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About the flightsim.to copyright issues, If you want to comment, here is the place!


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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)

 

 

 

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I haven't tested it, but I suspect that changing the line they are so concerned about in "panel.xml", and text I'm almost 100% certain they don't own, to the following:

 

<Simvar name="CIRCUIT ON:47" unit="Boolean"/>

 

And then this in "systems.cfg":

 

circuit.47 = Type:CIRCUIT_AVIONICS                    #Connections:bus.3            #Power:20,40,20.0        #Name:Avionics

 

They only use circuits 1-46, so everything above that is fair game?  I wonder if that would still work....and clearly not for some reason.  It must be linked elsewhere too.
 

 

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16 hours ago, Moach said:

 

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.

 

AS has pretty much spelled out their company policy on top of post.  AS has said no. That is my take. Now go fly a kite and make some mods for that. lol    

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I think some of you guys are being just a bit pedantic here. I also don't think that any of your legal arguments would hold up against Aerosoft's copyright claim in the courts.

 

HOWEVER, before you all get mad at me, I do agree with you. Mostly

 

I just think this is more a matter of common sense and the shifting landscape in which our hobby finds itself. Fifteen years ago, this would have been cut and dry. No one would have questioned Aerosoft. A few reasons: First, developers held quite a bit more sway; to the point that many became nearly tyrannical in their own forums and they held god like standards. Thankfully *most* of those devs are gone. Second, bits of freeware and payware planes alike were lifted and reused with out permission by shady fly by night 'developers'. That's going back to the good old days of FS98. Devs had to constantly be on watch for that stuff. Third, and last, mods for payware were almost strictly limited to repaints. I just don't really remember seeing things like this before MSFS.

 

Meanwhile, early access and moddable games became the norm over recent years, especially on platforms like steam. It's just generally accepted now. I think this situation has a lot to do with the convergence of old trends and new trends. Aerosoft has been around for a loooooong time. And the people working for Aerosoft have been with them for a loooooong time. There's nothing wrong with that. Aerosoft is one of my favorite devs going back nearly 20 years now (no joke). I just think that some of these developers that have been around for 20+ years need to adjust a little more to the new landscape that MSFS has pulled the flight sim hobby into. Flight sim never used to have much in common with the rest of the 'gaming' community. MSFS has blended the two together.

 

I think common sense will be the order of the day. On one hand, you have the customer base that needs to realize the investment that goes into creating an add-on for a flight sim title and the need to protect that investment. On the other hand you have some developers that need to realize that modding is a thing and that it can be highly beneficial. You guys can figure out where the right balance is.

 

Just my two cents.

 

P.S. I would LOVE to see a road maps regarding product updates and approximate progress. That is something else that, as stated elsewhere in this thread, is becoming a popular trend. There's still a lot to fix with the Twin Otter and I'd like to know how much of it I can reasonably expect to get fixed.

 

Edited for typos

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8 hours ago, IGrant said:

I think common sense will be the order of the day. On one hand, you have the customer base that needs to realize the investment that goes into creating an add-on for a flight sim title and the need to protect that investment. On the other hand you have some developers that need to realize that modding is a thing and that it can be highly beneficial. You guys can figure out where the right balance is.

 

Just my two cents.

 

P.S. I would LOVE to see a road maps regarding product updates and approximate progress. That is something else that, as stated elsewhere in this thread, is becoming a popular trend. There's still a lot to fix with the Twin Otter and I'd like to know how much of it I can reasonably expect to get fixed.

 

Thanks for that.  It generally sums up my feelings as well.  I have started writing more posts for this thread that I decided not to send because I realized I should be spending my limited free time in the game instead of participating in some back and forth between detractors and cheerleaders.

 

One legal analysis was offered by @Moach.  They did not say what jurisdiction the lawyer friend operates in, but the concept seems reasonable.  On the other hand, there is the argument that Aerosoft made: that they are obligated to protect their I.P. regardless of personal feelings or perception.  Not a lawyer, but I do know that there is a precedent for the latter because companies must not allow branches from their protected I.P. that cause them to "lose control" of the content.  One thing I would remind folks about is the Captain Sim issue with liveries for their first MSFS release and the debacle that enrolled flightsim.to.   This...is...not that bad.

 

I liked the CCM mod.  It fixed several issues I had.  I also know how to edit flight dynamics and may have gotten around to making my own changes, but he did the testing and saved everyone a lot of time.  I have been into flightsim for 20 years and I can't think how many modified .cfg or .air files I have used or distributed myself.  The Twotter, as a product, is for a very small market, not a mass technology (think of Apple and Samsung suing each other for years over smartphone tech).   It's not a good look and I am not sure why this is the hill for Aerosoft to die on.

 

The issues with this add-on are well-documented in this forum, but other than the sounds it's unclear what exactly Aerosoft is planning to have fixed on the Twotter.  I agree that regular roadmap posts would smooth over much of the angst.

 

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21 hours ago, Moach said:

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. 


This is actually the main issue I have with what is being done here. This goes beyond Aerosoft and their products.

I never cared that much about the Twin Otter or the CCM mod specifically (even though I own the plane). They put out a product and if I'm not happy with their product as is and they crack down on mods then that's simply a factor I have to take into account into any future buying decisions. This is their right as the copyright holder and I can simply move on from that and wish them their best in the future. This is totally fine.

If they would've really just wanted to make sure they are covered legally they could've just properly re-licensed the files accordingly (as MS does with the default planes for example). Instead, the suggestion is that mods should in future consist of brittle diff patches and offload all burden of modding to the user (and let us not forget, an Aerosoft customer). This is just pure asinine and puts a chilling effect on the whole mod community.

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4 hours ago, Pietert said:

You might want to look into grep :D

That's what "Select-String" does. 🙂

 

 

1 hour ago, crotchetycoder said:

If they would've really just wanted to make sure they are covered legally they could've just properly re-licensed the files accordingly (as MS does with the default planes for example). Instead, the suggestion is that mods should in future consist of brittle diff patches and offload all burden of modding to the user (and let us not forget, an Aerosoft customer). This is just pure asinine and puts a chilling effect on the whole mod community.

I would like to see this question asked of Asobo at the next Q&A, on Asobo's position with regard to their implemented method of modding being denied by a single developer.

 

Time to vote with your feet, and deny funding to a group that has declared war on the Asobo-implemented method of modding aircraft.

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8 minutes ago, echo_oscar said:

The silence from Aerosoft in this thread is deafening. 


Oh they already said that they don't intend to interact with the community with regards to this topic. So don't hold your breath.


They just opened this thread for their community to complain "as often and as long as they want" so that it doesn't dominate their forums, not because they were actually interested in any concerns or constructive dialogue. 

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Thank you to @Moach and everyone else for the discussion here. Given that every other twin otter mod remains up on Flightsim.to despite any differentiation whatsoever between the components of the download package in the license boilerplate, it's clear that Aerosoft has some internal housekeeping to do to clarify what's allowed and what's not. Ironically the 'we must act' gambit doesn't play too well when you stop acting short of taking down every instance of a modified file from the base package. The situation is far less clear now than it was before it started.

I can only hope the silence in this thread is associated with some contemplation and future communication to clarify their stance. Or, y'know, some self-consistency and removal of every other twotter mod.

 

These forums are a pretty disappointing place, waiting for the next mod post in any critical thread is just philosophical roulette. What will we get, misdirection? An ad-hominem attack? A logical fallacy? What makes this line itself better than those attacks? Nothing other than it's my way of expressing that I wish there was some substance to Aerosoft's side of the story.

Take all the other mods down until you sort this out or explain why it isn't necessary [those .cfg files aren't in the paint kit download... the paint kit instructions don't give me permission to include them...]. Go ahead, I'll wait.

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8 minutes ago, ReproCase said:

Thank you to @Moach and everyone else for the discussion here. Given that every other twin otter mod remains up on Flightsim.to despite any differentiation whatsoever between the components of the download package in the license boilerplate, it's clear that Aerosoft has some internal housekeeping to do to clarify what's allowed and what's not. Ironically the 'we must act' gambit doesn't play too well when you stop acting short of taking down every instance of a modified file from the base package. The situation is far less clear now than it was before it started.

I can only hope the silence in this thread is associated with some contemplation and future communication to clarify their stance. Or, y'know, some self-consistency and removal of every other twotter mod.

 

These forums are a pretty disappointing place, waiting for the next mod post in any critical thread is just philosophical roulette. What will we get, misdirection? An ad-hominem attack? A logical fallacy? What makes this line itself better than those attacks? Nothing other than it's my way of expressing that I wish there was some substance to Aerosoft's side of the story.

Take all the other mods down until you sort this out or explain why it isn't necessary [those .cfg files aren't in the paint kit download... the paint kit instructions don't give me permission to include them...]. Go ahead, I'll wait.

I hope  you wait a very long long time.

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Because clarity would be a bad thing here?

All we're asking for is a self-consistent approach to the concept of mods.

 

If that means adding explicit instructions to the paint kit describing precisely which files may be redistributed alongside liveries, great.

 

If that means taking down any mod on .to that contains any file derived from the files of the base package not explicitly included in those instructions, fine.

If that means adding notes to the plaintext files in the package describing which are copyrighted and whether modification and redistribution is permissible, fantastic!

If that means Aerosoft states clearly and concisely that, other than liveries, mods of their aircraft are not permitted and will be taken down, fine.

All we have right now is a confusing mess. We can't play by the rules if we don't know what they are.

 

Sitting here and trying to guess what is "code" and what is not "code" is a joke.

 

Mark the blocks you want to protect (blacklist); tell us what we are allowed to modify (whitelist); take everything down (consistent with current published blanket policy); or allow mods generally consistent with the concept of Fair Use (typical industry behavior).

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18 hours ago, Joe Markowski said:

I find the fact that this topic was opened without any intent to engage in it to be in incredibly bad faith.

 

It would have been far better if the response had simply been "no, and that's final."

Speaking of clarity what part of "Copyright" "Violation" don't you understand?  The next move is yours.  Besides bad mouthing AS all over the internet and forums Bellyaching modders. lol      

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5 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Speaking of clarity what part of "Copyright" "Violation" don't you understand?  The next move is yours.  Besides bad mouthing AS all over the internet and forums Bellyaching modders. lol      

😂

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11 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Makes sense. A gang of modders uses the black web to steal and share copyright code. 

No one is talking about that kind of thing. What we are talking about is analogous to me creating a Word document that contains a questionnaire.

 

I then publish that questionnaire. Then a company comes along, takes that questionnaire, and fills in some details, and then claim ownership of that document.

 

Asobo publish the format of these CFG, and XML files for developers to use. 
 

It is outrageous to simply punch in some values to those files, and then claim copyright over them.  This is Asobo’s approved method of modding planes.

 

And let’s not let a minority here try to slew the argument here towards trying to steal a plane.

 

Anyone interested in these mods already owns the Twin Otter, as I do.  No one is trying to gain access to something they haven’t paid for. 
 

Aerosoft really should be thankful that the community love this plane so much that they wish to help making it better.

 

If only those individuals responsible in Aerosoft could understand that, and instead of seeing this for what it is they have likely made many of us consider never buying from Aerosoft again.

 

The PR damage is done.

 

Sadly I think what this really may come down to is some modders highlighting some, shall we say, ineptitude on Aerosoft's part.  Schoolboy errors if you like.  This has clearly ruffled some feathers.

 

If anyone requires any evidence, take a look at this positing I made on the official forums:

 

https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/aerosoft-twin-otter-baby/395128/718

 

The Aerosoft developers used the SDK default values for the autopilot PID's. 🙂

 

Whoever was in charge of Twin Otter flight dynamics and/or testing clearly doesn't/didn't know what they were doing, and hadn't read the bit in the SDK that you should not use these values on your own planes.  They aren't the only ones to make this mistake though, as I point out, but BBS were much more receptive to criticism when it was pointed out, though we still await an updated Islander which implements some required changes to make the AP behave.

 

Most importantly Graham didn't go after those creating mods for his plane, he simply admonished those who messed up their planes when they attempted to reskin the cockpit interior! 🙂

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14 hours ago, HobAnagerik said:

No one is talking about that kind of thing. What we are talking about is analogous to me creating a Word document that contains a questionnaire.

 

I then publish that questionnaire. Then a company comes along, takes that questionnaire, and fills in some details, and then claim ownership of that document.

 

Asobo publish the format of these CFG, and XML files for developers to use. 
 

It is outrageous to simply punch in some values to those files, and then claim copyright over them.  This is Asobo’s approved method of modding planes.

 

And let’s not let a minority here try to slew the argument here towards trying to steal a plane.

 

Anyone interested in these mods already owns the Twin Otter, as I do.  No one is trying to gain access to something they haven’t paid for. 
 

Aerosoft really should be thankful that the community love this plane so much that they wish to help making it better.

 

If only those individuals responsible in Aerosoft could understand that, and instead of seeing this for what it is they have likely made many of us consider never buying from Aerosoft again.

 

The PR damage is done.

 

Sadly I think what this really may come down to is some modders highlighting some, shall we say, ineptitude on Aerosoft's part.  Schoolboy errors if you like.  This has clearly ruffled some feathers.

 

If anyone requires any evidence, take a look at this positing I made on the official forums:

 

https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/aerosoft-twin-otter-baby/395128/718

 

The Aerosoft developers used the SDK default values for the autopilot PID's. 🙂

 

Whoever was in charge of Twin Otter flight dynamics and/or testing clearly doesn't/didn't know what they were doing, and hadn't read the bit in the SDK that you should not use these values on your own planes.  They aren't the only ones to make this mistake though, as I point out, but BBS were much more receptive to criticism when it was pointed out, though we still await an updated Islander which implements some required changes to make the AP behave.

 

Most importantly Graham didn't go after those creating mods for his plane, he simply admonished those who messed up their planes when they attempted to reskin the cockpit interior! 🙂

Squealing like a stuck pig is quite comical and not very dignified approach to your opinion. You are talking about a plane that is copyrighted. It is very insulting to the creators of this work of art. (they don't know what they are doing)You don't have some God given right to share 95% of what you did not write. AS dose not want you as a customer anyway. So no tears will be shed. lol

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5 hours ago, Monsoon said:

 AS dose not want you as a customer anyway. So no tears will be shed. lol

 

The way AS are acting, it would seem they don't want ANY customers.

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12 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Squealing like a stuck pig is quite comical and not very dignified approach to your opinion. You are talking about a plane that is copyrighted. It is very insulting to the creators of this work of art. (they don't know what they are doing)You don't have some God given right to share 95% of what you did not write. AS dose not want you as a customer anyway. So no tears will be shed. lol

Don't worry.  I have a method in the works at the moment.  It's in testing as we speak.  I will then release it to the original author if they wish to use it.  It has none of the originial XML or CFG files that AS punched their values in then claimed copyright on, but it can create them from scratch.

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17 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Squealing like a stuck pig is quite comical and not very dignified approach to your opinion. You are talking about a plane that is copyrighted. It is very insulting to the creators of this work of art. (they don't know what they are doing)You don't have some God given right to share 95% of what you did not write. AS dose not want you as a customer anyway. So no tears will be shed. lol

Yeah! Imagine if you just copied and pasted someone else’s work to release a paid add on! Like, say, the entire avionics stack. That would be absolutely wild!

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