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z4me

Defeating Pirates should not be a chore for honest buyers

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1 Prison-time offense in certain countries of the EU. Just flat out a bad, bad, bad, bad, oh did I mention bad idea?
In which EU countries is this an imprisonable offence?
c. When your customer installs your Add-On, if he is a repeat customer then pre-fill the registration fields with this his name, address, telephone number, email, whatever. Never treat a repeat customer as if he were a first timer!

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I haven't fould a shop selling CDs and DVDs that allow you to take them away without paying and then pay later - have you?
My goodness- where do you live? Our whole modern society is based on "take the goods now" and perhaps, later, at some indefinite time, (if you can or if you feel so inclined), pay for them months/years later. Your friendly credit card issuer will pay the merchant even if you can't/won't/disappear/go bankrupt etc.In fact, while you are shopping for CDs, why not take home a super deluxe stereo? No need to pay-just swipe the card!Haven't got a card that's not maxed out? No problem, here's another!The obligation of an individual to actually pay for his purchases no longer exists.For some info on this subject, read- "Maxed Out" by James Scurlock.AR

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Fr Bill-What we don't know is how many of those 17,000 downloads were ever actually used or flown by a simmer. More likely they were downloaded to demonstrate computer savvy and for the thrill- a bit like smoking a cigarette behind the barn in my day.My guess is that 98% of those downloads were never actually flown- but rather shown off to pals and girlfriends as proof of their teenage testosterone. Even more satisfying if you can get the adults all upset over it! Like illegal drag racing!!(at almost 80, I can honestly say "My, that was a long time ago!".)AR
But, that doesn't really matter at all! The point is that each of those 17,000 "customers" had to pay the website owner for the privilege of downloading the file to begin with. Even if the "customer" never installs or uses the download is completely irrelevant...

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My goodness- where do you live? Our whole modern society is based on "take the goods now" and perhaps, later, at some indefinite time, (if you can or if you feel so inclined), pay for them months/years later. Your friendly credit card issuer will pay the merchant even if you can't/won't/disappear/go bankrupt etc.In fact, while you are shopping for CDs, why not take home a super deluxe stereo? No need to pay-just swipe the card!Haven't got a card that's not maxed out? No problem, here's another!The obligation of an individual to actually pay for his purchases no longer exists.For some info on this subject, read- "Maxed Out" by James Scurlock.AR
In this 'modern scociety' you do pay for almost everything (there's no perhaps about it). With credit cards you can actually pay even more in the long run. Banks do make considerable profits from these.

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Well, all I can say I can find any cracked Add-on I want just by googling, so maybe you don't know much about DRM either, or, DRM doesn't work, take your pick. We seem to be going in circles here.
You are "assuming" that all Google returns actually lead to a downloadable product. They don't. If you the follow the links from those returns, ultimately the vast majority of them lead to a "pay me to download" website.Should you be silly enough to pony up the typical "fee" you'll ultimately discover that they don't actually have what you wanted available at all.

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My goodness- where do you live? Our whole modern society is based on "take the goods now" and perhaps, later, at some indefinite time, (if you can or if you feel so inclined), pay for them months/years later. Your friendly credit card issuer will pay the merchant even if you can't/won't/disappear/go bankrupt etc.In fact, while you are shopping for CDs, why not take home a super deluxe stereo? No need to pay-just swipe the card!Haven't got a card that's not maxed out? No problem, here's another!The obligation of an individual to actually pay for his purchases no longer exists.For some info on this subject, read- "Maxed Out" by James Scurlock.AR
What was proposed that you take the goods (download them) and then, if and when you feel like it, you pay for them.Can't you tell the difference between that and a credit card transaction?

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What was proposed that tou take the goods (download them) and then, if and when you feel like it, you pay for them.Can't you tell the difference between that and a credit card transaction?
What I was commenting on, is that there is a now a disconnect between who owns and who pays. A whole generation now accepts that SOMEBODY ELSE pays- whether it be AMEX, the Government or the storekeeper. The concept of "Ownership" and personal payment in exchange, is gone. Used to be mommy or daddy who brought home the goodies- Now that the kids are all grown up, VISA with a never/never day of reckoning (or a simple "free" download) does the same.Listen to the cry that WE ARE ENTITLED TO UNLIMITED INTERNET USE regardless of cost.And read the book (Scribner publishers) or watch the documentary- "Maxed Out" by Scurlock, . ARPS Glad I'm old, I'd hate to be a teenager bombarded with offers implying "You have a right to enjoy all the good things of life- just sign the attached form, make a minimum monthly payment and the world is yours!" Any mention of repaying is likely in awfully fine print,in lawyer speech on page 3. After all, the storekeepers give the stuff away - it's VISA who pays the merchant. Isnt it?

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And please don't forget the part about products automatically re-installing themselves without 3 mouse clicks. :( :( :(

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You are "assuming" that all Google returns actually lead to a downloadable product. They don't. If you the follow the links from those returns, ultimately the vast majority of them lead to a "pay me to download" website.Should you be silly enough to pony up the typical "fee" you'll ultimately discover that they don't actually have what you wanted available at all.
.... And the owner of the site has your credit card and other personal information to use as they see fit... As I've heard, most of these "fake" torrent sites are scams looking to collect credit card numbers and personal information to use for credit card fraud and identity theft....

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Jahman you are correct that DRM is a hassle for legitimate users but you do not seem to have a care for the developers who must protect their products. You are also complaining about clicking the "OK" button three times and re-entering serial keys which to me sounds like you want somebody else to do the work for you. Let me ask you something. When you open the door to your home do you not have to use a key to open the door? Do you have a deadbolt lock also which requires a second key? Do you think it is a hassle to have to use that key on your door or do you not have it to protect your personal property in your home? Why should software be any different. The developers are protecting their property.Now to jump to the other side of the fence.

Even though it's quite likely that vast majority of folks who download cracked software wouldn't have paid for it anyway......most of those same individuals willingly pay some small monthly fee to a website for the privilege of downloading cracked commercial products!What's really the most galling to me, is that the "freeloaders" aren't the real problem, it's the b*tards who crack things to begin with, and the ones who run the websites and/or servers who profit from their modest "monthly fees." Consider just one example of an FSX release that at the time I checked had a total of 17,000+ downloads from one such site. At the $9.95/mo charge, that's close to $170,000! :( That same FSX release had a total of 640 legitimate sales on that same day. At $36.95, the developer received gross sales of only $23,648. After expenses net earnings were around $7,800 or thereabouts... :( Now, who did all the work, and who's making the real money?
But, that doesn't really matter at all! The point is that each of those 17,000 "customers" had to pay the website owner for the privilege of downloading the file to begin with. Even if the "customer" never installs or uses the download is completely irrelevant...
Bill although I understand your point and your frustration you really are twisting your own words. 17000 downloads does not necessarily equate to 17000 customers. Downloads and customers are two entirely different things as one customer can download the same file multiple times as I have done here at the Avsim file library many times. Also a thief who buys a $20 crowbar to break into someone's house may get the chance to steal thousands of dollars worth of property so think about that in regards to why a pirate/thief might subscribe to such a website. And please do not think that I am implying that it is OK to do that.Piracy is rampant and DRM's are a necessity so customers and developers have to suffer because of both. One side suffers because it is a hassle. The other side suffers with lost sales/money. One is worst than the other and I think it is obvious which one that is. Let's move on to the next topic.Todd

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Guest jahman
I haven't found a shop selling CDs and DVDs that allow you to take them away without paying and then pay later - have you?
Are you really saying you have never encountered "try before you buy" software?Shareware - Wikipedia: The term shareware (also known as trialware or demoware) refers to proprietary software that is provided to users without payment on a trial basis and is often limited by any combination of functionality, availability or convenience. ... The rationale behind shareware is to give buyers the opportunity to use the program and judge its usefulness before purchasing a license for the full version of the software.Are we on the same panet?Cheers,- jahman.

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Jahman you are correct that DRM is a hassle for legitimate users but you do not seem to have a care for the developers who must protect their products. You are also complaining about clicking the "OK" button three times and re-entering serial keys which to me sounds like you want somebody else to do the work for you. Let me ask you something. When you open the door to your home do you not have to use a key to open the door? Do you have a deadbolt lock also which requires a second key? Do you think it is a hassle to have to use that key on your door or do you not have it to protect your personal property in your home? Why should software be any different. The developers are protecting their property.
Todd,Read my previous posts: We´re talking hundreds of add-ons resulting in endless hours of just entering keys and clicking meaningless OK buttons. The registration keys can be stored in the registry (others do!) and the OK buttons can be done away with for re-installs. Nobody is complaining here about dealing with a handful of add-ons.Cheers,- jahman.

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Are you really saying you have never encountered "try before you buy" software?Shareware - Wikipedia: The term shareware (also known as trialware or demoware) refers to proprietary software that is provided to users without payment on a trial basis and is often limited by any combination of functionality, availability or convenience. ... The rationale behind shareware is to give buyers the opportunity to use the program and judge its usefulness before purchasing a license for the full version of the software.Are we on the same panet?Cheers,- jahman.
I see no reference to try-before-you-buy.
I therefore propose that developers themselves put their products free ofcharge on torrent servers, together with a URL where honest users like me(100% of software paid for) can pay for the software we use.
Stop wriggling!

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Jahman, do you have any Flight1 add-ons?And do you use the Flight1 online account system...it’ll automatically manage all your F1 keys online with 1 user name and 1 password.It has records for all my purchases....even from the old days.I find add-on reinstalls in my case aren’t such a big hassle.Not like Photoshop, etc…this is where my major time goes.BTW, I find it hard to believe you actually have hundreds of add-ons :rolleyes:How many add-ons do you actually have? -round number wise.Implementing an auto installer for your entire library of add-ons is technically and practically extremely doubtful - at least for FSX.However, the Flight Marketplace might address some of the roadblocks.Still I wouldn’t trust such a tool myself if I had more than a few add-ons....things could go bad ;)And Jahman :( please tone down the nasty rhetoric.... :(

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Clicking on the license agreement is too much for him and even Flight1 is not automatic enough. Browsing to his key or entering his purchase information would just take way too much of his precious time. I wonder where he finds the time to use his hundreds of add-ons?

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i've been FSing since the first release for the MAC.i have only reinstalled FS ONCE because of a system crash - in '99i installed FS98 (FS6) once. the same for FS7 (install on the same computer as FS6).upgraded computer and installed FS7 on the new machine. this FS on old computer, buy/build new computer and install FS pattern continued for FS8 and FS9. in no case did all the addons get moved to the new computer ... i only install those that i use. this is a GREAT way to clear out the 'blot' in an FS install.i have installed FSX twice on one computer (the same computer as my FS9 install). why? customer complaint saying an installer was faulty. i took down my FSX install 'for the team.' (FYI the installer was fine, the problem was with the user's machine.) i was not having a problem with FSX.i have owned PC's (PC here means 'personal computer', not IBM 'clone') since the the late 1970s and have experienced only two system crashes: the above noted crash in '99 and a virus on my non-FS computer in '08.Jahman, how/why is it that you are continually needing to reinstall?--

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Browsing to his key or entering his purchase information would just take way too much of his precious time. I wonder where he finds the time to use his hundreds of add-ons?
I was wondering who would say it first. Congrats to Jim!

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Guest jahman
I see no reference to try-before-you-buy.
What part of: "proprietary software that is provided to users without payment on a trial basis" is not clear to you?
Jahman, do you have any Flight1 add-ons? And do you use the Flight1 online account system...it’ll automatically manages all your F1 keys online with 1 user name and 1 password. It has records for all my purchase....even from the old days.
I do, and I like the "account" part, but I seriously dislike all the other hoops the Flight1 e-commerce wrapper makes me to jump through. Again, I'll put-up with this stuff for an initial imstall, but it's the reinstall that gets me when I have to deal with hundreds of add-ons.
BTW, I find it hard to believe you actually have hundreds of add-ons :( How many add-ons do you actually have? -round number wise.
From MegaSceneryEarth, 200. OK, no DRM on these, but I have to feed them in one by one, clicking 200 EULA OK buttons! I have 450 entries in my scenery.cfg file. Say 3 minutes each to install, thats 200 x 3 = 600 minutes, i.e. 10 hours of clickety-click that I can't go do anything else. Add 3 hours for FS Global 2010, another 3 for FS North America (for some reason reading DVDs is really slow), 8 for REX (actual, timed), that's 24 hours, or a whole day for those add-ons alone, and if you have 2 hrs leisure time per day (and that's a lot for some these days!) then you're in for 12 days straight on these add-ons alone, so say three weeks total for all add-ons.So here's my payware, 100% fully paid-for, add-on count: 295 scenery add-ons, 60 aircraft, 10 instruments, 6 add-ons to drive hardware. Grand Total: 371.Now motivate yourself to do a 371 add-on reinstall because a reinstall "might" cure sporadic CTDs. Right. You don't. Instead you try to mind the CTDs less (there's FSUIPC autosave), but you get frustrated. The more frustrated you get, the less you fly. The less you fly, the more you post on AVSIM :-)Mind, I didn't buy all these add-ons at once: After many years of simming I jumped onto the FSX bandwagon (round Earth, Garmin 500, FS Global 2008, GoFñight MCP-Pro were big hooks) and then just kept buying add-ons and upgrading as the years went buy. Take the 200 MegaScenery add-ons out of the equation (only three purchases, with California State alone at 121), so that's 171 add-ons in 52 months since the release of FSX, or just over 3 Add-Ons per month.OK, I admit, the Megascenery add-ons give me the least headache because they don't have DRM and because I backed-up an image of the installed files. But other sceneries put stuff into FSX directories that I know little about, add code about modules to the XML.cfg file and scenery objects to another repository, add airports info, etc, so saving an image of these is not really workable.
Implementing an auto installer for your entire library of add-ons is technically and practically extremely doubtful - at least for FSX.
Agreed, FSX is what it is, but Flight is still up in the air, so to speak. :-)
However, the Flight Marketplace might address some of the roadblocks. Still I wouldn’t trust such a tool myself if I had more than a few add-ons.
Its actually easier than you think, provided add-ons follow these rules:
  1. Don't ask for keys on reinstalls (put them in the registry or wherever)
  2. Get the FSX install path from the registry
  3. Save the target install path (important for sceneries) in the Registry or wherever
  4. Allow for an "unattended" and "silent" install with no OK buttons to click,
  5. MS Flight to include a directory (or a variable pointing to a list of drives and directories) where downloaded add-on installers (and add-ons from DVDx can be copied) are located.
  6. FMS Flight to implement a sceneries.cfg-style file named "addons.cfg" where each add-on adds an entry for itself as it installs for the first time.
  7. A matching dialog box to manage the add-ons together with a "re-install Add-Ons" button and the ability to de-select add-ons that are not to be reinstalled on a line-by-line basis (as you can do with scenery add-ons)
  8. A "scan all add-ons for updates" button, then allow which add-ons to actually update
  9. Extra credit: The add-on manager sports the "tree-view" control, so you can quickly access and edit install information for each add-on. Pretty much like regedit.
  10. Microsoft to issue "Certificate of Good Behaviour" for add-ons safe to install. No more:

a. Replacing FSX native files, b. Placing add-on files into native FSX directories (into sub-directories is OK, though), c. A big no-no, imlementeing add-on uninstall simply by reverting to a saved xml.cfg that was saved when the add-on was installed, instead of searching the current xml.cfg file and intelligently deleting all xml code relative to that specific add-on.)So you see, not so hard. If there's a will, this could be the way.And remember, the easier we simmers can deal with add-ons, the more add-ons we will buy! :-)

And :( please tone down the nasty rhetoric.... :(
Apologies , it's not my nature, but the attacks have been pretty vicious in their tone from certain folks. Cheers,- jahman.

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Clicking on the license agreement is too much for him and even Flight1 is not automatic enough. Browsing to his key or entering his purchase information would just take way too much of his precious time. I wonder where he finds the time to use his hundreds of add-ons?
Read my previous post. When do you find the time to "use" your scenery add-ons?I am one of your paying customers, so I don't appreciate your tone. BTW, Shouldn't you be working on fixing the winds aloft problem?
Jahman, how/why is it that you are continually needing to reinstall?
Good question: I get sporadic CTDs on the same flight, about one of every 3 flights over a 2 hour flight and at different times into the flight. I have even reverted to static weather, and my FSX max RAM is way below the MAX. I get that "App Hang" error for FSX with no faulting module identified. So I decided I'll just suck it up and wait for Flight, at which point I might also upgrade my PC to Sandy Bridge, which would be the excuse I need to re-install the add-ons, provided of course they are still compatible with MS-Flight. Otherwise Ì'll just re-install FSX and see how she runs, as I'm not about to chuck all my Add-Ons so I can run MS Flight.
I was wondering who would say it first. Congrats to Jim!
Thanks for your support and for contributing to find an intelligent solution and for reading my posts where I clearly state the nature of my complaint. Maintaining large FSX installations is a problem without an Add-On manager (and the many mis-behaved Add-On installers out there). You might want to re-read the OP for a refresher.Cheers,- jahman.

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Ohhhh so its not the clicking. It's the time it takes the programs to actually install. Wow, I wonder what we could do about that? Maybe make FS 4 style add-ons for FSX? Or go back to 5.25 disks, those loaded pretty fast!Installations take time and there is no way around that. But don't tell us that clicking on a few "OKs" takes up your time. So 24 hours is going to be 24 hours no matter what methods Flight will use.

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Todd,Read my previous posts: We´re talking hundreds of add-ons resulting in endless hours of just entering keys and clicking meaningless OK buttons. The registration keys can be stored in the registry (others do!) and the OK buttons can be done away with for re-installs. Nobody is complaining here about dealing with a handful of add-ons.Cheers,- jahman.
Tens, hundreds, whatever! You know that famous athletic shoe slogan? Just...Look if you're only re-installing Flightsim and its addons and not actually re-installing your OS then I suggest that you invest in a external hard drive and some backup software.Now I do agree that the MegaSceneryEarth install process is totally ridiculous. It does not make any sense to have to run an installer for each and every tile that you want to use which for the state of California is over 100 tiles. But...Your complaint is really falling on deaf ears and I think your tone is about to get this thread locked. So why not do what I do when I have to re-install everything (which is rare). I just take a deep breath and think about that shoe company!Todd

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Ohhhh so its not the clicking. It's the time it takes the programs to actually install. Wow, I wonder what we could do about that? Maybe make FS 4 style add-ons for FSX? Or go back to 5.25 disks, those loaded pretty fast!
Punched card would be best.
Installations take time and there is no way around that. But don't tell us that clicking on a few "OKs" takes up your time. So 24 hours is going to be 24 hours no matter what methods Flight will use.
You really are putting in a good effort to misinterpret what I'm saying! I really don't care how long it would take to reinstall FSX and all add-ons, as long as I can step away. Got it?I also provided concrete suggestions on how this might be achieved. Here's one more: Since 2 TBy HDDs are so cheap, add-ons shipping on DVDs ought to allow for copying onto the simmers software repository HDD and allow for automated silent installation from there (except for first-time install of course).The software install and maintenance problems for corporations with thousands if empoyees (i.e. number of workstations) is huge and costly. So Microsoft and others have developed software to automate software installations since back in 1994, including any required licensing tasks, and including automating the installation of software installers that were not designed for automatic and silent installation, to help reduce the TCO-Total Cost of Ownership. We simmers are seeing a similar problem, as little of this techonology has trickled-down to us at the OS level (e.g. Microsoft Update) and even less at the FSX add-on level.And as we hit that limit where the size of our FSX installation becomes unmanageable, whe stop buying Add-Ons. Your Add-Ons. Mind, the impact for Flight will be even greater because the size of the add-ons will increase dramatically as texture and scenery resolutions increase exponentially due to BW availability, so the time to develop an Add-On Manager is NOW.
Tens, hundreds, whatever! You know that famous athletic shoe slogan? Just...Look if you're only re-installing Flightsim and its addons and not actually re-installing your OS then I suggest that you invest in a external hard drive and some backup software... Many thanks for the tip!
Thanks for the tip, I have two external backup HDDs as software installer repositories.
Now I do agree that the MegaSceneryEarth install process is totally ridiculous. It does not make any sense to have to run an installer for each and every tile that you want to use which for the state of California is over 100 tiles. But...Your complaint is really falling on deaf ears and I think your tone is about to get this thread locked. So why not do what I do when I have to re-install everything (which is rare). I just take a deep breath and think about that shoe company!Todd
Thanks again for your input. This discussion helps me draft the email I will be sending to the MS Flight team requesting the implementation of an Add-On Manager and suggested basic guidelines for add-on installer quality minimums (all of which they surely are considering already, but customer input often helps!)Cheers,- jahman.

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MS has always had a hands off approach to 3rd party software and I'm sure that is still the case.

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Guest jahman
MS has always had a hands off approach to 3rd party software and I'm sure that is still the case.
Indeed, I hadn't thought of that.But the Add-On Manager could also be an add-on on its own (or a free-standing utility).Perhaps your company could be interested? Somebody else? I would certainly buy such a product if it let me rebuild an FSX installation 100% unattended and could poll appropriate URLs for updates (and install them). It would be a godsend, actually! And you would have two customers right off the bat: Me and the OP (I presume). Would a poll be useful in gauging potential interest?Cheers,- jahman.

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Indeed, I hadn't thought of that.But the Add-On Manager could also be an add-on on its own (or a free-standing utility).Perhaps your company could be interested? Somebody else? I would certainly buy such a product if it let me rebuild an FSX installation 100% unattended and could poll appropriate URLs for updates (and install them). It would be a godsend, actually! And you would have two customers right off the bat: Me and the OP (I presume). Would a poll be useful in gauging potential interest?Cheers,- jahman.
The 'installation' requirements you seek would eliminate security of software licensing. Because of that, there is no way I would ever want to support your demands... and yes, they are demands.I'm sorry your scenery is causing you so much heartache, but it's not my problem. Nor is it any other developer's problem except PCAviator.You clearly could care less about a developer's product being stolen. Your entire attitude throughout this thread clearly shows that in your mind a developer simply doesn't have the right to do whatever it can to protect it's product because it's inconvenient for you.I do have a solution that would protect the developer's product adequately:1 - A system wipe if any illegal software is found by the protection process.2 - A system wipe if any attempts to crack the software's protection is detected. Total system wipe with no more installations of any software covered by this new process. Willing to risk your system to that level for a 'one-time-key' install? Because it's the only way I'd even consider supporting any of your demands.

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