Suspension of Limited-Edition Lítačka Cards Due to Copyright Concerns

Operátor ICT

Passengers of Prague’s Municipal Transport (MHD) can no longer purchase a limited-edition Lítačka card issued to commemorate the metro’s 50th anniversary of operation. The suspension results from possible copyright infringement, as the cards feature a familiar motif of wall tiles from the metro line A stations.

Due to the potential uncertainties surrounding copyright laws, the temporary halt in issuing these limited-edition cards began on June 25, 2024. The card’s design was influenced by the wall tile patterns created by Jaroslav Otruba, the main architect of Prague’s metro. These tiles are characteristic of the metro line A.

According to the business newspaper Hospodářské Noviny (HN), the heirs of architect Jaroslav Otruba contacted the Transport Company of the Capital City of Prague (DPP) and Prague, whose company Operator ICT (OICT) manages the card. They claimed that the motif was used in violation of copyright laws. DPP began issuing these cards on June 17, with OICT listed as the publisher.

The Lítačka team has stated they are working to ensure people can purchase the limited-edition card again as soon as possible. Until now, it was available for purchase at counters in the Škoda Palace on Jungmannova Street and selected DPP counters.

The daughter of architect Otruba, Vítězslava, through her lawyers, called on the company and the city to stop issuing the card, alleging it infringes on copyright laws. She plans to take the matter to court if this does not occur. “Because you are well aware of who the author and rights holder is, the edition of Lítačka with a tile motif designed by architect Otruba can be considered a deliberate contempt of copyright,” HN quotes the heir’s lawyer, František Vyskočil.