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Azapata87

AVSIM and Piracy Clearing House?

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Well AVSIM, now you've gone and done it! I fear you may have opened a can of worms by becoming a clearing house for piracy reports. I can just imagine the cracker wars as one side rats on the other.I commend the AVSIM staff on a noble effort. Piracy does indeed hurt the community, but it's not just the flightsimers. Piracy is a problem for the entire software industry, and its a massive quagmire that I wish AVSIM would stay away from.AVSIM has had the reputation of being so neutral and unbiased. I mean, you don't affiliate yourself with a certain political philosophy, so why go and toss your hat in with the Piracy Police? Obviously I agree with you in principal, but I feel AVSIM might not be the best representative to try to stop Piracy. Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Dell... perhaps better choices.What's next? Are you going to be a clearing house for SPAM? I've got literally hundreds of leads for you in that department! As for Piracy, I've got some leads there too... but do you expect me to believe that just because you forward my report to a vendor that something will be done?Perhaps I'm just being pessimistic, but I feel AVSIM should devote resources to less "pie-int-the-sky" endeavors.Just my humble opinion... I sincerely hope that Piracy can be eliminated from the flightsim community. We would be an example to the world.

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There's an Orwellian side to thise which isn't what this community needs. There's enough paranoia here as it is.Will wait and see what happens with prices - the last Flight1 GA was $25 - if piracy leads to increased prices and this new "piracy police" works, the next one should be cheaper, right?

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>" the next one should be cheaper, right?"And I'll win the lottery tomorrow night.Dave

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This initiative will not stamp out piracy, we all know that. However it will allow developers to take some actions such as blocking certain reg codes from future updates and the like, and I think they deserve the opportunity to do that do they not? Sometimes that is their only recourse as legal action will usually never ensue except in some extreme cases.I have personally seen blatant piracy by members of one online ATC community where swapping of codes and setting up of FTP sites was going on in full public view and they did so even though they could be traced and everything from their ISP to their current employer and even a passport-style photograph of them could be found!Also a report is only a report, it will be up to the developers to do the footwork and visit the sites and verify for themselves if what is reported is actually true. I guess it boils down to what you believe, is piracy OK or not?There should only be one type of person who is nervous about all this and we all know who that is...

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Since piracy is not isolated to MS FS, this post probably belongs to the Hangar Chat forum.Best,Owen

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I think this could be effective against the most blatant offenders and ultimately discourage lesser offenders, but ONLY if successful legal action is taken. If no legal action is taken or it is not successful, this will only embolden pirates by giving them the impression of being immune from prosecution. I hope this has been well thought out or it could blow up in everyones face, except the pirates of course. David

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There's a big difference between this and AVSIM taking a position on politics or even spam - piracy is *illegal* and it hurts the addon makers that create our aircraft. (for those of us that use payware that is) If the addon companies like Flight1, PMDG, etc are able to take action against sites, FTPs, P2P services etc, that are distributing their products illegally, maybe we will actually see pricing decreases. At the very least reporting piracy helps to ensure that our addon companies continue to make their products at all.

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I am against piracy, but how effective do you all think this is really going to be? I honestly do not think many decent reports with good information are going to be filled. Someone filing a report with a software pirates name, email and a chat log is not enough to really get a 'strong' case against that person. Cheaper prices because of this... I don't think so. I mean Yeah, sure an email from a developer could scare the casual pirate into not doing it ever again but this type of thing wont stop the dedicated pirates, the ones hiding behind all those anonymous proxy servers based in the middle east somewhere. Thats probably an exaggeration but the point is an anti piracy clearinghouse like this might stop the casual user from sharing an Fs add-on but it's not gonna stop the people at the source, those who "crack" the software. Andrew

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I just stopped by this forum and I wonder what sparked all this talk about piracy and AVSIM...is there a thread where all this talk began?edit...I'm guessing it's the poll people are refering too?

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I'm curious as to what sort of results are expected from this, and how reports will be handled. Is this targeted at individual abusers, or are we looking towards the organised code sharers? If someone decides they don't like me, maybe they would report me as being a pirate... and then what? What real power would anyone have to do anything about it anyway?Let's suppose my friend gives me all his codes for his Lago products (for example). Later, he gets PO'd at me because I stole his girlfriend (or whatever), and he reports me to the AVSIM Police. What happens next? Nothing, as far as I can tell.We all know that software piracy is a huge problem, and I'm not just talking about FS-related stuff. I'm just not convinced that this initiative will do anything about it.- Martin

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Firstly, I'll make clear that I am speaking personally, not on behalf of AVSIM, nor on behalf of those organizations who receive information from the piracy clearing house.>I'm curious as to what sort of results are expected from>this, and how reports will be handled. Is this targeted at>individual abusers, or are we looking towards the organised>code sharers? If someone decides they don't like me, maybe>they would report me as being a pirate... and then what? What>real power would anyone have to do anything about it anyway?The organizations involved in setting up this effort are conscious that some will undoubtedly make vexacious claims of piracy of innocent people. It is my view that, given that all of these organizations are equally part of the community, that they will do their utmost to verify any claim before taking action.>Let's suppose my friend gives me all his codes for his Lago>products (for example). Later, he gets PO'd at me because I>stole his girlfriend (or whatever), and he reports me to the>AVSIM Police. What happens next? Nothing, as far as I can>tell.If you really care about the community and piracy as a whole, you should refuse the codes when they are offered! "Casual piracy" is a huge problem in our community. Personally I believe that the Clearing House will rarely reach this class of pirate merely due to the fact that, as you have alluded, it is more or less impossible in the vast majority of cases to detect that such chicanery has occurred.>We all know that software piracy is a huge problem, and I'm>not just talking about FS-related stuff. I'm just not>convinced that this initiative will do anything about it.In the situation you have described, I would frankly tend to agree. However, the pirates doing most damage to our community are those who share the files freely for others, and those who deliberately seek to defraud (for that is what it is) the developers and publishers of add-ons and software. That is, those who share files on the various peer-to-peer networks, IRC networks, the web, and via FTP.I think you will agree that those targets are more easily verifiable; finding a commercial addon for free download -- and being able to download it -- from one of these sources is fairly incontrovertible. And, by the nature of what we have started, it will be these pirates who will first feel the annoyance and wrath of the community.Matt

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>"Casual piracy" is a huge problem in our community. With all due respect, I would like to know what kind of problem you are talking about? If you mean "many people use my product without paying" you are right. If you mean "I loose revenue because of piracy", it's a lot less clear. The casual pirate is the person who tries out stuff he sees on the internet. He probably wouldn't buy it at all. Of course, this isn't *right*, but it does not impact sales. Of course vendors will always tell us that prices will rise because of piracy, but it is my firm believe that the only thing that can be proven to make prices increase is the cost of copy protection.So if our goal here is to increase revenue for vendors, so we can all enjoy addons at reasonable prices, I would suggest these actions:- Inform people about copyrights and tell them that copying is wrong; leave it at that.- Show respect for your customers; remove copy protection.- Go for high quality with great support and be open to the customer.- Don't be afraid to have bugs in your products, but be clear and provide patches.

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I'd really like to think that this scheme will change things for the better, but I'm old and cynical enough to know that it won't. As far as I can see, there is no effective way of stamping this kind of thing out, and never will be. The attemps that some people have made up until now have only ensured that the wrong people suffer in the end, that is, the people who legally bought the software.A case in point is FSD: Their security system, designed to try and stamp out piracy of their products,(which I can fully understand in principle) has also ensured, in more than a few cases, that the people (like me) who legally bought software from them (and have the reciepts to prove it), nevertheless havn't got their FSD aircraft any more, due to only being able to dl them a certain number of times. I spent nearly $140 with FSD, and from the 5 aircraft I bought and paid for (one of them twice cos I loved it so much!),I have not ONE of them now,(I especially miss the Cheyenne, that was my favorite aircraft in FS, but I digress..), due to being unable to dl them any more. I was more or less accused of being a thief, and I've given up trying to get my aircraft back.My ISP has checked my traffic going back for the last 3 years, and at least one of the 9 dl's that FSD say I have done is an IP that was NEVER routed to my computer,so, despite their security system, someone somewhere has dl'ed my aircraft for free!Before this goes any further, THIS IS NOT a rant against FSD. I have the greatest respect for their work as software programmers, Steve Small is among the top 3 or 4 of his kind in the world. I stated my case to them, they have chosen not to believe me, and have refused to unlock my dl's so I can get them again. C'est la vie,the money is long gone, they're a long way away from germany, and not subject to the german laws anyway, luckily for them.The point I'm trying to make is: Any attempt to make a software dl system 100% foolproof will never work, and in the end the rightfull buyers will suffer too.I'll be watching this thing in the future, and wish the people behind this initiative the best of success in their endevours.Maybe if they have some noticeable effect, life will get easier for the honest customer.BestGrahame (EDHL)

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I agree completely Grahame, any software can and will be cracked or broken into no matter how secure it is. I have been tempted to buy aircraft from fsd but my ip changes frequently and I fear a purchase from them would turn into a nightmare fairly quickly. Any developer who tries to make their software so secure that the person that actually buys it gets accused of pirating or if takes hours or days of activation to finally be able to use what you paid for is not getting my money, plain and simple.Andrew

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