Berlin Metro Demands Removal Of Free iPhone Timetable App
from the wouldn't-want-people-to-know-when-to-take-a-train... dept
The Berlin Metro people are claiming that the application somehow violates their copyright on the train schedule and map. It's unclear whether or not there's any substance to the copyright claim. While in the US you can't copyright facts (such as a train schedule), in Europe they do have "database rights," which allow someone to copyright a collection of facts. Perhaps a timetable might fall under such a definition, though it would still be ridiculous to stop this app from being offered.
But, based on statements from the folks at the Berlin Metro, it's clear that this is not just a copyright issue. It's a jealousy issue:
That is our copyright and Apple is one of the richest firms in the world.This fits with the psychological theory that many people are upset at being better off if it means that someone else is in an even better position. In this case, the Berlin Metro is worse off, because fewer people will use the Metro (and pay for it) because it's not as convenient to get the information. But according to the Berlin Metro, that's fine, because Apple is too rich (even though this app doesn't make Apple any money). Logic, apparently, is not a strong suit of the folks who run the Berlin Metro.