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The MAAM vs RCS "Statement"

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I just read over the Avsim-hosted statement "RCS PANELS B-25 IS A PIRATED WORK - THE EVIDENCE", and I am alarmed that Avsim has allowed themselves to become involved in this dispute by hosting Mr. Strine's "Statement" in its entirety... which is much, much more than just a statement. It is clearly a presentation of a "case", intended to elevate MAAM's position in the matter. "Evidence" is intended for use in a court and Avsim is not a court. Moreover, I feel that these types of disputes have no business being aired in full public view to begin with. It is unprofessional. It is dirty laundry. It is none of our business. I respectfully hope that in the future, Avsim will demonstrate much more restraint with regard to how their resources are used. I'd simply like to be assured that anything I read on Avsim.com is reliable fact, presented by those who have no vested interest in any particular issue. Lastly, I'd like to make it clear that I, Rob Balser, am in no way associated with, or even know, any of the individuals mentioned.

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I don't believe that either conducting a catfight like this in plain view of the sim community, or facilitating it, as avsim has done here, is in the best interests of either party, the community, or the sim add-on "industry" such as it is.This isn't a simple case of "Festus took my panel and copied it as his own." Given that both teams initially worked together on this, I would fully expect that the "children" from this unhappy broken marriage would still look somewhat the same. There are sticky issues I can't answer here...how much do you have to change a bitmap before it ceases being the original work...what legal claims can the owner of an airplane claim on images of his airplane taken with or without his permission...etc. Ultimately, I have no interest in wading through this morass to figure out "who shot Willy." This sounds much less like a "piracy" issue and more like a breach of contract or a broken gentleman's agreement, or something else that I have no interest in getting into. MAAM and RCS can duke it out in court and let us know what the court decided.This "press release" reminds me of the "My wife slept with Bubba and now she stole my pickup truck" postings you might read in the personals here in Alabama. Maybe it made Billy-Joe feel better to air the dirty laundry in his broken marriage, but it didn't do anything but harm his own reputation in the long run. I feel the same about MAAM vis-a-vis this press release.Bob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VRobert Kirkland wrote:>AVSIM has published a press release by MAAM as a news article>and we would do the same with one from RCS, nothing more and>nothing less .It is news whether we like it or not

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"I don't believe that either conducting a catfight like this in plain view of the sim community, or facilitating it, as avsim has done here, is in the best interests of either party, the community, or the sim add-on "industry" such as it is."Speaking strictly for myself and not for the rest of the AVSIM Editorial Team, I would say that your use of the word "catfight" is pretty dimissive of the situation. Were these two parties as you characterize it; "Festus took my panel and copied it as his own", then I would agree with you, it would not deserve the attention that it has received. Believe me... we deal with the "Festus took my panel and copied it as his own" type of allegations daily... The fact of the matter is that the two parties involved in this are fairly substantive members of the flight simulation community. Setting aside the rumors, accusations and counter-accusations that have been floating about in the community for the past week or so, the stature alone of MAAM-Sim and Russ Strine deserved publication of that release. Add to that the rumors, accusations, etc., and that provided even more impetus for its publication. AVSIM was provided it; we published it. As we would RCS Panels rebuttal were we to be sent it.As for "facilitating" a "catfight", I have to take issue with that too. Were we to have editorialized on the press release, I might agree with your use of the word "facilitate". But, given that we have not editorialized on the subject, "facilitate" puts onus on AVSIM where it does not belong. As was said; the Strine Press Release is news, and we published it.

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I don't want to bicker this down to infinite points, but I do have a few thoughts on what has been said so far:A "news" statement does not give a full single-sided dissertation of all facts, as was done here.Robert Kirkland wrote: "AVSIM has published a press release by MAAM as a news article.."A "news article" is never written by those directly involved.. plain and simple.Avsim is responsible for anything and everything they publish. If it is found to be false, then Avsim themselves can be found at fault.If Avsim had simply posted a link to Mr. Stine's document, hosted on his own server, advising all of us that the document existed, it would have made it "news" and I would not have taken issue with Avsim's actions in any way. Alerting us to the document would have been the news, not the case presentation itself.Tom Allensworth wrote: "The fact of the matter is that the two parties involved in this are fairly substantive members of the flight simulation community." Tom's words spell out exactly why this whole thing should have been dealt with in a quiet and professional manner. And it is exactly why Avsim should want to distance themselves from it as far as possible, let alone hosting it on their own servers - which again, puts Avsim at risk in a number of ways.Lastly, I must apologize for my nit-picking of the finer points. However, these fine points are the very things that will maintain Avsim's neutrality, integrity, and reader trust.

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>Speaking strictly for myself...I would say that your use of the word>"catfight" is pretty dimissive (sic) of the situation. No, I disagree. It's not dimissive, it's colorfully descriptive. The stature if the two parties notwithstanding, it's still a "he said-she said" running gunbattle being conducted on our virtual streetcorner, as it were. I'm certain that MAAM-SIM feels they have a legitimate grievance, as I am certain the RCS Panels feels they do not. But why does the argument have to play out in public, when it seems apparent that nothing short of a court decision will decide who (if anyone) is on the high ground here?>As for "facilitating" a "catfight", I have to take issue with>that too. Were we to have editorialized on the press release,>I might agree with your use of the word "facilitate". But,>given that we have not editorialized on the subject,>"facilitate" puts onus on AVSIM where it does not belong. As>was said; the Strine Press Release is news, and we published>it.The National Enquirer and other tabloids publish lots of crazy stuff that other people say. The Enquirer, by publishing a story that says Elizabeth Taylor is alien offspring, for example, certainly does act to facilitate the dissemination of such nonsense, regardless of whether they make an editorial comment on it or not. The fact that Avsim would elect to publish a Russ Strine "press release" but not one from Peter Tishma, for example, makes Avsim something more than just another bystander in these discussions. Providing front-page space on an extremely popular website certainly *is* facilitating a very public argument between these two respected parties. And for that Avsim bears some responsibility. It is certainly your right to do that, but I question whether it's right to do. I say it does more harm than good--my original point. These parties can argue amongst themselves on their own websites without Avsim creating a virtual boxing ring on one of the most public forums in the hobby.RegardsBob Scott

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One issue has not been addressed here. That is, if in fact a model rightfully owned by another has been pirated and made available to the public as freeware, are we now participating in the alleged crime by using any such downloads or repaints?Instances of such alleged piracy by other parties of lesser stature have received much more severe censure. Is it possible that we are disinclined to hold accountable people whose skills have clearly benefited flight simulation? Moreover, is it possible that some of us are prepared to leave the fight safely hidden away from the public in order to avoid admitting the possibility that we ourselves are enjoying the benefits of something that is stolen?

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Hot topic for my first posting. :)If MAAM wrote: "Roy Chaffin when he left MAAM agreed not to model a package with the materials he was working on for the Briefing time release. It is our opinion he did base the RCS B25 on the art work etcetra he worked on while doing BT. Therefore he is in breach of our agreement here's why" But they did not MAAM crossed the line and therefore I'm having trouble buying their side. In my opinion as a outsider MAAM may have circumstantial evidance of a broken agreement.But the way in wich they presented this was wrong! I've read the release several times the more I do the more it becomes clear that MAAM really does not have a case with RCS so in order to give the case more weight wrote a statement that would ensure that the flight sim community destroy's RCS panels and Roy Chaffin.I have the trial version and was considering purchasing briefing time because I felt they where a good cause. Despite likeing the RCS B25 more, actually was thinking it was the pre-view shots when changing views and the trial version script across the panel that was making me like the free B25 over BT. But I do not like the way they conduct themselves, without honor therefore I will not support them. Mr. Chaffin and the RCS panels team thanks for the plane. Until MAAM show's real solid proof without bashing without honor I'll keep flying it.

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I would not think it improper or illegal to use Roy's version..His version has, so far, not been declared by any genuine court to be stolen.. there is just an allegation - which doesn't mean squat as far as we are concerned.You know, I'm looking at this whole thing as basically just another divorce. All involved have seemingly worked hard *together* on the project, and it just seems very silly to split the "hairs".I feel that the partnership should have been dissolved properly, with each party taking home complete and functional parts of the whole. In a divorce, no one gets half of the car or half of the couch... its ridiculous. ""Is it possible that we are disinclined to hold accountable people whose skills have clearly benefited flight simulation?""Sure, some people will certainly view it that way. Especially considering Roy and his years of freeware work. I'm personally rather indifferent. My attention was drawn to this because of Avsim's, for a lack of better words, "promotion" of the fray.I don't know how many folks would like to see this go away because of personal guilt - I never downloaded any of the planes in question. Go figure...

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Frankly I'm dismayed. No-one would deny that the respective B-25s produced by MAAM-SIM and RCS-PANELS are superb pieces of work. Excellence, unfortunately, is not the exclusive domain of nice people. However, the work produced by both parties is a positive contribution to the body of resources available to us flight-simmers -let's just be grateful for that. In my opinion, disagreements between MAAM-SIM and RCS-PANELS should have been kept private. Is that not what e-mail is for? Opting for such a public reputation-trashing exercise only demonstrates the least admirable quality of those engaged in computer geekery - the complete absence of interpersonal skills! Is this not the time to call for a little dignity in these proceedings? This whole affair should be chased out the public domain. Let those involved resolve their differences in private, not flouncing around the forums in a flurry of talcum powder and a Monroe-esque pout.Although disposed to geekery myself, I reserve my nastiest traits for my private correspondence. I can heartily recommend it! Steve Flanagan:-roll

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Unfortunately, this is really not a private matter. It is a matter of public interest, as the product in question is one that is available to all who are able to download it.Legal recourses are fine and dandy to talk about, but we all know that they are difficult to pursue in a freeware/online community. If one of my creations was blatantly ripped off, I would first contact the individual in question and seek relief. If the individual in question told me to go jump off a cliff, that they didn't do anything wrong, then I would take my grievences public. So that anybody who downloads it knows exactly what they are getting.MAAM has done this exact thing and provided substantial evidence as well. Are there other issues at hand here, personal issues? Sure/Maybe, and they are not our issues. But, the knowledge that a product we have the ability to acquire contains stolen material, or material that was not authorized to be published. I admonish any who say we should not have been informed of that.Imagine a world where somebody gets their purse stolen, and when they try to scream that somebody stole their purse, the person next to them says.. "Quiet. I don't want to hear about it. Take it up with the thief personally."BAH! I am ashamed of us.

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>Imagine a world where somebody gets their purse stolen, and>when they try to scream that somebody stole their purse, the>person next to them says.. "Quiet. I don't want to hear about>it. Take it up with the thief personally."If this were only as simple as a purse-snatching.I can think of a number of more fitting analogies:You're sitting in a bar, and a long-time friend tells the bartender he's buying a round for everyone. A couple seconds later, his recently divorced ex-wife stands up, proclaims loudly across the bar that he hasn't paid his alimony this month, and the money he's buying that round with is therefore *hers*. Do you let your friend buy you a drink? I do--the rest is between he and she and the judge.You're at the county fair. A woman, who's a regular contributor to the local community, is giving away free hot dogs at a small stand. Next to her stand is a refreshment stand where her ex-husband is selling hot dogs to benefit a local museum. He comes over to the woman's stand, and begins telling her patrons that she bought the hot dogs they're eating with a joint credit card that was supposed to be closed. Do you eat a free hot dog? I do--he can deal with her about the credit card, if that's even true.In either case, I don't want the couple's unhappy situation playing out in front of me, and in both cases neither party gains a think by going public with their squabble.I'm having a hard time seeing anything like RCS "ruining" their reputation here...one doesn't generally fall into disrepute by sinking thousands of hours of work into a freeware gift to the community. There are some issues between MAAM and RCS, it would appear, but none so compelling and clear that we're all going to gasp in shock and horror and banish Roy and his team to the hinterlands, never to adorn us with free good stuff ever again. I'm going to have a drink and eat a hot dog here...the divorce court can settle the rest if MAAM and RCS can't settle their differences.Bob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V

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In this imaginary and emotive world where a purse is stolen, a more accurate analogy would be thus:Two friends each buy identical purses. At some later point in time they fall out and don't see each other. Then the first, whilst out and about, sees the other with a purse and assumes it to be her own, to the extent that that she publicly accuses the other of theft, and produces a shop receipt as evidence to prove that she had purchased just such an item.To me, this would seem to be what we have in this dispute. We have allegations and we have circumstantial evidence. We have no proof - one way or the other. We do have institutions to settle such matters, to investigate allegations, collate evidence and establish proof. There is also the right of defence, I believe. This forum is not such an institution and none of us who participate in the discussions herein has powers of judge, jury and executioner. Please do not presume that I possess the attributes of a person who would say "Quiet. I don't want to hear about it", simply for holding views different to your own.

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I would agree with this statement 0%. Mr RCS Panels seems to be verry harsh on Pirates by posting names on his web site. Im shure that those guys never got a trial so It seems to me that maybe Mr Roy Chafin does not deserve no better treatment than what he offers others. now I think MAAM-SIM speled out his Proof verry well ie. the site it is not on any other aircraft other than BT. As for keeping this private NOT A CHANCE.. Un like programers I bild things with my hands that you can hold turn over look at and I know what I made when Im looking at it. Dale

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If the woman showed me proof that he hadn't paid his alimony, and if the husband demonstrated to me that the account really should have been closed, no... I wouldn't drink and I wouldn't eat. There are no moral ambiguities about doing the right thing and furthering our personal notions of what a truly civilized society is and should be. We may disagree on what that is, but I know what I want it to be, and what I expect it to be, and will conduct myself according to those principles.I am flabbergasted that somebody can say with a straight face that there is no proof. Have you taken an even cursory glance at the images in question? *SIGH* Things do not have to go to a court of law for them to be wrong or unlawful. That is mere diatribe and skirting around the issue.

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