Many fans of the new game Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales have noted that the New York City’s iconic Chrysler Building has been replaced by a generic skyscraper. Given that this isn’t the case with 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, it has led many to wonder why this is the case.
According to sources, since the Chrysler Building came under new ownership, no deal was made between the owners of the Chrysler building and Insomniac Games. Therefore due to copyright reasons, the building wasn’t included in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Lawyer Michael Lee of Lee Law explained the copyright situation when it comes to buildings such as the Chrysler building to GameInformer: “If you have just a basic box of a building that looks like just a generic building, you can’t go around and sue every building in Manhattan, and say, ‘You have stolen my idea of what a building looks like,'” said Lee. “You can’t protect the functionality of something, but you could protect the artistic parts of it. So when it comes to certain architecture, whether it has big spires at the top, or whether it has curved glass, whether you see something and you see that it’s unique and different, that’s absolutely protected by copyright. So in order to reproduce it in either another building or make a derivative work such as a T-shirt, a model, or even putting it in a video game, you need authorization from the copyright owner to reproduce the protected thing – which in this case could be the Chrysler Building.”
It was also explained by Lee that if the game were simply showing a glimpse of the Chrysler building there wouldn’t be a problem, but since we’re talking about a game like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, where you can see and inspect every detail of the building, it would have opened up Marvel, Insomniac and Sony to getting sued.
It was reported that Insomniac Games attempted to get permission to use the Chrysler Building for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but no agreement could be reached.
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