Church will face ''uphill battle'' if suing Sony, says legal expert

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.” —Church will face ”uphill battle” if suing Sony, says legal expert (Games Industry Biz)

I’ve been following this story about Resistance: The Fall of Man.

I’m reminded of when sculptor Frederick Hart was surprised to discover that that a copy of a sculpture he had created for the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. was featured for about 20 minutes in the movie Devil’s Advocate, and that the filmmakers had actually animated the sculpture to turn it into what the Anglican church leaders called a distortion of a religious sculpture.

Sony was forced to re-edit the film before they could release it on DVD and video (after agreeing to put disclaimer stickers on the copies of the movie that had already been produced).

The National Cathedral case involved a living artist, who still owned the copyright to a work that was commissioned for a religious purpose. The Manchester Cathedral case probably doesn’t involve much recently-produced art, and the leaders object to the fact that the digital re-creation of the church is the setting for a gunfight.

It will be interesting to see how the mainstream media represent the Manchester case, since it involves a video game. (We’ve already seen that even the very edgy indie Slamdance Film Festival is not a safe place for envelope-pushing videogames.)