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Tom Allensworth

Avsim no longer respects warnings over pirated files

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Thus my decision to cease support for Landclass Assistant and all other files:______________________________If you look at the byte count and timestamp/date of the file in question, it is quite obvious the mdl file is the Meljet file. If Avsim's current policy is to not investigate such complaints unless the original owner of the file complains, then I am requesting all downloads associated with my name, John Cillis, be removed immediately. In the past Avsim has always respected these types of warnings from concerned freeware authors.Obviously Avsim's concern over this type of issue is not important any longer. Regards,John Cillis--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 13:20:51 -0700From: rcase@avsim.netTo: jcillis@hotmail.comCC: library@avsim.netSubject: Re: Download ID - 101659John:I have forwarded your email to the uploaded of the file in question. Our protest policy is to remove the file if the original owner of the file registers a complaint. I believe everyone has the right to 'face his accuser' first. I personally don't use Meljet planes and from looking at the files in the zip I don't see Meljet anywhere but that could have been changed before uploading. We will patiently await a reply from the person who's name is attached to the file.Regards,Rick CaseLibrary ManagerAVSIM Online!www.avsim.com****Please note: If responding to this message, please quote all original text for faster processing.John Cillis wrote: Just want to let you know this "original aircraft" (Rockway 777-200ER by Colin Levy) is hardly original. The model is the Meljet 777 model. No credit is given to the author for his effort on the model. Regards, John Cillis http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID...4ac&DLID=101659

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From my read of the e-mail it is under investigation. Where did you get the idea that there is a "policy" not to investigate, I see no evidence of that?Remember you are dealing with volunteers here for the most part, not the FBI and lawyers. Give it a rest for a day or two, they'll be much faster than the FBI or lawyers anyway.Edit: I appreciate your anxiety considering the issue, I'd be miffed to but I don't think you can expect instant satisfaction for your complaint.

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Thanks Nes,Avsim used to pull the files without question. In this case the evidence is pretty blatant regarding the source of the model.-John

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John, I thought you asked AVSIM to rmeove your account a couple months ago?What happened?

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"John, I thought you asked AVSIM to rmeove your account a couple months ago?"Sounds like you want me gone. Edit:I should add, this is about the jerks who claim projects as their own when the work is really done by someone else, not about me and my account.

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Nope. I just remember you were quite strong about it. Ha Ha With 6849 posts and soon to be 50, you are like a god around here.I'am doing what L.Adamson reccomends. How do you spell that word?jimCYWG

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When I'm "ticked" over flight sim forums, I fix myself a "drink", and don't log in for a week. Works quite well! :)L.Adamson

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"When I'm "ticked" over flight sim forums, I fix myself a "drink", and don't log in for a week. Works quite well! :)"Hmmmmmm What do you suggest? :)Seriously, I'm not bugged by the forums, but by the response I received which is unlike any other I've received when I've caught someone pilfering files as their own. I'd hate to think someone can upload my own files here as their work, traveling as much as I do, while Avsim waits to confirm the files do indeed belong to me. In this case, a simple "Zipdive" that anyone can do shows a telltale file size and date. I always scan "original work" so I don't waste my time downloading something I already have. But from the download count, it looks like a few hundred have downloaded this package, completely oblivious to the hard work Melvin put in on the original model.-John

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Got to agree with you there man.Thanks JimCYWGJohn, I'am passing through CYOW in the beginning of July, sometime in the afternoon. Going from CYWG to CYHZ by motorcycle. Wife is from there. Ya gonna have the coffee on? Let me know.jagabom at shaw.caI downloaded soft horizons just in case.

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I have to agree John! I can understand AVSIM being cautious about removing something on a third parties claim, but this one's a no brainer! Not only is the size of the mdl identical, but also the date down to the minute!!

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As I understand it, you seem to want AVSIM to remove an upload whenever anyone complains about it, without any investigation. I believe that AVSIM is perfectly correct to require an investigation first. The investigation would have to establish several things:- first that the file is identical to another- second, that permission has not been given to upload it - third that the owner wants it removed - if the owner doesn't care why remove it?.Given that AVSIM is run by volunteers, I think it's policy of removing uploads when the owner complains is satisfactory because that satisfies the three points above. I also think a policy of ignoring 3rd party complaints can be justified on practical grounds that AVSIM staff have better things to do with their time, and also to avoid having to investigate unfounded complaints - sadly, I can imagine complaints being made simply because of perceived problems with the upload.

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Melvin Rafi should be credited for his work. I'm not sure if this was accidental or deliberate, therefore I reserve judgement :). I experienced a similar problem last month. Somebody used my A380 repaints without permission. They even erased my names from the bitmap files! I complained to Avsim, and they removed the files :)

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Gents,Maybe we ought to take a longer view of this. Yes, there's no doubt that the model file is indeed Melvin Rafi's Meljet 777-200ER - the filename is identical with one I have. However, if Mr Levy was consciously wishing to pirate the Meljet plane and pass it off as his own work, wouldn't he possibly have done something like at least re-name the model file, so that it wasn't so obvious? Since "Boeing777-200-MR-MKIII.mdl" (copied from the file zipdive) is well-known among Meljet fans, it would have been a little silly to have claimed it as your own - especially as the original author's initials (MR) are present in the filename! Also, don't forget that the texture file names can't be changed since they are hard-coded into the model file, so that fact in itself would have been another give-away.The word 'Meljet' IS mentioned in the zipdive, as one of the gauges included (cpt.toggles.meljet777.cab); however, also present are gauges by Doug Dawson, FPDA and possibly Eric Marciano - so are we saying that Mr Levy has 'pirated' all of those as well?The readme document is short and to the point - but nowhere does Mr Levy claim that it is his model of a 777-200ER rather than anybody else's. It actually doesn't say that it's his repaint either! Added to all of this, if you look in the aircraft.cfg file, the [fltsim.0] entry reads:[fltsim.0]title=Boeing 777-200ER ROckwaysim=Boeing777-200-MR-MKIIImodel=panel=sound=texture=ui_manufacturer=MelJetui_type=Boeing 777-200ERui_variation=Rockwayatc_id=ROAatc_airline=Rockwayatc_flight_number=315atc_heavy=1description=MelJet Boeing 777-200ER for FS2002nVersion 2.0, Release 2 (July 18, 2003)nnVisual model and FDE by Melvin Rafinhttp://www.meljet.com- so Mr Levy is clearly NOT claiming that the model is his own.Maybe we need to give Mr Levy the benefit of the doubt here and wait for his reply. From my perspective, perhaps the worst he may be guilty of is failing to explicitly credit Melvin Rafi, FPDA, Eric Marciano etc. in the documentation in his haste to get his repaint onto Avsim - which incidentally I would not put into the same piratical universe as certain other sites out there which I would not touch with a ten-foot barge-pole. Fact is that if he had credited the original author(s), then his upload would have been no different from thousands of other repaints that have been uploaded over the years (and not just at Avsim). As such I think that branding him a pirate may be a little on the harsh side.;)

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AVSIM were right to remove your files when you complained because you are the owner.My point is that AVSIM should not be expected to respond to 3rd party complaints, which are effectively anonymous. AVSIM could determine that you are the owner by checking the e-mail address of your complaint with the e-mail address you gave when you originally uploaded the fles.Anyway, if a 3rd party is really concerned, he can use the e-mail address of the owner in the original upload to let him know what's happened. The owner himself can then take it from there.

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Gents:I want to thank the level headed responders to this thread. I am the library manager who processed the file. The author in question has been notified that he should be crediting the original authors and to also look at his file again. I believe from one response I received that he simply had chosen the wrong category. He selected 'original aircraft' and it should have been a 'repaint'. Inexperience can be a terrible thing. On another note....if we volunteers have go over the thousands of files with a fine tooth comb then their will be fewer files and they will be a lot slower getting into the library. And finally I must admit to being human and therefore capable of making a mistake and I think this author is the same. RegardsRick CaseAvsim Library Manager

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"AVSIM were right to remove your files when you complained because you are the owner.My point is that AVSIM should not be expected to respond to 3rd party complaints, which are effectively anonymous. AVSIM could determine that you are the owner by checking the e-mail address of your complaint with the e-mail address you gave when you originally uploaded the fles.Anyway, if a 3rd party is really concerned, he can use the e-mail address of the owner in the original upload to let him know what's happened. The owner himself can then take it from there."That's not always possible, and in the interim, an owner's file can be fronted for someone else's for days, sometimes weeks. When I am overseas sometimes a week or more can go by before I can get to email. We're not talking about a "hunch" that the file was used without credit to Melvin. We're talking about concrete evidence--Melvin's file, and no credit in the readme or file description.I would hope if someone saw my work (and it's happened once where someone did) passed of as someone else's work, they'd be able to alert the library managers. In turn, the library managers should do what they used to do--remove the file after validating the writer's concerns, contact the "owner", and give the owner a chance to upload the package once they've given credit to the author(s) involved. I don't care if the person sending the alert is Mickey Mouse--if the alert is valid, it should be treated as such.Someone else asked why wouldn't the uploader at least rename the model file in question. Because the assumption many uploaders make is no one looks or cares. From some of the responses here, where I seem to be the one who's considered the "bad guy" in my concern, that assumption looks pretty valid to me. -John Mods, please feel free to move this to the file library forum...

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"Maybe we need to give Mr Levy the benefit of the doubt here and wait for his reply."Given the upload ended up in the "Original Aircraft" category if not a pirate, the style of his uploads shows a disregard for the rights and concerns and work of other authors. He's actually uploaded more packages in the past in the same manner--this one only caught my eye because it was listed as an "original aircraft" and I wanted to see what the new 777 was. Other new aircraft have been released under virtual airline banners before...-John

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If it's not possible for a 3rd party to contact the original owner then it's unlikely that AVSIM would be able to, so the upload would remain - unless of course you expect AVSIM to remove uploads without investigation on the basis of a 3rd party's complaint. Anyway, where's the actual harm in letting it remain while the investigation is carried out?You may have concrete evidence about the file itself but you present no evidence that the original owner didn't give permission to upload it or that the original owner wants it removed. That is why it's essential that the original owner is involved. Otherwise an upload could be removed on the basis of a 3rd party complaint when the original owner didn't care!Finally, I reiterate my point that I believe it's impractical and unreasonable to expect AVSIM's library managers to get involved in the amount of work necessary to verify a 3rd party's claims.

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"Finally, I reiterate my point that I believe it's impractical and unreasonable to expect AVSIM's library managers to get involved in the amount of work necessary to verify a 3rd party's claims."Difference of opinion. Let's leave it at that. It's a change of policy at Avsim, that's what I wanted to point out. I don't agree with it. 'Nuff said

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There was no change in policy here at AVSIM. The point of the matter is, as others have stated, we can't just pull a file unless the actual owner of the copyright complains to us. We have always been very fast in doing so when it isn't a third party. When it is a third party, that leads us to investigating, and we are not judges. We are simply volunteers doing our part at AVSIM. If we were to make the wrong call, it wouldn't be the complainant being scruffed, it would be our tails.With that said, all we can do, to keep it fair in all terms, is to leave the file and tell the complainant that the original author needs to validate such claims.Just a perspective.

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Chase,In the past Rick had always pulled a file if I brought this type of issue to the library staff's attention. This is the first time that hasn't happened, and I've emailed in at least a dozen alerts. I would hope as freeware authors we are allowed to keep an eye out for each other, and that if you were alerted someone was parading my work as their own (which has happened here) by another party, you would respond and not wait for me to discover it on my own. It's not always easy to keep an eye on a file library as a copyright owner. If you disbelieve what I am saying (about Avsim heeding such alerts in the past), I can send you as many examples as you like from my Inbox.Regards,John

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I'd also like to add that we have prevented innocent misunderstandings leading to deletion in the past with this process (similar to this scenario). When we remove a file it's the community that suffers.Our statement is this:"PROTEST POLICY: If your upload is protested by a community member for reasons of copyright infringement, unobtained permissions, or for any other justifiable reason, AVSIM will automatically remove your file until such time as the protest is resolved. Resolution is the responsibility of the protester and the uploader. We do not mediate protests."You may be saying, "yeah, well it is a community member," but how would that community member and the uploader mediate if neither of them are the copyright holders? So it's assumed that it is the original author.Another key point: we do not mediate for a simple reason. We all lead very busy lives just like all of our users.It seems that all of the posters in this thread understand that and support our decision so far, so I will leave it that. If there are any further questions, please do not hesitate to leave a post here or e-mail me directly.

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John,I'm not questioning your integrity. I admire your steadfastness to defend fellow authors, however, you must understand AVSIM's role in such a case. We aren't saying we are going to wait for the author to discover it on their own, but as in the past, we have e-mailed them asking.As I previously stated, we have had instances like this in the past, and they generally turn up negative. I'm just saying it's better safe than sorry when it comes to stepping on someones feet.

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Hi Chase,I must agree with John here. In the past, the policy was, "Shoot first," ('... AVSIM will automatically remove your file ...' "and ask questions later." ('... until such time as the protest is resolved. ...') It seems that this policy has changed; if so, then the "PROTEST POLICY" should be reworded.The new policy is more popular with rank and file users but seems at odds with the stated intentions of this site concerning copyright protection.R-

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