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Guest Shalomar

Illegal Distribution of software

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Illegal Distribution of Developer Product.Hi Simmers,After discovering today even more of my Textures and artwork being poached and illegally distributed by http://www.simnetwork.net (pay for access site) I have decided to write to the forums and express my displeasure about the outright abuses of Developers Rights and the flagrantly offensive behaviour of sites like this charging simmers for the privilege of downloading my products which are intended as FREE from selected sites.Many of you know me and my work, my commitment to support of the simming community, and my provision of hundreds of aircraft textures and artwork to the simming community FREE through my site and my distribution of some of these through authorised and legal flight sim sites.Firstly let me clearly identify the sites that this correspondence is in reference to, those who are obvious repeatedly and consistently abuse developer rights and continue to abuse all simmers integrities and rights. Some Examples:http://www.fsplanet.com http://www.simnetwork.com http://www.simnetwork.nethttp://www.fsdome.com You may not be aware that there is now a serious growth in flight sim sites, like the ones mentioned above, which provide files for download but have restricted access to files unless you pay for membership to have privileged access to these files. Now the curse of this is of course that you are paying for products that were provided by developers to preferred and authorised sites for free and with the developers consent knowing that some of these sites were charging fees to help to cover costs of providing the services to you, the end users. These preferred sites have genuinely proven histories of servicing the community and warrant the support of developers as they avidly protect the developer

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I should relax, Garry. With 131 visitors on their silly public counter since 2003, I don't think simnetwork.net are much of a threat! And most simmers who download online are far too wise to be taken in by their claptrap.Keep up the good work, old chap.Mark "Dark Moment" Beaumonthttp://www.swiremariners.com/newlogo.jpg

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Gary, I do agree with you and have recently wondered about our hobby. I see more and more freeware developers migrating to the payware companies. Why is this? Probably so they can get some reward after many of them have been providing excellent quality freeware to the flightsim community for years. Maybe, they figure if people are going to blast some software errors or complain about a texture not being perfect, they may as well join a company and let the company take the nonsense from the kids and idiots.I don't use the sites you mentioned and most here do not because they know the best is here first and it is always free and usually supported by the author and users who lurk on these forums to hear comments and go back to fix code or move a letter on the registration for the community.Piracy is rampant on the internet but then so are generous hardworking contributors who have something to offer and are willing to give of their own time and effort to help others.We won't stop piracy but can actively discourage on forums and through our VA's (if we belong and many do) to ignore those pirate sites and the others that will pop-up from time to time. It says a lot for our hobby that people would actually pay to get freeware files. Or maybe, just maybe, those users don't know any better.

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I agree that we will never stop piracy of software for the simming community.However, maybe we need to take a much more active step in being very public on our sites on who are known sites that offend and abuse the flight sim community.I for one am going to add a forum entry and lock it to the top of my forum - Known Flight Sim Abuser Sites.I will publish the list and willingly look forward to their attempts at stopping me from publically declaring that they abuse the rights of Developers and charge fees for their illegal distribution and profit off other peoples work without consent.I think if all legitimate flight sim sites had the courage and the genuine desire to at least reduce this piracy and abuse of our environment then you too would be willing to publically declare these abusers.Regards and happy simming,

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Hi GarryMy guess is, people aren't stupid! I'm also pretty sure, the vast majority of users CARE A LOT about legitimate use and avoid places like FSPlanet etc. Compared to Mark's numbers, the thread in which Tom (our boss!) outlined the new freeware license, got more hits and perhaps even messages, than that simnetwork got in years! However, I do see one powerful possibility to avoid such things and I'm sure it has been mentioned in the past; we should address those companies advertising at those Idontknowwhattocallthem sites and remind them, that their helping useless organizations. Case there's a consent that 'we' don't buy from them as long as they advertise there, I'm sure the advertisers will prefer to stick with sites who care about such details and -last but not least- have large user bases, like Avsim. If we're really going to be serious about copyrights, I think it's the only thing we can do. Even though 'only' a couple of hundred people regularly contribute in writing, IMHO, the bandwidth of sites like Avsim is fairly large. To a certain extent, even Microsoft could help if they i.e. publish a notice on their FS homepage about such practices. I for one am prepared to play a watchdog if you want, Garry. But ideally, there would be a concerted effort. Finally, thanks a lot for taking your time and expressing your feelings. I really appreciate the insight and am trying to share your pain. I wish you all the best and beg you to take it easy. Just think of the thousands of people who enjoy and are truely grateful for your efforts. I realize this might be easy-speak if I say so, but it would be a real pity if your hard sentiments are stronger than our feeling of gratitude for your work. Please excuse my lenghtly reply, good luck and kind regards Jaap PS: Freeware authors sometimes just move on and rightly so. Personally, I feel the widening net access and FS' continued succes, will always provide an influx of fresh blood and talent. Everybody can play his favourite part. I'm a shite designer but can sometimes help out people with technical troubles. Etc, etc. It's the diversity of talent, personal stories and -usually- high level of cultivation, which makes this hobby and community so special. Cheers everybody

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Gary,I understand your frustration and anger.I took note of the sites, went and look at them and will never go back to them.Or I purchased legitimate products (RC,Genesis,Lago, FlightKeeper etc..) or I unload from AVSIM and a couple of other sites.At your place I would choose option 1 with a link from AVSIM per example.In fact we are too spoiled with freewares. But between free and $20 or more per product there is a margin. Even $ 30 could be cheap in regard what some products offer.Roger

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Garry,Whilst I sympathize with you on this issue, I believe that this will not and never will change, if the payware boys can't stop piracy, I can see no way for us freeware contributers to stop it either.I too have withdrawn from addon creation and also closed my site due to these continuing issues, I just can't see anyway for stop these problems.I closed my site because it was expensive to maintain the bandwidth, I first put a small note on their for a donation for bandwidth, how much did I get?, zero, not a bean, so why should I pay for the upkeep to host my own work, whilst people on the above mentioned site lists get an income from mine and others work?.I have tried, and failed in the past to combat this problem, as I know you have too, but it is an impossible battle that seemingly cant be won.Dan.

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One of the aforementioned sites has uploaded my repaints without authorisation. I have a plan of action that will take this guy by surprise ;)

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MD83,Far be it from me to Preach Ethics - particularly when it comes to sites like the ones mentioned who apparently have very little regards for ethics.But it is not wise to make threats, or imply that you may get revenge for a wrongdoing. These sites poach software, abuse developers and simmers, and make profits from other peoples work without consent, reminisent of a pawn shop that sells stolen property, turning a blind eye to the law as they believe that hidding behind internet aliases that they are beyond the reach of the law. The only way to stop them in their tracks is to shut down their sites - everytime they restart, then shut it down again. Ethically we should employ legal process to do this - even though they fail to apply any respect to the law and general ethics.So in a nutshell, as tempting as it may be to lower ourselves to their standards and "respond appropriately" it is best to aviod this approach and deal with it all in an above the board manner.Regards and happy simming

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My methods will be above-board, legal, and decent :)

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MD83Not a problem then - and good for you - I hope it is successful :-)But how is this for timing:I highlight unethical behavour for some sites and suddenly I am now receiving hundreds and hundreds of e-mail subscription confirmation request - someone (I leave it to your imagination as to who it might be) seems to think now is a good time to subscribe me to a lot of spam mail services. Attempting to fill my mail box with junk mail. Now that is very adult :-) - but not a problem - I have server mail filters which is eliminating them as fast as they arrive. This seems to demonstate the ethics that we real flight simmers would never apply to others - but I guess rocking the boat with some organisations has a penalty :-)Anyway - these things are sent to try us and we will not stoop to such tactics in return.Happy simming and wonder what the next installment is for this story.Regards

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Gary..... I have 2 more sites to add to those.FSFreeware.com and Flightsim.com ( allnodesbusy).FSFreeware downloaded a scenery of mine and had it posted on their site. I asked for it to be removed. They said it would be. 3 months later that is a scenery, same name, 4 bits more, same number of cities, on it for $10. It was withdrawn because I said I had errors in mine and I wonder if his did. yep.... our mr. Tabourett. Joe W.

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Joe,I am not sure I would tar FS.com with the same brush as they will remove any files that you ask, also they don't go "harvesting" files like the others mentioned.Dan.

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