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Guest wathomas777

Payware-Freeware marriage=unholy union

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There is an increasing problem that we as consumers need to be on guard from. The marriage of Payware & Freeware.In the past, payware was payware, and freeware was freeware. The only time the two "met" is when some illegitimate business tried to pirate freeware panels to include in new aircraft.We as the Sim community would often rally against that business and would fight tooth and nail to have that business shutdown.For good reason.Recently however, we have a new breed, in which a legitimate business man will license a tools from a freeware developer and wrap his product around it. The most common example of this is the number of applications that require FSUIPC. Another example is Ultimate Traffic and the extensive use of the TTools application and AFCAD application by Lee Swordy.When it was announced that FSUIPC was going payware, it was if a bomb had gone off in the community. The problem was not specifically that Pete had finally wanted some compensation (financially) for his work, it was about who should pay the tab. The developer, or the end user. The same situation exists to a lesser extent with Ultimate Traffic. The upgrade patch is in Beta, but the use of AFCAD's will not be enabled for FS2004 until Lee can work out a new AFCAD program. I am not trying to lay blame, nor am I trying to flame anyone. However, I am concerned about protection to the consumer.Many times, when a consumer buys a product, he is not aware that the product contains freeware elements. While theoretically this should not be of concern to the user, it does become concern if the freeware author responsible, either decides that he no longer wants to work on the project, or decides he no longer works for free. At least within the confines of a company, the company "owns" all the code for the application.I am an owner of UT and I surely appreciate all the work Lee has done with Traffic Tools and AFCAD. In fact, if it weren't for Lee being so quick with the newest TTools, I wouldn't be enjoying Ultimate Traffic in ANY form in FS2004 right now.But I also find it disturbing when a software says "We're just waiting on so and so to update such and such, so we can continute with the upgrade".Now wait a second. I paid $30.00 for a product that you said would be upgraded, but I now have to wait because you are waiting on a part time freeware developer to clear his schedule to work on a hobby?Don't Get me wrong, Flight One has been more than up front, and I am happy to wait until the upgrade is complete. So this is not an indictment agains Flight One or it's staff.However, I just find something fundamentally wrong with that. If I take my Car in for service, I really don't expect the garage owner to ship that car to his nephew's house for him to work on it in his spare time.What's at stake here is what I am purchasing. When I purchase something, I am really purchasing "time". I am purchasing the fruits of a man's labor. Thus I am purchasing his "time". Yet when a payware developer contracts or licenses portions of his project to a freeware developer, he is relying on that developers time as well, but since he doesn't PAY the developer, than he can't place any expectations on the developer either. Maybe I am being alarmist, but I feel that commercial ventures should be entirely commercial, and that freeware ventures be freeware, and never the twain should meet.Does anyone else see this an an issue?

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My view also. Peter Dowson should be compensated by the payware developers who rely on his interface (in fact he ought to be paid a retainer by Microsoft, but that's a different issue!) and should not have to go out to the freeware community for compensation; if I were him, which I'm not, of course, that's how I would have structured my plan if I sought reward. At present, Peter gives accreditation to freeware developers who need a key for their programs/gauges to work in FS2004 ... that's more than fair and good strategy. But his revenue source should be the payware developers rather than the end-user, in my own view.Mark "Dark Moment" Beaumonthttp://www.swiremariners.com/newlogo.jpg

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>In the past, payware was payware, and freeware was freeware. The >only time the two "met" is when some illegitimate business tried >>to pirate freeware panels to include in new aircraft.This is simply not true.Payware almost from day one has been taking advantage of existing freeware just as you describe.Just go back a few years to the early payware scenery design programs that would use freeware scenery compilers. Or more recently when early versions of radar contact used Martin Smith's freeware APLC compiler to generate the ATC adventures.This marriage of payware and freeware is nothing new, and goes in both directions. Its not just payware depending on freeware to work, but also freeware depending on payware.There's no sense in re-inventing the wheel, if a tool or product already exists that your product (freeware or payware) can make use of is already very popular and is very good and can be used without infringing on copyrights or licenses, then use it. Write create another one when a perfectly good tool already exist ?FSUIPC was a perfect example of it. Why write another IPC when one already existed ? You save time as well as money on your project, that cost saving then gets passed on to the consumer. You are not just purchasing 'time', but you are also purchasing 'effort','skill', and cost. The application doesn't get produced for free, there are development costs not to mention sales and marketing costs. Now that these payware add-ons will have to pay to use FSUIPC expect the prices of the next versions of similar productsto increase.If we were to strictly adhere to your payware is payware idea, we'd all be paying more for payware. And freeware would also be limited by not being able to wrap around payware products.When you release a product freeware or payware, you must accept that somewhere along the line someone may find a way to wrap their product around yours. IMO it is this wrapping that will extend the interest and usage life of your program be it payware or freeware.Regards.Ernie.

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Ernie,Just 2 notes.."Now that these payware add-ons will have to pay to use FSUIPC expect the prices of the next versions of similar productsto increase."Not exactly. As long as and end user (you or me) has a full licensed version of FSUIPC, the payware product does not have to pay Pete a dime. The Full version of FSUIPC works just like the olde version, interfacing with anything that asks for an interface on a program level. At least that is how I see it. The full version is "unlocked". The free version is the one that requires programs to be accredited.So really, a payware guy really has no motivation to pay Pete for accreditation (sp?). Case in point, PFC and their module to enable their console to function in FS2K4. They flat out said that if you want to use their products, you (that's YOU) have to buy FSUIPC."If we were to strictly adhere to your payware is payware idea, we'd all be paying more for payware. And freeware would also be limited by not being able to wrap around payware products."That's where things get creepy. I already paid for FSUIPC and if some payware guy decides to do the right thing and pay Pete and then pass his cost along, well, I just bought FSUIPC twice, didn't I? The honorable thing to do would be for a payware entity to offer 2 versions, one with FSUIPC accredited and one without for owners of the full version. Obviously the version without FSUIPC coverage should be less expensive. Now, will that really happen? We'll just have to wait and see. If anyone knows someone who is already doing this, let us know.Just tossing some more ideas around.BChttp://jdtllc.com/images/RCsupporter.jpg

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Regardless of your primary thesis, your post brings up a point that I've always believed but don't see discussed often. That is that one of the advantages of allowing authors to make money off an FS add-on is that they are free to devote their primary work time to creating more and better products for all of us to enjoy. As we've seen with many talented freeware developers, if the after work time isn't there then the product either gets delayed or doesn't get finished at all, and that's a loss for the community as a whole. Don't get me wrong, I am a whole-hearted supporter of freeware and freeware developers but I think it's great that some of us have developed the skills to have FS pay at least part of their wages, because that means we're getting the best of their time and energies. I've never bought the line that payware developers are just doing it for the money and freeware developers for the love of simming. Anyone who has developed payware add-ons will tell you, it's no way to get rich. We all love the hobby. It's just that some of us can't wait until we get home from work to practice our true calling!

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As I see it, FSUIPC is now Payware pure and simple. No sense crying over spilt milk. However I get your other point about UT an Afcad. Since Afcad is freeware the author has no obligation to anyone to get the new version for FS2004 out. He can continue working on it in his spare time and even if it takes him till July 2004 to get it finished, it's no big deal because its freeware and no one can bash him for that.However UT is payware. The developers promised FS2004 compatibility which is the reason why so many people purchased it so close to the release of FS2004. Unfortunately the developers have to wait on a Freeware program for them to make good on their promise. Now, if the AFCAD author is being paid by Flight1, I'm sure it wont be a problem. However if he isn't being paid, then we could have a problem if for example he got ill and couldn't work on AFCAD for a few months. Then Flight1 would certainly be in trouble. One could argue that if he's being paid and he got ill the same senario could result, but if he is being paid, then naturally safeguards should be in place to prevent this if the relationship is professional (for example, the agreement between Flight1 and Lee that if he falls sick then someone else could continue working on AFCAD while he's unable to continue)The solution to this of course is that payware developers should start making their own tools instead of relying on freeware tools. One example of this is with the PIC767. These guys created their own .dll which gave them information from FS in much the same whay that FSUIPC does. Therefore FSUIPC is not required for PIC767 to work. But this is the state of things these days and there isn't much that can be done once payware developers try to put out addons in as little time as possible. On the bright side I guess one can say that the end user saves money. Unfortunately, this isn't true when it comes to FSUIPC since we are all paying for it twice, but its probably true with the case of UT and Afcad, unless Afcad becomes payware.Anthony

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Excellent point...this whole FS simming thing has gotten kind of crazy. Its hard to tell Freeware from Payware anymore. Case point I am a rabid fan of Ready for Pushback...B747-200..I have it running beautifully in FS9. The developer was packaging FSUIPC with the product. Since Peter D. is constantly updating the product they have stopped shipping it along with their product. You have to go out and get Peters FSUIPC...I think it will function correctly without paying for all the functionality.We are definately evolving unfortunately for me the evolution is more and more away from FS simming and to other games that are a little less intensive on the maintanance side.Nevertheless .... "May we live in interesting times"!Tony

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>>"Now that these payware add-ons will have to pay to use FSUIPC expect the prices of the next versions of similar products>>to increase.">>Not exactly. As long as and end user (you or me) has a full >licensed version of FSUIPC, the payware product does not >have to pay Pete a dime. Most will pay though because most users will not pay $20 for FSUIPC as they will instead expect the payware developer to pay for the license.>So really, a payware guy really has no motivation to pay Pete for >accreditation (sp?). Case in point, PFC and their module >to >enable their console to function in FS2K4. They flat out said that >if you want to use their products, you (that's YOU) >have to >buy >FSUIPC.PFC can do that because their product is so expensive the extra $20 is not a big deal. If you're gonna spend $500+ for PFC hardware device and extra $20 is nothing.But if your product only costs $15 you can't expect your customers to pay another $20 for another product just to get your product to work. It will be better for you to just include FSUIPC with your product and charge an extra $1 or $2 to cover the FSUIPC license.If you are an end user and you only use 'one' payware product that needs FSUIPC, you are only paying $1 or $2 for it. Rather than being forced to pay $20 for a full license.>That's where things get creepy. I already paid for FSUIPC and if >some payware guy decides to do the right thing and pay Pete and >then pass his cost along, well, I just bought FSUIPC twice, didn't >I? That's right, and therin lies the flaw in this whole scheme. That is why it is better for the vendors to pay the license fee, and charge back indirectly, instead of the customers directly paying for the full FSUIPC license. Regards Ernie.

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Look, I have no problem with Payware developers contracting with freeware developers to develop for them a module to use. However, this should be a business case and should include contracts and legal protections. FSUIPC is a perfect example. Whether by design or by coincidence, the timing of the announcement that FSUIPC was so late in the development cycle of FS2004, that payware developers had almost no choice but to either accept accreditation or require the end user to buy the full version.If they did accept accreditation, they were then expected to add a line item to their budget that was not there before.Had developers had contracts with Pete, then they could have put in clauses that say that any changes to the licensing agreement can not be made xxx days prior to product release. Pete could have also put in protections that prevent developers from pulling out at the last second because they "contracted" pete, then developed their own in house, and after pete did the work, said. No thanks. The protection works both waysThe sudden announcement of FSUIPC sent shockwaves, not because of WHAT Pete was doing, but more about WHEN he timed his move. What I have a problem is Payware and Freeware devlopers entering weak or non-existant licensing agreements that place the consumer at risk because the Payware and Freeware companies failed to put into place protections to help protect the end user.Simply telling the user that he needs to now buy a full version of "formally freeware" from Joe Schmo, or telling him he now has to pay for a new upgrade, or worse, that it's no longer supported, is not fair to the End User who wasn't even aware of "Joe Schmo's" existance prior to purchasing your software.Licensing agreements between Freeware and Payware developers should be handled by said developers. If the end-user is affected, then someone didn't do their job.

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Look, The whole issue is not whether or not Payware companies should license stuff from Freeware developers. That's not the point. The point is, such license agreements need to be written in such a way that the actions of one don't place the end user in jeopardy.All I am asking is that if a freeware developer decides to license his product to a payware developer, that he treats it like a business arrangement and vice versa.My Traffic 2004 is currently eating UT's lunch because they didn't have to wait for "xyz" to develop or update a freeware tool. If a commercial relationship must exist between a payware and freeware developer, I simply ask that the relationship be maintained as a commercial relationship. And as a result, the freeware developer held to those commercial standards. A customer of software enters a commercial relationship with the payware developer. It is only reasonable to assume that that payware developer maintain the same relationship with his developers as he does with his customers.I'm not crying over spilt milk with FSUIPC. But I do guarantee you one thing. If I were licensing FSUIPC from Pete, I would make good and sure that my agreement placed in the stipulation that no changes to this license agreement can be made within 180 days of the projected release of the next version of Flight Simulator. This way, I would not all of the sudden be subject to Pete "raising" prices on me or something after Flight Simulator 10 was Gold, and all my development was already set in stone.

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Pardon me for pointing out something obvious - FS has always been an `unholy marriage` of freeware and payware - unless everyone else was getting Microsoft to give them the latest version? I recall having to pay for the product, the hardware to run it on, and the electricity to keep it all going. No charity there. Unless I also missed the thread `demanding` Microsoft give the sim away to everyone. If anyone can't accept the marriage of freeware and payware, or sees it as somehow `unholy`, what are they doing in this hobby?Allcott

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Yes, but Microsoft isn't relying on any "freeware" to run their product. If I buy FS2004 and NEVER download a piece of software from anyone, the product will be just as functional.I am not talking about running freeware and Payware together, I am talking about payware packages relying on freeware packages just to be functional. And if they DO bundle outside software to provide functionality, an official licensing agreement is in place that does not suddenly expose the end user to additional costs.

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