View Full Version : Church of England sueing sony

June 9th, 2007, 11:10 AM

Would the churce just want some extra money?
or do you think they were contacted by some *kuch* lawyer.

To quote a part of the article

"We are shocked to see a place of learning, prayer and heritage being presented to the youth market as a location where guns can be fired."

I find it scary that people actually believe video games would lead people to bring guns to a church and shoot everyone in sight

June 9th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Is it really required to get the permission to put any building in a video game? I mean... I think that is absurd.

And, its alternate reality. Its not set in today's world.

I think this is absolutely stupid. Argh!

June 9th, 2007, 04:39 PM
I think a lawyer got to them and put the idea of sueing sony into their head, because that is just ridiculas.

You're fighting freaking monsters in the church, not other humans. Essentially you get to the church as a refuge but then it's attacked by the chimera, you don't even attack the church, geeez. I've played through that level a couple of times with my friends and on single player and never once has the thought "Omg I'm going to bring a gun to church!" occured. That's just silly and stupid of them to do that.

June 9th, 2007, 08:45 PM
I think a lawyer got to them and put the idea of sueing sony into their head, because that is just ridiculas.

You're fighting freaking monsters in the church, not other humans. Essentially you get to the church as a refuge but then it's attacked by the chimera, you don't even attack the church, geeez. I've played through that level a couple of times with my friends and on single player and never once has the thought "Omg I'm going to bring a gun to church!" occured. That's just silly and stupid of them to do that.

Maybe they are secretly monsters as well.......
The plot thickens !

June 10th, 2007, 12:03 AM
"We are shocked to see a place of learning, prayer and heritage being presented to the youth market as a location where guns can be fired."


Of course, we all know the reality is that God doesn't let guns actually be fired in any real churches... right? :rolleyes:

June 10th, 2007, 04:28 AM
Sony should've asked permission, that was their mistake, the fact that they don't like the image it portrays is irrelevant and doesn't really have a bearing on any legal case that might happen. It's their opinion that it's wrong.

If it goes to court it will simply be over the fact Sony never got permission. And I should point out, we all know Sony would go straight to court to sue anyone who illegally used any of their copyrighted/protected material.

June 10th, 2007, 10:08 AM
Something to add... How many other games use buildings without permission?


Why is this different?

June 10th, 2007, 10:56 AM
The article seems to indicate that Sony felt they got all of the permissions they needed. That means they asked someone/somegroup, probably consulted their legal staff. Sony is not the devil (pardon any religiously significant puns). From my position this just looks like one more instance of a group targeting video games because it's now in vogue to blame video games for the problems of the world rather than pointing fingers in the appropriate directions.

June 10th, 2007, 11:41 AM
Or ... a chance for a prominent "needy" group to cash in on a sizeable handout after a few weeks of posturing. There seems to be a recurring theme of organizations pretending (or not pretending) to be mortally offended by successful ad/media/product actions, looking for some quick cash and 15 minutes of fame to ease their suffering.

June 10th, 2007, 01:36 PM
In my opinion.. as a member of the Church of England, I would think that the Church would be happy just to have the product removed with no cash settlement. Some organisations do put ethics and moral behaviour above greed.

June 10th, 2007, 01:57 PM
Organizations, yes, people, not always. This is an act by people, probably a lawyer somewhere firing them up, not a deity or a faith.

June 10th, 2007, 04:57 PM
Why is any permission needed in the first place if they're not actually physically using the real location (IE, doing a movie shoot)? Well-known and highly-publicized locations such as the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, and Manchester Cathedral should follow the same sorts of fair-use rights that pictures of famous celebrities do.

June 10th, 2007, 05:13 PM
Patsy McKie, from Mothers Against Violence, whose son Dorrie was killed in Manchester, said it was time to stand up to the makers of violent games.

"I believe it's something that needs to be taken seriously first by the Church but also by parents.

This kind of gets me wondering if the 'Anti-Game' activists have somehow gotten involved in this.

June 11th, 2007, 12:41 AM

an update, the church sending a letter to sony, asking for

# An apology for using the cathedral

# Withdrawal of the game, or modification of the section of the game to remove the cathedral interior

# Sony to make a substantial donation from the games' profits allowing the cathedral's education department to target more effectively those aged 18 to 30

# Sony to support other groups in Manchester fighting against gun crime.

Guess the money part wasn't that far off......

June 11th, 2007, 06:24 AM
But is there anything wrong with what that money would be used for? The Church is saying remove or alter the offensive part, apologise, and donate some money to charity.

There are people out there who assume all video games bad, there are also people out there who assume everyone who has a problem with a video game is against all video games. Neither of these groups of people are right.

A game can have an adverse affect on a human, if that human is already suseptable to strong influences (the MMO addicts who die/suicide for example), on the flip side, a person can have an issue with a single game and not with all games as a whole (a Church believing Sony used their property without seeking correct permissions first in one of their games).

Also, bad news sells papers, don't take everything you read at face value.

June 11th, 2007, 08:54 AM
So, shouldn't they also sue the BBC for that episode of Dr. Who where the time creatures were attacking the people inside it?

June 11th, 2007, 09:18 AM
What probably happened (or not)

Sony asked permission to use the cathedral in one of their game from someone of the church who didnt bother to tell the bishop about it, Sony probably didnt bother to say there would be gun fight in the cathedral either.

Then someone went to the bishop about it, it maybe a lawyer but it may have been a concern citizen (they do exist). From there the bishop who probably havent seen the game only the words "gun" and "church" together contacted Sony about it.

June 11th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Most the time, people who 'die/suicide' because of an MMO probably had untreated mental health issues (Depression) anyway. People who cannot define the difference between fantasy and reality are bound to do something really reckless.


The Church's demand for money kind of throws that theory out the window for me. Its clear that someone, somewhere, wants to make a profit off of this.

June 11th, 2007, 11:06 AM
I agree that video games are getting a bad rap, but I also believe video gamers are way too defensive. Sometimes things do need to be corrected, and sometimes companies only react to legal matters and at this point it is just a letter to Sony.

1. The church is not asking for any direct damages, so they aren't profiting per se.
2. Churches aren't neccasarily classifed as "public" buildings and even so you generally do have to get rights to use the building in something specific. Which is why Sony even mentions they asked for it. Also, many places aren't concerned with being used, but you better be careful how you use it.
3. I understand it's a game and not today, but I can understand a Church not being happy with it being used in this sort of environment. (Why not just make a church up, being it a specific church really add value?)
4. Again, I do think we have gone overboard in the amount of violent games. And way too many kids are playing them and are becoming more aggresive. It's just a change in total society, can't single out any single industry. Parents should be more in control, but they are still nieve to whats going on. As a person or organization of influence, they will make their stand somewhere.

June 11th, 2007, 11:34 AM
They are demanding donations from the game's profit to the Cathedral's education department. Thats more or less the same thing as asking for money directly. Only thing is, the Church manipulated the wording to make it sound like the moneys going towards a 'humanitarian cause'.

As for churches and public buildings. I dont know how the law is exactly, but if it was actually possible to sue media because of the use of a particular building by it's owner, we would be seeing a lot more lawsuits.

Some Video Game developers have an interesting penchant of mixing Real Life stuff with Games.

Contrary to what most the media/etc. want you to beleive, the violent crime rate (in the US, at least) has actually been -plummeting-. My explination is that, contrary to what some people want to beleive, humans are just naturally aggressive. Violent media allows people to vent that aggressive behavior without hurting anybody.

Becides, toning down or removing Video Games, or any form of violent media is not going to make the 'violence' problem subside or go away. The only way to do that is to genetically engineer the way human nature works, and I think we can all agree that changing the way human nature works is a very dangerous buisiness.

As for parents, they -should- make a stand. It does stand to reason that if parents were parenting properly, there would be no need for lawsuits and laws.

June 11th, 2007, 01:22 PM
Bottom line: the people within the Anglican Church demanding this and raising such a ruckus about it are A) about to discover that suing a major multinational corporation is NOT easy, and B) they are only hurting themselves by pushing this issue to the extent that they have. In the end, even if they somehow win in court (not likely), they will lose, both financially (court costs) and publicly (reputation). Someone should have asked themselves if the consequences were worth it.

Let me take this from a different angle-

How many games feature "druids"* in them? How many television shows, movies, etc. have portrayed "druids" as evil maiden-sacrificing dark-magic flinging sorcerers? How many times has a grove or ancient sanctuary been in a movie, television show, or game? Metric butt-tonnes. Ever hear any of the "druidic" religions scream bloody murder about it? Hell, the sequel to Hellboy has the Gods of my people portrayed as evil demonic creatures bent on the destruction of Earth, yet you don't see the ACTG or any other Sinnsreachd or related faith rising up and throwing a tantrum. Why? Because it is a waste of time that only backfires.

* "Druid" is not the actual word, it's an English aproximation that, like "shaman", has been horribly misused for over a century. The proper term is "Draoi". "Druid" in Irish means either a small bird or the act of shutting.

June 11th, 2007, 01:22 PM
As any "owner" of an image, building etc. I would also complain about it being used in a manner that I was not happy with. At this point sending a letter asking for it to be removed, changed and apology is easy and cheap. Our company probably does it on a daily basis. Some people just don't know, some people should know.

There is a difference between asking for compensation for education and direct damages. An example being DUI cases, many times the fines are huge, but go to a fund for education versus lining a city's coffers. That is why there is a difference between an individual suing or a company suing, churches are non-profit, no one would really "make" money if they did sue for money. (not getting in the symantics of churches being non-profit and religion here).

In general there are hundreds of "letters" sent daily about the misuse of images. This one was sensationalized, which in reality, is the problem here. It is because Sony, Violent Video games and Churches make for good news. You don't hear about Bank ABC sending notice about being in a video etc. Thats why if you look at videos, games, movies, etc, they are usually fictional or blurred. Google is tredding a fine line right now with it's street view mapping, and are removing images that people request removed. And I think this may set some precident on what is public and what isn't. (again Sony asked for permission, the claim is they didnt)

I am still iffy on violent crime going down in the US. I don't believe many statistics (what do they say 50% of statistics are made up) :) I think many parents will agree that kids learn from viewing and the more we make things accessable the more chance that people we don't want viewing questionable material will see it. Even if violent crime does go down, can any percentage be linked to something in the media? That is a debate that will be ongoing and I still say it is case by case.

Again the tone of this thread was to say the church shouldn't sue Sony because they used the church's image in a violent video game. (not jsut outside but someone apparantly mapped it) Their complaint is based on persmission, which whether it was TV ad, or Soda commericial would be the same. Though the church may not have been up in arms seeing the church being used in the background of someone drinking a soda. It's about damages, if they feel there image was harmed, they will make a case about it. Which they are.

June 11th, 2007, 02:03 PM
The only druids i ever see that are portrayed as evil was corrupted ones and ones seekinbg to return the world to a age of midevil terror and magic Most druids i see portrayed as nature loveing doo gooders and whats wrong with that? Or defenders of nature,

June 11th, 2007, 02:51 PM
I find it strange people think a donation to a charity is profiteering.

June 11th, 2007, 04:13 PM
A church is not strictly a charity. Anyone who has ever driven past the Trinity Broadcasting Network's main headquarters here in California would have a hard time believing that it belonged to a charity. More like Liberace, maybe.

I don't personally consider a church to be a charity, because in my mind (and this is my perception, which may or may not align perfectly with reality) a charity is an organization that is focused on performing acts that are beneficial in some fashion to the welfare of others (other people or animals, or what-have-you). Ideally, that's their only function. The church's main function (any church, mind you - or at least, any Christian sect) is assimilating and converting people to that church's ideology and beliefs, which is not, in and of itself, a charitable point of existence.

But we're getting rather off the topic here.

I'm not sure about the current connection between the Anglican Church and the British government is. I know that for quite a while, they were one and the same, separated by a rather thin fiction. I believe that is no longer the case, but I don't know for certain.

What the status of religious organizations - and especially the Anglican Church - in Great Britain is something I don't currently understand. In the US we (supposedly) have Separation of Church and State, which allows for just as many shenanigans as no separation does.

June 11th, 2007, 04:24 PM
Thats exactly how the article is worded, as a donation to charity. However, look closely, it requests for the donations to go specificially -to- the church. More or less, its an elaborate way to make most people think that its donating to charity, when infact, its profiteering.

Its one thing to demand Sony to just plain donate to charity a part of it's proceeds. Its another thing to demand Sony to donate a part of it's proceeds to a specific organization.


Their demand of money makes it more than just 'asking for it to be removed'. They want a part of the profits from the game as well. The rest of their demands seem reasonable.


Except that those statistics are published by the US Government, and if the US Government's statistics are not reliable, than are anybody's statistics reliable? Especially since activists tend to use and heavily rely on the statistics to back up their arguments.

As for it being accessible, I do agree that retailers should enforce the rating system much like the Movie system. If you are purchasing an 18 and up game, and you are under 18, you must have parent permission in order to buy the game. That I can agree with. However, some people are advocating for Germany's solution, which includes banning particular types of violent video games entirely and forcing gamemakers to adhere to special 'guidelines'.

June 11th, 2007, 04:52 PM
To avoid any potential ugliness, I won't mention any groups specifically, but in the US, this type of activity happens fairly frequently, "Charity" groups "shaking down" corporations looking for handouts, jobs for friends, etc. Typically, there is a boycott threat tied to the action.

Usually, these events happen in response to a semi-legitimate "blunder", but the requested response can often be more over-the-top than the original blunder.

June 11th, 2007, 07:11 PM
Next time they should put a mosque in the game instead of a Christian church so they won't have to deal with all this high and mighty religeous crap.

June 12th, 2007, 01:43 AM
Age rating isn't an issue in this case, it is law here that you can't sell games to those under the age ratings on them and this is enforced quite well by all the major retailers. This has nothing to do with children or adults as seperate groups, it's about the image of the Chruch.

There is no real scare tactic being used against computer games in the UK, the Police, Government and censorship authorities are all well aware that computer games aren't the devil's work. There has been in the last five years, 1 crime that was linked to violent computer games by the press, and there was a clear press statement from the Police that there was no link at all, no hearsay, no rumors, no remaining doubt. No computer game has ever been linked to a crime or person's death in the UK, ever. We do not suffer from the same finger pointing blame crisis that the US computer games market is currently enduring.

The journalist is probably laughing his arse off right now, "Look my story got a million hits from all over the world, who says you need to tell the truth!"

Seriously, these people are paid to make you read the news, bad news sells so they make it as bad and controversial as they can. The story didn't even make it into the papers it's that much of a non-issue here.

June 12th, 2007, 02:55 AM
yeah theyll justhave to worry about being blown up or burned in effigy