Cameron Booth, a graphic designer in Portland, Oregon, has publicly accused Naughty Dog of using one of his copyrighted transit maps in The Last of Us without paying him or seeking his permission.
This past weekend Booth came across a “randomly-discovered Tweet” heaping praise upon Naughty Dog for their accurate portrayal of the Boston, Massachusetts subway map seen in The Last of Us. The Tweet also contained a screenshot (pictured above) of the map in question, which Booth was shocked to discover was not the official map but a redesign he created and posted for sale on his website on March 11, 2012.
Naturally, Booth was “f***ing furious” after making the discovery, and publicly accused Naughty Dog of using his copyrighted map in The Last of Us without his permission in a tumblr post, saying in part:
“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.)”
“Naughty Dog seems to have known that they couldn’t use the official map without paying a hefty license fee, so it looks like they just went on the internet and found another one. Cos, you know, images on the internet are free for anyone to use, right? Not.”
Booth also noted that he has “attempted” to contact Naughty Dog, and has demanded to know “where they came across the image, how it ended up in their game, and what kind of compensation [he] can expect for the theft of [his] work.”
At the time of publication, neither Naughty Dog or Sony have publicly responded to Booth’s claims of copyright infringement in The Last of Us. This post will be update as soon as any additional details are revealed.
[Update] While writing this article, Cameron Booth updated his original tumblr post to reveal that he has heard back from Naughty Dog and the studio seems to have admitted using his Boston Transit map in The Last of Us.
Booth’s full update, which has replaced the original text in his post, reads:
“UPDATE, TUESDAY JUNE 25, 1:00pm: 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 apologized for my initial vitriolic post. A lot of mutual respect for each other’s creative work.”
“It’s been a hell of a last couple of days: thanks for the support from many, and the interesting and varied comments from most.”
“Hopefully, back to regularly scheduled Transit Maps content soon!”