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Game pulled over Bulger complaint
A computer game which appeared to feature a CCTV image of the 1993 abduction of murdered toddler James Bulger is being withdrawn from sale.
The move follows calls from his mother, Denise Fergus, for stores to halt sales of Law and Order: Double or Nothing.
An image appears to depict James being led away in Merseyside by his killers Robert Thompson and John Venables.
Legacy Interactive, the developer of the game, apologised and said the photo would be removed from future copies.
The game is based on the popular US television series, Law and Order, which is also broadcast in the UK.
A still of CCTV footage of two-year-old James, which was recorded in The Strand shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, appears to feature in the game.
It can be seen in a screenshot, which shows the infamous image pinned to a noticeboard.
Ms Fergus wrote to the manufacturer demanding the image should be removed from the game, which was first published in 2003.
Chris Johnson - a spokesman for Ms Fergus - said she was anxious that her son's death should not be used as a "form of entertainment".
He told BBC Radio Merseyside: "It is something that she feels quite strongly about, that images of James should not be used and abused in this way as if he is some kind of public property.
"It is as if it dehumanises James and it seems like his death enters into some kind of myth or legend.
"To her it is very real and an ever-present emotion that she lives with every day of her life," added Mr Johnson.
After learning about Ms Fergus's objections, the game was withdrawn from sale by its UK distributor, Global Software Publishing.
A spokesman for the game's developer - Legacy Interactive - told BBC News they were only made aware of the offending picture on Monday.
"Obviously the game was out almost five years ago and this is the first time we knew anything about it otherwise we would never have put it out," the spokesman said.
"We are sorry and we didn't mean to hurt anybody. We will remove the picture and can only apologise to the family.
"We'll do our best to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."
Thompson and Venables, then aged 10, abducted James from the Merseyside shopping centre in 1993 and tortured him on a railway line.
The pair were released from detention in 2001 having served under eight years and were given new identities and addresses.
I work for this company and we've been getting calls from the BBC and the AP and god knows who else about this. Some dude just rang my extension to yell at me for about five minutes, I don't think he was a member of the press or related to the kid, he just felt like yelling.
For reference here is the image:
See that tiny little photo in the corner, yeah that's gotten our game pulled off store shelves in Britain, assuming they were still on any shelves to begin with.
As we speak I am busy making a patch to replace all the movie files with new versions that have the photo covered up. Good times, good times.
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Those are the brakes. Artists are expected to have a wealth of source material for games/websites/everything. Problem is, even if you go to those stock image sites, usually the ToS reads "free for non-commercial use". So unless you do professional photography on the side, you're pretty much gambling every time your work is publicly visible.
Now with more inappropriate comments!