MTA Looks to Cash In on iPhone App

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009  |  Updated 7:00 AM EDT
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MTA Looks to Cash In on iPhone App

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The MTA has put the breaks on an attempt to stop computer programmers who make the wildly-popular iPhone applications that show when Metro-North and LIRR trains arrive and depart, a report said.

Lawyers recently hit Chris Schoenfeld, from Connecticut, with a cease-and-desist order for selling a Metro-North application for $3, the New York Post said.

Schoenfeld apparently uses the MTA schedules for the application.

The MTA called Schoenfeld in June, and said he couldn't use those train schedules under intellectual-property laws unless he forked over $5,000 and 10 percent of all future sales as part of a licensing agreement, he said.

The MTA backed off yesterday, and instead asked for a one-time fee of $700 and a disclaimer on his application that it's his fault if the schedules aren't right, he said.

"This is a huge win," said Schoenfeld. "They've been totally not willing to negotiate. It's been, 'Sign a license or face the consequences.' Now it's just 700 bucks."
 

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