Here’s how much the City of Seattle spent to license Pac-Man for its Capitol Hill pavement park

$0. Turns out, a municipality can (probably) use all sorts of characters in its civic investments.

Along with our questions about the logistics of the pavement park program, CHS asked the Seattle Department of Transportation about any licensing arrangement required for Summit at Howell at E Olive Way’s Pac-Man Park. It’s all about fair use, a spokesperson tells CHS:

SDOT worked closely with attorneys on evaluating this installation under the Fair Use Act provisions. SDOT believes that the use of the Pac Man inspired mural falls into the non-profit educational clause of the Act- particularly because this interpretation on a street is transformative and new; it captures the original use and design for an entirely different, educational, and not-for-profit purpose. Because we are not using the image for proprietary purposes, the city’s attorneys considered this installation to be defensible.

Forgive us for being paranoid. Capitol Hill just happens to have a history of litigation related to some of its more popular examples of street art.

Meanwhile, this might be now be the closest point to the park at which to play its namesake game:

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8 thoughts on “Here’s how much the City of Seattle spent to license Pac-Man for its Capitol Hill pavement park

    • In actual dollars, likely nothing, since the article indicates the City attorneys made the call. There’s probably an accounting debit charge for Parks and a corresponding bookkeeping entry in the Legal department.

  1. I still think it was a dumb idea. Would it have cost more to put in some grass? Also, the tables are already been tagged up. It won’t be long until it looks like total crap. But hey, at least the gamer crowd is happy with it.

  2. Logic test

    Places one might expect to find grass: fields, golf courses, suburban yards

    Places one might not expect to find grass: busy urban intersections

  3. THERE IS A 1981 Tabletop Ms. PAC-MAN AT THE GOAT ON GREENWOOD!!! And, oldschool Tabletop Donkey Kong and several sweet pinball machines! I am a huge fan of The Goat on Greenwood and they have an awesome menu, too!