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Freeware in commercial products

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Hi all.I hope this is not too off-topic - but I found no "special" forum at AVSIM for it and it directly relates to scenery design...As a freeware developer I ran into a problem that most other freeware authors must have come across - so I'd like to discuss this topic to find a suitable solution:As most of the freeware authors I don't want my software to be bundled with commercial packages - but you have to "check" that yourself or depend on the freeware community to report any "violations". As far as I can see this works well (to a certain extent). As long as the freeware software itself is concerned, things are quite easy to handle.I want to go a step further and restrict usage of *results* produced with the freeware version in commercial packages as well (this is "legally possible" because all results produced with the software contain code and data that are part of my work and are therefore copyrighted).I see no good reason why people making money with their work (that's OK by itself - we all have to make our living) do it by using freeware tools (except the case where the freeware author explicitly allowed that).The problem is more complicated than it seems as the boundaries between freeware, semi-commercial packages (shareware) and commercial packages are quite "floating". After working in different fields and releasing open-source packages there, I find this mixture is something "specific" to the flight sim community.How should I handle it? I want to support the freeware idea and have to realize that actually most people want to use the software for shareware or commercial products :-(Maybe a approach like "You release the result as freeware, you can use the software for free. You make money with it, you pay for it." is feasible.Really like to hear your opinion and suggestion.Have fun,Bernd.

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I release everything I make absolutely free for everyone's use... and that includes commercial scenery developers.Once it leaves my computer, it's in the public domain.Solves a lot of problems. :)Dick

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Hi Dick.You are certainly right that your proposed way is the easiest way to go. But my question wasn't targeted at "easiness" but at "fairness".How can we expect people to make their work "freeware", if nonody rewards them for doing it? If it makes no difference if you sell your work or not - why not trying to sell it?Just to make sure: I have no problems with commercial developments (I am running my own development company for over 10 years now) in commercial environments. But my understanding of the flight sim community is that it is a "hobby" and "enthusiast" playground. If everyone is playing by the same (freeware) rules, I wouldn't bother either.But obviously people are trying to make money out of it - from shareware authors to "real" companies. I just don't want to ignore that...Have fun, Bernd.

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the world isn't fair. If you put stuff on the net as freeware, you have two choices, try to control what happens next or don't try to control what happens next. The first is simple, easy and effective. The latter is impossible, regardless of your notions of fairness or legality. You set yourself up with an infinite set of detection and enforcement challenges across national borders. I give my freeware freely and that leaves me free to develop more freeware. My pleasure is in the creation, so why would I become emotionally involved in the notion of how my freeware is used?<This isn't a problem that I'm aware of. My sense is that freeware design is fun...I do it for fun. When it stops being fun, I'll stop doing it. Are there really people who don't like design, but do it anyway because of the "rewards"? yikesBob Bernstein

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I agree here, you do it for the fun. Besides the fun of the actual designing, it is also nice to hear from users who are very happy with your product.i think that's a big plus point of the flightsim community, a lot of people make things for free, give it to others for free, who can use it for free. I hope that stays this way and that the commercialisation that is going on will not go to far.Then about you specific question, maybe you can ask Rafael from VOD or the maker of EOD. These two tools are/were also freeware and maybe they have some tips how they dealt with the commercial problem.You could always build something in the BGL that allows you to recognise it. But it would still mean checking if someone uses it.Arno


Member Netherlands 2000 Scenery Team[link:home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen]Arno's FlightSim World for scenery design hints, tips and other tricks...

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My first time here in this forum and this post really got to me so much that I just had to make a comment.>><nonody rewards them for doing it? >To me, the reward for the people who make "freeware" is seeing others download and use your hard work, get some enjoyment and fun out of it, plus the usual flurry of emails and pm's thanking you for your work and contribution to a great hobby/pastime/game. >>This isn't a problem that I'm aware of. My sense is that freeware design is fun...I do it for fun. When it stops being fun, I'll stop doing it.>Yes, its fun and when the fun is gone, then its time to pack it away.Apart from being fun, I find that it is also a "freeware" designersway of giving something back to the "community" from which he/she derives so much pleasure.There are more than a handful of designers who started out as 'only' simmers, then either combined thier simming with design, or gave up simming to concentrate on designing and publishing freeware. Then there are those who just design for the pure enjoyment of it and then give freely.In my mind, Flightsimming is a game and to a lot of users, a pure source of fun and enjoyment. To a lot of the younger folk, it is also a step toward thier chosen career in aviation (once they have finished school, college, university or what ever). To the older folk (retired etc), it is a source of enjoyment and amusement and it is the "freeware" provider who makes it just that much more enjoyable and fun.There will always be "freeware" providers to cater for all those who don't have the cash to spend on add-ons and there will always be "payware" providers to cater for those who "just have to have it, no matter what the cost".I too hope that the "commercialism" that has appeared (and rapidly I might add) soon abates back to a decent level, with decent prices.It will always be the "freeware" provider that will win out.I can only agree with Bob and his comments. Its not worth sleep deprivation worrying about who is doing what with 'freeware applications', you will never stop those who what to make a quick dollar, the cheap way.On a different note, and a brighter subject - GREAT forum you guys have here.I have read heaps of posts and have LEARNT a lot, thankyou!No doubt I will be back sometime soon to ask a few questions on scenery design.Kind regards to all,David Clarke

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