Is public transportation a "brand?" That's the question one has to ask oneself when it reads about the Montreal transit authority threatening two Counter-Strike designers with a $49,200 fine over a new Counter-Strike map based on the Montreal subway station. According to Ars Technica, Diego Liatis and Frédérik Denis spent nine months making a detailed digital version of the Berri-UQAM station. But even before the map has been released the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) sent the duo a cease-and-desist letter.
"I would like [the Montreal transit authority] to show me the law that forbids me to reproduce a public place," Liatis told the Journal de Montréal paper.
The duo have been working on the map to get it done in time for a LAN gaming competition to be held at a local technical university, the École de technologie supérieure de Montréal in early March.
Liatias has told Canadian media that he had asked the local transit authority for permission and was denied his request on the grounds that the map might cause potential “panic” among its riders.
STM spokesperson Amélie Régis told Ars that the STM had no comment on the cease-and-desist letter it sent to Liatis, "because they are private legal matters."
"We usually take appropriate measures when someone uses our brand without permission," she added.
Which is a pretty odd statement because this is the first time that I have ever heard of someone referring to a public service being called a brand. The only real brand that the duo might be copying without permissions in the organization's logo…
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.
Source: Ars Technica