After launching the Transit Sydney iPhone application with Sydney train timetables, its developer received a cease and desist letter saying that the use of the timetables is a breach of copyright. In Australia, this may technically be true, but the developer is considering disputing the claim.Do people really have rights to a schedule? It's a timetable not a copyrighted creative work. And why do you want such bad publicity? They seem to do it a little differently down under:
Anyone who's familiar with US copyright law will think "wait, you can't copyright facts," which is where the twist comes in. Australia has something called "Crown copyright" that essentially says that certain materials published by the government are copyrighted by the government. The CityRail timetables come from Rail Corporation New South Wales (RailCorp), which is owned by the government.Reports now say that the rail system has been ordered to work with the developer. But this should have never been a problem in the first place.