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the man who builds cities
480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A tool for the city

Global design consultants Arup held a launch event at the Urbis on Tuesday evening. Attended by Architects, Engineers, Developers, universities and city councils from the region.
A model of the entire city centre has been built up using GIS, OS data, photogrammetry and aerial LIDAR lazer scanning techniques.

It was mentioned in the MEN on Thursday, but I havent had chance to scan it yet.

'The 3D model could prove a vital planning tool for developers, helping to cut the planning process by weeks or months.'

'The data is said to be so precise it can be validated and used as evidence for planning applications'

'Arup created its first 3D urban model for Manchester more than 10 years ago after the IRA bomb'

a pano shot with New Islington and Ancoats Urban Village in the foreground

Geographic Information Systems GIS

Example of how traffic planning paramics data can be input to the model.

Images copyright Ove Arup and Partners Ltd.

10th February 2008
64,295 Posts
Thanks Chas.

There was a report about it in the MEN this week. Couldn't find it anywhere on the internet. Is it available online/to the general public or is it only for Arup/Manchester City Council?

the man who builds cities
480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We dont know yet, its early days, it was only launched 4 days ago.
At the launch event the Dept Chief Exec made it clear that MCC has not commissioned Arup to produce this.

The data already existed, Infoterra and Arup have produced the model.

To put it online as a Virtual Reality is a possibility, Second Life had a spot at the launch. However you can not import anything into Second life, it has to be modelled from within their software.

London has a city model, it was launched a few weeks ago, so why cant Manchester have one?

There is a very cool movie produced which promotes the power of the model.
At the moment its 250mb DVD. It would be nice to get that on line.

I dont know where the MEN got those Ancoats images, the report was about Manchester and the above images were provided but didnt get printed.

1,382 Posts
Thats very well done. I wish that id get to do more of that kind of thing, but Chester CC seem a bit unaware of what you can do with GIS. I see Manchester use ArcMap, handy if i went for a job there. Have polygonised landline data for Manc as something to do when its quiet


the man who builds cities
480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yeah I saw that on the news, what exactly do they show, is it just the interior?
Do you also get the chance to fight on the streets of Manchester?

Ive had a look on the website, its a great concept for a game, instead of fighting against ourselves in the second world war, humanity unites against an alien invasion.

7,669 Posts
yeah I saw that on the news, what exactly do they show, is it just the interior?
Do you also get the chance to fight on the streets of Manchester?

Ive had a look on the website, its a great concept for a game, instead of fighting against ourselves in the second world war, humanity unites against an alien invasion.
conflicting views about the legal issues below - since a number of posters on this board seem to be involved in the digitising of interior and exterior building views, I would be interested to know if you have an opinion of the validity of Sony's (and/or the Cathedral's) case.

My own impression is

a. that the Cathedral would have a strong case for breach of copyright if the videogame includes those sections of the Cathedral reconstucted after the war according to the designs of Sir Hubert Worthington 1886-1963 - which includes most of the north-eastern parts of the interior. Of course the architects of the medieval collegiate church (most likely John Wastell for the stonework, and William Brownfleet for the carpentry and fittings), both died around 1518, and so their surviving designs would be out of copyright.

b. that in any case, the Cathedral (or rather the Dean and Chapter) have the power as a private propertyholders to control use of cameras within their own building - and assuming they have a policy on commercial exploitation of such images, then the copyright for any pictures taken in breach of that policy would belong to the Dean and Chapter. This is the same legal power that allows the National Trust to adopt a policy by which they can confiscate photographs taken by members of the public indoors in their properties.

c. it is possible that the Cathedral could allege defamation - that the association of the Cathedral with a violent game might tend to lower the esteem with which it is held by ordinary persons.

d. it is further possible that the Dean and Chapter could claim that Sony were falsely claiming endorsement of their game; and that this infringed their commercial ability to exploit the Cathedral's good name and reputation.

e. that it is possible (indeed likely) that the game designers pinched the virtual image of Manchester Cathedral from the "Virtual Tour" which the Dean and Chapter commissioned from MindWave Media, and which is freely available on the internet, but which certainly is not in the public domain for commercial exploitation.

Does anyone here have first hand knowledge of the law on these points, as they relate to digitil images of our fair city?

"It is likely there is no basis for a claim"

A specialist games and copyright lawyer has told that the Church of England could find it difficult to win a legal case against Sony over Resistance: Fall of Man.

News emerged over the weekend that Church authorities have complained to Sony about the depiction of Manchester Cathedral in the game. Some reports have stated that the Church may pursue legal action against the company.

But according to Alex Chapman of Campbell Hooper solicitors,"The Church will have an uphill battle in a legal claim against Sony, and indeed it is likely that there is no basis for a claim."

Chapman explained that there is a provision in the UK's 1988 Copyright Designs and Patents act which "explicitly states that it is not copyright infringement to represent certain artistic works that are on public display". This includes buildings and sculptures which are "permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public".

"Therefore," Chapman continued, "The inclusion of the Cathedral in the game could not be considered to be an infringement of any copyright in it."

He went on to add that due to its age, it is unlikely Manchester Cathedral has any copyright remaining on it - as copyright expires 70 years after the person who created the work dies.

"What all this means is that public buildings are generally fair game for inclusion in videogames, films et cetera, and it is something that their owners just have to accept," said Chapman.

"What isn't fair game, however, is if the building is presented in a way that could be said to be defamatory in relation to those associated with it and this might be what the Church is more concerned about.

"Also if the representation of the building could be argued to have become so closely associated with a business that its representation amounts to a false endorsement of Sony or its products, or it is registered as a trademark, there may be issues."

But Chapman concluded, "In each case however my impression is that the Church will have some difficulty in pursuing Sony. There is no law against insensitivity and as with many matters of this kind, it is the public reaction that might be more damaging than the legal one."

Sony today issued a follow-up comment to the statement it released yesterday, confirming that it is in talks with the Church but declining to offer further information.

"We have spoken to the Manchester Cathedral authorities and will be dealing directly with them from now on," the statement reads. "We do not anticipate making any further public comment in the immediate future."
Can the Church really sue Sony?
The Church could have a case if it decides to take Sony to court over its controversial game set in Manchester CathedralRhys Blakely
The Church of England has threatened to sue Sony after the Japanese company used Manchester Cathedral as the backdrop to the gunfight in the PlayStation 3 game Resistance:The Fall of Man.

It could have a case, lawyers say.

With video gamers demanding ever-more realistic adventures and machines such as the PS3 becoming more powerful, title developers, fighting for a share of the $30-billion-a-year market, are using more “real” locations in their products.

In general, the outside of a well-known building is not considered to be protected under the law, Tom Frederikse, an intellectual property specialist with Clintons, the law firm, said.

That means that games such as the controversial Grand Theft Auto series, where players drive around cities – including London – winning points for committing crimes, can copy real locations.

Even so, the games’ developer, RockStar, decided to rename its cities – so San Francisco became San Andreas and Miami was dubbed “Vice City”. The move could also have insulated the developer from allegations that they represented the real cities as more violent than they really are.

The legal situation changes radically, however, once a game enters the doors of a location.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 contains the so-called “2D to 3D rule”. Designed to prevent architects’ blue prints being bootlegged by builders who could use them to build replica buildings it could also stop a games developer creating a fictional representation of a real site.

That means that EA Games, the biggest games developer, which features the new Wembley Stadium in its FIFA series of football games, has had to receive permission from the Football Association to do so.

“If a computer game developer is copying a landmark there generally isn’t a problem,” Mr Frederikse said. “But if a developer were to use details from inside a new building they will run into real trouble if they don’t have permission.”

In general a “2D to 3D” case can only be made if a copyright holder is still alive or has died in the past 70 years – a potential problem for the Church of England as Manchester Cathedral’s archives stem back as far as 1361 – though it was extensively rebuilt after the Second World War.

However, under the 1988 Act, the Church could also argue that it owns the copyright to the photos that Sony is thought to have used to recreate Manchester Cathedral, Catrin Turner, a Partner at Pinsent Mason said.

Ms Turner added that the Church could follow action under libel or trade libel laws. “The Church is by no means home on this, but if it could prove it has been sullied in the eyes of worshippers who believe it has endorsed or authorised this game, it could have a case,” she said.
Murder in the cathedral
The PlayStation 3 video game Resistance: Fall of Man is in the news. Developed by the California studio Insomniac Games, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment America, Resistance is a first-person shooter set in an alternative history in which humans battle against alien invaders.

One of the levels features a battle in Manchester Cathedral, a building owned and operated by the Church of England. The Bishop of Manchester, Nigel McCulloch, is quoted by the BBC as saying, "For a global manufacturer to re-create one of our great cathedrals with photo-realistic quality and then encourage people to have guns battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible." It is reported that the church is considering legal action against Sony. Canon Paul Denby is quoted in the Times: “I think they are going to be in for a surprise because we are not going to let this one go. One million people are visiting Manchester Cathedral through this game.”

There are two issues here. One is the morality or propriety of using a depiction of a real building in a work of fiction in a way in which the owners of that building might object to. I take a robust view on this: public buildings are part of our shared experience and are effective props by which a work of fiction can establish its setting, relevance and immediacy.

The second issue is the legal principle on which the Church plans to challenge Sony. What can this be? I can see two possibilities: some sort of intellectual property right (copyright, design right, or trademark), or else some kind of defamation.

Copyright in the buildings themselves is a non-starter. Buildings are not in general copyrightable: the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 says:
62.—(1) This section applies to—

(a) buildings, and

(b) sculptures, models for buildings and works of artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public.

(2) The copyright in such a work is not infringed by—

(a) making a graphic work representing it,

(b) making a photograph or film of it, or

(c) broadcasting or including in a cable programme service a visual image of it.
[Update: I originally quoted section 65, but writinghawk pointed out my mistake in the comments.]

In any case Manchester Cathedral is much too old (started in 1215; completed by the 19th century) to have remained in copyright. (They might have a case if artwork has been recently added to the cathedral and the game has copied this artwork, but this doesn't seem to be the case.)

If the artists at Insomniac Games based their designs not on the buildings themselves, but on a particular depiction of the buildings, they may have infringed the copyright in that depiction. The BBC reports a theory along these lines:
So how did it manage to produce such a close replica?

One theory is that the company simply accessed the 'virtual tour' of Manchester Cathedral which is freely available to anyone on the internet.
If this speculation is correct, then the Church would have a case, but I think the studio would still have a defence, because facts are not copyrightable, only their presentation. In this case the appearance and plan of the cathedral are the facts, and using copyrighted images as a basis for determining those facts does not violate the copyright in those images. As long as the artists built their own models and drew their own textures, they may be in the clear.

[Update: here's a comparison of the game with the virtual tour.

Resistance screenshot
(looking towards the altar
from a position near the tower) View from the cathedral's virtual tour
(looking the other way,
towards the tower and away from the altar)

The Times suggests this theory:
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 contains the so-called “2D to 3D rule”. Designed to prevent architects’ blue prints being bootlegged by builders who could use them to build replica buildings it could also stop a games developer creating a fictional representation of a real site.
The rule referred to is in section 17 of the Act:
(3) In relation to an artistic work copying includes the making of a copy in three dimensions of a two-dimensional work and the making of a copy in two dimensions of a three-dimensional work.
So this would apply if the studio had used copyrighted plans as the basis of their models (rather than carrying out their own survey or just judging it by eye). This looks like the most plausible legal theory so far.]

Trademark law might be helpful to the Church, if they had followed the advice of the Archdeacon of Westminster, who proposed in 1999 "that the Church of England should trademark its churches and cathedrals". The Trade Marks Act 1994 says:
10. (3) A person infringes a registered trade mark if he uses in the course of trade a sign which—

(a) is identical with or similar to the trade mark, and

(b) is used in relation to goods or services which are not similar to those for which the trade mark is registered,

where the trade mark has a reputation in the United Kingdom and the use of the sign, being without due cause, takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, the distinctive character or the repute of the trade mark.
It seems that the Church could argue that this law fits the facts of the case. But Sony could respond with arguments about whethere they have "due cause", whether the advantage was unfair, etc.

What about defamation? It's common in the US for photographers and film-makers to require the owner of a property being filmed to sign a "property release", analogous to the "model release" that human subjects need to sign. The American Society of Media Photographers has an interesting article on the subject, in which they present two legal theories about why a property release might be needed:
Association. The first theory is that a person’s identity might be connected to the property. [...] If the owner sees the use of the image as defamation of character, a lawsuit might be the response.

Conversion. The second theory is that there is an offense called conversion, which means that you used another’s property to your own personal gain without the owner’s permission.
However the authors go on to point out, "We know of no case that has ever settled those kinds of questions".

I can't find anything nearly so specific as this in the context of the law of England and Wales. So it would seem that the Church of England, if it embarks on a suit against Sony, would be breaking new legal ground. I can only hope that if they sue, they lose.


10,022 Posts
They don't have a case, the church that is. Its not even the same building. If you look at the video its on a completely different (larger) scale. It's just vaguely based on it.

If the CofE sued sony, they'd lose, Sony may even counter their case. And we'd see them (the church) lose a lot of money.

10,022 Posts
Open for business: Manchester on Second Life


I’ve just been for a wander around Manchester’s newly unveiled Second Life presence. Second Life, for those who don’t know, is an online community with millions of ‘residents’ and it’s own currency, which is convertable to real money.

The virtual city (actually an island) includes Urbis, the Printworks and what is possibly the Great Northern. There are plenty of less recognisable buildings too - and lots of potential space for retail and the like. It is unoccupied at present, other than the odd BrandRepublic stall and shop (for Manchester’s own Second Places, who appear to be the developers).

Urbis, both physically and virtually, hosted the ceremony for the Big Chip Awards last month. A clever move in theory but - according to a comment on North West media site How-Do - ‘a total disaster’ in practice.

Anyway, here are a few snapshots of Second Life’s Manchester:

^^ Although i think the makers have perhaps been spending too much time in their virtual reality....That's not fair really, this is actually pretty good:

I think there's something quite romantic about a virtual life. Indeed i tried signing up, but they fobbed me off. Twats. Gonna send them an angry E mail.
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