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Hello all,I was checking some flightsim sites yesterday and found a group that is selling CDs loaded with FREEWARE from many of you out there. Some may think that they are ok because they are offering a service of compiling add on, loading it all in a CD and selling it, just because there are sites that charge memberships. But, hey, I never paid a cent to these sites and continue doing d'load every single day. It's just a matter of patience.But the big problem is the others products they are offering, too. Like Dreamfleet's 737 and Archer, Captain Sim's Mig 21 and L-39, and the 777 from ??? (forgot the group!).The site is from Brazil and it is in portuguese so some of you may have problem understading what is writen, but the pictures show it all. Here's the link:http://www.aeroflaps.hpg.ig.com.br/aero_flaps_news2.htmJust to complement, one of their banners says they are closing contract with major FS sites around the world from USA, Germany and so on.This is absurd and I hope someone take action on this. Piracy and copyright violations like this are the main reason for very well talented authors quit our so loved hobby.Best,Marcelo.

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Marcelo,IMHO it is not a very good idea to post that link here. It might have been a better idea to directly contact DF, or Captain Sim or any other company involved. If they are in fact infringing these company's copyrights they might take legal action.I cannot say anything about the content of this site or the prices they offer as my spanish is ver limited :-).Not all users of this site are ethically strong enough to withstand offers like these.Alex

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A dodgy translation from babelfish from the "offending" website ::"The Aero Flaps brings until you 4 Cds repletos of accessories for its simulator of flight, removed of the hottest sites of the InterNet , all tested and guaranteed, you to use in the Versions: ""It is not piracy , for only R$ 35,00 more sedex, you receives in house, the biggest comfort 4 complete CDS without that you it needs to spend hours and hours making downloads, 2,6 Gygabites that goes to full its simulator with what it has of hotter in the InterNet. "It would appear that the idea's of Ferdy & VOLFTP are catching on.

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>It might have been a better idea to directly contact DF, or >Captain Sim or any other company involved. If they are in >fact infringing these company's copyrights they might take >legal action. Did that, my friend. DF is already aware of this matter since yesterday. I couldn't contact the others.And I would suggest that others keep their eyes on it, as it seems they've just got started. It won't surprise me if we see others products available.>I cannot say anything about the content of this site or the >prices they offer as my spanish is ver limited :-).They just ship the CD in Brazil.>Not all users of this site are ethically strong enough to >withstand offers like these. No comments on this.

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I really don't understand what the complaint is here. I'm no lawyer, but doesn't it seem logical that FREEWARE can be re-distributed or mirrored anywhere on the Internet or mailed out in CD form as long as the author's name & contact info is included, the entire original release and copyright notice is intact, and no portion of the author's work has been "borrowed" for any derivative work.Heck if someone simply created a CD set of all of Bear's picks of FS2002 freeware add-ons I'd gladly pay $5-$10 to the kind soul that compiled it. What on earth is wrong with that? Why would the freeware authors object?

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We've had this argument before in another thread. Copyright protects freeware authors from people profiting from their work. And software licensing law allows a freeware author to determine when, how and where the software will be used. Regardless of what these pirates say on their sites, they are making a profit off of our work. I have the tools in my IT shop to press a hundred CD's an hour unattended, and I pay less than 50 cents per CD. Were they for external distribution, it costs next to nothing to build a simple website hawking the CD.... Even if there a 100 suckers who think they are getting a non-profit bargain, that allows for $300-400 profit. Pretty good for a couple of hours work, when freeware authors have poured hours into their projects.Isn't it funny how all of these are offshore sites? It's because domestic operators know that U.S. civil law will fleece anyone caught pirating freeware authors work if some author deems it worthwhile to prosecute. I wouldn't for a few hundred dollars, but if I found that someone was making ten-twenty thousand dollars, I'd be happy to join into a class action suit, and I'd start with the ISP hosting the pirate site.

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More often than not the authors in the readme VERY SPECIFICALLY request that it is not redistributed in any way (without their permission) and that no money is made with it. If you had poured your heart and soul (I'm no developer but I'm sure they do judging by the quality of some freeware) into making something you wouldn't want someone else getting rich quick off it simply by burning it to a CD. Also some of the stuff they are selling is payware...:-wave

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> If you had poured your heart and soul ... into making > something you wouldn't want someone >else getting rich quick off it simply by burning it to a CD. Freeware developers are motivated, I hope, simply by sharing their work freely with others. If they thought 1) that their contribution of a single freeware model was that valuable, and 2) they actually cared that someone else would make money off it instead of themselves making the money, then they wouldn't have released it as freeware in the first place.I create "levels" (missions) for another game I play & I release them as freeware. Why? Because I want other people to enjoy what I created & have no interest in profiting from, which is a pretty rational mind-set because there really isn't any meaningful profit to be had. I have a great job & none of my fantasies involve making a couple of thousand dollars from pressing a few hundred CDs for sale. Anyone less fortunate who wants to include my level on a CD pressed for resale is welcome to do it.>Also some of the stuff they are selling is payware... Well that's clearly theft & is wrong, wrong, wrong. My posting was only referring to the re-packaging of freeware to save somebody else the trouble finding & downloading it. It's astounding to me that anyone perceives that as a Bad Thing. It's a just modest service that has merits on its own!

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"Freeware developers are motivated, I hope, simply by sharing their work freely with others"Exactly!!!--I'm even fine with FSPlanet hosting my software, as long as there is no cost to anyone downloading it. But when sites introduce costs for end-users, it causes two issues--one, it violates our intentions, and it makes the end-user believe there is a cost associated with freeware--and sometimes expect support in proportion to the cost.-John

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>My posting was only referring to the re-packaging of freeware >to save somebody else the trouble finding & downloading it. >It's astounding to me that anyone perceives that as a Bad >Thing. It's a just modest service that has merits on its >own! Alright, let's say you put out a great freeware panel. A month later, you find out that somebody in Brazil is packaging, selling and profiting from your work. You can now either (1) Wish this person in Brazil well and hope that he makes a lot of money off of your 100's of hours of work or (2) Sue this person in Brazil for the portion of profit stemming from your work or finally (3) Get PO'd and decide that in the future, you are just not going to share any more of your work with the community.Most likely, choice (3) is the easiest and most logical choice to be made by most developers who get burned like this. This is why most people here are quite opposed to the packaging and sale of freeware products. You need to consider the further consequences of such actions rather than just the apparent immediate convenience of what they are doing.

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>Freeware developers are motivated, I hope, simply by sharing >their work freely with others. If they thought 1) that their >contribution of a single freeware model was that valuable, >and 2) they actually cared that someone else would make >money off it instead of themselves making the money, then >they wouldn't have released it as freeware in the first >place.Hardly. I get so annoyed by this "It's free and therefore of no value" stuff. People are motivated to make things for many reasons. One is love of the hobby. When someone comes along and profits from that work, then the original author is guaranteed to get seriously, and justifiably, upset. Why is it okay to steal someone's work if they, themselves, do not charge for it, but not okay if they do? You yourself make this exact comparison later (and I will address that).An author, whether charging or not, has the right to decide how his/her material is distributed. That author also has the right to not have others profit from their work.Whether or not it's freeware is totally irrelevant. And for you to say that "if they didn't want someone to make money from it they wouldn't have released it as freeware," is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. These are the words of a pirate.>I create "levels" (missions) for another game I play & I >release them as freeware. Why? Because I want other people >to enjoy what I created & have no interest in profiting >from, which is a pretty rational mind-set because there >really isn't any meaningful profit to be had. I have a great >job & none of my fantasies involve making a couple of >thousand dollars from pressing a few hundred CDs for sale. >Anyone less fortunate who wants to include my level on a CD >pressed for resale is welcome to do it.Good for you. And I bet in your copyright statement it says: "This is Public Domain. By all means, please take my hours of work and make money from it. It's permitted." Most people do not have that statement. They have: "It is NOT permitted to copy, sell, or distribute this material for profit by any means, and it is NOT permitted to upload or distribute this material to any other site, or form of distribution, other than those to which I have distributed it."And Now To The Point>Also some of the stuff they are selling is payware... >>Well that's clearly theft & is wrong, wrong, wrong. My >posting was only referring to the re-packaging of freeware >to save somebody else the trouble finding & downloading it. >It's astounding to me that anyone perceives that as a Bad >Thing. It's a just modest service that has merits on its >own!Why is this different? Why is it "clearly" theft if someone charges for it and it's stolen, but it's NOT theft is someone does NOT charge for it and it's stolen?The reason people have to hunt down and find freeware is because the person hunting for it has no clue what they're doing.How is it more difficult to hunt down a few good aircraft for FREE, than to hunt down a FOR PAY CD? And when I've paid, do I get my money back from the author of the aircraft when it sucks, or doesn't contain all the files it should to work (which would clearly have been mentioned in the now missing READ-ME file)? Do I write to the pirates? Are they going to fix it?No.That's why there are copyright laws.If someone steals my works, and I am suddenly deluged by hundreds of irritated e-mails complaining about something wrong or missing and they want their money back, what do you suppose I'm going to do? I am going to tell the people that the software is FREELY available at the APPROVED site(s), they were ripped, and go to hell.Then I am promptly going to STOP making ANYTHING for ANYONE.This is EXACTLY what has happened in the flight simming world. It's why there are precious few freeware developers (if any) left. And those that were freeware authors got so fed up with it, they became payware authors, so people like you would say how wrong it is to NOW steal their exact same work. Because you saw absolutely nothing wrong with it before.It is this attitude that is killing this hobby.Thanks a lot.

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That is an excellent post. Even I with my very limited intelligence understand what is the upset here now. To be honest I didn't quite get it before.Just my thoughts.Alex

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>An author, whether charging or not, has the right to >decide how his/her material is distributed. That author >also has the right to not have others profit from >their work. >Correct. The author keeps ALL rights to his work unless he specifically states he voids those rights.If an author decides his work can only be distributed directly from him (whether through a website or some other means) that's his right and should be respected.>Whether or not it's freeware is totally irrelevant. And for >you to say that "if they didn't want someone to make >money from it they wouldn't have released it as >freeware," is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. >These are the words of a pirate. >Except that a pirate doesn't care a rats ##### what price if any was charged for the original. Pirates rarely even look at the place where the original is available, so they don't know the price (except the person first ripping it, of course).>>The reason people have to hunt down and find freeware is >because the person hunting for it has no clue what they're >doing. >Plus, in the specific case of FS aircraft, an airline or other trademark holder might come after the original author if they find his work on a CD or website where it is sold for money. Many airlines allow use of their logos etc. only when no money is made from it or specific permission is granted on a case by case basis.I think everyone remembers the AA problems last year...>If someone steals my works, and I am suddenly deluged by >hundreds of irritated e-mails complaining about something >wrong or missing and they want their money back, what do you >suppose I'm going to do? I am going to tell the people that >the software is FREELY available at the APPROVED site(s), >they were ripped, and go to hell. >That's exactly what payware authors are already doing, as it's all they can do.In some cases they might actually be supporting the pirates' customers in the hope that next time those people might actually buy from them instead of the pirates but that's probably a loosing proposition as most pirate customers are lowlifes themselves.A final word.It's called copyright spelled copy-right.It provides the holder (author or those (s)he has relinquished that right to) the sole right to copy the work and allow for others to copy it for their use.Once that system (and it is approaching that point quickly) becomes untennable, ALL production of intellectual property will stop.That does not only include freeware software, but also commercial software, movies, music, books, etc.

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There is one other reason why authors will specifically state that a copyright is in effect. That is because in most cases they themselves have utilized at least one product / program, whether freeware, shareware or commercial which is itself protected, as an aid during the course of their creation. The sale of that creation, no matter by whom, nor for what value, would constitute direct violation of the copyright of the owner of the helper program.I am both bemused and perplexed as to why folks can not, or perhaps will not, accept a copyright statement at face value; it is placed there for a definite and legal purpose.....period.

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Barney,Thanks for reminding me of the tools EULA. For some reason that completely slipped my mind.Yes, most EULA's of development tools, whether it be panel design, scenery design, or whatever, requires a separate commercial license if the end user sells the material produced with that tool.Good point!

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ARGHH!!!!This subject is really growing monotonous. Folks come into the forums of this and other sites and bemoan the pirates and their dastardly acts. As if that can make a difference? Nope, the pirates are already counting the money they make off the hobby's freeware authors. It is the responsibilty of the authors to stiputate WHAT can be done with their creations, and by whom.Case in point: The Cessna 150H recently released by GForce Team. In their readme they clearly stipulate that their creation is to be hosted by three sites; Flightsim, Avsim, and Simviation. Have you seen the file at any other site? I haven't. Not Ferdy's, not Miller's, not any other site. And the authors clearly state in their copyright notice that no money can be made from their creation (though I would have worded the copyright differently to try to cover as many loopholes as possible).It is long past time for authors to take a proactive stance on protecting their copy rights. Getting upset with the pirates AFTER they steal is futile. I've long since typed my fingers blue with suggestions, so I'll only say this to the hobby's authors: Take charge, be responsible for protecting your rights as best you can, and stand firm about who can and cannot host your creations.The pirates are stealing only because it is made so easy. Don't make it easy.And a final word to "Zapped". With your attitude about people's copy rights, don't be surprised to read in any number of readme copyright notices that you are excluded from use.OK, my rant is done... now I feel better.Regards,

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"It is long past time for authors to take a proactive stance on protecting their copy rights."From what you say, one can jump to the conclusion that freeware authors need to hire attorneys, and spend hours researching every "if, and or but" prior to releasing the fruits of their labor. If that's what people truly believe, then freeware is at risk. When users would rather say "quit whining" and pander to the pirate's agenda, why in the heck would we want to put out work? Actually in my case, the answer is I put out work in spite of people with such opinions, in favor of the ones who simply drop me a line from time to time asking how I'm doing....But others with less energy to deal with such attitudes will drop away from freeware. It's up to the community to protect freeware if they truly want it, because as individuals, we simply do not have time to spend hours on license agreements and investigations that won't protect us from offshore pirate sites anyway. And that's what this thread was about. I can't understand why that is of such concern for you. It is because of the offshore sites that I appreciate threads like this one..... Part of the community doing what we can't do alone as individuals....

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Hi John,Perhaps I'm reading your reply incorrectly, but to say I "pander to the pirates agenda" is wrong. Do a search here for SoarPics, and you'll see just how wrong you are.The purpose of my previous post was to put the onus where it must begin: The authors. How can the community protect the authors when they fail to do all that they can (in the form of a firm and well thought out copyright notice) to protect themselves? It doesn't take an attorney to create just such a notice.A good place to start... let's stop calling it "freeware". The pirates see this as a license to steal. They believe that since the author clearly said it is free, then anybody can do anything with it that they please.John, your posts are usually well thought out and to the point. Your reply to my previous post was to the point... I'm not interested in any form of argument. Just reasoned solutions.Surely those of us who do indeed care about copyrights can come up with a copyright notice better than what is being used within this hobby now.I await your ideas. Hell, I'm waiting for any ideas!!!Regards,

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Another big problem is the continued piracy of payware music and the recording industry or government failure to stop it. How can a group of flight simulation enthusiasts stop what the billion dollar recording industry can't? I've heard the problem talked about too much, and the solution talked about too little; support the internet tax now! Until there is enough interest, lobbying, and money the pirates will continue to sail on the high seas.

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Greg,Please forgive me, but it is NOT the authors responsibility to make sure their material isn't stolen. Authors have and DO stipulate where files are to be found, how they are to be distributed, and where files can and cannot be used.Pirates couldn't give a flying rat's ass about copyright notices and stipulations.Yes, there are many, many files on Ferdy's system, and other places, with the stipulation STRIPPED OUT. Ask Anniette. There are at least a dozen unauthorized sites with her repaints that were stolen from AVSIM.There are hundreds of other files where the author stipulates that they cannot be used for commercial uses, and list all the rights and locations of the files.And yet, there they are - on the pirates sites and on the pirates FOR PAY CD's.To say that putting the words "Do not steal this. It is for AVSIM only" will stop the pilfering of files is ludicrous, if not totally naive.And I know you are not naive, nor do you support pirating of anything.It's just an odd statement, in eggect: "It is the author's responsibility to make sure their work isn't stolen"."It is the responsibility of the authors to stipulate WHAT can be done with their creations, and by whom."Yes, and that's EXACTLY what's in most copyright notices. And yet, that doesn't appear to have stopped the files being bagged. The swag doesn't stop with a few words, only if people stop purchasing the stolen materials, or stop going to sites, like FSPLANET.COM where files are known to be stolen.Good rule of thumb: If it's a "compilation", there is no doubt it's stolen material. If copyright and info readme's are way later than the file dates, good bet it's stolen. If there is no copyright or info docs, good bet it's stolen. If you write to the site and ask where they got a file and they say it's theirs or someone uploaded it to them, have them send you the source for it, or tell you exactly what tools were used. Then have them show you the commercial license for those tools. Bet you never hear from them again.So to say it's the author's fault is, well, silly.

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I agree the copyright notice issue needs to be addressed. But my interest in these threads is for the information I like finding on this site. I don't have time to find these pirate sites--I would have never known about the site posted in the lead post had it gone unpublished. To such offshore sites, copyright notices are meaningless. The only way to stop those pirates is to educate the community in threads like this--that's why your response surprised me. There are really two separate issues in play--how to design a copyright notice which will work with 99 pct of the "law fearing" sites, and how to educate people about rogue offshore pirate sites.My copyright notices are pretty broad. I mentioned in an earlier post I am even comfortable with FSPlanet hosting my freeware, as long as people can access the files without paying. Periodically, I check FSPlanet for my work (never found it) and to see if I can download friends or peers files freely. So far, their files are about as easy to access as flightsim.com's. Oddly enough, of the sites which asked permission to host my files (which I don't require in the license), all have been offshore. How's that for irony!Generally, I agree with "zapped" about one thing. If a site offers our software or work freely, then by the very term freeware, we shouldn't stand in the way of such sites. I agree that authors who have issues with that need to either call it something different, or offer exclusive, site specific licenses. For many reasons, Avsim is the only site I upload to now. Autoland 2002, my most recent proggie, was uploaded only here. But I released it so people could have access to it, and I hope in a year or two I see it at several sites--as long as none of them are fleecing the public with "non-profit" scams.One last issue, and it relates to the recent issues with Simubuild and copyright law. Even if an author doesn't restrict distribution through a license, they still own copyright in their work, and if circumstances dictate, they have a right to ask a hosting site to cease and desist. I can't recall the product, but I remember something went on the market a few years back, and stores were instructed to pull the item for one reason or another. Even if an item is freeware, the author owns it, and can decide if the product lives or dies. Whether others listen, that's another story, and it's up to the freeware owner to determine what action to take.

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Hi Scott,"So to say it's the author's fault is, well, silly."I didn't say it was the author's fault when a thief steals from him/her. Again, my point is that authors need to do more than simply offer their creations as "freeware" with one or two stipulations.And you're right about me not being naive. I've had my share of copyright grief concerning my photography. That grief has cost me money. My experiences allow me to foresee the damage that can be inflicted upon this hobby by the pirates who take advantage of its addon authors. And with each passing day there seems to be more and more pirates. The time to act is NOW. Clearly, a copyright notice is like a lock... and a lock only keeps an honest man honest. No copyright notice will stop all the thieves all the time. But there must be a place to start, a common ground that all authors share in the form of a copyright notice.Let's stop the wrangling here, and start coming up with solutions that MIGHT make a difference. It won't cost anything to try.And John, I agree with your point about educating folks (especially the newest members of the community). I've posted warnings before about the pirates, at this site and others. I'd like to think some have heeded those warnings.Regards,

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Greg,I agree. There must be some new way to keep pirates from gaining access to these files.The easiest way I can think of is to password protect zip files. Again, this only helps to some extent, but at least will make it slightly more difficult or time-consuming for the Ferdy's of the world to cop things.I am thinking of a method like this: Authorized sites have a list of passwords for each file in a DB. When someone DL's a file, they have to send an e-mail to the site or author to get the password.The problem with this method is the time to implement an automated DB system, or even worse, a manual system, to get the password. And since Ferdy got files with the current protection system AVSIM has, and AVSIM has already tracked all the piracy to Ferdy anyway, this probably won't do anything.So that leaves the same kind of systems that commercial vendors use, only you don't pay anything.It's a difficult matter, and I have no easy solution without securing a site completely, which is more than likely where it's headed. This may not be a problem, or it may be, or it may do nothing.Whatever the solution, pirates will always gain access, and freeware developers will quit, and commercial developers will go out of business or quit as well.And it's a real shame.I think AVSIM should bring this subject up prominently at the conference in September. And if I know Tom, it will be. Right Tom? ;-)

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So, unless authors make it technically impossible to pirate their work it is OK to pirate it?That's what you're saying here, and that's one of the oldest excuses pirates have ever used.I wonder who will come up with the "if it's online it's supposed to be free and I'm only punishing corporations for abusing the internet to make money" line which is also used quite often and is just as ridiculous.

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Yes, authors have to take action beyond including a copyright statement. At least in the US, copyrights and patents are but a tool for enforcement. They don't mean much unless the copyright or patent holder enforces them. In fact, with regard to patents, if you don't make good faith efforts to enforce them against infringers, you may lose their protection (apparently courts don't like passive patent holders).But, alas, it's quite a chore to keep abreast of infringers especially in a global marketplace. Only as a unified community, with its many eyes and ears, can it be possible.

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