I don't know why your mother got fined, but in my experience the authorities are very reasonable about this sort of thing.
If you break a traffic law in order to avoid an accident, you're extremely unlikely to be penalized. 99% of cops will not issue a ticket in that circumstance (although they could), and 90% of courts will waive the penalty if you explain.
My own wife got out of a speeding ticket by explaining to the court why it was unsafe to stay near a weaving driver.
The whole question is idiotic. Automated cars will do the best they can to avoid accidents, just as people do. Period.
The traffic laws have been tweaked for over 100 years - they're pretty good. If everyone follows the rules cars will virtually never smash into each other or pedestrians. In the rare cases where outside factors (mechanical failures, weather, etc.) intervene, the car will simply do the best it can.
There really aren't cases where such choices need to be made, and there's no payback for even worrying about it.
Human drivers don't think about this in accidents - things happen too fast for that.
(Which is why manual override is not a solution.)
Even in the crazy hypotheticals, it just doesn't matter. Automated cars will avoid 99/100 or 999/1000 of the accidents that happen today.
Who the 1 in 100 or 1000 are that don't get saved doesn't matter. What matters is that 99/100 or 999/1000 are saved.
I can spend millions digging holes and filling them up again - that doesn't entitle me to a reward for my "time and effort".
If I look at the image on their website and get pleasure from the beauty of it, that doesn't harm them in any way or cost them a penny. They *already* made the image for their own reasons. Whether I get pleasure from it doesn't affect them.
If their use of the image harmed the creator economically - lost sales in this case (as with the free download of the game), then (and only then) you have a case for limiting that use.
Clearly the dealership is confused, and who can blame them - the whole structure of current IP law is incomprehensible to most people.
I imagine even if the dealership knew the image came from a video game, they thought "hey we're selling cars, not competitive with a game in any way", so no problem.
And if the law were reasonable, that wouldn't be a bad way to think.
Certainly the game people deserve credit for the image, but I don't see how they suffered any economic harm at all - use of the image doesn't take a penny from their pocket. If anything it's free advertising for their game (at least if they'd gotten credit).
Re: Re: It's not new, it's just how USG people think
Sure, industrial espionage is as old as industry, and espionage is as old as states (or older).
But the warnings we got in the '90s weren't much about that - it was mostly "you'll be arrested on made-up charges and have no rights", etc. They made as if they were genuinely concerned with our safety.
(As far as I know, nobody took their advice, and did as they pleased on weekends without telling anyone. We chuckled about their nannying...privately.)
In the 90s I used to go to UN-related meetings in Geneva a lot.
There was always a guy from the State Dept. there to watch over the "US delegation" (most of whom represented private firms).
Every Friday he'd tell us to let State know everywhere we went outside our hotel over the weekend - not for infosec reasons, but because it's a "foreign country" and we could get into all kinds of trouble. We could get arrested and have no rights, not like at home in the US.
This was in Switzerland, the child-proofed chocolate-coated rubber room of Western Europe. Far safer than any place in the US - the main danger was overdosing on cheese.
But I think they really meant it.
There's something about the mentality of people who go to work for the US government - they really, truly, think all them furriners in nasty, terrible places like Switzerland, the UK, Austrialia, Japan (Japan!) are lawless hellholes without Good Old Fashioned Merican Democracy where people will be skinned alive for blinking at the wrong time.
I don't know what really happened here, but I'm strongly tempted to think this is the fault of the publishers of "No Man's Sky":
Publisher: Hey! "No Man's Sky" is coming!
Murdoch: Nasty letter - don't use "Sky" or we'll sue.
At this point what the publisher should have done:
Publisher: Screw you. You have no case. Sue if you want - you'll lose.
But what they actually did was:
Publisher: Oh no! Please don't sue us! Let's talk this over...
And so they got what they deserved for not having the balls to just publish.
Maybe that's not what happened. But freedom doesn't work if everyone is terrified to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes you have to stand on your rights and accept the risk that the other party may sue - if you're reasonably sure you're within your rights (and will therefore win).
Otherwise, we have a permission-based society. Nobody does anything without consulting lawyers.