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Guest acebrando1

Ethics Question

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First off, I'm a freeware addon person myself. I used to buy addons back in the 90's versions like FS95 and 98 and whatever was before that... That was when I was still in school and wanted something to spend my little money on. Since those days though I never have bought an addon for Microsoft's stuff. I just look on a few sites like avsim for some really cool free addons when I have absolutely nothng to do. Just to see what enthusiasts are doing these days. I hardly have time to flightsim anymore but this issue I am about to raise should be addressed and discussed. Although it probably already has been addressed. I am not a mainstream flightsimmer anymore. My "spending money" hobbies have really changed since then - fly-fishing, hunting...A little while ago though I was on a flight and sitting next to me was a teenager. I hardly ever talk to the person next to me but he had his laptop out and was flightsimming. I could not resist taking glances at his screen. Then he turned and asked me some basic rhetorical question (not rhetorical but more of just a statement) about Eastbound/Westbound cruise altitude, because we were on a Westbound flight. He just said that he wish he knew what our cruise altitude was and I said, "I think 38,000, Westbound flights are 'even-numbered' usually." He said, "Thanks, I'll keep that in mind."Then we started talking about computers (bla, bla, bla) and then I said, "I used to be into that flightsimming big time." His eyes lit up. We talked some more, he could not realize flightsimming without a joystick at a home computer (desktop). I said it can be done. Then he started telling me of the add-ons that are out there now. I said, and am still saying, "WOW!" (believe me, I know the cool payware that is out there) Then I told him about the stuff I used to buy at Best Buy and stores like it for my add-ons. So then I asked how much these addons (like he was using) cost. He smirked and said, "I never pay for this stuff". Then my eyebrows went up. Being as naive as I could I asked how he gets it. "Through NAPSTER type sites" , I said. He said, "sort of". Or he said off of people he knows that has the addon and they just copy .exe files off of a burned CD.I questioned the integrity of not buying it when I know he is trying to beat the system. Then he tried to validate his reasoning as to why he did not think it was wrong. He said, "Don't you ever copy a song off the radio or a CD from a friend or the library?" I said, "A music CD from a friend, sure I do." He said what's the difference. I said well in my case my "friend" is my father. He said so what? Who cares who you gave you the CD. He said no one is making an illegal profit from it. I said well my father is the artist and songwriter who made the CD. He shutup real quick.You see my dad is a songwriter, producer, and artist in the music industry. Has been for many years. I was raised on the money and success that he made by making all that music. Before these times of file sharing of course. So you know where I stand on this issue.I still could not get through to the kid.Although my example of my father might not be perfect, because unlike developers of flight sim addons nowadays, music was and is my fathers bread and butter. When I was a kid (especially my pre kindegarden days, many years ago) my dad's success in the studio and on the big stage was the determining factor on whether or not my family and I had a roof over our heads and food on the table. If I understand correctly (correct me if I am wrong) flightsim developers of both free and payware do it as a hobby mostly.My question is this. What do you ever say to a person who uses reasoning like I told you about above (teenager that was on the plane with me)? Technically, what is the difference of copying a song off of a friends CD or the radio and doing the same thing with software? How do you get through to people like that when that line of reasoning is used?Any thoughts would be appreciated.Sincerely,acebrando1P.S. I will not divulge my father's name. You understand.

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I'll try and not comment on the dirty tactics used by producers/record companies/etc against artists, especially back in the old days, but most people just don't care about if their actions might effect somebody else. to them, getting something for free, cannot be beat. even if they have to go to great lengths morally to justify it (which it cannot be done)working in the software industry, I learned how much hard work goes into products. And, like your experiences, I would not think about taking away somebodies profit for my selfish desires.If you copy a song off the radio and enjoy it, you should go out and buy the album it is on as a "thank you" to the person or people who worked hard for it. The same goes with flight sim addons. You want to thank them by giving them money for their hard work if it is a good product, and in return you get not only a great product, but a chance of a future even better product.

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I don't think that there is anything that you can say to these people, outside of actual punishment, that will make them see the light. I am sure that most of them deep down know what they are doing is wrong but they have 500 reasons to back up what they are doing as right. I guess since they do not see anyone actually being harmed they don't care. They make up all of these ideas that the person who made the software, music, or whatever is rich and he is poor so he gets this Robin Hood type of thing going. Until they can be made to see the actual harm done to people they will not care, and then still some will not. The only thing that they care about is getting what they want. All through time criminals have tried to justify to themselves that what they were doing was ok and these people are the same thing, criminals. I'll probably make some enemies with this statement but oh well..... I wish that some crime enforcement agency would monitor some of these file sharing sites and then arrest and charge those that download files that are obviously illegal, like the latest games, add-ons and music that have been released and charge them with receiving stolen property. People, this is the same thing as walking into a store and stealing the actual box off of the shelf, it is a crime and hence they should be charged! Ask most of these people if they would steal a copy from a store and they would say no, but they can not see that what they are doing is the same thing. Amazing how the human mind can justify almost anything. These people have found a gold mine, they get what they want for free and they will protect it, they will not listen to reason. I firmly believe that the only way to bring people around at this point is to charge them with a crime, allow them to see the criminality of what they do. I would like to see a world where all of the music and games were free but that is not the way it is so we should follow the laws rather than make excuses. Philip Olsonhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/supporter.jpg

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Well I'm not going to devote this post to defending one position or the other, but I have spent some time thinking about the psychology of the people who pirate software/music etc. The law-abiding side is quick to label the pirate side as common criminals, but if you look at it some more you will notice that the people who pirate digital media never shoplift, never rob banks, and never mug grandmas on the street. Indeed, as far as the "real world" is concerned they too are law-abiding citizens. So this leads to the next point--what is the difference in their minds between stealing something in the real world and copying something in digital form? There has to be a difference, I'm sure they didn't just arbitrarily decide that one is illegal and the other isn't.I have reached the conclusion that the difference is simply in the physicality of the item. For example, to make a chair you need someone to gather the wood and another person to assemble the chair. Chairs cannot be duplicated, if you want another chair you have to once again gather the wood and assemble it. It takes resources and labor to produce a single chair.Now consider music on a CD. It took someone to produce the songs on the album, and someone to print the songs onto the CDs. Stealing a CD from a store is definitely illegal--the CD is a physical item that costs money to produce. But what if a person were to acquire a CD from a store through legal means, then provide his own resources (a blank CD and a CD burner) and his own labor (he burns the CD himself) to make a duplicate? This is made possible because unlike a chair, a song doesn't physically exist--it's made of 1s and 0s, which are effectively translated into electrons in the computer. So the company that produced the CD loses nothing in terms of resources and labor, but they are however losing a potential sale. The problem here is the word "potential"--you can't prove that you lost money, and you can't prove that a theft occurred. The standpoint of the pirate of course is that the music company is trying to get rich off of something that essentially costs nothing to produce.So again, I'm not trying to make an opinion here, I'm just trying to deliver each side's viewpoint as objectively as possible.

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In reference to the first response. Producers and record companies did take advantage of artists, especially way back in the old days. How has most of that stopped? The artists formed unions.You all raised valid points and the previous post would (I hate to say it) make a fairly good argument in the court room of opinion. The following case could be made in reference to a newspaper or magazine. Someone buys the thing and then a friend is interested in the same articles in that publication. One of the persons owns a copy machine. The person that did not buy the publication just got it for free and only spent cash on his own resources; paper, ink, etc. A lot of work went into making that particular publication but it got copied in minutes. The copy was made essentially for free. What law specifically was broken? How can it ever be enforced.Or a movie is going to be on a friend's TV, that friend's TV gets that movie on a channel the other person does not. He now has the movie on a tape that cost a couple of dollars. Now honestly, how many times does that happen? Or someone tapes a program/movie to show at a party or event that takes place down the road. No profit is ever made in any situation like this either.Those of you that want the government to step in and inforce (as I do) copyright laws, where do you honestly think that rates on Uncle Sam's scale of importance with all the other stuff going on in the physical world. Especially in today's world. More inforcement would mean more government rules, employees, Congressional oversight, etc. The last law article I read in reference to this I believe (if I am not mistaken) the judge sided with the NAPSTER type people.I am simply raising an issue software developers better think about more. Developers are very staunch on not letting their produts be pirated, as they should be. If they would want more enforcement from Uncle Sam then Congress is going to mandate that many more safeguards go into the anti-copying side of the product. Just like buying insurance for something. That is how the feds work.So I must say this though. Practice what you preach. There better not be one software developer that even has in his/her posession one copied song from a friend's CD, the radio, etc. They also better not own any copied TV programs/movies either. For instance, a couple days ago I saw a police officer put on the flashing lights just to get through an off-ramp that was going a bit slow. Did he/she shut the lights off as soon as they got through the traffic? YOU BET! Or is there a difference I am not seeing?Interesting discussion.

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Derek, Great job at breaking down some of the thinking here! To me though it is sad that the method of delivery will allow someone to think that stealing is right. It is not the method of delivery that a person wants but the final product and that is what they are purchasing or stealing. I know that you are staying neutral but I am just furthering my argument here. The people who steal these things online need to ask themselves these questions:1. Would I walk into a store and steal the same item off of a shelf?2. If not then why do I feel that I can do it online?3. What is the difference? When you steal from a store it is not the CD, DVD, whatever that you are after but the product that is on it so why do you think it is ok to steal the same item in one situation and not the next? I think one thing that we have not addressed yet is that people feel that they may get caught stealing from a store but do not have that fear online. It is sad but many people will take something if there is little or no risk of getting caught. Many also congratulate themselves at getting one over on "the man". People do not care unless some how it effects them directly. Personally I do have the morals to pay for what I use but many do not and until there is a good method of catching people engaged in this form of theft they will continue to do it. It really bothers me that a very large portion of computers that I have worked on do contain pirated software, these people openly brag and talk about it. In case you did not know I own my own computer repair company. Some even ask me for free software while I am in their houses. I guess that people are not morally strong when presented with such a low risk way of getting something for free that should be paid for. I will admit that I am tempted at times, I too would rather get something for free rather than paying for it but it is wrong. I don't care how much anyone tries to legitimize it, you can not defend this as being anything but wrong. Yes, there are always grey areas but when you are talking about something like buying FS9 or the PMDG 747 compared to downloading it for free at a Warez site there is no question that this is blatant theft, a crime that should leave you with jail time and restitution. I have never been harmed myself by people downloading stuff for free. Well except for paying much higher prices no thanks to the bums. I guess the only thing I have to gain by my stand is a clear conscience. No religion in the world that I am aware of promotes theft, to that end at least I know that when I stand in judgement I will be fine. I am really sorry for those that think there is nothing wrong with what you do but I think you should rethink your stance because it is theft and it is wrong, morally, ethically and legally.Take care, Philip Olsonhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/supporter.jpg

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I will not promote religion here because I think it is against forum rules to do so. However when judgement day comes you will only be ok if you meet one and only one requiremnt. We are all human and every human being makes mistakes and does things that are wrong whether they are intentional or not.Surfing the web for pirated software and downloading it is just as wrong as taking a CD that is not yours and borrowing it from a friend and making a copy of it onto your computer. Right? How often have anyone of you done anything like that? Also, refer to my previous postings in this topic.The comparison defense of stealing a physical piece of property from a store to online file sharing example would not work in my opinion. Why? Because that argument has lost in the courts already if I am not mistaken. You are comparing physical things to electrons (1's and 0's). Remember people that are software pirates look at it as someone else giving them something for free. So they do not look at themselves as the one doing the stealing. To them it is a big Christmas Tree for anyone to gather around and dig in. Wrong? OF COURSE IT IS. Point? The argument for anti-pirating needs to be sharpened a great deal.The first case of software piracy was way back in the 70's when Bill Gates found out that the people who could afford a computer were sharing the software he designed that cost at the time $500 to $800.I think that developers should read this entire post and comment on it. I am not pointing any fingers here, I am human just like anyone else and like I said we all make mistakes. Read my previous postings in this topic. Everyone has personal double standards, even the music industry for example. As I am sure software developers do to, no one is perfect. I will not speak of what goes on in a recording studio for instance, sometimes those people do not practice what they preach either. Again, refer to my previous posts.Before anyone starts pointing fingers and sentencing people remember that their software pirating is no different than if you were breaking the speed limit today on the way home today. What happens when you get nailed for speeding, jail time? NO. You get a warning or a ticket. In very few drastic cases they take a person to jail. What is the difference of going 70 in a 55 mph zone and downloading software for free?When we point a finger there are three pointing right back at us. Remember, I am not defending software pirating. I think and believe it is wrong. Read my opening post and you will see where I come from. Before anyone would start lobbying lawmakers or coming up with theories for tougher enforcement of software piracy just think of all of the bureaucratic systems that would have to go into place. My point is there are so many grey areas right now that it is pathetic. Look at it this way. Areas of Juris Prudence takes years and years to get partially right. And I am not even talking about this brand new field of software piracy. Physical theft has been going on since the beginning of man kind and that is still being argued in courts today. How long has p2p been going on? Only what, 10 years? You know it will take years to get prosecutorial law down to as close of a science as it is going to get. Judges in courts are already justifying certain types of files labeling them as legal to share.Can't you just hear the activist groups saying that the government would be conducting domestic internet spying. I certainly don't want to hear that on the evening news. Do you?If a developer ever was caught not practicing what he/she preached than that would be the beginning of a big roller coaster ride. Than the software industry (in this case flight sim add-ons) begins losing its' integrity.One way to start thwarting pirating is to start publicizng specific cases where people have been caught and prosecuted. Yes, with software like flight sim stuff. Not cases invlolving the RIAA or the movie industry because that happens all of the time.I wonder what developers would say to all of this??? Because it is their pocket book we are talking about when it comes down to the line.

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well, piracy is something us developers are always faced with, and it's probably never going away. I've been working in the game/film industry for 10+ years and worked on dozens and dozens of titles....and i've seen all those titles being pirated. Unfortunally, there's not much we can do; it's just part of the business, and it's not limited to this industry either. For example, i went to Beijing last year, and everything imaginable was pirated there...from McDonalds, to cars, to of course games/music/dvds, to even Coke and Pepsi! It's insane. But we developers are looking for ways to at least minimize it - best solution imo: everything is server based, with an account to login (you get the account by paying for the game; i'm not talking about MMO type of monthly accounts). I can see most games going to this route in the next 5-10 years...as well as television, music and films (we'll probably never "own" anything in the future....even the operating system can be run remotely once the next-gen internet speed is released to the public). For example, when you buy FS13, you get ONE account only with that game at the time of purchase. To play it, you have to log-in. The game sits on the server side, not client (similar to Guild Wars). If you decided to buy add-ons, those add-ons are installed remotely into your account. This will make it extremely difficult to pirate....but i'm sure there will be loop holes. so far now, we just have to deal with it and hppe technology catches up. just my two cent....sort of off topic from the original question..sorry.-feng

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Great Solution!Hopefully all logins like you are referring to would be automated by a finger print scan. Or your computer would have a database of log-in accounts. You click on the games icon or file and (by then with computer speeds being who knows how fast) you are in the game/dvd/music/etc. even faster than you are now.That solution, as good as it sounds, poses another major problem. The problem with it is that this would further encourage a BIG BROTHER type world/society. Privacy gets thrown out the window. At that rate what will we actually own outside of what is in our refigerator so to speak?Eventually they will know wherever you go, where you eat, what you buy. But isn't that already happening with credit/debit cards? How many of us buy stuff with cash anymore?Will software developer's push us into a BIG BROTHER society?

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Hopefully all logins like you are referring to would be automated by a finger print scan. Or your computer would have a database of log-in accounts. You click on the games icon or file and (by then with computer speeds being who knows how fast) you are in the game/dvd/music/etc. even faster than you are now.Don't laugh!! Microsoft now has a keyboard with a fingerprint scanner on it. The day that we use fingerprints to login may not be to far away!!Here's the linkhttp://www.microsoft.com/products/info/pro...e9-85b9e42e826a

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Since I'm the one who started this thread I guess I should ask the ultimate question to all of you add-on developers.For instance, do you have in your posession 1 song, or a CD of music where the source of where you got it from (radio, friend, library, etc.) was free to you?If your answer is yes, then you have no right to point your finger at someone who got the software (you made) for free. It does not matter how he/she got it.The piece of music you have that you acquired for free is the same as someone getting a payware flightsim addon from whatever type of venue for free. FACE IT!I look forward in reading any of your comments.P.S. Before you get defensive (if you do) read my first post. You will see where I personally come from.

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