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Guest IanP

A Possible Add-on for the Avsim Store?

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Didn't know who to approach on this, so I'll give this forum a try.Is there any possibility that the Avsim store would be willing to take orders for and distribute freeware scenery sets for Fly!II if customers covered all of your costs?One of the great things we have going in Fly!II is Todd Klaus' TerraScene program. The sceneries generated are quite beautiful and very realistic - the problem is their excessive size. If those of us who were creating these sceneries were to upload them (complete) to the Avsim File Library, each global tile of scenery would average 390 MB! To get around this, most TerraScene sceneries have been uploaded as project packs (averaging 80 MB). The end-user has downloaded these, then used TerraScene to render the finished scenery. This works well enough for broadband users, but is very hard on dial-ups. For those outside of the U.S., it is especially difficult.What I am proposing is this:TerraScene creators like myself would create finished sceneries sets on CD and DVD. These would be shipped to you at no charge, where the Avsim store would then copy and package, list and distribute the packages when ordered online. You would charge an appropriate amount to cover all of your costs for this (including shipping , of course), yet provide a way for large scenery sets to be ordered and distributed around the world to Fly! users. I have corresponded with TerraScene's creator about this, and he is open to the prospect.Any possibilities?

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Given that the Avsim store is a business, not a charitable or not-for-profit undertaking, it seems a bit much to ask them to work for free. A business does not seek merely to cover its costs...it exists to make a profit. Therein generally lies the rub in asking a for-profit entity to distribute a freeware product...the distributor makes money, as is its right and raison d'etre--and the freeware author does not. Such arrangements are awkward at best, and where tried usually do not last.In other words, you're asking Marty to do a heck of a lot of work for you...at cost. He'd be crazy to sign up to that.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V

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Bob,I'm not expecting that Avsim would do this "even-steven" - sorry for any misunderstanding. Yes, the creator would not make anything - I don't make anything now and that's fine, but some persons have trouble downloading the packages and they're too big to put online in finished form.Avsim could help us distribute the packages and charge appropriately to not only cover all of their costs, but make a profit. Providing distribution through the site store (and packaging) would certainly incur costs and time - they should be compensated for both and it needs to be worth their while. Whatever they would deem as an appropriate margin would need to be added onto the price - the income would be another support source for Avsim.It is a difficult thing, handling freeware mixed with paid distribution, but if I were to take orders personally, burn disks, receive compensation for materials and shipping, etc., the time alone is something I just couldn't provide. Those who have a decent online pipe would be able to continue as before - download the rendering packs from the File Library at no charge. Those who don't have good access (or don't want to render the scenery), would simply order the disks through the store and pay for that privilege.I get offers all the time from people, pleading for a copy that could be mailed with promises of payment for costs. I've handled a few of them (overseas, etc.), but the logistics would get out of hand pretty quickly if I made it a habit. I'm looking for a win-win solution - don't know if one exists.

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As has already been mentioned, there are severe risks in mixing freeare and commercial distribution, but there is nothing stopping a commercial organisation legally distributing others' work for cost-plus-a-bit with the authors' written permission. A precedent for this would be the CDs being distributed for MS Train Simulator by many sites, to cover add-ons which are several hundred megabytes in size and impractical for most people to download. One site that I know of, which operates a two-tier (free and pay) access system alongside a commercial store, offers everyone who purchases a CD from them a month's free 'premier' access to the site. Obviously Avsim can't do that, but the TS site in question has many authors more than willing to distribute their work that way and, from what I have seen, it works well. The authors receive no compensation that I am aware of from the site for each CD sold, but the income to the owners obviously helps keep the site functining to keep the free downloads side of the site available as well.Ian Pearson.

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Addition: I now understand that the site does indeed give the authors something back - one month's free 'premier' access per number of CDs sold.Ian P.

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