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Mike_CFII_MEL

Flightsim Software Protection Schemes

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Hello,Am I the only one who believes the protection schemes being utilized by third party add-on companies are out of control. I cannot believe the hoops I am now in the process of jumping through with

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>>I cannot believe the hoops I am now in the process of jumping through with

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Hi Jeff,I am unable to Re-Activate the software. I just spent over $5,000.00 rebuilding a new computer just for flightsim. It states in Cloud9's manual as well as on their forum to contact sales. I contacted sales and provided them with all my purchase information, Cloud9's sales staff told me what the problem was (to many activations) and referred me to their manual.As I said, the manual states to contact sales. Ever here of that song

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Hi Jeff,I must of missed the my signature part of your statement. I will no longer purchase from them, but I do not believe that this one incident would justify me adding them to my sig. That dishonor is left to repeat offenders.

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I have several Cloud9 airports for FS9 (KLAX, KDCA, EHAM, LIPZ). I purchased them last Christmas when they had a sale. Since then I've reinstalled them a couple of times with no problems (but it was on the same computer).I remember last year Aerosoft ditched the online activation process for their products and now just use an offline email+serial key protection. All new Aerosoft products feature this, and if you purchased any older products with the older online activation, they now provide new installers and serial numbers in every customer's account. As far as I'm concerned that is a big step in the right direction!I'd really be interested to know what made them get rid of the old online activation and go for a system that (on the face of it) is far less secure. I wonder if this has resulted in a drop in sales? I'm also curious why Carenado has no security at all with their installers, and if they think this affects their sales.I still think the best system is the Flight 1 Wrapper. I have purchased many products through this system, and had many reinstalls. The system has worked flawlessly, and the F1 customer support was good enough to chance the email address on over a dozen orders when I had to change ISPs about 18 months ago!

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Mike, please let us know how they handled your issue when you finally get it resolved.And EngineRoom, F1 wrapper system is for the most part pretty good, but it does have its issues as well. For instance one problem that I have with it is the fact that you have to enter the last four of your credit caard when reinstalling something, as an example I purchased the ATR when it first came out years ago, and since then I've gone through about ten different cards, and what do you do with credit cards when their expired or the account has been cancelled, you cut them up into little pieces and throw them out, so needless to say I have the hardest time remembering which card I''ve used for which addon, and by the time I figure it out I've used all my reinstall attempts and have to go to their website and have them reset it, it's been a source of great frustration in the past after reformats and reinstalls and new hardrives and new computers.Jeff

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Hi Jeff,Flight1 now gives you the last four digits of the Credit Card used for a particular purchase when you request an order number retrieval.I agree, the Flight1 wrapper is by FAR the best system I've seen in use for third party add-ons.

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Extreme copy protection methods most likely push some normally honest people to find "other methods" in order to use software that they have legally purchased without a major hassle. Email addresses change, credit cards are changed or done away with as was stated above. There is no 100% secure system. Even the Flight1 wrapper has been cracked.The stricter the copy protection is, the more of a challenge it is for certain parties to try and get around it, and they always will. Strict copy protection hurts the honest users more than the dishonest.It's been this way since the dawn of computing, and it ain't gonna change anytime soon.

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The simplest solution is to join the pirates and use the cracked copy. There, I've said it. Let the flames begin.But wait. The USE of that software doesn't make YOU a pirate - You've paid for the software, you haven't breached the Terms and Conditions, so why make things difficult for yourself? It should be the developers inconvenience, not the customers when all you want to do is use the licence you acquired! So all you've done is save them all the trouble of having to reactivate and send you emails or query your dogs name or whatever glib feeling of empowerment they want to lord over you - like your current email address. Why should I give a developer of a product I purchased two years ago my current e-mail address? None of their goshdarn business.My accommodation of protection goes so far and no farther. While I understand and applaud the principle of keeping pirates out of the hobby, when I see pirates sharing these files freely and without prosecution, it makes me think that I'm the one being treated as guilty until proven innocent, because we're the soft target. So, when was the last time a software pirate in the FS world was actually prosecuted..? So what is the point of the protection?When it fails to protect the developers primary rights, and they themselves fail to protect themselves by pursuing the pirates with the utmost vigour, why should we even care? But when their hoops provide a physical impediment to enjoying the purchase legitimately made, then why should we suffer? Allcott

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My "buddy" is a pirate's pirate. He steals everything, mostly movies, hundreds of them in full DVD quality. His explanation for the hoops we must jump through to get legit products, hoops the pirates like him laugh at, is that the companies know the pirates break the protection on day one, it's not there to stop them, it's there to stop the people who don't yet know that products like that can be pirated. In other words, it's an illusion to try to keep the honest, honest.For my part, I've never had a problem either downloading purchased software or re-installing it. It's the quality and price that get to me sometimes.

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Hello,Well, I'm working with Cloud9 (Mario Arillo & Elio Brambilla) to get these addons back online. It should be another 15 minutes.I'll know by 0900 hours.

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I think the reason behind Aerosoft's lifting of their security measures was due to a few things:1) It costs them money to host services ( online activation requires servers, software, etc ).2) The honest customers will remain the honest customers. Those of us that purchased items legitimately will continue to do so.3) It was a hassle for the legitimate customer sometimes.I definitely support and furthermore applaud their effort in this area. I honestly don't think they will lose any sales. As I said, the ones that were honest before will remain honest.Now, concerning Flight1. The _ONLY_ bad part about Flight1 is that it stores .LIC files in the C:WINDOWS directory. When you reinstall your operating system and forget to grab those files ( assuming you have a setup like mine where your C drive ( where you keep OS ) is separate from your games/data ) then you have to reinstall everything.I have well over a thousand US dollars worth of add-ons ( easily, in fact, I don't really wanna add it up, will probably cry :( ) and for me to install everything will eat up the better part of a weekend.When it comes to the passwords and such for the Flight1 wrapper, that's really not a big deal since they let you retrieve all passwords/order numbers in a single email on their service page.

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That would be fine Jeff, if it was only one wrapper system we were talking about. But look at it - 101 variations on a theme. NONE of them are actually secure. ALL of them inconvenience the genuine customer to a greater or lesser extent, while doing nothing to curtail piracy.If the system were always the same that would be fine, but we don't just have Flight One wrappers (Solution: ALWAYS reinstall from the red wrapper. ALWAYS back up copies of the .key file, the four-digit code as an empty .txt file with the file name as the code, and the proof of purchase. With those you can reinstall, reactivate or get a new key file, and they are just small files so you can keep them on a floppy, if anyone remembers them).No, it's the fact that I have to remember to save the installer for this addon, the installer plus a key file for [/i]that[/i], my email activation code for another. Then, some developers want a current e-mail address to reactivate old product, others won't help unless you provide the proof of purchase number or somesuch, and then there are those that either never reply at all, or reply accusing you of piracy and basically telling you to go to Hellcat, but without the pussy.And through all this the pirates are still downloading, installing and using the same software, unchallenged, unlocked, unrepentant. At the end of the day, unless the threat to these types is real, unless action is actually taken, why bother with any kind of protection at all? Or, as a legitimate customer, circumvent that protection with a clear conscience. There has to be a balance between the commercial needs of the developer and the convenience of the real customer, and right now that balance is ludicrously biased toward the developer.Allcott

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