Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

rightseater

Can our community get FSPlanet to change its practices?

Recommended Posts

I hope so. In a way I should feel flattered, for the first time since I started placing distribution limitations in my files, one of mine (my recently released trike) has ended up on FSPlanet in spite of my wishes.I think realistically anyone who has a nervous breakdown over a site ignoring distribution limitations for a file we make freely available needs to back away for a while and take a break from design. It happens.But FSPlanet is different in my book because the only practical way for someone to get one of the freely available files that land there is to pay. The site claims it allows "free" access but when I tried to download my own 10MB package to see if the license info had been tampered with I could not--I was getting a download speed on broadband of 1KB per second. That's over two hours to download a package I own the copyright to, my own file. Sure other sites throttle bandwidth when they offer a dual (free and paid) business model but most files can be obtained within a reasonable time.In my opinion FSPlanet is trying to bait the unsuspecting with pretty pictures of our work, then switch them to paid service by making their free download access so crippled as to be useless. I have strong emotions here--but I will bite my tongue and say I don't think it's right.In the past Ferdy has suggested once "Freeware" is in any way associated with our software, we lose all distribution rights over it and essentially waive our copyright--that's the way I have understood his comments, anyway. Yet he isn't using a legal foundation for his justification--he is using a broad brushed term that has become quite diluted over the years. In my opinion, when someone takes something I own and starts using it as a pretense to grab money from the unsuspecting, he is stealing from me. I don't think anyone who saw me in person would dare try to get me so offended, but one thing the web allows is for anonymous jerks to act anyway they darn well please without fear of having to deal with someone face to face. I mean, if you're going to grab a file, at least have the respect to ask permission as per the readme? Ferdy never asked me, never responded to my emails to pull the file--it's easy to hide behind his keyboard I guess without worry he's going to offend someone. I believe there's legal basis to set this guy straight in court, but isn't worth the time and trouble by a long shot. But he uses advertisers just like any other site, including those listed below. I challenge these advertisers, if they have any respect for the MSFS add-on community at all, to pressure FSPlanet through the only thing Ferdy friggin' understands--the pocketbook. They should pull their advertisements if he keeps it up. If they dismiss our concerns as authors, then we need to factor that in to our shopping decisions. AbacusAddictive Simulations VC-10SimwareSpain VFR SceneriesOne last item.A "Whois" of the IP address shows this info (216.40.197.204):OrgName: ThePlanet.com Internet Services, Inc. OrgID: TPCMAddress: 315 CapitolAddress: Suite 205City: HoustonStateProv: TXPostalCode: 77002Country: USSo even if Ferdy is trying to hide under International law, that site in Texas is aiding and abetting his practices in my opinion.Regards,John

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Hmm...I'd never heard of FSPlanet before this, but I'll definitely avoid them now ;). Sorry to hear about your difficulties. Unfair and rediculous, by the looks of it.

Share this post


Link to post

"Sorry to hear about your difficulties. Unfair and rediculous, by the looks of it."Thanks for your response, glad someone is listening. It's good to not feel alone.I emailed the legal department of the site hosting FSPlanet and was told I must comply with requirements of this link to file a complaint:http://www.theplanet.com/Documents/legal/P...nfringement.pdfIt isn't worth the time, but I hope folks who pilfer files for a living and sell bandwidth for access realize what rotten, scummy, bottom feeders they are. And those who advertise their products on such sites should realize how tainted the revenue they derive from such exposure is.Regards,John

Share this post


Link to post

FSPlanet is indeed all of the things you say and more. I seem to recall a time not long ago when someone from AVSIM had a word with them about posting a file they got from here....was that you Tom?-Jeremy

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry to hear about that, John. I also seem to remember something similar to this happening there before. I have no doubt that there is a case to be had, but at what cost? I guess the best course of action is to yell, I know most people here would be behind you.Rich.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, we have had any number of run ins with Ferdy. He poaches off of other sites to add content to his, including significant poaching from AVSIM, and then charges to get favored transfer rates to download what is available elsewhere for free. As John points out, dealing with Ferdy's Texas website provider isn't worth the bother (although a concerted email campaign despite their BS form) might help a bit. The better approach would be to launch an email campaign with his advertisers and make sure that the word is CONTINUALLY posted everywhere (including the newsgroups) so that newcomers to the hobby are not taken in by the Ferdman. I have definitely concluded that after 9 years or so dealing with Ferdy that his elevator barely gets out of the basement, let alone to the top floor. Every community has its version of pond scum, and this guy definitely falls into that group.Of course, if history holds true, I will shortly receive an email from the Ferdman threatening to sue and that will result in some bogus letter from a bogus law firm threatening the same. As in the past, I will of course say... "BRING IT ON FERD DUDE!". Seriously, he has done this at least twice to AVSIM. Don't know where a Spanish truck drvier can find the funds, but what the hey. :)So Ferdy, when you read this, please save your time, money and effort and don't bother.

Share this post


Link to post

I hear you, John. I think what Tom wrote are wise words to be followed. I have not been there in about five or six years, and he was a joke back then. I would write each of those companies who advertise on his site. If they don't pull their support of him, they will lose your support. There are a lot more of us than there is of Ferdy. They should listen if they have any business sense.Don

Share this post


Link to post

I haven't heard of this site either, but from what I've read here, I'll be sure to avoid it like the plague from now on. All the freeware developers should be respected for the hard work they do, not stolen from for somebody else's gain.Kim

Share this post


Link to post

Just another reason why I am so grateful for AVSIM. No download speed limitations, great support in the forums, up to date news, and much more.FSPlanet has been pirating copywrited files since day one, and given the ridiculous cost of trying to do anything about it, I suspect they will continue to do so until everyone wises up and boycots that site and all who advertise there. -Jeremy

Share this post


Link to post

The direct answer to the question is no. If it were possible then it would have been done long ago.The complaint form that is linked to in another post simply repeats the requirements of US law. US Code Title 17 Section 512 states "To be effective under this subsection, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of a service provider that includes substantially the following:" (My emphasis) That's followed by exactly the same wording as in the link. To invoke the law, its required procedures must be followed. Those who can't be bothered to do that can't expect anything to be done.

Share this post


Link to post

"To invoke the law, its required procedures must be followed. Those who can't be bothered to do that can't expect anything to be done."What does that have to do with the complete disrespect such sites show when allowing people to leech our files and sell the bandwidth to access them? I've written other sites when my copyrights have been infringed, and none have required me to go through the steps required in the DRM act. Are they required by law? I can't answer that, but I know most sites find a reasonable burden of proof enough to remove a file on someone's request.What I object to is the requirement to submit my address--since that could very well end up in someone's hands other than the site I am contacting. If someone has no scruples regarding selling bandwidth for non commercial files, chances are they'd stoop to just about anything including threats and harrassment.I guess what I am saying to heck with the DRM act--men should treat each other with respect and those of us who publish for non commercial use shouldn't have to burn our bandwidth to deal with these issues. Without a doubt there's some in our community who don't care, but I appreciate the comments of those who do.Regards,John

Share this post


Link to post

There is absolutely no sensible doubt that what FSPlanet is doing is outrageous. Few websites have been able to accomplish what Tom and the dedicated volunteers have done here at AVSIM, and that makes some people jealous, and they will take foolish and illegal steps to compete. The reality is that there is no competition. I can find no reason whatsoever to frequent FSPlanet. They offer nothing superior to what you get right here at AVSIM. I don't remember where it is located, but just look at the web hit comparisons between Flight Simulator related websites and you will see that most of us know where the goods are.*EDIT* Click on the link on the top of the page that says "Flight Simulation's #1 Site!" and look at the FSPlanet traffic.-Jeremy

Share this post


Link to post

"Are they required by law?"As far as I can see the answer is yes. The US law I quoted in my previous post seems quite explict. Why not Google "US Code Title 17 Section 512" and read it yourself. Note the use of my emphasised word must."What I object to is the requirement to submit my address". But you can't really expect anonymous complaints to be taken seriously by anyone. Unscrupulous people could use them to submit malicious complaints.My main point is that if the law provides a remedy then use it. If you're not prepared to use it then you shouldn't complain that no action is taken. Lack of action may be part of the reason why sites like FSPlanet survive?

Share this post


Link to post

"If you're not prepared to use it then you shouldn't complain that no action is taken."So I should risk personal retribution? I think not. You know and I know, and most sites with common sense know that my claim to my work is legitimate. If there are some sites that want to follow every letter of the law, so be it. But don't tell me I don't have a right to complain. Why should a non commercial developer expose himself/herself to all the nut cases that are out there? There's two sides to every coin.If I can't get my file removed because someone feels I have to prostrate myself to comply with DRM, there's other ways, such as my challenge to those who advertise and those who shop with them, to shut such sites down.Perhaps I will get fed up and file a complaint as per DRM, but if I have to expose personal information Ferdy can expect a lot more than getting the file pulled. A class action suit? Criminal action? Most likely. It's time such people get the law shoved back at them that they shove in our faces. 'Nuff said

Share this post


Link to post

You don't seem to appreciate the differences between web sites and ISP. A web site owner has direct control over the content and can freely add or remove it as it requires. ISPs host web sites and has no direct control over their content. US law covers the relationship between websites and ISPs and provides a procedure to complain to an ISP about a web site. ISPs have a right to expect that any complaints are properly justified before acting on them. That's what US Code Title 17 Section 512 provides. Whenever you make a complaint about anything there may be a risk (however fanciful) of personal retribution. I assume you never make formal complaints because of your fears?Following procedures laid down by law is not prostrating yourself. It's the only way to go if you want to use the law.As long as I can remember there have been complaints about FSPlanet and other similar sites with appeals and challenges to those who advertise and those who shop with them. As I pointed out in my initial post that's been totally ineffectual."It's time such people get the law shoved back at them that they shove in our faces" Then use the law!

Share this post


Link to post

"Following procedures laid down by law is not prostrating yourself. It's the only way to go if you want to use the law."I do understand the difference between the site owner and the ISP, my concern is the ISP could forward personal information to the site owner. In most instances I wouldn't care, but when a site owner believes they can use their own interpretation of the "law", at what lengths will they go? It is easy for someone such as yourself or anyone to come in and tell us what to do. But you're not in my shoes. Rather than joining this thread to express empathy, it's all about what I am not doing."I assume you never make formal complaints because of your fears?"That's a completely nonsensical comment. Of course I do, but one weighs the risks to not only ourselves, but friends and family. I've been on this planet long enough that I've been quite effective in living my life including dealing with challenges like this. If ranting is all I do, who gives a bleep whether it meets your litmus test of "effectiveness".I don't think this thread ineffective. Even if I do nothing else, I know people have heard.-J

Share this post


Link to post

The decision whether you use remedies provided by law or not is obviously yours. However, if everyone adopted your approach and refused to use them, then there will never be any effective action taken. What lengths do you think they might go to, and what evidence do you have for it?How do you know I'm not in your shoes? An aircraft of mine is on FSPlanet without my permission.I said that previous complaints etc over many years had proved to be totally ineffective, as evidenced by the fact that FSPlanet is still in existence. I'm a realist and fear that this thread will not change the position- even if I and everyone else express empathy until it comes out of our ears - even if it makes you feel better.

Share this post


Link to post

"What lengths do you think they might go to, and what evidence do you have for it?"When Tom posts about threats against Avsim that is all the evidence I need. Sure they don't hold weight, but these days just the threat of someone tying one up in court is enough, or the hassle of my family seeing the junk the site owner has supposedly sent in the past. I don't have deep pockets or the personal bandwidth to deal with that type of hassle--and being a non commercial developer (in my private life since I work for a commercial team), the return on investment isn't worth it. You are absolutely right this thread won't change FSPlanet's position, one person can't unless the community work together to stop their practices. But the thread does express my feelings. That's worth a lot to me.RegardsJohn

Share this post


Link to post

Yhe community working together won't stop these prectices - it hasn't in the past and I don't see why it should now.The only effective way is to get the ISP to take action against FSPlanet. The ISP won't do that unless the correct legal procedures are followed. As far as I am concerned, life is too short to worry about FSPlanet - I don't really care about the fools who pay to download what's freely available here - so I'm not going to start the procedures. On the other hand I don't start threads on the subject either.

Share this post


Link to post

If you don't start a thread on the subject of your free software being used in that way then that's obviously your right. It is also John's right to start a thread on the issue. You seem to have an issue with that and I can't figure out why.Sure, we've been here before and the community hasn't managed to stop this from happening, but why not bring the subject again? We all know what is happening is wrong and I personally see no harm in stating that fact. Surely we can make a difference, even if it is small. If just a few people read this thread and decide not to pay for a 'service' that is hosting and charging for software against the authors wishes then I think that's a good thing.Rich.

Share this post


Link to post

My original answer to the OP's question "Can our commumunity get FSPlanet to change..." was:"The direct answer to the question is no. If it were possible then it would have been done long ago.The complaint form that is linked to in another post simply repeats the requirements of US law. US Code Title 17 Section 512 states "To be effective under this subsection, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of a service provider that includes substantially the following:" (My emphasis) That's followed by exactly the same wording as in the link.To invoke the law, its required procedures must be followed. Those who can't be bothered to do that can't expect anything to be done."The remainder of my posts basically made the point in the last sentence - if you aren't prepared to do what can be done then don't complain. Remember, it was the OP who brought the ISP into this thread.

Share this post


Link to post

Looks like we're stuck in the pattern on this one. I think there are some things here we can all agree on though. It is disgusting, ignorant, and entirely disrespectful to host copywrited work without permission. FSPlanet has a history of doing just this, and will likely continue to do so. Thieves like this will never be stopped unless we come together to do something about it. Contacting there advertisers is a good start, and so is coming here to the AVSIM forums. Keep in mind that new people join these forums everyday, many of which are certainly unaware of the history of certain vendors and other FS sites.Thanks to the OP for bringing this most recent event of thievery to our attention. I would use a boycott FSPlanet banner, but I don't want to violate any rules here or start flame wars. Oh, and one more thing I think we can all agree on. AVSIM is THE one-stop-shop on the web....who needs FSPlanet anyway?-Jeremy

Share this post


Link to post