Thursday, August 28, 2014

My two cents on the freeware thing and other topics

I have been recently involved in a couple of interesting discussion on freeware and other topic, and I think it is worth spending five minutes sharing my point of view and clarifying my position on a couple of things.
First thing let me clarify what I mean with freeware (given the definition of this word has changed somewhat over time): I use this word in the meaning commonly accepted within the FSX community, that is you can download it and use it for free - but I still retain the copyright and you are not allowed to make changes to it. This is different from the "Free Software" concept and from the Open Source approach.

- Converting my models in other simulators or for other purposes: this is NOT allowed, and, in general, I am NOT releasing my source models. Reason for this is not, as several people suggested, that I am not willing to share my work. The fact is that some parts of my models are derivative of third party work of which I do not have the rights or permission to share.
This does not mean that I am not willing to cooperate with other designers - on the contrary none of my work could have reached the current quality level without external contibutions! - but I am not in the legal position to authorize other people to use my models.

- Why I do what I do if I am not getting any money? Because it is great fun. I design my planes first and foremost for my own usage and enjoyment - hence they are good enough when they fit to my taste. They are not designed to appeal to customers, or be fit to any other purpose.

- Payware vs. Freeware: I have absolutely nothing against payware, and it would be a great mean to get more "budget" for my projects. Fact is I do not have time to support this activity in a more professional matter - let alone the financial and taxes  and paperwork thing. It is not ruled out in future.

- You made it free so "you get what you get and users cannot complain". I can tell you that users will complain (mostly in a very polite and constructive way, but there are exceptions) regardless if they get them for free or not. I think I always made my best to listen to all the feedback - and implement it. I am sorry but I cannot always grant a timely reply (or a reply at all)...but rest assured I read everything and keep track of what you say.

- Realism: in general I try to make my planes "reasonably" realistic. The rationale is "good enough for me"... there is no guarantee of any kind on realism, nor my planes cannot be considered on par with ones from other designers in that respect. At least I am trying to represent all the peculiar features of the subject.
That being said.... expect further updates for the T-45C and the S-3B soon!


12 comments:

Jeremy said...

Dino, Slightly off topic, but it seems the taxi/landing light does not work with the newest version of the F-14. I get a soft white glow in the area of the light on the nose gear, but it doesnt light the ground up and it doesnt turn off when the gear is retracted as it should (using the nose gear limit switch).

I agree with you on your thoughts on freeware! Well said.

David Harwood said...

Dino,
As a flight simmer and someone who has only ever flown in the back seat so to speak of an aircraft I find your sim models a work of art and something I could only dream of producing. I am surprised that your aircraft models are freeware, at this time, as I have purchased similar payware aircraft such as the IRIS F-14 and always turn to your model as I feel that it is graphically far superior and generally harder to fly which is what I would expect from a Mach 2 fighter aircraft.
I have waited eagerly for your S-3 to become available as its one of my favourite aircraft and I couldn't give a monkeys if certain things don't work correctly or not at all. I'm flying an S-3 of the USS Enterprise and will try and attempt to land the thing without smashing into the deck. That's good enough for me.
I have paid for several aircraft products recently as they were available as freeware but not to the standard that you produce so made the jump but at the end of a kid free evening I always find myself in a T-45 doing bump and runs out of RAF Lossimouth or pretending to be Tom Cruise in Top Gun (sad I know) as your aircraft are superb in every detail.
If you ever consider turning to payware I would gladly pay the price you ask and if you still took all the time in the world to produce them that would be fine with me as long as I had an update every now and then to keep the excitement going!
After 6 years of flying in FS2004 and now FSX I have always had your F-14 in my hangar and will continue to pop into your website to see what's next.
I thank you for all the time you must spend with this hobby as it has made my hobby more enjoyable and I'm glad you enjoy it so much.
If you ever want a beer on me, let me know as I have managed to obtain a PayPal account at last (thanks to eBay and the kids)so could send you a few English pounds as a thank you.
I hope you keep up the excellent work and look forward to your next project (I'd love a Tornado GR-4 please).

Thank You

David Harwood

DA said...

Hi Dino,

Quiet agree with your comments, we have lost a lot of brilliant freeware developers due to ungrateful users, and you are one of the few good developers remaining. Love your work especially the Naval type, thanks from all those who do appreciate the effort you put in.

Anonymous said...

I am also having issues with no landing light showing up on the latest build of the F-14.

Even so, your work, Dino, is often far better than most payware.

Whatever you're doing, keep it up. You're doing everything right!

MPCaseJ said...

I have to disagree about modifying your work, I'll do what I want with it on my computer, but I would not redistribute it. So far the only things I've seen any "need" to do has been to get rid of all but more than one or two liveries since I only need one paint job. ;)

ScimmiaSpaziale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ScimmiaSpaziale said...

@MPCaseJ

You are completely right in that respect - I should have elaborated it more. IMHO you are surely free to do what you want on your computer (except breaking EULAs IMHO...which I would consider a gentlemen agreement), as long as you keep it for your own usage.
The only problem I have with mods for personal usage is that, if you do that I may not be able to provide assistance in case of problems.

But, by no means this post is intended as a rant to users or individuals. There are just few cases in which I was a little upset...

1) I have seen cases in which my models were exported and sold for profit on computer graphics websites.

2) I have seen a case in which a guy was using part of my work to raise money on Kickstarter.

3) I have seen people repacking / modifying my work without permission and share them as their own work (but that did not happening very often in the past few years).

4) When the F-35 was payware, it was quite easy to download it for free from a couple of websites (by the way I am totally against copy protection)

Fact is when you release something on the Internet it is in the wild and you have NO control over it.
I know it when I do it, and I accept it - and in some sense it is good and even great.
If you are doing "wrong" things with my software I think you know it - and being an atheist I don't think you will go to Hell for that.

Anonymous said...

Dino, first and foremost, thank you for all you do, you absolutely produce very fun and in my opinion extremely accurate representations of the actual aircraft. I’m a military pilot who fly’s an aircraft that doesn’t shoot or drop anything. It’s a blast to fly your works of art and via the TacPack drop ordnance on random buildings and things and do a little air to air as well. Please keep building things that you like because so far you’ve built just about everything I like as well.

Anonymous said...

Kind of off topic but can you make a e-2 hawkeye in the future

Rod said...

Dino,

I totally agree with you about your software. The only one who has full control of your software is yourself. Being freeware makes it readily available to us as the Flight Sim community. No one should be using any part of your hard work without your permission. I can understand people removing extra liveries if required. That just frees up space on the HDD.

Keep up the great work. Still waiting for a Eurofighter Typhoon mate. Italy use them as well you know.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely too. Well Said DINO!!!

David McClean said...

Dino, Your freeware contribution to the FS are second to none and IMO the best available and in fact on a par with the hi level payware available. the inclusion of your work in LM's P3D V2 is a testament to its excelleance.
I personally have donated to you and will again in am sure. You deserve the donations and I encourage other getting great enjoyment of your fine work to do the same.

Thanks for everything

Dave McClean