Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company, is entirely owned by the state. So you may think it reasonable that its timetable data should be freely available, in line with the open data trend that’s growing so quickly in Europe.
Think again. Not long ago, an enterprising group of open data enthusiasts calling themselves openPlanB got their hands on a CD-ROM containing station coordinates, bus and train schedules and so on. They put all the data online in torrent form, under the Open Database License (ODbL).
The reaction hit on Friday, when Deutche Bahn sales chief Birgit Bohle published an open letter that letter said Kreil had violated the rights of not only Deutsche Bahn, but also the third parties with which it has exclusive agreements.