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Guest pagotan

Anything to worry about?

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Guest pagotan

Hi,Can some one from Damian team comment on the following: Today on the front page of AVSIM there is an announcement from a would-be competitor of ActiveSky. When going to its web page it says in substance that the release of an upgrade has been delayed pending an authorisation from Noaa. It even quotes an isolated sentence of Noaa's terms and conditions about public usage of Noaa's datas.Is there here something ActiveSky users should worry about? or is this a storm in a tea cup generated for publicity purpose or other hidden motives? Have ActiveSky developpers taken legal advices on that issue?I remember a couple of days a thread here with some kind of threats on that specific issue, well conutered by Damian at that time. Any connection?Would be interesting to hear Damian's views on this issueMichael

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Guest mmcevilley

>Hi,>>Can some one from Damian team comment on the following: Today>on the front page of AVSIM there is an announcement from a>would-be competitor of ActiveSky. When going to its web page>it says in substance that the release of an upgrade has been>delayed pending an authorisation from Noaa. It even quotes an>isolated sentence of Noaa's terms and conditions about public>usage of Noaa's datas.>Note that the NOAA statement does not establish terms and conditions about usage - it addresses the placement of "copyrights" on the NOAA information. Here is the quoted material:"The following is a listing of the law governing such act: As required by 17 U.S.C. 403, third parties producing copyrighted works consisting predominantly of the material appearing in NWS Web pages must provide notice with such work(s) identifying the NWS material incorporated and stating that such material is not subject to copyright protection."Also, from the National Weather Service (NWS) site FAQ:Q23. I sometimes see non-governmental organizations use National Weather Service text forecasts verbatim but never mention the source of the data -- some put their own copyright on the material. Is it permissible to do this? A23. The National Weather Service encourages all dissemination sources to provide attribution for NWS forecasts and warnings. The only companies REQUIRED to provide this attribution are ones that connect DIRECTLY to the NWS Family of Services and pay a fee for this service. No one can claim copyright on government material if that material is delivered/broadcast/disseminated just as it was transmitted from the government. If a company adds value (graphics etc.) or creates a unique display, then the resultant product may in some cases be copyrightable. This must be determined on a case-by-case basis through application of U.S. copyright law. ==========First: 17 U.S.C. 403 specifically discusses the generation of copyrighted works based predominantly on information "appearing" on NOAA/NWS web pages. The NWS/NOAA do a lot more than provide weather forecasts. So, with all things considered, the real concern is not downloading information - the concern is in putting a copyright on a product that has "predominant dependence" on information obtained from NOAA without appropriate disclaimers and credit regarding the *source* of the information.Second: The FAQ answer to question Q23 supports the 17 U.S.C 403 statement in regards to the "placement of copyrights" on weather forecasts obtained from NWS/NOAA. So long as a third party is not placing a copyright on the "information" obtained from the NWS/NOAA - I fail to see where there is a problem.Finally (and I did not post this), the PRIVACY information on the NWS/NOAA site states mentions that all access is monitored and information is collected as a means to ensure that users are not trying it *upload* information or to adversely affect the ability of the weather servers to disseminate information. Again - nothing there about restricting downloading of information or the use of downloaded information.My disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. ;-)-michael

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Michael,This is all a bunch of bull created by "DeseretRat". NOAA has never been contacted by this fella and they have never contacted me. My legal associates have looked into this and there is nothing illegal going on - DeseretRat is basically making false statements in order to hurt the reputation of ActiveSky, HiFi Simulation Software, and myself. He has been doing this for over a year now (using other aliases as well which have been banned from AVSIM). I have always guessed that this person is a friend of a competitor who is upset at the growing competition in this market. FWIW, any effort to shut down wxRE will shut down EVERY AND ALL weather service that accesses data the same way. This includes all of the competition (except one). This simply won't happen - don't worry. It is interesting though, and does provide insight into who is responsible for this and why they are doing it.Any money or effort spent on official legal action against our good buddy "DeseretRat" and his friends will simply help their cause. I am done making the mistake of addressing his "lies" and wasting time. On a good note, I happen to have a friend who just became an official lawyer and wants to see this guy pay for his indescretion - for free :) So he'll be busy identifying and potentially making a legal case against him without any sweat off our back. Even if no action is made, I should be able to publically identify the people behind this.In my 6+ years of add-on development and 15 years of business administration I have never seen anything like this. And I thought that the flight sim crowd was all nice folks. Apparently we have some real "sick" individuals in our community as well.Sorry everyone for the nonsense..-Damian[table border=0" cellspacing="30" cellpadding="0][tr][td align = "left"]Damian ClarkHiFi Simulation SoftwareDeveloper of ActiveSkyThe next-generation weather environment simulation for FS2002!http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky[/td][td]http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg][/td][/tr][/table://http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/ima...[/tr][/table

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Frankly, FS2002 users probably constitute such a tiny fraction of NOAA server traffic that this whole matter is simply good for laugh only. Who knows, maybe NOAA bosses would even be flattered to learn that someone came up with such creative use of their data ...Michael J.

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Guest mmcevilley

>My legal associates have looked into this and>there is nothing illegal going onGood to have the offical confirmation!In all my attempts at 'creatively' reading the official NOAA information, I could not see any angle that would pose a problem for what ActiveSky is doing.-michael

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Guest pagotan

HI Damian,I was also thinking this whole story came or was orchestred by this guy. Anyway, I am glad your legal associates made their homework. Thanks clarifying the situation and rest assured that the vast majority of flight simmers is still a bunch of nice folks. Michael

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As far as I know, Active Sky WXRE (Hi-Fi-Sim) does not read and regurgitate data from its own servers based on NOAA original material. HFS sells you the tool to read NOAA data and you are paying for the tool, not the data.I am familiar with some meteorology data companies that capture NOAA data and resell it after massaging it and turning it in to a proprietary format. This whole use business may eventually turn into a problem or licensing issue for them since the user is paying for data (periodicly), not just the application.There is also the issue of the Freedom of Information act which I think makes the requirement that government collected data not sensitive in the sense of security be made publicly available. I don't know about METARS, but there is a heck of a lot of data publicly broadcast off the GOES satellite structure (which format again is soon changing).

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