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Passenger Trains > New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map


Date: 01/13/20 08:01
New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: Duna

"New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in a heap of financial trouble. It is more than $40 billion in debt; it has a $60 billion maintenance backlog; plus it has more than $20 billion in unfunded health care obligations.

Instead of addressing these problems, the MTA is going after an artist named Jake Berman for violating the MTA’s copyright by making and selling a map of MTA’s subway network.

The MTA says that Berman’s map looks like the official MTA map, which is to be expected since they are both mapping the same thing. Berman’s map looks like an abstract version of the subway system known as the Vignelli map, which MTA wasn’t even using until two years after Berman started distributing his map on the web.

Berman’s map differs from the MTA version in several respects. Most importantly, Berman’s map shows which stations are served by individual trains only during rush hours, only during nights and weekends, and so forth.

The MTA objects to Berman making money from his map. But the MTA itself gives away digital copies of its maps, so it’s not like they are seriously competing.

In general, federal agencies are not allowed to copyright anything they do, and the same standard should be applied to state agencies. Unfortunately, it is not, so we have a not-so-pretty picture of a sinking ship, and instead of trying to save it the crew is demanding that the passengers pay their bar tabs before they get on the lifeboats."

http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=16755



Date: 01/13/20 08:09
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: joemvcnj

It also a distraction from the fact that MTA and NYC-DOT plan to decimate bus service in Queens, eliminating 15% of routes, including killing the overcrowded Q53SBS north-south route between Woodside and Rockaway Park, 70% of Queens bus stops, and dismantling bus hubs with stupid route diversions away from subway complexes like Jackson Hts and Queensboro Plaza. 



Date: 01/13/20 10:07
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: SP4360

In other words, status quo for  govt agancy, whether state or federal.

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It also a distraction from the fact that MTA and
> NYC-DOT plan to decimate bus service in Queens,
> eliminating 15% of routes, including killing the
> overcrowded Q53SBS north-south route between
> Woodside and Rockaway Park, 70% of Queens bus
> stops, and dismantling bus hubs with stupid route
> diversions away from subway complexes like Jackson
> Hts and Queensboro Plaza. 



Date: 01/13/20 10:09
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: joemvcnj

SP4360 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In other words, status quo for  govt agancy,
> whether state or federal.

Well, it is like look at what we say, not what we do (take your bus away to force feed the NYC Ferry elitest money pit). 
 



Date: 01/13/20 10:12
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: goneon66

how can ANY east coast city/state be in enough financial trouble where they can NOT properly fund the mass transit the taxpayer's deserve?

66 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/20 10:19 by goneon66.



Date: 01/13/20 15:13
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: ALCO630

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> how can ANY east coast city/state be in
> enough financial trouble where they can NOT
> properly fund the mass transit the
> taxpayer's deserve?
>
> 66 

How about graft, mismanagement, nepotism and embezzlement for starters?

Posted from iPhone

Doug Wetherhold
Macungie, PA



Date: 01/13/20 16:06
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: TAW

ALCO630 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> How about graft, mismanagement, nepotism and
> embezzlement for starters?
>
But other than that....

TAW



Date: 01/13/20 20:09
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: PHall

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ALCO630 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> >
> > How about graft, mismanagement, nepotism and
> > embezzlement for starters?
> >
> But other than that....
>
> TAW

Ah tradition!



Date: 01/13/20 21:57
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: pdt

As a long time new yorker, let me say the following....

1. The subway system is just a part of the MTA, which includes the LIRR, MNR, bus service, and who knows how much else.
"The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is a public benefit corporation responsible for public transportation in the U.S. state of New York, serving 12 counties in Downstate New York, along with two counties in southwestern Connecticut under contract to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, carrying over 11 million passengers on an average weekday systemwide, and over 850,000 vehicles on its seven toll bridges and two tunnels per weekday. The MTA is the largest public transit authority in the United States. "

2. The subway system itself, IMHO, is run buy a very dedicated group of people.  The top guy is top notch.  Of course he is embroiled in arguments with the MTA top brass a lot, as the MTA is purely political, and he just wants to run a good transit system

3. The worst of the operating corruption seems to be in the LIRR.  And Id suspect the bridges and tunnels, as that would be typical..

4. As a political operation in NY state, the MTA is full of political appointies, and political decision making.  The 1st head of the MTA was William Ronan, a Nelson Rockefeller political aid.  He knew nothing of transportation, and it hasnt gotten any better, IMHO.

5. Problem with a lot of the politicos, IMHO, is that they are enamored with new and shiny and "new technology" equipment.  So they spend massive amount of money on something that is new and untested.  Anything old, or "tried and true" is not sexy enought for them to make a political announcement about have bought the "latest and greatest, and most advanced"   So ever since the R44's, the MTA has spent large amounts on something new tech and sexy, that frequently have operating issues.   300 new R179's were just pulled from service, and replaced by 1964 R-32's and 1972 R42's.   They are worn, but solid trucks of the subway world, and jusy keep running.

6. as far as the map is concerned...copyright stuff is a small department, that has nothing to do with retirement debt, or any of the other debt mentioned.
Like most big companies. you'd think each department was a separarte company, as they never work together, and usually fight for company funds, like they are on opposit sides of the aisle.
The map thing is obviously insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but to the copyright ppl, this is their job. Its got nothign to do with any other debt

7. Mr Duna...I thoiught u knew more about how big corporations and govt agencies function. Im not saying its right, but your initial premise just comes off as a cheap pot shot. An excuse to complain about MTA debt.  Fact is, as a NYS agency, the state could erase the debt tomorrow if they wanted to.  Public sector agencies can carry debt, as they have the guaranteed backing of the state.  Its different than the pvt sector.

8.  OK, pile on....    :)



Date: 01/14/20 06:56
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: Dcmcrider

For what it's worth, WMATA also licenses the use of its intellectual property.

https://www.wmata.com/about/developers/Use-of-Metro-Intellectual-Property-Developers.cfm

"Metro protects its intellectual property, such as the sound of the railcar door chimes and voice announcements, Metro's "M" logo, and the SmarTrip® service mark. For example, the "M" logo and SmarTrip® service mark are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Metro's copyrighted Metrorail system map is registered with the Library of Congress Copyright Office."

Paul Wilson
Arlington, VA



Date: 01/14/20 06:59
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: joemvcnj

Reminds me of someone in UP legal department who did not have enough work to do, so demanded royalty paments from Walthers or Athearn. 



Date: 01/14/20 08:48
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: pdt

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Reminds me of someone in UP legal department who
> did not have enough work to do, so demanded
> royalty paments from Walthers or Athearn. 

Not as far fetched as u think.   They were outwitted in pre-trial and  discovery, and backed off.   A lot of companies now demand royalties or at least permission, to put their name or copyrighted images on model trains and trucks, and tee shirts and jewelry and most anything.  Once upon a time it was seen as free publicity.  Then the copyrught owners, i think it was in the 1990's, saw how much money was being made selling with copyrighted logos. 

I mean, suppose you rad a business that became very successful, and then u found out that a comapny was doing 2 million a year on selling tee shirts with your name on it.   Unless you felt u needed the free publicity, you might want to give them give them a visit, as they are making money off the popularity of your name, which u spent a lot of money getting to be popular.  I can sell a whole lot more tee shirts that say "Union Pacific" on them, than I can ones that are blank. 

Illegal use of copyrighted "names, logos, colors and likenesses" id a huge problem in the clothing and small household product (like coffee mugs) biz.

  Some companies care, some dont.  Its long and complicated.  Amtk, for instance, gets a 4% royalty for model train cars sold commercially with "amtrak" or the the amtrak logo or color scheme.



Date: 01/14/20 09:12
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: Dcmcrider

Licenses also come with a list of conditions, such as non-disparagement. If the copyright and trademark holder didn't require licenses from all users, it would have a tougher time warding off disparaging use.

Many times in TV productions set in DC you will see modified versions of the Metro logo, or fake station names like "Lafayette Square." The producers didn't want to pay WMATA a fee for the real thing. I recall the first season of "Jack Ryan" the dramatic final scenes were set in the DC Metro. It was actually Montreal...with signage that mimicked WMATA's (but not quite copying it--the typeface used was a little "off.")

Paul Wilson
Arlington, VA



Date: 01/14/20 18:31
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: SAAP

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> how can ANY east coast city/state be in enough financial trouble where they can NOT properly fund the mass transit the
> taxpayer's deserve?
>
Sometimes a government agency simply becomes too corrupt to function. 



Date: 01/15/20 00:38
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: pdt

SAAP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> goneon66 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > how can ANY east coast city/state be
> in enough financial trouble where they can
> NOT properly fund the mass transit the
> > taxpayer's deserve?
> >
> Sometimes a government agency simply becomes too
> corrupt to function. 

Too corrupt to spend money wisely.  100 million here, 100 million there.  After a while it starts to add up.



Date: 01/15/20 12:32
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: Duna

Transit agencies (and Amtrak) should be happy outsiders are providing additional information that will help improve ridership, service, etc.

Alternative maps, schedules, etc should be encouraged.

The goal is improved service, not trying to make a few nickles or "protect" something that is already in the public domain.

Set the information free. That goes for Amtrak accounting and performance metrics too.



Date: 01/15/20 19:02
Re: New York MTA Challenges Artist over Map
Author: cph

From what I know about copyright law, MTA can copyright their own map designs, but they cannot prevent anyone from making a map of the subway system. 
(" Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.")
https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html#website
 



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