Chris Schoenfeld received a Digital Millenium Copyright Act notice asking him to take his application down, as MTA’s train and bus schedules were copyrighted intellectual property.
Chris thinks delayed negotiations with the MTA are the reason, ReadWriteWeb says:
In an interview with the Stamford Advocate Schoenfeld said, “The copyright law is very clear that you cannot copyright facts and tables of data. A train schedule itself might be considered intellectual property, but the data itself has nothing artistic about it.” Schoenfeld believes the DMCA came as a result of him delaying licensing negotiations. [Schoenfeld] was expected to pay the MTA 10% of his app profits and $5000 in advance royalties.
The StationStops app costs $2.99 and provides offline information on Metro-North Railroad train arrivals and departures.
ReadWriteWeb: Judging by StationStop sales and the public outcry for Schoenfeld, customers want a better way to access their transportation information and they don’t care whether it’s city-run, state-run or citizen-driven.
Update: StationStops’ founder stopped by to comment –
“Just a couple of minor corrections – the cease and desist was not specifically labelled as a DMCA complaint, and was kind of ambiguous about the IP claim citation, probably because it had no merit whatsoever ;)
It was just your typical f*** you C&D.
Also, it was not so much that I delayed the licence negotiations – its me that has been pushing THEM for it for 6 months. It is that I returned the proposed contract for 2 changes:
1. MTA sends me updates to the schedule when it changes
2. I dont pay an up-front royalty of $5k or past sales royalties, only forward-looking.
They were 100% immutable on negotiating any terms whatsoever, and their response was to threaten to take down my website by phone and then sent me the C&D for the app.”
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