from the didn't-get-the-gift-horse-memo dept.
mikesd81 writes "ZDNet Australia writes that NSW state corporation RailCorp has threatened a Sydney software developer with legal action if he fails to withdraw a train timetable application that is currently the second-most-popular application in its category in Apple's App Store. Alvin Singh created Transit Sydney after he began teaching himself how to program in Cocoa Mobile. Within days of its Feb 18 release, Singh received a cease and desist notice from Rail Corporation NSW, the government body that administers Sydney's CityRail network. The email states: 'I advise that copyright in all CityRail timetables is owned by RailCorp. ... Any use of these timetables in a manner which breaches copyright by a third party can only occur through the grant of a suitable licence by RailCorp.'"
"As a government body, RailCorp information is protected by Crown copyright, a contentious provision in copyright law that has recently been used to block attempts to access information on the location of Victoria's bushfires and even seemingly innocuous information as the locations of public toilets. 'RailCorp's primary concern here is that our customers receive accurate, up-to-date timetable information,' RailCorp spokesperson Paul Rea explained. 'This includes details of service interruptions, special event services, track work and other changes. ... At this stage, it is not possible for RailCorp to grant third-party developers access to our internal passenger information systems. As such, any third-party CityRail timetable application would contain inaccuracies and have the potential to mislead our customers.'"
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)