Saturday, February 25, 2006

Anagram Fans of the World Unite!

So, the other day, Robot Johnny had a little fun. He photoshopped the TTC Toronto subway map, rearranging the letters of the different stops into funny phrases. Bathurst station became Butt Rash station. St. Clair West because Wrist Castle. St. George became Greg's Toe.

Ha, ha. Oh, anagrams. Fun with your local transit system.

Today, of course, Robot Johnny gets a cease and desist order from the TTC:
The TTC has not granted, and expressly denies, permission to you or the Website to reproduce or otherwise use TTC intellectual property in whole or in part. The TTC hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from using TTC intellectual property on the Website, failing which the TTC will take appropriate legal actions without further notice to you.
Ah, the TTC. The public corporation whose lawyers were not competent enough to make sure the plans for the St. Clair streetcar Right-of-Way were airtight, so a group of citizens halted the project's progress for months leaving me taking a sporadically scheduled shuttle bus from St. Clair West to St. Clair station every morning... And yet these laywers are on a blogger's case for playful copyright infringement within days. Way to get your priorities straight.

If this were a private corporation, fine. But I have been led to believe that the public owns the TTC and I bet there's not a single Torontonian who wanted the TTC's lawyers to waste their time and our money going after a transit geek's non-profit-seeking exercise in Phun with Photoshop.

The remixed map: Fun, free publicity for the TTC in cyberspace.

The ensuing cease and desist order: Bad publicity, makes people like me want to buy a car.

Wasn't there anyone at the TTC who realised this would turn something harmless into a public relations disaster? Can we fire these people?

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