RailCorp threatens to block iPhone app developed by Sydney man

The NSW Government agency RailCorp has threatened a Sydney software developer with legal action after he created an iPhone application allowing users to view train and ferry timetable information and updates.

Alvin Singh, software developer for News Digital Media, published the Transit Sydney application on the iTunes App Store, which has been selling for $2.49 a copy.

But RailCorp has interrupted the app’s 20-sales-a-day by threatening legal action based on copyright laws.

Singh originally planned to expand the application to offer bus timetables, planning tools and updates on service interruptions before he received the warnings.

“I’ve asked them to send me a formal written cease and desist notice before I take it further,” he told The Age.

“The argument they’ve said is we are in the planning stages of getting our own application up there, but going by the Government’s past performances I don’t think we’ll see it any time soon.”

But since he did not have the funds available for a lengthy legal battle, he says it is likely that he will remove the application from the App Store. RailCorp has not commented on whether it is developing a similar iPhone application of its own.

“RailCorp’s primary concern is that our customers receive accurate, up-to-date timetable information,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“This includes details of service interruptions, special event services, track work and other changes. Third-party RailCorp timetable applications may contain inaccuracies and have the potential to mislead our customers.”

Singh says he was not seeking to make any profit from the application, and has even offered the source code to RailCorp if they want to develop an application of their own.

“It’s in the public interest for them to have this out there, and the argument they gave me was they plan to release their own one, but they’ve had two years to do it and they’re a corporation; they’ve got lots of people to do it, and I did it over a few weeks in the December break.”

Internet giant Google already provides timetable information for Adelaide and Perth public transport services, but has not been given the rights for other capital cities.

 

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