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Moach last won the day on March 4

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  1. Do you have any intention of as much as just considering the cases made and suggestions put forth in the whole copyrights disaster thread? There have been many valid points made, and I have personally gone as far as get specialized legal advice on the matter and ultimately found your problem, then offered a simple way to overcome the source for your concerns about sharing modded script files Yet there has been no sign of acknowledgement, or even any indication that the thread has been read again since it was opened. Can we get a statement on what, if anything, you intend to do to satisfy the many reasonable requests made on the subject? Or are we just supposed to shout at a brick wall until we give up and go away? You folks desperately need to work on your people skills. I'm trying to HELP you here and you're all making it very difficult
  2. You know, don't quote me on this but I'm pretty sure the number 2 falls under "public domain", having been around for a few thousand years and all.... The word "CIRCUIT" is also found on other aircraft, so that's also out for the count. Is anything left? Wonderful sarcastic relief aside, this actually paints a pretty good picture of WHY it is so that technical files such as these cfgs and xmls are virtually uncopyrightable. (this was verified with the lawyer I mentioned earlier) You just can't treat these strictly-formatted files like pieces of literary text, it makes no sense. Notion gained from the aforementioned lawyer: "Copyright in the gaming industry is chiefly concerned with complete products. It is all but impossible to determine originality when dealing with technical files, so typically one just does not deal with them." It is therefore the case, that specific rights over those files can be expressed and maintained only by explicitly indicating their origin on the files themselves (see: add a copyright notice and start allowing those mods)
  3. I'd kinda like to see that too, you know... Kind of a morbid fascination, like a horrible car wreck you can't look away from. The whole thing is very clearly a non-problem to everyone else, so the whole "against the law" point is clearly nonsense. AS has a poor grasp of how copyright applies to technical sub-components of a software release, as they have demonstrated time and again with their debatable statements on the matter. They seem to regard those things as though they were literary texts, though the format restrictions of these files makes it impossible to treat them as such to any effect. This much I have determined for a fact, based on advice given by a lawyer specialized in the gaming industry I've managed to consult via proxy. They're not only doing it wrong. But they're also wrong about why they're doing it wrong.
  4. You know, JF might even have a bone to pick with AS now, because as a result of the disastrous decision to pull his mods down, CCM has gone and removed ALL his mods from flightsim.to - This included mods made for their PA28 series and others. So see: With this, AS has done considerably more than just critically reduce the value of their own products and irreparably nuke their reputation. There's enough "splash damage" going around so that detrimental effects that can be felt even by other developers. AS has done the entire FS industry a disfavor, with their inexplicable acts of what can only be called insanity. If I were a developer, and a modder decided to pull down his mods for my products because of a situation like this, I'd be very displeased with those causing the situation. Their actions have, even if in a small way, reduced the overall value of my products. Also, this much attrition inevitably fosters the growth of a "FS underground" movement, (similar to the 1930s prohibition laws and the growth of bootlegging that resulted) where people act by "other means" to circumvent the unacceptable restrictions. While condemnable, that's simply how people react to having something they really want taken away from them. And that, is something that really hurts us ALL. There is still time to reverse the infamous decision. I have put forth means to resolve everyone's problems and explained them in multiple ways already The sheer wrongness of continuing down this road cannot be overstated. I have already added the CRJ and Twin Otter series as items on the big "wish list" thread in the main MSFS boards. There is a growing demand for their remake in light of this, and I would gladly buy such products if offered by another developer. Suppose it's safe to say, that if such replacements were ready at hand, none of us would still be here trying to talk sense into these mad people.
  5. AFAIK, the only "harm" is the loss of authorship attribution over redistribution. In other words, basically, when published with a mod, the scripts loses connection to the name of their creators. (i.e: "credits") -- See my previous post for a practical solution to this. Besides that, there is really nothing else they might conceivably lose from it. On the contrary, this matter right now has already cost them far more in lost future revenue and reputation damages than those files could possibly be worth. They have only to gain by permitting said mods to release, it is in their best interest to do so, really. Again I say: Every mod posted is a free ad banner for their products. Mods act to increase sales, and even review ratings benefit from the existence of a simple mod which makes a bug or two go away. From the end user's point of view, a mod counts as added value to the product itself as a whole. It's impossible to overstate how self-destructive it is to deny such a thing. It's a win-win-win-then-win-some-more situation - being spit in the face.... Moreover, one might still raise another much valid point, by comparing the redistribution of a slightly modded cfg file, with the equally derivative act of using a paint kit, to create a new livery that uses multiple layers. Usually only one or two of these layers are actually changed to compose the new livery, and 90% of the artwork is copied directly from the Aerosoft original with no rights attribution whatsoever. Then, how come it's ok to make new liveries that way, when the exact same thing, done with cfg and xml files isn't? That's a very good point to consider, and does bring the absurd inconsistency of this matter into stark relief. So let me ask it again: Why is a livery mod permitted, though it's possibly 90% made up of layers from the original paint kit; While a cfg/xml mod, comprised of the same mix or original and altered work is not allowed? If you're gonna shoot yourself in the foot, at least try to do it consistently, right?
  6. Let me state it once again: We are NOT asking for access or the right to share anything in any way that isn't authorized. Now, back on the topic, what we do have here is a case of unclear permissions (no copyright notice on script files) and a possibly mistaken assumption by AS that such script files should be treated as though they were literary works. This is a most unfortunate situation which will not get better or go away on its own. - But do not despair! Read on. What we need, is a solution that works for everyone. And I believe it is quite simple, see: I have looked into the Twotter's scripts and found that they are indeed lacking any kind of copyright statements on them. This does not mean they are not covered by rights, but it does make things a lot less clear and leads to, well... It leads to all this. What also happens, is that without any such statements inside those specific files, it has been impossible to redistribute them in mods without stepping on anyone's toes. The author's name not being mentioned means that, once a file is removed from the context of it's original format, (i.e: put in a zip for a mod release) the authorship data is lost. That is what gives cause to our problems. So here's a thing Aerosoft can do, so that it would then become possible for modders to receive permission to publish modded files. For they would do so without breaking copyright ties to their original authors. The solution is: Add a copyright notice header to each of those files, detailing the author's name and rights attributed, plus instructions that said notice must not be removed. This isn't a "life hack" or anything of the sort. It is quite reasonable, legally valid, and what every developer out there does. With such information in the files themselves, next time a modder asks for permission to include them in his mod, AS will have the means to say "Yes" without worry, because: Given that the files are useless for anyone without prior purchase of the complete product, there is nothing else besides intellectual ownership that could be lost from redistributing them. However: By adding a copyright notice on each file as I have explained, we can make sure this ownership will NOT be lost. Then, with that finally sorted out, there should be no further reason why authorization to publish a mod might not be safely granted. And that, is really all we ask for.
  7. Please refrain from belittling another's sound advice out of... I actually don't know what you're even trying to suggest with that blurb. Nobody here is talking about anything related to someone suing anybody (not that I can tell, having read through it all a few times) -- That's not the point at all. On the previous post, I mentioned "legal advice" only as it relates to the source of information used by AS in their decision-making process. It didn't even hint towards anyone "getting a lawyer to sue somebody" - Please pay attention to what's being discussed before aggressively replying against something that nobody actually suggested. That would help a lot with keeping the conversation at a level of civility where anything at all can be understood from it. Thank you.
  8. I agree with the above - But I'd like also to point out that this thread has never been about the quality of AS's releases and the need or not of mods to "fix their mistakes" There is a lot of that kind of talk around as it is, and while a valid point, it is not really the same point of this particular discussion right here in this thread. Also; Yes, we all agree that AS does need to work a lot on their "people skills" as the whole matter might have been handled much more smoothly. But I'm afraid it might still have been a matter either way, them being as agreeable as anyone can be about it or not. So instead, let's try and get to the bottom of things. The problem in it's deepmost, is a consequence of either: A : AS is evil and seeking global conquest by very convoluted means. B : AS has someone in there who's so petty and or insecure he deliberately chooses to ruin the company over a personal grudge against a modder. (for "showing him wrong") C : AS has gotten some poor/incomplete legal advice and is thus conflating copyright and trademark terms, leading to a misunderstanding of epic proportions. While all of the options above have been brought up by folks in various ways over the weekend, I am growingly confident that "C" is the one that makes for the best approximation of the true fundamental problem. The evidence for "C" is verifiably present, given how: * The disputed copyright files are of a very technical nature which cannot be protected under the same definitions of "originality" as imagery, models, written prose, or even instructional texts. AS seems generally unaware there's a difference, however. * Most other publishers do not appear to have issues with similar files being modified and published again. They can't all just be so unusually generous as that. * Most commercial products such as these, have copyright notices attached to every file that could end up being redistributed. AS however, has for some reason, not included them. * AS can be (and was) quoted multiple times making statements about copyright terms which were exceedingly vague, or even outright contradictory to advice given by a specialized lawyer* e.g: It is Trademark law that requires enforcement to be maintained. Copyrights are implicitly assigned by the simple act of publication. * see my previous posts as of the last page So it all points out that the whole case here can be narrowed down, with all the fat trimmed out, to the simple omission of something so simple as this: This is just an example of what's missing, I expect AS should rephrase it to their own specific needs, and maybe take out the bits about The Dragon Including such a notice header is common practice everywhere in the gaming industry. I myself didn't fully appreciate just why these notices are so important until the last few days, when we got to experience all the "joys" of a disaster caused by the lack of them. I had previously regarded these things as being rather overzealous legalisms, given how what they say is such obviously common sense. But there is another purpose they serve, which is now absolutely clear: These notices are meant to preserve copyright attributions and rights for the original authors in any case where files may require redistribution outside of the original purchase package. That is: These notices allow modders to mod without breaching an authors rights, simply by not erasing the information they convey. A modder may even append his own name to the notice, so that future modded versions of his mod might carry on the whole unbroken chain of authorship inheritance. And here lies the solution to all of our problems. It has nothing to do with the quality of AS's released products or the need for mods to "cover their blunders" - It has also nothing to do with AS being "anti-modder" and out on a witch hunt full of jealousy and spite. It is a case of misinformation, with consequences vastly out of all proportions to the simplicity of the underlying cause. In my 20 years of experience with software development, I've grown to expect nothing less: Any bug or problem is likely to have consequences and symptoms of a severity that is quadratically proportional to the silliness of its cause. In short: mayhem = sillyness² So really, AS, do yourselves and everyone a favor and get some legal advice from a gaming industry specialized lawyer. Then go and add a copyright notice to these likely-to-be redistributed script files so that rights can be preserved and we can have our mods made without cause for problems. That way, everyone can have their cake and eat it too. And then guess who'll be flying all over on a legally modded CRJ tonight? That's right! The Dragon.
  9. Yes, remember back before the internet, when some people used to say, how global access to free information would someday be a cure for all ignorance and bickering? As it turns out, that wasn't it.... I've also noted I'm not the only one who edits his posts multiple times afterwards to clarify things and add more information. That means, anyone who makes a habit of reading only the latest post or two, is probably missing about half the conversation by now. So everyone, please do yourself and everyone here a big favor, and read the thread again. From the top.
  10. Guys, try to at least pay some attention to what people are saying before you start blasting at them. I think I need a hazmat suit, this place is so toxic.... Hats off to the moderators for allowing this thread to continue despite it all. It is very important that we figure this stuff out and I'm glad to see both sides agreeing on at least the fact that this is a very important discussion. So play it fair, kids. We're all disgruntled, angry, and possibly not entirely sober people trying to communicate through a format that makes ambiguity as commonplace as stubbing your toe when drunk. Nobody here is endorsing/condemning any specific type of government with their words or actions (I'd hope not, at least) We're talking about a problem which just might have been a ridiculously monstrous case of poorly informed people making proportionally poor judgement calls - on BOTH sides of the argument. Notice how the Deputy Sheriff just misread my post from before and told me off twice before actually trying to read it again. I did not downvote or yell at him, he made a mistake in interpretation and no doubts will feel very silly all by himself when he realizes it. That's ok. We're humans, and humans are terrible at understanding each other. (see "World History", any part of it, really) THAT is what I mean by "Mother of all misunderstandings" - Everyone seems to be up in arms and it's "Us vs. Them" right now - That's gotta stop if we're gonna convey any ideas either way across this No-Man's-Land of a debate... Breathe, people. Air is nice and free. It's also good for you.
  11. Read it again, again. Your bans were not the thing I called a dick move. I thought you did the right thing. Semantics... There seems to be a minute or more of lag time between different ppl getting refreshes on the forum. That's a good thing to keep in mind in situations like this.
  12. I think you read my post the other way around. Read it again. - The way I had meant it, I was agreeing with you. We're here to try and sort out a way that everyone gets what they want. Trying such shenanigans as fake accounts doesn't help anybody, it just muddles the issue and makes things worse all around. "Peace Talks", I said, remember?
  13. Wowz, yeah, that's not cool. Kind of a dick move, rly. Doesn't matter who's right or not. That's just childish. (for clarity, I mean: it's not nice to fake other accounts for added dramatic effect - I just noticed that the above could be read both ways, and read on: It was!) There's no need to do that kind of thing, I'm pretty sure we're all on the same side and this whole thing is really some EPIC mother of all misunderstandings. Read my posts above. That just might be all there is to it. I bet lots of people are gonna feel very silly about themselves after this gets sorted out; On both sides of the argument.
  14. Well, a book isn't the same as a script file. Copyright works differently for that, as there are format restrictions which are highly technical governing its contents. If AS somehow was made to believe otherwise, I strongly recommend they get the opinion of a different lawyer. Ideally one who's specialized in the gaming industry and has a better handle on how the law applies to these very technical things in our modern day and age. I advise this because, the information I got from just such a lawyer (albeit by proxy) appears to entirely contradict their claims of this being somehow "against the law". It shouldn't be. Otherwise no other developer would allow it. Yet instead, they all do. Their failure to include the ubiquitous copyright notice in these files is also a good indication that, whatever legal advice they're getting, is probably not all right on the mark. Interestingly, he says: "...just dumping our code without a license ... is a copyright violation" -- And he's right. Without A License. But then, they hadn't thought to first include that license in the files themselves, and now we're all here going at each others throats over it
  15. I've just realized what probably it was that started the whole matter in the first place, and how the problem could be resolved for everyone. I've edited this in to the first post I made in response to the thread. But I'll repeat it here so the timeline of our conclusions makes sense on future reading of the discussion: Very commonly technical files like scripts and cfgs carry comment header sections where the original copyright attribution is declared and thereby preserved. Your files appear to be missing this section, which is probably the root of this entire mess. Often, these headers contain instructions about not allowing their removal, so the the author's name and his rights' attributions remain even if the file is modified and shared around. Copyright is thus upheld, and everyone is happy. It should look something like this:
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