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Trouble on the horizon...

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Heads up.There is (I guess) a German concern called DvData developing a FS addon called ACM (Aircraft Container Manager) that will have the ability to decompile MDL files into a format importable into Gmax. This will allow anybody with a copy of FS2002 Pro to be able to "hack" any designers work and claim it for their own with little to fear.Forum discussion at Avsim.com's FS Aircraft and Panel Design forum. See the thread "### IMPORTANT FOR ALL AIRCRAFT DESIGNERS ###".To review the features of this proposed FS addon, go to: www.dvdata-sys.at/acmThe repercussions that this FS addon will have to the FS community should not be downplayed! This will have a potential devestating effect on the amount of freeware aircraft models that may be available in the future.Regards,Dee WaldronHistoric Jetliners Group

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It would be interesting to see if MS would/will step in as this affects their .mdl files as well???? Rick Sasala

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Hi Rick, :)Yes, it will be interesting to see what their reaction will be, one way or the other. I won't second guess on that, just have to wait and see.Dee WaldronHistoric Jetliners Group

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I don't know that the issues will be as negative as one might think. Once a freeware author posts an aircraft on a public website, it would be fairly easy to establish copyright in case someone were to use a utility like this to pirate such work. I know I won't lose sleep over it--if it even works. If anything, such a tool could expand freeware, allowing GMAX novices to peer into an aircraft, learning how an aircraft is modeled, so they can then proceed with new and creative works of their own.-John

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Remeber that statement when someone steals one of your .mdl files...Rick Sasala

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>>learning how an aircraft is modeled, so they can then proceed with new and creative works of their own<

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I don't see any advantages with that program. What I see is John Doe taking a reputable freeware model, changing one or two polys, re-compiling it and selling it as his own creation. Very dark days indeed.[TABLE BORDER=0][tr][td]

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[link:www.fsworldonline.com/~timsfsstudio]Click here to visit Tim's FS Studio!] Updated August 16th!

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But then, John Doe could take a freeware model and sell it as his own right now. He could easily change a few bytes in the file to prove that it's different to the original.... Best regards, Chris

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Dee, a few months ago Tucker Hatfield stated that the new version of Gmax shipped with CFS3 will be able to import aircraft models. I remember thinking at the time that that could open up a whole new can of worms! However, I don't think it would make a great difference. If I released my Constellation I wouldn't mind a lot if someone released an improved version providing, of course, that I was given full credit. But I would draw a line at having it offered for money - unless of course I got at least fifty percent! Best regards, Chris Wright

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Not just to freeware, but payware as well.The same way someone could take one of your models, change a few minor things (like texture names) and release them as his own, so he could also take something from say PSS and do the same.If he's clever about it, he could even get away with it.

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Just for info purposes I just tested the beta version out to see what it is capable of...WOW is all I can say. It will render all of the default aircraft and most of mine, with the exception of the more complicated ones i.e. S-3B,EA-6B. By rendering I mean giving you a usable copy to import into GMAX. If you think you have problems now with others stealing your work, wait until this program hits the streets...Rick Sasala

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MDL file converters is old news folks. The program located athttp://w1.970.telia.com/~u97009239/mdl/mdl.htmwill convert mdl files from FS5, FS98 and FS2000 into DXF files. It has been released since FS98. What has changed for FS2002? I guess we have a new group of modelers, with many of them ready to pack it in now. If the MS FlightSim business unit manager has not taken any action against this mdl to dxf file converter, why would he against the one for FS2002? MS has set a precedent of not objecting to the reverse engineering of mdl files. MS even provides SDK. If you are going to attempt to stop this, you need to take legal action and that costs money, time, and wear and tear on you nerves. MS elected not to, after all it will provide more available aircraft for FS2004. Keep venting, but I bet you will decide that it is a battle that can't be won. If not, it is going to cost you money, time and nerves. For claims to be made in a court, I think you had better be able to show that it has impacted you significantly in the money area. Slightly hurt feelings don't really count. How did they damage you? See, it has to damage you before you can even think about any recourse. Just a realistic view.Also keep in mind, gmax has over 1/4kk registered users. I think all but maybe 100 or at most a 1000 will wilcome this program. So you have 99.6% of the registered gamx owners happy. I wouldn't go searching for a jury for this isssue from a group registered gmax people. After all, now they can pull in these planes and add a third and fourth wing to them. Do they care that no one will download them? No, because they will never upload them. But, after making several weird planes, they may just gain enough skills to make some in your class. Dark shadows exist, only because of bright daylight on the other side.Bob

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