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What is the copyright for?

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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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