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MD83

A case for freeware?

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A number of recent threads have caused me to consider freeware more seriously. I am not against payware per se, but there are issues now coming to my attention that are starting to give me considerable concern :->>Developers can deny continued use of their products at any time by refusing a registration key and do not have to give any reason.>>Registration keys and installations can be restricted to a maximum number of uses for all time, which practice can be legally very questionable.>>Products that previously had a lifetime key can now be restricted if you need to upgrade across FS versions.>>Refunds can be denied absolutely which, again, is legally very questionable.>>After sales support can be poor.>>It is just about impossible to pursue legal issues or complaints across international boundaries.>>Hardly any developers allow you to try their products before purchase.>>There is no system, other than word of mouth, by which products and developers can be assessed.Freeware products dispel all of the above issues but are not, of course, without their own particular difficulties which are centered upon the developer himself/herself. Often they receive abuse which is unwarranted under any circumstances but so do payware developers. Freeware products are sometimes stolen and sold as the work of another person - again, a scandalous tactic.I understand the piracy concerns of the payware developers but even the systems that they employ can, and are, being circumvented. Piracy is to be deprecated but we have to accept that there is hardly anything in this world that has not been abused in the past and that will not continue to be abused in the future. That is life, sadly.We should consider freeware developers more seriously. Their work is given through dedication to our hobby and we need to find ways to give them whatever protection and support we can. Some of these developers are producing cutting edge work which itself is pushing payware developers to the limit.Lest it be viewed that I am casting all payware developers in the same light let me say that I have bought, and will continue to buy, from Lago, Real Air Simulations, UK 2000 Scenery and VFR Photographic Scenery UK as these organisations have not restricted my use of their products and have exemplary customer support.David

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You're correct on most of the points you raise. Payware developers CAN do all of this, however most of the respectable ones (and I'm sure you know who I mean) will treat the customers with at least as much respect as they themselves are treated.Its the same old story. If you politely contact the developer with all the details they need to verify that you're a legitimate owner of their product, and politely explain the background behind why the usual re-installation routines are inappropriate or not possible, most, if not all, of them will bend over backwards to help.If, on the other hand, you provide no supporting details, and demand in plain terms that, as a paying customer, you need them to fix your problem immediately, then you may find them less willing to help ! Rudeness and abuse rarely get anyone anywhere. Its a point of inter-personal relations that some people haven't yet grasped.It is unfortunate that with the increase in piracy the installation routines are becoming more complicated, but they're not really THAT bad. There are always going to be systems that, due to their components and software are going to "buck the system" and defeat these installation packages, but most people, if they follow the full installation instructions (and do, actually, turn off their anti-virus software when requested) find that the process isn't too bad.The quality of some of the recent packages (freeware and payware) is now so high that it seems to be a pity to miss out on using them just because of potential actions in the future that may never happen.Alastair

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Here's another issue entirely I've been thinking a lot of lately - people complain about the large amount of payware, but I think to a degree the issue is rooted in the fact that people seem to 'want' it.It's simple - we get people who come in and immediately ask the following: "Hello I am looking for a good MD11 payware."Whereas time was, you'd just ask if anyone's made a decent MD11. I just find the basic attitude slightly annoying. I've even gotten people whining at me because I don't charge for my work - I don't understand it in the least. I think this whole attitude has something to do with the emergence of payware that wouldn't survive as freeware. I don't mind payware at all. If it's on par with Dremfleet or Captain Sim or FSD with the customer service to back it, great. It's the 'jokeware' that I have issues with (One word - 717. Y'all know what I mean.).What also annoys me is the expression 'payware quality.' First off, most things labelled that way...for lack of a better word, aren't, and secondly, who says freeware and payware should be made to any different standards? I for one don't think so. I think the creator should do things to the best of their ability, regardless of whether it's pay or free. And sometimes that effort really does pay off - I've seen freeware shoot payware out of the sky...look at Dave Maltby's VC10 for a shining example of freeware better than the nearest payware...Anyway, I hope this rant made sense and was to a degree on topic...-E

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I appreciate the contribution that freeware and payware developers bring to the hobby of FS. I have never had a problem using payware. All the payware I have has been worth every penny. I use payware from the big 4 (FSD, Phoenix, Lago, Flight 1). I have never had any problem asking for replacement keys, passwords, etc. They have always gone out of their way to answer all of my stupid questions. I figure as long as I treat them with respect they will respect me (the golden rule).Freeware and Payware have the same responsibilities. They both should support the items they put out for download. A freeware developer at anytime could not support their creation just as a payware developer. When ever we talk about the almighty dollar, things become more personal. No matter if you are creating payware or freeware, you should always hold yourself and your work to very high standards, because it is all important to the hobby of FS. You never get something for nothing. You will always pay in money, time or both.

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Because in the case of a book, magazine, or CD, when you "borrow" the item, while you are in posession, the original owner is deprived use of it. Where it becomes an issue is when it is copied.If I copy a book, magazine or CD, then give it to someone, now I have violated copyright.With software, however, we "install" it, then if we give it to a friend, the software remains installed. The buddy "installs" it, and pretty soon scores of people are using it simultaneously.Most software companies don't have a problem with you giving or selling your software as long as you give up all materials yourself. That's how you get used items in Software ETC and such.The truth is, your argument is flawed because in your example, the original owner loses functionality of the item while it is being borrowed. In software, that is rarely the case. And while you may think the distinction is small, it is huge.

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Eric, good points. I dont think of my aircraft as "payware" or "freeware" they are gifts that i share to balance the guilt of using others work. So they're not perfect, if somethings wrong, i fix it. In the end, its MY plane. I made it for ME, not the freeware hawks or to show up the payware teams. So the difference between pay and free is not quality, its an attitude. Im broke.. so what. I DO find it difficult to be a sell out, and rake the wallets of my friends here... and I could, and have had offers to do just that. I denied. The complexity of aircraft design has increased to a ridiculous level in the last 2 years. I see why designers try to rationalize the 30 dollar price tag. its just not for me...i even dropped all the rigamaroll in my read-me's cuz its all nonsense and means squat anyway. Do whatever you want with it.so... If you really want to make an impact on freeware developers, email them, help them, and for god's sake... send em MONEY!!!! :-lolmost of all just enjoy the hobby.joe

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Welcome to the world of software. Most software companies, including the Big M, have as standard corporate procedures most of the "complaints" you mention above. Many times I've bought a product, loaded it, didn't like it, and had no recourse. I'm talking software from large companies, not smaller FS9 payware developers. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast.Even with the large companies, it's best to check the boards and newsgroups (as with FS9), check the reviews (as with FS9), but be ready to take your lumps....rgds,billg

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> The complexity of aircraft design has increased to a>ridiculous level in the last 2 years. This is so true. I use to make some add-ons, not flightsim, but don't now because it has gotten so complex and the users so demanding that I just don't want to take the required time and effort.Jon

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I agree with you, Erick :)Freeware has been discredited by some people. I even saw a forum user's banner on another site proclaiming, "I only use payware, and of the finest examples"If this isn't snobbery I don't know what is!! :-lol Some people have been fooled into believing that payware is the ONLY form of CREDIBLE aircraft, panels, and scenery :-roll"Are there any payware 737s available?" Burning a hole in your pocket, is it? ;)What really makes me laugh is the level of hysteria and compulsive buying that occurs whenever there's a new payware aircraft :-lol People rush to buy a bug-ridden, hastily-released product, whine about the flaws etc ... predictable as day follows night!!!!!! :-lol Why don't they WAIT for a few months and THEN buy it! People should start to learn! (??)I'm not that bothered: It's the payware elitists who miss out on the tremendous freeware available. And as for the people who ACTIVELY ENCOURAGE freeware artists to go payware ..... are they completely mad?! :-xxrotflmaoFreeware Author: "Look, I'm giving you something for free :)"Payware Freak: "What?!!? :-boom You should be charging for this!! I have money to burn, and nobody deserves this for free!!.... it isn't even credible unless it's got a price attached!! :-mad":-roll

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>it has gotten so complex and the users>so demanding that I just don't want to take the required time>and effort.>>JonWho cares what other people demand of you? :) Do it for the love of it, and if your plane etc doesn't look exactly like the real thing ... that's because you didn't design the real thing :) I bet you that the designer of the real 747 couldn't create a perfect Flightsim model of the 747 ..... :)

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