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.