I'm heading to New York City soon and instead of my favorite street "vendors" selling plastic Rolex watches, perhaps they'll be pushing contraband NYC subway maps. Earlier this week we pointed to the story about public transportation officials in both New York and San Francisco freaking out over a guy who dared to offer downloadable maps that would display on an iPod. Yes, you might think this is a public service for those riding public transportation, but you would be wrong. It's all about the copyright violation (or so we're told). As ridiculous as that sounds, it's looking increasingly like this stingy "let them take cabs!" attitude is coming back to bite these officials. The Associated Press picked up on the story today and mentioned that the NYC MTA has offered to let the guy distribute NYC subway maps for free... for a mere $500 license fee. How dare someone try to help people not get lost without paying up first! If someone asks me for directions on the Subway, I'm going to have charge them apparently. Of course, like all good contraband things, this effort appears to be having the reverse effect. Consider it the Streisand Effect meets the Subway. Engadget is reporting that now (perhaps for a limited time) you can download NYC subway maps to your PSP. For each effort to smack down these maps, expect many more to pop up. Psst! Hey buddy? You wanna know how to get to Grand Central?
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