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TrainCrop threatens developer over Transit Sydney app

updated 05:45 pm EST, Fri March 6, 2009

Train app sued

An Australian man has been threatened by RailCorp, New South Wales' state-owned train company, over an iPhone app that provides timetables for the metropolitan CityRail service, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Transit Sydney has been available from the App Store for a several weeks, providing the train and ferry schedules on the mobile devices. The creator, Alvin Singh, planned to add bus schedules, a planner tool and service interruption info on the next version.

RailCorp sent Singh a warning, however, that he would be sued if the app was not removed, claiming the timetable information is property of the rail company and that his company was infringing on a copyright. After considering a lack of resources to fight the government, along with legal advice, he will likely yield to the demands.

"I've asked them to send me a formal written cease and desist notice before I take it further," Singh said.

"RailCorp's primary concern is that our customers receive accurate, up-to-date timetable information," a company spokesperson said. "Third-party RailCorp timetable applications may contain inaccuracies and have the potential to mislead our customers."

RailCorp is believed to be in the process of creating its own iPhone app, although the company has not publicly confirmed the claim.

"It's in the public interest for them to have this out there and the argument they gave me was they plan to release their own one but they've had two years to do it and they're a corporation; they've got lots of people to do it, and I did it over a few weeks in the December break," Singh concluded.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    TrainCrop?

    Seriously, does MacNN have editors? How did RailCorp become TrainCrop?

  1. gor3don

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Haha

    Traincrop

    Pretty funny

  1. Double_UK

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    same thing here

    Over here in The Netherlands, a similar case happened. Dennis Stevense, the developer of a very good timetable-app was threatened by the Dutch railroad company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). That he was using their timetables without their permission.
    And that they were developing something too along those lines. (we're still waiting...)

    In the meantime we're using Dennis' excellent app!

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Update from Sydney...

    My iChat friend who lives in Sydney just told me that the latest version has bus schedules. But he says the trains never run on time so the train schedules are worthless. Ha.

  1. dmsimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Schedules are property?

    RailCorp should pay him for what he's done.

    If this succeeds, printing a football schedule will soon be illegal.

  1. flask

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    facts?

    Funny, I didn't think you could copyright facts. Or maybe since the trains aren't on time, they're implying that the scheduled times aren't facts. ;)

    It's also funny that they're so concerned about their customers receiving "accurate, up-to-date timetable information" when they haven't created an app themselves. If they had their own, and this guy's app was competing, I could see their argument a little better. But they've effectively made it more difficult for their customers to get information.

  1. CobraNT

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    WTF

    Why wouldn't they just offer to buy his app and rebrand it as their own? Makes more sense to do that, then threaten to sue the guy and get the bad press.....now seen all over the world....

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