MTA copyrighting subway maps

This is kind of disturbing. The MTA isn’t really a private company. As taken from their website (with my emphasis):

Since 1982 the MTA has been carrying out the largest public works rebuilding project in the country. Funded by federal, state, and local government and by the issuance of debt, the MTA’s most recent capital program has generated an average 31,760 private-sector jobs, $1.3 billion in wages, $100 million in state and local tax revenues, and $3.52 billion in economic activity annually.

That’s right New Yorkers… you by law paid for those maps, but by law you can’t have them.

There’s something seriously wrong when you have to pay for access to something paid for by your taxes. They should be given the choice of either giving up the federal/state/local funding, or release copyright into the public domain. The current situation is ridiculous.

One thought on “MTA copyrighting subway maps

  1. Ah. Copyrighting, not copywriting. I was expecting a story about literate maps, produced by copywriters, as opposed to possibly copyright (possibly public domain) maps, produced by cartographers or graphic designers or some such.

    Actually, I was looking for something about mozilla, but that’s a longer story…

    Besides, I thought that government-produced (or funded) work in the US was supposed to be public domain, rather than copyright. For what it’s worth, you can download PDF and GIF format maps of the London Underground from their site. Surely the point of having maps is that passengers will know how to get around?

    “Meh”, I believe, is the appropriate term. Apparently it’s the opposite of “woot” 🙄

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