The MTA Is Going After an Etsy Artist Over a New York Subway Map It Didn’t Make


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Very curious to follow the course this case takes. Release the IP arguments! via Vice:

Arguing over the intellectual property of maps is as old as America itself. For almost as long as this country has existed, maps have been copyrighted by their makers. The Copyright Act of 1790 covered “any map, chart, book or books already printed within these United States…” before adding a whole bunch of conditions.

What is not protected work under copyright law, Kjellberg said, are facts. For example, the MTA cannot copyright the fact that there is a transit station at Union Square and that the 4,5,6,N,Q,R,W and L lines stop there. Nor can it copyright the general location of a stop when plotted on a map, the direction in which it runs, geographic entities like the island of Manhattan, or the names of streets.

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