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NotASenator

Ethical Question

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I fellow simmer and I were visiting a few days ago and he asked if we are still bound (legally and/or morally) by the EULA when a "company" has ceased to exist. Specifically he was wondering if he could now share his registered copy of FS Navigator since that "company" has called it quits. He felt (and I agree) that it seems a shame new simmers will not have a chance to try this fine program if they cannot obtain a copy of it now.I did not know how to answer him so I thought I would pose the question here in hopes of getting some thoughtful replies from those who have some legal expertise.Your thoughts?

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>I fellow simmer and I were visiting a few days ago and he>asked if we are still bound (legally and/or morally) by the>EULA when a "company" has ceased to exist. Specifically he was>wondering if he could now share his registered copy of FS>Navigator since that "company" has called it quits.> You're still bound by your contract with them unless and until they or a court void that contract.After that you loose the right to use the software, and don't gain the right to distribute it on your own.The intellectual property rights are NOT yours, they still belong to the company or those owning its resources.>He felt (and I agree) that it seems a shame new simmers will>not have a chance to try this fine program if they cannot>obtain a copy of it now.>Tough luck.

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>>I fellow simmer and I were visiting a few days ago and he>>asked if we are still bound (legally and/or morally) by the>>EULA when a "company" has ceased to exist. Specifically he>was>>wondering if he could now share his registered copy of FS>>Navigator since that "company" has called it quits.>> >>You're still bound by your contract with them unless and until>they or a court void that contract.>After that you loose the right to use the software, and don't>gain the right to distribute it on your own.>>The intellectual property rights are NOT yours, they still>belong to the company or those owning its resources.>>>He felt (and I agree) that it seems a shame new simmers will>>not have a chance to try this fine program if they cannot>>obtain a copy of it now.>>>>Tough luck. >Yet another classic "contribution" from the "certified professional" - condescending and mostly useless.

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Thanks for all the responses guys - I was pretty sure that was the case but did not want to be telling my friend something without verifying it first.We both have registered copies of FSNav are are pleased with it so will not be looking for a replacement for it just yet.Thanks again.

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There actually has been attempts to deal with orphaned copyrighted work, and in Canada they actually have a procedure for this. It's mainly geared to the science community, to further research. Basically if one wants to use others work who can not be located, they would make an application to the Canadian Copyright Office to declare the work orphaned. If the office approved it, it would temporarily issue a compulsory license of the work on behalf of the unlocatable holder of the work. An attempt to implement a similar system here in the US failed in Congress in 2005. There was another bill in 2006 hr 5439, the

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Didn't the US effort apply to copyright on printed works where the holder was unreachable but the copyright not yet expired?Different problem domain.

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I feel that if the company packs it up, I can do whatever I want with the product. Sorry guys this is how I feel.Joe

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"I feel that if the company packs it up, I can do whatever I want with the product. Sorry guys this is how I feel."Perhaps if the authors or contributors to the product are no longer alive, but what should deny them the right to their intellectual property while they are still alive? The minute their intellectual property gets passed back and forth they lose that opportunity. Just look at the past. Software can and has appeared again under the banner of a new company, or even the original author. If it were an open free-for-all when a company went under, authors would lose any and all future opportunities to profit from their work. Regardless of whether you don't feel obligated to respect the company's copyright, you owe respect to the people who made up that company. If you don't feel you owe them that respect, then you don't respect a single person here or anywhere else on this planet, which I doubt. By that I mean people have a right to make a living and we all owe each other that respect. Hobbyists in our community should wait for the dust to settle when a company goes south rather than jump in like wolves to distribute the pieces as they see fit and/or blab to our community that they feel they can do as they please.Regards,John

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remind me to remind everyone to never sell you anything.

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>"I feel that if the company packs it up, I can do whatever I>want with the product. Sorry guys this is how I feel.">>Perhaps if the authors or contributors to the product are no>longer alive, but what should deny them the right to their>intellectual property while they are still alive? The minute>their intellectual property gets passed back and forth they>lose that opportunity. >>Just look at the past. Software can and has appeared again>under the banner of a new company, or even the original>author. If it were an open free-for-all when a company went>under, authors would lose any and all future opportunities to>profit from their work. >>Regardless of whether you don't feel obligated to respect the>company's copyright, you owe respect to the people who made up>that company. If you don't feel you owe them that respect,>then you don't respect a single person here or anywhere else>on this planet, which I doubt. By that I mean people have a>right to make a living and we all owe each other that respect.> >>Hobbyists in our community should wait for the dust to settle>when a company goes south rather than jump in like wolves to>distribute the pieces as they see fit and/or blab to our>community that they feel they can do as they please.>>Regards,>>John >>The problem is that it is no longer supported solely because the author, albeit in ill health, didn't want to support it any more. The author will most likely never attempt to exert his rights if someone were to pass out activation codes. Because of this, FSNavigator (up through v4.70) is abandonware.Where this can come in conflict is if he were to develop a newer product and doesn't want the competition from FSNavigator and wants to suppress its use.

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>>The problem is that it is no longer supported solely because>the author, albeit in ill health, didn't want to support it>any more. The author will most likely never attempt to exert>his rights if someone were to pass out activation codes. >Because of this, FSNavigator (up through v4.70) is>abandonware.>It's definitely not abandware.The Author contacted his distributer (simmarket) and specifically told them to 'stop' distributiong his software by a specififed date.That clearly is the author asserting his right to stop distribution of his work.Regards.Ernie.

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>Didn't the US effort apply to copyright on printed works>where the holder was unreachable but the copyright not yet>expired?>>Different problem domain.Yes as well as the for the scientific community to not deter creativity and innovation. I think though in practice if it passed, it may have had to apply to all orphaned work, due to the equal protection provisions in the Constitution. At least I think if they tried to limit it's scope, it could be challengeable in court.

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I imagine the rights to IP or any other asset are probably owned by an individual who had a "dba" setup. If he stops doing business he still owns the rights. Even if the rights were held by some other form such as an LLC those rights would be assignable if the LLC or partnership was terminated.scott s..

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>>>>The problem is that it is no longer supported solely because>>the author, albeit in ill health, didn't want to support it>>any more. The author will most likely never attempt to>exert>>his rights if someone were to pass out activation codes. >>Because of this, FSNavigator (up through v4.70) is>>abandonware.>>>>It's definitely not abandware.>>The Author contacted his distributer (simmarket) and>specifically told them to 'stop' distributiong his software by>a specififed date.>>That clearly is the author asserting his right to stop>distribution of his work.>>Regards.>Ernie.>Doesn't it go to intent? I don't know for certain, but I'd guess he told them to stop selling his software solely because he didn't want to have to answer questions and provide support for more and more users while attempting to shut things down.If you decided to stop supporting FSBuild 2.x and told them to stop selling it because FSBuild 3.0 is soon to be released, that is a lot different than if you told them to stop selling it because you were dropping out of the flightsim community, no?I guess my point is that there is no reason why FSNavigator couldn't continue to be sold with the clear understanding that it is no longer supported.

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