Sunday, March 08, 2009

What is it with NSW Rail, and "copyright"?

I blame Telstra, and the Australian legal system.

In 2002 our legal system decreed that Telstra owned "copyright" over the names, addresses and phone numbers in the phone book.

Other people couldn't publish that information.

Bugger me if I can work out the spark of an original idea, the "intellectual property" that was being protected.

Last year, on appeal, Channel Nine won a case preventing someone else from publishing an electronic TV program guide.

None of this could have happened in the United States (although it could and does in Europe).

Now NSW Rail is using the precident to stop some guy building a device that will allow people to check train time tables on their mobile phones!

When will this madness stop?

Society will freeze up if it continues. (Like Europe?)

People ought to be able to do useful things. Productivity and our standard of living depend on it.

Copyright was meant to protect (and encourage) innovation, artistic expression.

That's why I think there's a case for applying it to the moves in chess games (which we don't in Australia). But railway timetables?