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Tom Allensworth

Reporting Illegal copying/distribution.

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Hi.Just been surfing around the net and found a link to a bittorrent site that has files for payware scenery. Surely this is illegal?!As a law abiding member of the flightsim communityI feel that I should report this but who to? Preumably I should email the developer directly and allert them. Is this best way to go?I would also like to state the obvious, that I have notand do not intent to use this bittorrent file!Thanks for any comments on this issueAndy

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>Hi.>Just been surfing around the net and found a >link to a bittorrent site that has files for >payware scenery. Surely this is illegal?!it certainly is.>As a law abiding member of the flightsim community>I feel that I should report this but who to? Preumably >I should email the developer directly and allert them. >Is this best way to go?>developer is a good start. If you can you may also want to report the site to the proper law enforcement authorities (especially useful if the site is in your own country) and report it as a crime which means the police will be forced to take action.

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jwenting is correct. Best thing to do first is contact the people who made the software.The bad part is that this is really becomming a big problem, and it is going to end up ruining the hobby. It will come to point where quality developers will not want to work any more because they see their stuff getting ripped off like that all the time, and it has to be hurting them $$ wise. This something a lot of people on these forums dont appreciate. Avsim is the only major FS website I know of that has taken a stand against this. If you look on the front news page you will see a place where you can report this as well. I dont know what kind of action they take, but it could only be a good thing I think.

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I'm sure all the developers know very well that this goes on. Only thing they can do about it is to dream up new and complicated ways to authinticate valid users and hope that there are enough honest people out there to keep them in business. Matt

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>The bad part is that this is really becomming a big problem,>and it is going to end up ruining the hobby. It will come to>point where quality developers will not want to work any more>because they see their stuff getting ripped off like that all>the time, and it has to be hurting them $$ wise. I've heard this argument made here probably fifty times in the last 5 years, but the evidence just doesn't support it. What I see instead is a solid core group of thriving developers and the entrance of more and more quality developers and products into the market, not whimpering capitulation and headlong retreat because there are some thieves out there.Piracy, like shoplifting, will always be around, but I think we can safely assume that both add-on software makers and retail stores are far from extinction. Granted, a few companies (Ariane and FSD, among others) have thrown up a defensive (offensive?) wall around themselves that neither the average pirate nor the average potential customer can (or would want to) get through. They are not victims of the pirates, they are their own victims. Other enterprises (like Flight1 and PMDG) have implemented a fairly balanced set of compromises to protect their investments while not going so far as to make enemies out of their customers. And still others (like MAAM) take little precaution and trust there will be enough ethical people willing to pay them for their work to make it worth doing.>This (sic)>something a lot of people on these forums dont appreciateIt's not that I don't appreciate the conclusion you've drawn. I disagree with it.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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>>Other enterprises (like Flight1 and PMDG) have implemented a>fairly balanced set of compromises to protect their>investments while not going so far as to make enemies out of>their customers.>>Thanks Bob. That is exactly what we strive to do.You can never beat piracy. We do our best, but would prefer to trust our customers and spend our time developing product rather than fight a lost cause. Don't get me wrong, we are concerned about piracy and we do try to combat it, but try to do it inteligently.Best,Jim

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"I've heard this argument made here probably fifty times in the last 5 years, but the evidence just doesn't support it."What "evidence" are you referring to? None of us have any information that would constitute evidence. Only the developers themselves would know what their losses are. And I dont think any of them are "whimpering" or "capitulating" either. But I think quite a few of them would tell you that their production level would be much higher if they could put together larger teams of people interested in doing the work necessary. But after you have to split revenue up to a lot of guys and then the thieves pick you clean there is not a lot of motivation among good programmers. Hence the production is a lot slower. Even so, I never said any of them were whimpering or capitulating. But they are most certainly loosing a lot of $$.Perhaps you should consider that if you have heard something 50 times lately there might be something to it? Used to be that all of the software in FS, and really most of what you bought off the Internet or in the retail stores worked on the "trust" system too. Now almost everything you get has some form of protections system. Why is that if this is not a problem?

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It's known it goes on, but being able to catch pirates in the act can act as a deterrent at least against the casual ones.

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so you're saying that companies should do nothing because nothing they can do would prevent it anyway?That would result in piracy (or shoplifting) taking on such proportions that it would indeed become uneconomical to stay in business.Margins are slim, the few percent sales saved by deterring or preventing part of the losses due to criminal operations are enough to make it profitable.

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No he's stating that you need some measures to stop the casual pirate type but you have to take care not to overdo it because you wil scare away some of your customers that way.IE if in every shop you would be accompanied by a guard that will walk behind you and makes funny noises even when you just touch the mercandise you will solve the problem with shoplifters but you will also lose a big part of your clientele that will not tollerate being treated that way.Nobody realy knows how much is lost by pirating software because a part of the pirate group will never ever buy software the only reason that the software is on their computer is because they could pirate it.Recent discussions (for example about FSD) give reason to believe that we have reached the point where paying customers are mistaken for pirates and they are left without the product they paid for. When anti piracy goes bad and becomes highway robbery watch it tonight on Fox News ;-)

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The 'evidence' is that the add-on market is still growing with new developers entering the market almost every month. For example 1 year ago whe only had 1 add-on developer that did a FS texture set (FScene). Now we also have texture sets by BEV and by GE.Interestingly the price for such an add-on has decreased dramaticly due to some healty competition we can now have a full set of replacement World textures for $ 25,- (GE) instead of $ 150 (FScene).You could even say that FScene is more harmed by competitors then pirates.

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"Recent discussions (for example about FSD) give reason to believe that we have reached the point where paying customers are mistaken for pirates and they are left without the product they paid for." That would be one interpretation. You are assuming that the "paying customers" were not also poaching software. Or that the "incidents" they are reporting even happened. That they were falsely accused of committing piracy. You and I don't know that one way or another, and you have no evidence to support that accusation, just as I cant speak with authority about a software company's claims. But I have seen enough trolls in the forums over the years who just love to stir the pond, and if they sense they can get a good fire going going against a person or company you will see them more often, so I don't believe everything I read and im not impressed by how often accusations come up.I do note that these companies are not making public accusations against any person. I have previously stated when topics like this get started that it is really easy for an anonymous individual to make accusations against a company. It would be very foolish to simply believe that at face value. If it seems to you like there have been a lot of complaints (I have really only seen a few very vocal ones) it could also be because there is a lot of piracy going on, as is illustrated in the original post above.Personally I find it a bit hard to believe that any of these companies, FSD included, that are trying to make money in such a small market would form some kind of search and destroy hit squad to find innocent people to abuse. Im gonna bet they have better things to do. I'm more inclined to think on the occasional instance where it comes up they have good reason to make such an accusation and they are just trying to protect themselves.

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'That would result in piracy (or shoplifting) taking on such proportions that it would indeed become uneconomical to stay in business."It obviously has not become so bad that the devlopers are going out of business, because that it not happening, at least as we look on the outside. But I think thats mostly because they have been protecting themselves with anti-piracy measures, at least on some level. But when I look at all the peer-to-peer sites out there, and all of the Warez sites and newsgroups, I have to think the problem has become an epidemic. Not at all like it was a few years ago. Its become a serious problem.

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"It's known it goes on, but being able to catch pirates in the act can act as a deterrent at least against the casual ones."I think the problem is the casual ones, not a group of dedicated hackers looking to steal stuff. There are people like that, but they just get into cracking the software, like a sport. They probably never even run it, except to see if it works.But with the pirated/cracked versions of the software so easily accessible now, unlike it was just a few years ago, I think a lot of people who would normally buy the software get tempted into seeing if they can get it for free. That is probably particularly true with hobby/niche software like flight sim. Its not an exclusive club of techno-geeks cracking software for sport. Its just plain folks casually installing cracked software.

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>That would be one interpretation. You are assuming that the>"paying customers" were not also poaching software. Or that>the "incidents" they are reporting even happened. That they>were falsely accused of committing piracy. You and I don't>know that one way or another, and you have no evidence to>support that accusation, just as I cant speak with authority>about a software company's claims. So you admit you don

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