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M.T.A. Is Easing Its Strict, Sometimes Combative, Approach to Outside Web Developers


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For months, entrepreneurial software designers have tried to create programs that ease the hassle of getting around New York. But in many instances, the designers encountered an unexpected bug: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


The agency would demand thousands of dollars in fees and might also send a cease-and-desist order to the digital doorsteps of local developers who used system timetables, maps and routes in their applications. The developers said they were only trying to improve the system; the authority warned of copyright infringement and intellectual property theft.


Even as transit systems across the country embraced the ethos of open source, freely distributing data to Web developers, the agency in New York was taking a more cautious — and occasionally combative — approach to the mobile revolution.


Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/28/nyregion/28mta.html?_r=1

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