I'm wanting to make a game set in Tokyo, specially Asakusa. I want to loosely recreate some of the streets and buildings to really nail the feeling of being there.
Is it legal to recreate buildings in 3D for my game if they are along public streets? Like neighborhoods or small shops.
I've looked into this independently a bit and I found Article 46 on this translation of Japan's Copyright Law says:
It shall be permissible to exploit artistic works permanently located in such open places as mentioned in paragraph (2) of the preceding Article and architectural works by any means not falling within any of the following items: (i) multiplication of a sculpture and offering it to the public by transfer of ownership of its copies; (ii) imitative reproduction of an architectural work and offering it to the public by transfer of ownership of its copies; (iii) reproduction of a work for the purpose of locating it permanently in such open places as mentioned in paragraph (2) of the preceding Article; (iv) reproduction of an artistic work exclusively for the purpose of selling its copies and sale of such copies.
This seems to me to mean so long as I'm not recreating buildings to be sold or selling representations (photos, etc.) of the building as the sole focus I should be ok.
However, since I am in the US, does only US law apply to me? I have found this part of the US Copyright Law that states
(a) Pictorial Representations Permitted.—The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.
The game will involve simply walking around, no violence or libelous in nature.
What do you guys think?