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mgh

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I posted this last night over at Hanger Chat, but it looks like not many have seen it. I don't usually double post like this, but this issue has potentially very serious ramifications for this community and possibly the future of flightsim itself that I wanted to make sure everyone has seen it. Please make all comments though over at the posted thread, so there's not 2 separate conversations.http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...36318&mode=full

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I don't think this is as big a deal as it appears. As I interprate this ruling, modelers are still protected. No producer releases a bare bones model, as soon as they add any texturing to the model it becomes protected. Maybe I'm not seeing the problem here?IMHO.

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I remember years ago,Oleg Maddox the creator of the IL2 series, told everyone he was contacted by lawyers from one of the plane manufacturers.I do not recall which or plane but we are talking a ww2 50 year old planes.He was told they owned the name,rights to the plane and he had to take the plane off the box cover and remove all references to it from his adverstsing,manuals ect.Everyone thought the sky was falling.No more Deltas,British Airways, all planes were going to be generic.Never happened though.I still do not understand the laws so maybe someone can explain them in a way, us pilots can underatand.For example, the Gulfstream series of planes have been one of the most ask about,sought after biz jet there is.But from what I heard from a old FlightOne posting, Gulfstream says NO so they cannot develop a sim model.So does that mean every developer has to contact the manufacturer?What if you copied it right down to the rivets and call it a Gulfstreem?

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Very interesting.Man, I read through the entire thing."The copyright power is said to exist primarily

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I would think Gulfstream would lose. But no one wants to spend time, money and effort to fight them.Does that mean Gulfstream would not allow me to take a pictire of their aircrafts and post them when I refer to it as Gulfstream?Manny

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>I remember years ago,Oleg Maddox >the creator of the IL2 series, told everyone he was contacted>by lawyers from one of the plane manufacturers.I do not recall>which or plane but we are talking a ww2 50 year old planes.>He was told they owned the name,rights to the plane and he had>to take the plane off the box cover and remove all references>to it from his adverstsing,manuals ect.>Everyone thought the sky was falling.>No more Deltas,British Airways, all planes were going to be>generic.>Never happened though.>I still do not understand the laws so maybe someone can>explain them in a way, us pilots can underatand.>For example, the Gulfstream series of planes have been one of>the most ask about,sought after biz jet there is.>But from what I heard from a old FlightOne posting, Gulfstream>says NO so they cannot develop a sim model.>So does that mean every developer has to contact the>manufacturer?>What if you copied it right down to the rivets and call it a>Gulfstreem?>Actually I think that was the reason MS never used real names for Airlines in the SIM. Essentially the way I read it, and others over at train-sim, is that creativity is not judged by the work that went in to making it, but only by the end product, since the end product of the replica model is a copy of it it is not protected. Only individual aspects such as lighting and shaders are. Since the skins are replica's of the real world liveries, I would guess it would apply to them also. (Except any individual touches as mentioned.) This opens a whole new can of worms. The original designer, for example Boeing I would assume does hold the copyright, and could theoretically take action against those copying it. This has always been a potential problem, but the theory that these models were protected, do to creativity as an art form (Which really they are, I think the court is wrong here) allowed it to continue. This decision creates legal precedence that says they are not protected. This has ramifications not only for freeware, but payware and MS itself. How many designers, including payware and Aces themselves, are going to continue to distribute their work, if it is not protected by copyright?

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Alot of the racing games I own leave out certain teams,sponsors,drivers because they for what ever reason, refused.One racing sim had gamers complaining because they did not have damage modeling. The cars remained pristine at all times.Seems Ferrari and a few others did not mind being represented in the game but did not want their cars seen damaged,dirty ect.I know for years, Sega had the copyright to Daytona Raceway and Papyrus which at the time was the KING of racing sims, waited for years until Segas contract ran out.

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Anyone that has spent countless hours in a 3D modeling program should take issue with this ruling. Amazes me how far from reality our judicial system really is at times.Regards, MichaelKDFW

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI-x16 / AMD

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Interesting. I have always wondered what the situation is in regard to having illuminated (neon) signs on buildings in scenery showing company names and/or logos. I guess one would be walking on thin ice here ?Siggy

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>Interesting. I have always wondered what the situation is in>regard to having illuminated (neon) signs on buildings in>scenery showing company names and/or logos. I guess one would>be walking on thin ice here ?>>SiggyThat would be easy. Its the authors creative lighting and shading etc which is original work. Just like photography.:)Manny

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>Anyone that has spent countless hours in a 3D modeling>program should take issue with this ruling. Amazes me how far>from reality our judicial system really is at times.>>Regards, Michael>KDFW>>

Asus A8N32-SLI>Deluxe nForce4 SLI-x16 / AMD

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Mike,Copyright never was meant to reward hard work. That's a common misconception.So the mere fact that someone spends a lot of time creating an exact copy of the Mona Lisa using the head of a pin instead of a paintbrush, doesn't mean the person can copyright her image.Wait ... what I meant to say is that just because someone spends a lot of time creating a copy of Boeing's intellectual property doesn't mean they suddenly can prevent anyone else from doing it.Cheers

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>Interesting. I have always wondered what the situation is in>regard to having illuminated (neon) signs on buildings in>scenery showing company names and/or logos. I guess one would>be walking on thin ice here ?>>SiggyNot really. Just because the Coca-Cola company owns a copyright on the design of a Coke bottle, doesn't mean I can't depict it in my art.What it does mean is that I can't copyright my digital replica of the design of their bottle and prevent anyone else from creating one, which is what this modeller was trying to do.

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>Mike,>>Copyright never was meant to reward hard work. That's a common>misconception.>>So the mere fact that someone spends a lot of time creating an>exact copy of the Mona Lisa using the head of a pin instead of>a paintbrush, doesn't mean the person can copyright her>image.>>Wait ... what I meant to say is that just because someone>spends a lot of time creating a copy of Boeing's intellectual>property doesn't mean they suddenly can prevent anyone else>from doing it.>>CheersI am aware of that Kevin, but things are much different today than they were when the constitution was drafted. considering there was no electronic media then.as stated in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution for the United States, : To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.I would consider contributing 6 months to a year on a project for some form of entertainment media a "useful art".Regards, MichaelKDFW

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI-x16 / AMD

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>>What it does mean is that I can't copyright my digital replica>of the design of their bottle and prevent anyone else from>creating one, which is what this modeller was trying to do.I don't think the modeler was trying to prevent the defendants building a model of their own. They didn't want the defendant using their (The plaintiffs) built model. THATS what is controversial.

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Manny,It's a bit more subtle than that, actually.Meshworks was paid to build the model by Saatchi and Saatchi, an ad agency hired by Toyota, which owns the copyright to the design.Saatchi and Saatchi then used the model they paid for in ads for Toyota, which owns the design.They did so in a way that Meshworks claims they didn't agree to. Meshworks attempted to assert copyright law to prevent Saatchi and Saatchi from using the work they paid Meshworks to create.That's pretty lame, in my view, on the part of the model builder. They're clearly trying to pick the pocket of S&S after the fact in my opinion.If I pay you to build a model, what gives you the right to tell me I can't use that model however I see fit?Fact is, no model building company is going to get work under those terms, and Meshworks knows it.I'm glad they lost.Model builders have nothing to fear as long as they don't copy other people's work. There's nothing much groundbreaking in that view. If it's an exact copy, it's not copyright-able. You can still build it, you just can't copyright it. If you want to copyright it, it just can't be an exact copy ... a slightly different copy would then be required.And I would argue that a model as complex as an aircraft can be slightly different than the original and nobody would notice. An extra pitot tube would be all that would be required to make it an original artwork, I would bet.

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Kevin, you should re-read the PDF, Meshwerks was contracted by Grace and Wild who was contracted by Saatchi and Saatchi (Toyota's people). What it looks like is that Grace and Wild were not up front to Meshwerks about the use of the models they contracted for, which could have gotten them a discount on services, etc. Meshwerks should have had a clearer, more concise contract with Grace and Wild which would have dictated the full use of said product and they might have not had this issues happen to them. Looks like Grace and Wild knew they wouldn't have a leg to stand on in court and deceived them, wouldn't be the first time.I wish they would have won! Regards, MichaelKDFW

Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI-x16 / AMD

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The judges admitted the challenges of new technologies where exact precedent was not available. I thought their use of previous technology shifts was appropriate and well reasoned. If you want to make money by selling exact models of an Embraer aircraft and then copyright its use for adverstisement, there might be a problem. However, if you want to make a copy of an Embraer aircraft for entertainment purposes, where the likeness of the Embraer aircraft is your artistic impression to be solely used in a non-competitive domain apart from that of the holder of the intellectual property, the court decision has illuminated the acceptable path. They haven't said, no you can't, they've said, take it a step further and "make it yours."Models for public consumption aren't new, surely this subject has been dealt with with plastic/wood/resin/die-cast models?In any case, with the size of the gaming industry and the demand for simulating reality in pixels, we were bound to start seeing tug-o-wars over who gets the money.

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I think the stronger argument Meshwrks should have used was not that the model itself was copyrightable, but the digital code that created it. Toyota can't claim that isn't theirs. If they used though any 3rd party software, to do it though, that would depend on the license agreement they have with them.

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Oh PapaTango where art thou? Oh great owners of everything AA and would be killer of freewhare...where are thou?I'm no attorny but Copyright infringement and Trademark infringement are two differently litigated subjects depending on many things such as Registered or not, Industrial implicaions and more...Example is your work is copyright protected the moment you create it, as long as you can prove its your original work and you can show damage$ you can collect. If you register and all the above is true you not only collect damages but also collect ALL Legal fees. Industrial Tradmark infringement on the other hand is incredably costly...

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Mike,Thanks for that clarificiation, but I still think my point is the same.A client paid Meshworks to create digital 3d models.Meshworks then attempted to tell the client what they can or can't do with those models, and that's where I think Meshworks loses my sympathy.It's pretty clear that Meshworks wants the copyright upheld so that it can extract more money from its client. It won't succeed, of course, even if the copyright were to be upheld.At any rate, the issue for model makers in the FSX context is their ability to copyright their copies of Boeing's (or other manufacturers') intellectual property. And the solution is simple: Don't make copies.Make it different in some subtle way that has no effect on the flight dynamics or visual appeal, but that ensure's it's not a copy of the original design, which, after all, is somebody else's intellectual property.

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"But your Honor, my model is not an exact copy of the XXX, if you note carefully, in my version the handle for the aft lavatory on the starboard side is not only shaped differently, but it's on the opposite side from the real aircraft......and further, the screws on the cockpit panels are torx head, whereas the real aircraft uses phillips head screws." :-lol

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True you can sue for damages but n many jurisdictions (the UK included) damages are limited to your actual losses. In the case of individuals, the losses are often so small that it isn't worth suing.

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