Cool Site in Dispute with NYC MTA
William Bright had the idea to put subway maps up online for download. The maps are formatted for use on any color-enabled iPod.
He's got many cities' maps so far, including Metro DC, Paris, London, Seoul, Montreal, Tokyo and others. But the New York City MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) is asking for an annual license fee of $500.
You can accept the MTA's right to charge a reasonable license fee like this -- acknowledging their imperative to protect their map's usage (they give the map away for free) -- while also accepting the idiocy of doing so in this connected world. It is a self-defeating objection, given that Mr Bright's usage is legitimate and helpful in the spirit of the purpose of the map and also given that the MTA could retain control by offering royalty-free terms.