INFORMATION on Dublin's new bikes scheme should be allowed free of charge, the city council has said -- sparking a row with the scheme's backers.
JC Decaux, the advertising agency which supports the bike renting initiative, has been locked in a dispute with a company called Fusio, which it claims misused information from JC Decaux's database for a Dublin Bikes Apple iPhone application.
Fusio's application, which gave users information on the nearby bike stations and how many cycles and spaces were available, was taken down from the iTunes AppStore after JC Decaux threatened legal action.
Now, Dublin City Council has called on JC Decaux to allow organisations to provide information on the scheme for free.
Fianna Fail councillor Paul McAuliffe said: "It is now the clear view of the council that information relating to the public transport scheme should be made available free of charge.
"If JC Decaux publishes an application for which there is a charge, they are defying the view of this council.
"They will effectively be charging for public transport information."
Before it was taken down, Fusio's application had been downloaded 3,000 times.
JC Decaux argued Fusio was taking advantage of the infrastructure it had put in place and there were dangers that the information was not controlled.
Jim Keoghan, Dublin City Council's executive manager, said: "As I understand it, JC Decaux has no problem working with application development companies, if they are working to provide something of value for their customers which they do not provide themselves and have prior written consent.
"This has not been the case in this situation."
Mr Keoghan went on to say that JC Decaux plans to launch an official Apple Iphone application, called AllBikesNow, for Dublin customers within the next few weeks.