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A Proposal to the Creative Talent and Community in Gene

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The issue of rogue sites downloading files from legitimate host sites without the permission of the authors or host has come to the forefront recently. Some of the crooks preying on the this hobby and its creative talent are even charging a fee for the right to download free files they have uploaded without permission. Clearly, as the hobby grows this theft and illegal revenue generation will only increase. It is high time the community and creative talent implemented action to better protect the authors.What I propose is a modification of the

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Hi Greg,as far as I've understood, freeware does not mean abandon of the Copyright. My understanding from a legal standpoint is that it is not a problem of defining the law (no need to change the name-ware to enhance protection) but rather a problem of enforcing the law.Anyhow, even if the author ego is hurt because one is making money out of his creation, it also gives the author more exposure being hosted and featured somewhere else too, hence more people using his creation, the purpose of which it is often released as freeware. We all agree there are places like avsim that are serious and talented, no doubt about it, and do provide a serious exposure being one of the most visited place. But I suspect there are many other places and people that I don't even know, and where many other hobbyist gather and download files, maybe even without paying a visit to avsim.Besides, even if not with a subscription to grant access to download freeware files, avsim is doing a pretty good job making money from the traffic generated by people like you and I talking in the forums and downloading files from the library. Paid banners are on these pages as well as the popup window when downloading to remind you can also buy products from the avsim store. In that respect, avsim is also making money out of the freeware authors files but at least, this gives us a place to talk for free.Hope it helps!

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I select freeware from the menu, because its for unlimited distribution. I have made clear in my Readme that only three sites are allowed to host my files, AVSIM, Flightsim, and JPHAS. Ferdy's been kinda afraid to put my files on since i sent him about three threatening emails hehehe... :-lolhttp://www.someplacesomewhere.com/uploaded.../coatransig.jpgGet All of My Repaints [a href=http://ftp.avsim.com/library/esearch.php?DLID=&Name=&FileName=&Author=lee&CatID=fs2002ac]HERE![/a]

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Freeware simply implies that you have to pay nothing to acquire the file... it has nothing to do with permissions, copyright, ownership of intellectual property, redistribution, etc. etc. Putting things in the public domain is when you lose any claim to the file being used how you want it used. Once it is in public domain, anybody can do anything with it they want, and even charge for it.Very little freeware (only Chuck Dome comes to mind) is released as publc domain. So by simply changing the name from freeware to something else, nothing is really accomplished, as regards to how it is now.

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I concur and maybe AVSIM can put up in its upload section a suggested format for the Copyright?Shez

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Yes, Shez, I agree with your idea. To better protect the rights of authors does require a cooperative effort between the host sites, authors, and the community. I'd like to believe all three wouldn't mind finding a stronger front from which to deal with the thieves.With regard to changing the name from "freeware", this was an idea presented to me by an attorney. Just threw a suggestion up, basically.I believe the key to making life more difficult for the poachers and thieves is for the community (authors, hosts, and users) to stand on a united ground. My simple goal is that as many authors as possible use much the same copyright notice such as what I outlined in my original post. The strength of listing host sites in the notice is that the end user (a very powerful voice) can now be fully involved in policing the crooks. I believe the end users would further deepen their commitment of protection if given the opportunity.Thanks all for the input so far, and hopefully we'll hear some more perspectives,

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Well there are many "freeware" authors resident in these forums but no one has said anything to this post...:-( Shez

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I think it might be a good idea, if some of the better copyright statements that we have seen in these forums, be collected and made available online as a "resource" in the avsim library. Something like... "Need a copyright statement for your files? Take a look at these examples and feel free to use them in your read me."It would be nice to have that in the avsim library as a "help" option in the upload system.

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Hi Shez and Greg,I personally didn't respond here because I didn't want to clutter up your new thread with arguments on the same issue I made in the previous thread:http://ftp.avsim.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboa...viewmode=all#38I don't want to interfere with the dialog you are looking for with other authors. Just thought I'd point that out, because I do think its an interesting topic.Take care,http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/elrondlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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Thanks for your posts, eko and Elrond.Elrond, this post was started in an effort to generate ideas, and maybe some solutions that could make the thieves want to look for another hobby to victimize. I've yet to see you come up with a bad idea, and I personally value your perspective.And, hey, sometimes evolution can come from debate.Regards,

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OK, I'll bite. I didn't initially because these discussions usually get ugly and when I throw my opinion into the mix, all that usually comes from it is I get a wave of hate mail. But here goes.I work for a company that aggressively defends its "intellectual property" and I had a chance to chat with an attorney that deals in corporate copyright law. When a person/organization creates an original work of any kind, the ownership and rights to that work belong to the creator(s). It doesn't matter what the owner puts in a copyright statement, the specific rights are defined by international law, not by the owner. This has nothing to do with the distribution of the property. That is a another issue. As far as distributing someone elses work, you are simply not permitted to do so without the owners permission, period. You must have a "distribution agreement". It doesn't matter whether you got it free or paid money for it. In my case, I distribute all my files with a "readme" file that clearly and simply states the conditions under which it may be distributed. I think this is all that's necessary. If you make your distribution conditions too complicated then people will violate them unintentionally simply because they didn't understand them. I think the "KIS" principal applies here...Keep It Simple. I don't think making more restrictions, laws, conditions will have any affect. If the person is already knowingly violating your existing conditions, adding more isn't going to help. I do think that the best solution to the problem is active policing, by the authors and the users. Let every violator know, quickly and firmly that this behavior is not acceptable. I've been criticized by some, and gotten flame e-mails because I've asked for pirated files to be removed from Avsim. Too bad. If I allow it to happen, I'm condoning the actions. Does this solve the problem? No. But it helps and its the best I can do under the circumstances.Mike Stone

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I also work for a company that defends its digital property. As a digital design company, it is very important to copyright our material carefully. More theft occurs in the digital domain than any other, IMHO.I agree with Mike's points above. It is helpful to remind potential distributors about your distribution intentions in your copyright notices. It's often no good burying them in readme files. I would suggest creating a seperate copyright txt file in your zips and stating that illegal distribution will not be tolerated and your copyrights will be enforced without exception.I guess, at the end of the day, it depends on how much you want to protect your work. Some people really don't mind... it's free so what difference does it make? On the other hand, it's disappointing to see your own work contained on a CD within a commercial product. You have to draw the line somewhere and it's good for the developer to make it clear where he/she has drawn it.Sometimes it's a matter of principle because, in many cases, people who illegally distribute files generally have their fingers in a great many more other pies than your own. In these cases, by enforcing your copyright, you are benefitting others as well as yourself.To conclude, I would say that if you feel strongly about it and are placing a serious copyright notice on your work to release it as freeware, you absolutely HAVE to be prepared to STAND BY YOUR WORDS when it comes to the crunch. It's no good having a loud bark if you're not prepared to bite. A copyright notice is a deterrant but unfortunately it also, sometimes,needs to be used as an antibiotic. Prosecute, prosecute, PROSECUTE!!!End users also have a part to play. If you download a piece of freeware, do a couple of kind things in return. Thank the author. And most importantly, also keep an eye out for them and let them know if their work is being abused. Also, boycott the site in which you saw the illegal activity.I hope my comments are a healthy contribution... it's a good topic.Cheers,Simon.

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Clearly, everybody is in agreement about the importance and power of the end user (a huge majority) in dealing with this matter. That is what I wish to take advantage of.Mike, I found it ironic while reading your post that I continually nodded my head in agreement. I especially like your philosophy about the KIS method (I've learned that it works best for my simple mind :-lol ). So I went to one of your files and studied your copyright notice, which was nicely brief and to the point. It is indeed all that's needed, but I wish to make some additions that will bring the end user squarely into the policing aspect. It's not a matter of adding legal clauses, but in making your wishes clearly known to the end user, as well as the crooks. So here goes, with my additions in caps:"Legal Stuff-----------The software contained in this archive is supplied for your use WIHOUT FEE. No fee or charge WILL BE made for its use. The original author retains full ownership of these files and reserves all rights and privileges under U.S. and international copyright laws. The author grants permission in advance for others to freely distribute "repaints" of the aircraft provided no modifications are made other than texture files, AND THAT THE DISTRIBUTING WEBSITE IS ON THE AUTHOR'S APPROVED LIST BELOW. All other files, including this readme file must remain unchanged. No other modifications are allowed without the express written permission of the author.This archive may be freely redistributed provided that the entire archive is distributed, as is, without modification, AND THAT THE DISTRIBUTING WEBSITE IS ON THE AUTHOR'S APPROVED LIST BELOW. No fee of any kind may be charged for the software, or its distribution. THE AUTHOR'S APPROVED WEBSITES, EFFECTIVE (INSERT DATE HERE): SITE A SITE B SITE C ETC.IF THIS FILE WAS DOWNLOADED FROM A WEBSITE NOT INCLUDED IN THE AUTHOR'S APPROVED LIST, SAID WEBSITE IS IN VIOLATION OF THE AUTHOR'S COPYRIGHTS. ALL VALUED AND RESPONSIBLE END USERS MAY INFORM THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF THE VIOLATING WEBSITE AT THE ADDRESS LISTED BELOW."There ya go. These changes cost nothing, really don't add any confusing legal clauses, and most importantly allows all of the community to involve itself. And when the crooks read it, they might think twice as to whether or not someone who downloads a pilfered file will inform the author.Will this make the problem go away? Nope. Will all end users send that email to the author? You only need one for each violating site. Most importantly, the crooks will be put off balance. They'll never know which of their downloaders will email the author, or when.Finally, I'd like to point out that I used Mike's copyright notice merely as an example. I'm sure one can be easily developed to cover most if not all authors.Regards,

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That looks sound to me, SoarPics. Good on ya!"No other modifications are allowed without the express written permission of the author."In a perfect World, Written permission would generally be considered in HARD COPY. i.e. Not an e-mail. But that's discretionary, I would imagine.Cheers,Si.

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