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AirShow

FSLabs forum requires your real name to get liveries.

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Hello,

I am trying to get liveries for my FSLabs A320X purchase. Can anyone please help me out with a link to where I can download them, other than the FSLabs forum? 

Their forum seems to require that you sign up with your real name, even if you have no intention of making any posts. This is a huge privacy concern, and I am not comfortable with it, especially as I have no intention of making any posts on there at this time, and just want to get liveries for this expensive purchase.

Not even PMDG makes you sign up to a forum with your real name, in order to get liveries for your purchases. In fact, this is the first time I have seen this with any flightsim addon developer. There is no reason why the livery download section needs to be locked behind such a requirement, as the A320X addon already has its own purchase verification system.

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4 minutes ago, AirShow said:

Can anyone please help me out with a link to where I can download them, other than the FSLabs forum?

Unfortunately there is no other location or link for the repaints available on the FSLabs website.
But there are also a lot of repaints available here and there if you wish. For example:
AVSIM library: https://library.avsim.net/search.php?CatID=root&SearchTerm=fslabs&Sort=Added&ScanMode=0&Go=Change+View
iniBuilds: https://forum.inibuilds.com/files/category/39-fslabs/

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Rafal Haczek

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Thanks for the links!

4 minutes ago, Rafal said:

Unfortunately there is no other location or link for the repaints available on the FSLabs website.

Unless the files are being personalized, they are probably available elsewhere as well. I just got to find them.

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Posted (edited)

While I agree with you that their decision about this is questionable, I actually don't see any problem. If you don't like to post stuff on their forums (as you mentioned), your privacy is not in danger.

There is no public member list that can be seen by others (even registered users). There is also an option to turn off your "online status", so if you really don't make ANY post on the forums, nobody will ever be able to "find" you / read your name. Only FSLabs knows and like you said as well.. they already know.

Basically if downloading stuff is all you want, this should be perfectly possible without fearing to give away data to others that violates your privacy.

---------------------------

That being said, I get your point. The "real name as username" stuff was not always like this. Years ago you were perfectly allowed to use any username you liked - and this is still true for people like me, because I still have my old username. I never used my account to post anything over there, so I'm still "fine" - but if I decide to do, then the "friendly reminder" will come for sure. This won't help in your position because I guess there's no way for new users to "bypass" the requirement for using your real name - and yeah, old users don't have any real benefit here, because well.. they have to change the name as soon as they start posting. 😉 But I still had prefered they stayed with their old rules, agreed..

Anyway..

41 minutes ago, AirShow said:

Unless the files are being personalized, they are probably available elsewhere as well. I just got to find them.

That's difficult. The files shouldn't be "personalized", but there is no legal mirror to them. Even if you find something somewhere, chances are low that you will find complete or updated stuff. Be aware that liveries are updated all the time / new stuff is added, etc. - One could ask a friend who also owns the plane, but I guess this is against their terms of service / not allowed.. and I doubt the mods over here will tolerate any further discussion about it.

But yeah, it's really not necessary. You shouldn't encounter any privacy related problems if you don't post, set up your privacy settings and just download stuff. So I really recommend to just do that 😉

Edited by roesti
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Years ago, in the private forum of a non-USA-based website, we were asked about them possibly implementing a real name required policy, and I think they were quite surprised by the roar of emphatic "No's".

I wondered at the time if it was a Euro thing, and if they just didn't really "get" the almost instinctive recoil, and privacy concerns of Americans and others.

They did not proceed.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, HiFlyer said:

I wondered at the time if it was a Euro thing, and if they just didn't really "get" the almost instinctive recoil, and privacy concerns of Americans and others.

I'm an European citizen and I share the same concerns 😄 Especially in Europe these rules are highly debatable (privacy laws are very strict here) and most people I know would agree, I think. But I guess it's perfectly legal, because it's their forums and they can make the rules.

But still.. the problem only exists if you want to engage in discussions on these forums, and yes, it's too bad that you can't. And I'm serious here, sometimes it might be nice to post something.

But at least you have the choice. So if downloading is all you want, everything is fine, you don't need to expose anything to anybody if that is all you want. . Okay, you could still be concerned the forums could get "hacked" and somebody will be able to get "all the names", but..

a) These would just be the names with no addresses
b) Then you also should be concered if somebody "hacks" the customer data of their shop (and this is the full data including addresses). But if one is really concerned about this possibility, then this person shouldn't even buy the plane at first.

So maybe there's some point I haven't thought about, but they already made the forums they way that you can't browse users or other stuff like this.

Edited by roesti

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42 minutes ago, roesti said:

There is no public member list that can be seen by others (even registered users). There is also an option to turn off your "online status", so if you really don't make ANY post on the forums, nobody will ever be able to "find" you / read your name. Only FSLabs knows and like you said as well.. they already know.

Thank you for the replies, and I agree with you in that, theoretically, I shouldn't be in any privacy danger, so long as I do not post. There is however a setting that can easily expose your real name, when online on the forums.

yQYD2RN.png

As a software engineer myself, I am also concerned about having my real name in yet another database, considering how many large companies with teams of employees working on security, have been hacked into in the past. Take a look at what happened to Facebook, as the latest example.

https://www.npr.org/2021/04/09/986005820/after-data-breach-exposes-530-million-facebook-says-it-will-not-notify-users

Our real names being automatically registered on this forum, just increases our online profile, and makes us more vulnerable to future hacks. They could have automatically made an account that has no posting privileges, and can be just used to download liveries, for example.

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This my personal view, not trying to convince anyone to anything but, as you can see, I have no issue with existing in forums under my real name and location and even a photo.
I have never ever had any problems because of it and actually I like to know people a bit, especially that 99% of us will never have a chance to meet in this short life.
On my professional websites/profiles I have all the contact data visible, as this is how I make business with people. If you spend a quarter, you will know a lot about me.


Rafal Haczek

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, AirShow said:

Thank you for the replies, and I agree with you in that, theoretically, I shouldn't be in any privacy danger, so long as I do not post. There is however a setting that can easily expose your real name, when online on the forums.

Yeah, that's the setting I was talking about that you should turn off 🙂 But: Have you tried the following? Click on the link named "Show online users". At least I get an error message here, that I'm not allowed to do that. And I'm sure this is valid for every "normal customer", so even with this setting enabled, nobody will be able to find you. I guess only FSLabs staff can use this feature.

I totally agree with your concerns, as already said. I really don't like their decision, I'm totally with you. But still, as mentioned in my last post, I bet the chances are low that something "bad" happens. A shop database "hack" would be far worse I guess and I think it's as possible as a forums hack. But you already had to enter your name when ordering the plane, so.. yeah.

It's still an "incovencience" and I really wish (like yourself) they had not gone this way regarding the forum names.

 

Edited by roesti
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21 minutes ago, roesti said:

 because it's their forums and they can make the rules.

 

While I agree with the notion that they can make their own rules within their forums, as a customer when I get "suffocated" by too many rules and exposing my private information my choice is very clear.
 
I don't buy anything from them anymore.
 
On top of that, please don't forget that when the product was purchased as a legit customer, I gave already lots of private information and they should be granted automatic access to download deliveries without any inconvenience.
 
Take as an example from PMDG where with the purchased software you can update and you can download liveries without any other nonsense. Going to the forum and engaging in discussions or publishing it is another story.
 
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Anyone that truly thinks they have anything resembling actual functional anonymity when using public internet sites and services is fooling themselves.

As we used to teach in the military, assume that anything you say or do on a computer can be or will be at some future time visible to everyone, and act accordingly.

 

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Posted (edited)

@killthespam

Like I said multiple times now, I'm with you like I'm with the OP - I don't like their decision. I just wanted to point out that at least you are able to download the stuff without sharing your real name publically, as long as you don't post. Still far away from "perfect" and for me, it also doesn't make much sense to give them my data "twice", but it's still the same person / company, that already knows my data.

My argument about "it's their rules" was, you are not forced to use the forums. You can still download the liveries without posting. And even if you decide not to register (which I can fully understand), you can still use the product (okay, you're limited to the default livery..). Product support is handled completely outside the forums as well via ticket system, so I guess there isn't a real possibility to go against these rules (in legal terms) other than avoiding the product completely, like you already said.

I also don't like PMDGs forums rules or attitude. But there isn't anything we can do against it (except not buying / using their stuff).

Edited by roesti
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@roesti I completely agree with their reasoning behind wanting to have real names for those that want to post. This is intended for constructive communication purposes, and I can understand.

There is however no practical purpose to locking liveries behind a forum registration with a real name. I cannot use those liveries without a fully authenticated base product anyway, so what is the reason behind doing it?

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, AirShow said:

so what is the reason behind doing it?

Believe me, I'm as puzzled as you about this.. When I should make a guess, I'd say they maybe want to reduce the chances of piracy. Like I mentioned, the "real name" rule wasn't there at first, but you still had to register to download stuff. As their database is really big and I doubt you'll find a complete snapshot of it somewhere, as somebody who uses a pirated copy of the plane, you have to find other ways to get this stuff and this might be not so easy.

The "real name" rule for the forums came wayyyyy later and I guess it's just "bad coincidence" that it now also applies to users who just want to download stuff. Maybe they haven't really thought about this part and the main purpose was like you said, to get "constructive communications" on their forums.

But this is just a personal guess of mine and if you really want an answer, I guess the best way is to write a personal message to Lefteris. Chances are not low that he will answer you, from my experience, he usually does when he finds time. But this answer probably won't be satisfactory for you 😄

------------------

PS

I guess the general decision to use the forums for downloading stuff at first (even before the name rule) is just pure convenience for them and others. Because as a forums user, you are free to create your own livery / mod / cabin pack / whatever and just upload it to the forums - it's a feature of the forums software, it just works.. so they maybe thought it's the best idea to just go this way. So for FSLabs it wasn't necessary to code some "own application" for distributing liveries amongst the community.

Edited by roesti

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