News Article

Naughty Dog Apologises For Using Subway Map In The Last Of Us Without Permission

Posted by Damien McFerran

Naughty, dog

The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog has been forced to apologise to the creator of a map which appears in the critically-acclaimed survival horror epic.

The angered (but now satisfied) party is cartographer Cameron Booth, who created a map of the Boston Subway system which was subsequently used in PS3 game.

Below is the image taken from The Last of Us, and under that is Booth's original map.

Booth spotted the "theft" a few days ago, and posted a rant on his personal blog, which has since been removed. Here's a snippet of what he said, rescued from the mists of time via the uncanny power of the internet:

For a software developer - especially a big developer working on a blockbuster title like this - 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. Not to mention hugely ironic, as the software industry is always complaining about piracy of their work.

Booth then turned to Twitter to clarify his position, and stated that he has no issue with the game itself — just the fact that his work had been replicated without permission:

However, it seems that common sense has prevailed and Booth has since updated his blog with the follow information:

I’ve just spoken with Naughty Dog over the phone in a very constructive conversation. Can’t say more at the moment, but it seems as if matters will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction shortly. I can say that they do acknowledge their error in using my map and were very apologetic for it. I likewise apologised for my initial vitriolic post. A lot of mutual respect for each other’s creative work.

Sounds like it all worked out well in the end. Phew!


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User Comments (34)



Snorky said:

Just a trashy guy trying to cash in on a good thing. I'm pretty sure that if the game wasn't popular he wouldn't have kicked up such a fuss.



Gamer83 said:

This a dumb F up on Naughty Dog's part. Funny thing is it will be swept under the rug, nobody will care as soon as this guy gets his money. The Ellen Page stuff will go on forever, eventhough what happened here is much worse. They absolutely had to know this was copyrighted and had to know this would get back to somebody. Should've paid upfront and I'm disaapointed ND leadership would let this happen. This is two things in one week that they didn't need. Even Rockstar couldn't cause this much of an unnecessary sh*tstorm if it tried.



Gamer83 said:


I've defended them on the Ellen Page stuff, that crap was over and done with long ago and she had no reason to fire that shot as the character design was altered and it was established long ago that she wasn't in The Last of Us. This however is straight up theft. I can't say how this guy would've reacted if the game were not a hit but everybody knew this game would be popular, especially Naughty Dog. This was a bad call to not just pay the guy to begin with. Might cost them more now than it would've and it's a situation that could've been so easily avoided.



Gamer83 said:


Yeah but it's bad press that didn't have to happen, add to what went on earlier in the week and it makes things worse. The funny thing is though, without that other stuff to add this to, this news, despite being a far bigger deal, probably isn't even reported because this guy is an unknown.



SuperKMx said:

I get the feeling this is a guy that plays games and just wanders around looking for maps. "Has that game got a subway in it? BUY IT."



Scollurio said:

Guys quit it, stealing someones work is not okay, no matter if it was stolen for a good game or a crap game. Naughty Dog might have overlooked it since so many people work for them, gathering material to be incorporated into the game. Don't act silly, if you create some piece of work that has monetary value and someone just uses it, you wouldn't be happy either right? Just because that cartographer is a nobody compared to NDog doesn't give NDog the right to overlook his copyrights. It's normal business.

And about that Ellen Page thing. Seriously, I never ever thought she looks like Ellen Page, not even before the redesign. It's like saying all petite, tomboy-esque girls with freckles looks like Ellen Page, or every blonde with a crooked nose IS Sarah Jessica Parker. It's just silly in my opinion.

Im pretty sure there are plenty of guys out there that might look like Joel...



Sanquine said:

@Scollurio It was a map... i never thought that could be someone's work xD I dont understand why they did not used a map of a metro line that existed..



Gamer83 said:


Yup, one phone call and there's no issue at all with this guy. If they were worried he would ask for money and they decided to instead bet on that he, or somebody he knew, wouldn't come across the game, that was an idiotic decision that has now cost them more than money. And I'm leaning toward that being the case because with all the people working on this game there's no way every single one of them would miss something this important. They took a gamble and got burned. Hopefully they don't ever pull something similar again. Frankly I don't think I've ever heard of a game company this big pulling this kind of stunt. Not something you should want to be known as the first for.



Gamer83 said:


The part that bothers me is that people don't care because who the heck knew Cameron Booth before this? If he was world famous people would be up in arms. Not here but at other websites I was laughing while reading some of the comments because a lot the same fools who lost their sh*t over Naughty Dog 'stealing' the teenage girl look that Ellen Page apparently owns were just brushing this aside as no big deal and some guy looking to cash in. The part that makes this hilarious is this guy actually does own something that was blatantly stolen here. But he doesn't star in any movies or play for a professional sports team so who gives a sh*t? Pathetic the way people put celebs on such a pedestal but if you're not one it's ok if somebody wrongs you.



Sanquine said:

@neumaus Sorry other view point. If It was me who maked maps i probably look at It from a diffirent view. Onze question: Did hou ever rip or downloaded something? I think You do. Before you attack me because of my opinion look at yourself.

Btw im not a native english speaker. Thus, i coupe have taken It the wrong way



Sanquine said:

@neumaus ..... Money because of roadmap... Dude are you serious? Im stopping this conversation... American right? Same guys with guns onder their pillow. Your ideals are do wrong.... All this fuss .... He Will get compansated



Jaz007 said:

@Sanquine The true stupidity is insulting us for owning guns and stuff. Many intelligent responsible people in this own a gun and are perfectly capable of doing so without danger to others. Get off your high horse about stupid Americans owning guns. It doesn't make you better or smarter than us.



Sanquine said:

@Jaz007 Should we talk about healthcare and insurance? In sick of being told : high horse this. Ignorant... Please you of all people in the world... Cultural diffirences i guess



InsertNameHere said:

I don't see what all the fuss was about, it was just a map - a map that appeared once or twice, at that. I'm sure that ND would have asked for permissionhha they known it would be such a big deal to this guy.



Jaz007 said:

@Sanquine It's fine for you to have your own opinion about the matter, it's not okay however, for you to be insulting to others who disagree with you. You didn't say the word smarter, but you implied superiority with your condescension. You brought the matter in a conversation that had nothing to do with it to put Americans down. There was no need for you to be insulting like that.



Squiggle55 said:

Who knew the maps of city subways were copyrighted? If you asked me I would have assumed it was put together by the city and was common public taxpayer knowledge/property. Seems like an honest mistake. Looks like we have lots of cartographer fans in the audience.



Ristar42 said:

Using a map without permission seems pretty straight forward, should not have done it, so pay the man!



Gamer83 said:


Good point, that would've made this a whole lot worse. At least as it is this guy will stop once he gets his money and the entire issue goes away in two days tops.



Zetrayrus said:

Nice of the guy to settle this with a phonecall. If only all disagreements could be settled so easily..



BlueProxy said:

Well I guess if it were a piece of art it would be the same principle. I just have a very hard time seeing how a map that is seen by anyone, and meant for the public to use would require permission. I must be missing something.



Gamer83 said:


I was surprised myself but the guy has the rights to it, so regardless of what anyone thinks, if he wants to be paid for its use he should be.

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