US

iPod subway maps repressed

I haven’t been paying attention, so I hadn’t heard that William Bright, creator of the iPod subway maps, was gettin’ hassled by the Man. Bright has been hit with cease-and-desists from New York and San Francisco, based on copyright infringement of their maps. Might this be a case of authorities overreacting just a little bit?

“That’s the side that everybody loves to take, that big government is going after the little guy,” bristled [New York] MTA spokesman Tom Kelly. “But that’s not the case. This isn’t us singling out one person and one entity.”

True, it is the side we all love to take. Maybe because the MTA has a decades-long history of incompetence, corruption, and avarice? Indeed they don’t single out one person or entity. They’re happy to screw us all with fare increases and laws against taking pictures or drinking coffee in the subway. So egalitarian! Anyway, all it takes is for Bright or others to redesign their maps to not resemble the “official” versions too closely, which Bright has already done for San Francisco. New York has come back to the table with a proposal to let Bright continue offering their map as well, as long as he agrees to update changes and fork over a $500 annual license fee (but note that he can’t sell the map, even to cover the fee). Go check out his latest update and drop a few shekels in the tip jar. The man’s trying to do good in the world. Plus, he now offers maps for 22 cities, if you can beleeb it.