requested here and Insomniac just said fuck it. (Bit hard to design around that in a Spider-Man game)
 
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LazyParrot

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Can I sue Google for putting my house on Google Earth?
Not sure about Google Earth, but enough people in Germany threatened to sue Google for including their house in Street View that they just decided not to bother after a few trial runs in major cities. To this day, Germany is largely a black hole on Street View and all the available images are from 2008.

 

Darklor01

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Apparently it's come under new ownership since the last game, so it might be something to do with that.

The owners of the space needle allowed the use of the Space Needle in Infamous: Second Son under the condition that the player wasn't able to jump off of it. I wonder if maybe a similar requirement was requested here and Insomniac just said fuck it. (Bit hard to design around that in a Spider-Man game)
Very good point! It is very sad though. It is one of those buildings that makes New York City feel like New York City. One thing I personally found odd was, when they did Rockefeller Center, they squashed it down in size, didn’t decorate it and it had no ice rink or Christmas Tree. It’s NYC at holiday time. Lol! That has to be there in that way as part of NYC at holiday time. Just my opinion as someone who lives in in the area of NYC.
 
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hemo memo

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I’m not surprised. Didn’t AVGN said something similar regarding his movie? That had to get a permit for fucking everything?
 

VulcanRaven

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The new World Trade Center is in Speder-man MM. So, there is that. I caught that last night. It’s interesting how something not allowed in the previous game gets in the next and the other way around as well.

I wonder why negotiations didn’t work out this time if they did previously. As well, I wonder, why something which might be good for tourism, and possibly might make tourists want see a specific building, the owners of an iconic building would not want.
Are you sure? The building that was in its place in the 2018 game doesn't look like the real building:

 
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Jan 29, 2019
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This is so so stupid. Hypothetically asking, if I get my photo clicked in front of it, can they make some legal claim over the photo if I make it the cover of my autobiography or something?
It's pretty annoying.

Here is an article on the subject :
 
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diffusionx

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Does this just apply to the Chrysler Building because the owners had it copyrighted or is this every building on the planet? Can I sue Google for putting my house on Google Earth?
 
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VulcanRaven

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You’re right. It’s not the real deal. It’s that modified version.
I wonder why they couldn't include the real one? It was in the reveal trailer so they had permission to use it at the time:

Maybe they didn't like that you could jump off it in the game. Money could also be the reason.
 
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Vae_Victis

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Does this just apply to the Chrysler Building because the owners had it copyrighted or is this every building on the planet? Can I sue Google for putting my house on Google Earth?
You can't, the architect/engineer who designed your house maybe could try, depending on the laws of your country.

Copyright is disconnected from material ownership. You don't have the copyright for the objects you physically own, only for those you created yourself, or specifically bought the copyright of from who did.
 
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CleverCaviar

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I'm pretty sure I read about Ubisoft having this issue with the worlds they create - it might have been about one of the watchdogs. Quite a common trapdoor it seems.
 

Goro Majima

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Not sure about Google Earth, but enough people in Germany threatened to sue Google for including their house in Street View that they just decided not to bother after a few trial runs in major cities. To this day, Germany is largely a black hole on Street View and all the available images are from 2008.

Well I gave myself whiplash reading this topic.

I went from annoyed by the OP to seeing this and going “now hold on this isn’t so bad”.
 
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The_Mike

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Literally unplayable
As an European i would never have thought about it if I played the game. I know the building and all that, but I wouldnt have noticed this if it wasn't pointed out.
 

VulcanRaven

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Literally unplayable
As an European i would never have thought about it if I played the game. I know the building and all that, but I wouldnt have noticed this if it wasn't pointed out.
I'm from Europe too and I would notice right away if the building wasn't there. I have always liked climbing it in Spider-Man games:
 
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Panajev2001a

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The new World Trade Center is in Speder-man MM. So, there is that. I caught that last night. It’s interesting how something not allowed in the previous game gets in the next and the other way around as well.

I wonder why negotiations didn’t work out this time if they did previously. As well, I wonder, why something which might be good for tourism, and possibly might make tourists want see a specific building, the owners of an iconic building would not want.
I think they wanted a huge sum of money given the game popularity and were playing difficult. If they were worried about digital tourism then they are morons sorry...
 
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Darklor01

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I think they wanted a huge sum of money given the game popularity and were playing difficult. If they were worried about digital tourism than they are morons sorry...
I meant, seeing something in game represented, sometimes makes a person want to see the real thing. Still.. I don't see the harm. I would guess it's a money thing like it usually is.
 

Old Retro

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There was a fake One World Trade Center in The Division from 2016. Last year's Division 2 had the real thing. Watchdogs had a weird ass looking downtown Chicago too. :pie_diana:
 

AmuroChan

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My office building which is a couple blocks from the Chrysler building is also not in the game. Neither are most of the small businesses and eateries that I frequent. It's a shame about all these copyright laws. For anyone like myself who knows NYC intimately, it's very noticeable that as good of a job that Insomniac has done to recreate Manhattan, it's still far from being a 1:1 replica.
 
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lock2k

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Fun fact. The Vatican owns Christ the Redeemer. The Rio de Janeiro statue. This is why SFV has that stupid world Cup trophy in the Brazil stage. I only know that because I edit vídeos and my company wanted to use Redeemer footage but couldn't.
 

Reizo Ryuu

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I'll never understand why copyright laws would extend to buildings in this way; I understand that the designer has the copyright for the design, but it also feels wrong for the actual building to not fall under fair use/public domain, since it can only function as part of the public space and has become part of the landscape.
Obviously it's just about being able to make more money, but it's dumb.
 
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Panajev2001a

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I meant, seeing something in game represented, sometimes makes a person want to see the real thing. Still.. I don't see the harm. I would guess it's a money thing like it usually is.
Agreed which is why I was saying that if they believed it made people less likely to visit then they were morons (as you agreed it could help them).
 
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Interesting concept. Seems like a waste of money to pay lawyers to pursue this crap; I doubt anyone will ever pay them for the likeness to appear.