Sign in to follow this  
Azapata87

AVSIM and Piracy Clearing House?

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

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?

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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...

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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?

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

>"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.

Share this post


Link to post

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)

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

I would be interested in knowing how piracy accusations are going to be proven?.What happens if someone is wrongly accused of piracy? what then?.How is this "service" going to validate any claims of piracy?Dan.

Share this post


Link to post

So AVSIM is going to do what the RIAA and MPAA have been unable to do ? Sure, we've seen stories of major "busts" by the FBI, warez sites taken down, etc. P2P networks are a whole 'nother kettle of fish. In this case, the RIAA etc., have targeted the software used to share itself, as there is no "one person or group" to go after. They have failed at every step, even being denied the time of day by our own Supreme Court. So what exactly will be different here ?

Share this post


Link to post

Agreed.Piracy is wrong. Piracy happens. I'll hold any judgment of this scheme, until we see some fruits of its labors. Until then, I'll just repeat my agreement that RIAA and MPAA have demonstrated clearly the folly of taking this fight to the individual.Cheers,bt

Share this post


Link to post

I personally believe that it will be a "name and shame" deal, where there will not be any legal dealings, but the "threat" of being outed as a "pirate" to the community.This could open a huge can of worms.Dan.

Share this post


Link to post

I'll put it this way:I'm honestly sick and tired of hearing about this issue, at least in these terms. Piracy happens, and netiher this scheme nor any other will do ANYTHING to help curb it unless the law changes. Period.Piracy happens in all realms of software development, and, as we all know, music is probably the most shared/pirated of anything. Most organizations that are trying to stop piracy realize that the only way it will be possible is through legislation, without which, only the most flagrant offenders can be stopped. My point ? If you're gonna develop software, you need to accept that FOR NOW, piracy is a given. You want to waste your time with anti-piracy schemes, keys etc., go right ahead if it makes you feel better. It will fail, and when it does, I don't want to hear about how much time, money, etc., it cost you, because it is YOU that chooses to fight an unwinnable battle. Charging higher prices to paying customers, elaborate schemes that leave said customers quite frustrated, or even at times without the product they paid for, are not "neccessary evils" in the battle against piracy. It's bad business practice.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree with Brian here. As a former gauge programmer for a payware company (and current freeware programmer), I've had my stuff pirated. Does it bother me? No, it doesn't. Piracy happens and there is nothing we can do about it. I accepted that fact when I made my gauges. I expected it to happen, and I didn't care. The main reason is that the people who download it would not have bought it anyways. The only reason this whole piracy thing is such a big deal is because people do not seem to realize that there's nothing we can do about it and that it really doesn't matter. Hearing of things like the FSD issue makes me sick of the FS community as a whole. "It raises prices", "increases development times", and "makes for annoying copy protection" are all horrible excuses by other devlopers who cannot accept that their software will be pirated.Matt KaprockiPayware Devloper

Share this post


Link to post

"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."Andrew,Please don't single out the Middle East as THE major hotspot for software piracy, because I for one clearly know that it isn't the only hotspot for software piracy, and in fact I'm pretty sure that it's not the most serious of the software piracy hotspots around the world. I don't know whether you're ignoring the software piracy that occurs in the USA, Europe & Southeast Asia (China & Taiwan are good examples), but for one thing, the Middle East is NOT the only hotspot for software piracy in the world.As for my 2 cents in this topic, I really think that Avsim should only stick to trying to explain in detail to the members of the flight simulation community the harsh effects of software piracy on payware FS developers, because this initiative will definitely not stamp out every form of software piracy in the FS community, and it can also be a chance for some people to press false charges against other innocent people. I'm honestly not saying this as a rant against Avsim, I'm just saying my personal opinion with all due respect to the Avsim staff's opinion on this matter. I also fully agree with what Brian J. Doney and Matt Kaprocki said, in other words, as long as there's something called the internet in this world, then software piracy WILL HAPPEN. It's a fact that we all have to live with.In short, this initiative will not be fully effective, and it will not be 100% trouble free. Period.Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Asim,I did not mean it that way, and should have mentioned another country such as Russia."This type of thing wont stop the dedicated pirates, the ones hiding behind all those anonymous proxy servers based in the Middle East somewhere" What I meant was that some pirates likely use proxy servers, which are servers that they connect to and hide their real IP so if someone were to do a "WHOIS" on their ip they would see that it is a server in the Middle East or Russia or wherever the server is located and they would not see the software pirate's real IP or ISP. I'm not saying they are actually doing the pirating in the Middle East at all. There are many proxy servers in the U.S and just about every other country but people who really want to stay "anonymous" choose servers in different countries preferably ones that won't keep logs of what they do online so they can't be traced. I would go into more detail but this thread isn

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Andrew,Thanks for your thorough explanation and your apology, as I now fully understand what you meant with your comment. By the way, I never was really angry at you nor did I have any hard feelings because of you, I just wanted to reply with my opinion about your comment, which I now fully understand. So no hard feelings, mate! :-waveI guess that the fact that these pirates choose servers in different countries to evade capture from any authorities just goes to show how determined these pirates are! :DCheers,

Share this post


Link to post

Well, I have thought quite a bit on this subject, read all the posts to this and other threads, and have come to the following personal opinion on this matter.1) Murder and rape are crimes and no matter what we do we will never succeed in stopping all rapes and murders. But do we give up on enforcing the laws? Kind of a radical comparison, but we can not just give in and give up the enforcement of copyright protection because we believe we can never stop the violations. Punishment is the end, not the means.2) AVSIM has not asked anyone to turn in individuals or websites at all. They have simply implemented a method by which anyone who believes they have valid info can submit it to someone who knows what to do with it.3) This is no more Orwellian or Big Brotherish than the WeTip hotlines or the neighborhood police storefront or, for that matter, neighborhood watch. It is neighbor looking out for neighbor.4) We, as valid users of the add-on software and, in some cases, acquaintances of the developers, should be willing, no enthusiastic about anything we can do to better their situation, and, thereby, better our own. After all, we are all obsessed with this MSFS thingy. Right?5) Remember, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you. What??? Uhhhh.... Well,,, that's not,,, never mind.6) Give it a chance. Trust Tom Allensworth's judgement and support his decision. Has he ever been catastrophically wrong? Well,, Uhhhh... maybe,,, No, never. We AVSIM devotees owe it to AVSIM to voice our opinions and then sit back and watch. Might work better than even Tom imagined, might SNAFU totally. Wait and see.Glenn"If God would have wanted man to fly He would have given him more money"

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this