Use of Italian Plaza in GT5 Angers Official

Piazza del Campo is a historic space in Siena, Italy, famous for being the scene of a biannual bareback horse race named the Palio di Siena. The use of the space as a cart track in the upcoming Gran Turismo 5 however, as illustrated in the accompanying video, has angered at least one Italian official.

Kotaku reports that Anna Carli, CEO of the Consortium for the Protection of the Palio is reaching out to Sony officials in order to resolve this dispute.

If this “diplomatic request” fails, officials are ready to involve lawyers and seek a seizure of Gran Turismo 5 games upon release (it’s scheduled for a November 3 release in Europe).

Carli seems most upset over the use of contrade, (the plural of contrada, which refers to an Italian city subdivision or section), and their corresponding banners, telling an Italian newspaper:

You can not use images of Contrade. Given the relevance of the game with no history and references to our party, in particular with the use of images of flags of the contrade, we would not otherwise authorize the use.

Thanks Andrew!

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  1. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Yup, that I could accept as a more valid argument against using the Plaza, and it’s something that could easily be fixed by changing the banners for advertisments, meaning more income and less legal entanglement for the company.

  2. 0
    GusTav2 says:

    The use of the banners might raise some interesting questions under Italian Law

    In the UK the use of Heraldic devices is strictly controlled in a manner similar to copyright. You certainly wouldn’t be able to use another’s registered device without their permission.

    If that mark is strongly associated with a particular event the use of the mark to promote another product might also raise concerns of passing or some other related claim.

    The archtecture is not protected but the flags might be.


  3. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:


    They’re using a replica of the Plaza in digital form, it’s like arresting the developers of Fallout 2 for vandalism because they beat up a model of the Whitehouse. I can sort of understand the possibility of copyright problems with the banners, but this official just seems to be saying ‘The banners are important because I say so."

    This is ‘Aliens in a Church’ all over again. I can understand it with things like the likenesses of people, but consider the scene of the Eiffel Tower being destroyed in Team America, how far do people have to go to use locales in games and movies? Taken too far, it could completely cripple the Media industry if even models of locations were considered the ‘real thing’.

  4. 0
    Shahab says:

    I hope they get snubbed, take it to court, and lose. Of course if we are talking about just corrupt Italy, well then they’ll pay off the right judge, the right politician, and the game will be illegal in Italy. Why is Italy so backwards?

  5. 0
    mogbert says:

    But what laws actually come inot play on this? I’m sure a politician can’t just decide to do something because they want to, they have to have a legal reason. So is it something like they own the copyright on the city? Is it like how sports stars can sue if they show up in a videogame they didn’t get paid for? Is this similar to when that church showed up in a video game about aliens?

    I really don’t get their point of view though. Perhaps they would have a leg to stand on if it was something where you were trying to outrun the law in your souped up car while illegal street racing, but a backdrop of a gocart race?

  6. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Maybe they really do not care what the game is,… they simply want control over how they are portrayed.  If the article is to be believed, the use of their actual flags (without endorcement) is pissing them off, which can be understandable.

    PR people can get very hostile if left out of the loop concerning symbols that they feel they are in charge of.  Often it has nothing to do with HOW the symbol is used, just the fact they did not exert any control of the process.

  7. 0
    Neeneko says:

    It piece does not say anything beyond that, but I admit I assumed they ment in Italy where they have some authority.  I have no idea how this would play out if they took it to an EU level.

  8. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I may have to read the article more carefully as I didn’t get the impression that this request only applied to the copies of the game sold in Italy.


    Andrew Eisen

  9. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Actually, they migth be able to.

    Itialy is a difficult country to sell video games in.   Depending on which buerocrat claims domain over your particular ‘entertainment product’ they can make demands as extreme as ‘you must give us your entire source code base, descriptions of every file, and ability to recompile’.

    And no.. I am really not joking.  My company had to comply with this to get our games into Italy years back.

  10. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "…officials are ready to involve lawyers and seek a seizure of Gran Turismo 5 games upon release…"

    Heh.  Yeah, good luck with that.


    Andrew Eisen

  11. 0
    axiomatic says:

    What an unexpected twist. I’m faily sure that the reason the plaza was used in the first place by the developers was out of respect for the locale.

    I think the upset Italians need to take this in to consideration. I just can’t see a developer going… "yeah lets use this locale because we hate it." No they respected it enough to want to include it. I know of no higher way to show respect for this particular plaza if you are a game developer.

  12. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    So it’s ok to race horses there and let them shit in the plaza but heaven forbid a video game features it.

    I get the feeling this is one of those who thinks GTA the second he hears video game.

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